Wednesday, April 18, 2012

60,000 Mile Bonneville By Triumph

I bought this splendid machine in early October 2007 off the showroom floor at the late lamented Pure Triumph of Fort Lauderdale. It cost $8,000 out the door.

It is showing some signs of age after four and a half years of exposure to the Florida Keys' corrosive salt laden air.

The valve cover gasket and washers need to be replaced each time the valves are checked every 12,000 miles otherwise the gasket tends to seep oil. The engine doesn't lose enough oil that you'd notice but it does give it the irritating patina of an old style leaky Bonneville from the 1960s.

This leaky pot of oil spreads lubricant on the final drive chain and keeps said chain functioning for twice as long as the expected 20,000 miles. I love my Loobman chain oiler.

My Bonneville serves me perfectly in the Fabulous Florida Keys, starting every time I touch the button, running smoothly on regular gas, a gallon every 43 miles.

If I didn't have a dog and a wife to haul around from time to time I wouldn't drive a car.

Cars are known as cages to motorcyclists, because they surround the prisoners with metal and limit their connection to the outside world. A motorcycle carries a certain danger inherent to the ride and the orders like to feel like outsiders or rebels.

Aside from the imagery I like riding because every journey is a life affirming adventure.

The Bonneville is a pretty bike styled on it's forebears from the sixties when fifty horsepower qualified it as a super bike. Nowadays sixty horsepower qualifies it as barely adequate. That I have made mine ugly with useful luggage sets me in a category all my own. I ride my Bonneville, my girlie bike. I travel by Bonneville, on my beginner's bike.

I stuck an Emgo top case on the back, Pelican 1430 cases on the sides and called it my adventure bike. I ride to work on Highway One and love my commute as a result.

Here it is at home, my unnamed ride, my 15,000 mile per year companion. My flying carpet, my Iron Butt certificate winner.

My Bonneville is the bike made for me and after all these miles I still get a thrill every time I think about going for a ride.

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