Well, I asked for an intervention to talk me out of a potential new bike purchase. The Triumph Tiger 800 XC. For some reason, the intervention did not work. Instead, everyone tried talking me INTO one.
I broke down and put a deposit down on the bike. Originally I was told they would be coming in sometime in April. Now it is looking more like before the end of March. Not much time to have you guys help me change my mind.
I don't really know what it is about this bike that I like. I have always liked the way the new Triumphs seem to be geared towards Adult Male Children. I suffer from AMC myself. Rather than trying to get the most power out of an engine, Triumph tries to make the most useful and user friendly power. It is almost as if they understand that us fat old guys want to be able to go really fast all the time, but are more likely to spend most (all?) of our time within 15 MPH of the speed limit. When I was looking for my last bike (I settled on an ST1300) I test road the larger Triumph Tiger 1050. A very sweet engine and bike, but it was not what I needed at the time. There is something about a triple I like. I tried a few of their triples through the years and loved them, I just never fell in love with any of the bikes.
Late last year I tried the BMW 800 GS. This is a very similar bike to the Tiger, forever after called the Tigger, which is spelled TI Geh Errr. Look up Winnie the Pooh if you don't recognize the reference. Anyway, I really loved the GS. The only thing keeping me from chasing down a used one was that it was a BMW. My first experience with BMW was less than wonderful, the only bike I have owned that I was ever glad to be rid of. ( A 1996? R1100R)
Then, just about the time I had settled on either a KLR or a Wee-Strom, leaning heavily towards the Wee, Triumph comes out with this Tigger. I have few gripes about the bike, the biggest being that it does not run tubeless tires. I like the long travel suspension, good for the New Hampshire Frost Heaves. I like most things about this bike.
Soooooooo, Sometime in March or April the bike will come in and I will be able to get a test ride. If I like it, I will get it. If it turns out I don't like it, I will be in the market for a Wee.
It takes me a long time and a lot of thought to decide what bike to ride. I put a decent chunk of miles on a bike, and don't get rid of them normally until they are well worn and not worth much. Mostly I buy new, as the fewer hassles are worth the extra bucks for me. My Honda ST 1300 I bought used and got a great deal on it. There was probably $1,500 worth of work that needed to be done on it, but by doing it myself the cost was around $100. Sweat equity saved me a bundle here. Unfortunately, there are no used bikes available that meet most of the wants I had.
Obviously no one needs any bike much less one particular bike. There are wants that translate into needs though. For example, I want to be able to always have a functioning bike to ride for both my girlfriend and I. That pretty much requires a second bike, since there are times when parts may not be available for one bike right away or some maintenance/repair needs to be done but I don't have time to do it. For two up, any time riding/traveling, that requires a bigger bike than the KLR and one with better power generation. At this point I could still just get a second ST1300 or an FJR or whatever. Next I wanted a lighter bike, that was different and could handle the crappy spring roads better. That narrowed the field some. leaning heavily on DualSport bikes. The last thing is that I do not want to buy a bike bigger than a KLR that does not have ABS. Now, since BMW is out of the running, there are only two choices in mainstream bikes, the Wee and the Tigger. The Wee is a bit weak in the alternator, and the Tigger has a longer (hopefully better) suspension. Whether it is the best choice only time will tell, but I think it will be a good choice.
I write this, hoping someone will come up with a good reason for me not to spend the bucks on this bike, as well as helping me decide whether it is a good choice.