Here are my pages with the history of 110 years of Triumph motorcycles plus information on other vintage British motorcycles, tidbits on the history of motorcycling. I've also included a review of the new Triumph Thunderbird. You can go to the local Triumph dealer who sold me two Hinckley Triumphs: J&R Cycle in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. They're good folk and they work hard and put in many, many hours. And the entire family rides, so they can talk expertly about their bikes. Also check out my British motorcycle manufacturers pages - a compilation of brief histories from the late 19th century on. I now own a Triumph Bonneville T100.
TRIUMPH SPRINT ST
I had this magnificent bike as a test vehicle for more than a month in mid-1999. After 1,000 kilometers, they had to pull me off kicking and screaming to return it. This is the best, most agile, powerful and enjoyable motorcycle I have ever ridden. Truly an amazing vehicle. It is an exciting, competent blend of style and performance.
HONDA VFR 800 INTERCEPTOR
After I sold the Tiger, I bought a 1999 Honda VFR 800FI, the Interceptor - awarded 'best all-round motorcycle' by several magazines in 1998 and 1999, as well as 'motorcycle of the year' awards from several motorcycle publications during the past 7-8 years. It was red, fast, powerful, smooth, fuel-injected and it cut corners quickly and easily. Did I also mention red? It's a reasonably comfortable sport-touring bike, a touch too quiet, but technically superb and confidence-inspiring to ride. And a whole lot more bike than I really needed for my in-town riding - where I seldom reach above 4,000 rpm. I did put in a seven-hour trip to Ottawa (six hours return) on it. Plus I rode it in the Ride For Sight in 2000. Beautiful bike, but, like my ex-wife, we were unsuited together.
WRETRO WRIDERS - W650
After a couple of months trying to decide about my feelings for the sporty Honda, I traded the VFR for the pleasant look and feel of a retro bike: the Kawasaki W650, an air-cooled, vertical twin that looks and rides very much like the beloved Triumph Bonneville of the late 1960s. The W is very retro in looks, but a thoroughly modern engine. It attracts curbside attention, it's fun to ride, it handles well and it gets me places in comfort and style. For motorcycle reviews, opinions, news, tests, technical tips and other tasty bits, please see the Canadian Motorcycle Guide Online at www.cmgonline.com and my review of this bike and its history at www.ianchadwick.com/motorcycles/w650/. Also check out my British motorcycle manufacturers pages - a compilation of brief histories from the late 19th century on. For those of you keeping count: that was six motorcycles I owned (and rode) in one calendar year: Triumph Thunderbird, Kawasaki Drifter, Triumph Tiger, Honda VFR 800, Kawasaki W650 and a 1968 BSA Royal Star. Whew. The W has recently been sold in favour of a BMW F650, but it remains in my heart.
SMALL SIZE, BIG HEART: BMW F650
You'll be able to read more about my latest bike, a 98 BMW F650, purchased used in the fall of 2001. Reason: I wanted to be able to go off the asphalt. In my area there are hundreds of miles of winding, scenic unpaved roads (reasoning here: why F650). I wanted to be able to explore them on a motorcycle. I have never felt entirely comfortable taking a cruiser or a sport bike on a gravel road. I did a lot of research into the appropriate bike for both pavement and back-road riding. I'll explain how I ended up picking the Funduro (name chosen by non-motorcycling advertising geeks who probably drive SUVs, not by riders). A great, competent and fun ride. However, I sold it for a Bonneville T100 in mid-03...
RIDE FOR SIGHT
In 1998, the Central Ontario Ride For Sight came to the GNE Fairgrounds for the first time, the 20th anniversary Ride. It returned in 1999, 2000 (for the final Ride of this millennium) and for the first ride of the new millennium in 2001. 2002 was a bit of a mud bath, with three days of torrential rains. It is coming back for the 25th anniversary in 2003 (with better weather!) - bigger, better and with even more riders expected (about 10,000 riders and passengers participated in 2001). Click above for more details and link about this event (at the GNE fairgrounds in Clearview Township just outside the towns of Collingwood and Wasaga Beach). Demo rides, vendors, camping, live music, food, beer, show & shine, field games and more. Volunteers are needed! Triumph is not among the eight manufacturers offering demo rides. In 2005, the Ride For Sight opted to move to a new location near Trenton. My best wishes for their continued success.
WHY DO WE RIDE?
Click here for my essay. Motorcycling is more than a recreation - it's a state of mind. Here are my thoughts on why motorcycling is so important and why so many believe it makes us better people. It's also about how automobile technology has inexorably robbed us of our skills and our freedoms, while making the roads increasing dangerous. For my warning signs about road hazards, click on the link. People with little or no sense of humour (or thin-skinned, oxygen-deprived SUV drivers) are recommended not to do so.
Click here for my Motorcycle links pages. You might have gathered that motorcycles are one of many passions in my life, but a big one. This page changes as I discover new sites and change motorcycles, so take a look if you haven't done so recently. Any suggestions and new site recommendations are welcome. Check out my British motorcycle manufacturers pages - a compilation of brief histories from the late 19th century on.
ROYAL ENFIELD BULLETS
The Canadian importers of the Enfield Bullet closed shop in the late 1990s. I owned and enjoyed a Bullet in 1995, and decided I should have another, so I bought a used 1995 with very low mileage, but a ton of problems. The Bullet was a gentle, pleasant bike, not too powerful, but with great charm and character, and great-looking. Thanks to Terry Smith for his support of this bike and for continuing to keep the Enfield Bullet alive in Canada as long as he did! Terry graciously returned my original review of the Bullet and my history of Royal Enfield motorcycles for this site. If you have corrections and updates, please email me directly or post them on my FORUM. Also check out my British motorcycle manufacturers pages - a compilation of brief histories from the late 19th century on.
Post your comments, share opinions and ask questions on the Mumpsimous FORUM if you want to add your two cents' worth or to just comment. More sites are in the works. Check back again for updates. last update: March, 2005.
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