Fettling

Well this year’s Eurothrash to Austria is now getting closer so I’m making final arrangements for kit and making sure the Sprint is ready to rock.

The wiring issues were swiftly resolved by Jack Lilley – who I was very impressed with and will now be using for all my Triumph servicing, etc. – as they found that the blowing fuse was actually a problem with the accessory lead I’d bought a while back and the lack of power to the topbox was indeed down to Metropolis Motorcycles completely failing to fit the additional wiring harness when they prepped the Sprint for me when I bought it.

Ali now has heated gloves and a heated inner jacket from Keis – very good gear, it must be said – although I’m slightly disappointed that the gloves can’t be powered from the jacket if the heavy duty temperature controller for the jacket is fitted. No idea why, either. Obviously when we pack these, it will ensure that the Austrian Tyrol remains at tropical temperatures whilst we are there…

I’ve also sourced some new straps for the Kriega luggage I used for the Pyrenees Eurothrash last year so that I can strap a US-10 or US-20 to the tank. I need to see which one will work best with the Garmin and the other controls.

I also got hold of a 30 litre waterproof rollbag from Givi that can be strapped onto the Sprint’s topbox with some nifty ROK straps if we need the extra luggage capacity over the 117 litres we already have in the topbox and panniers.

So I think at the weekend, we’ll have a rehearsal to see how much stuff we can pack, where and how, and see if we do need to think about using the rollbag and the US-20 after all. I want to avoid wearing a rucksack if possible. Last year I had 20+10+10+35=75 litres and that was more than ample for me.

As for entertainment, well the new Garmin links to my iPod that’s now under the seat our intercom seems to work well, although we haven’t tried connecting to Yox’s or Purge’s headsets yet for bike to bike stuff.

From new, I’ve always had issues with the wiring on the Sprint: I ordered it new with the heated grips and powered top-box but Triumph ship them to the dealers “as-is” and the dealers then fit the accessories.

Or they should…

In my case I discovered last night that the fuse issue appears to be a short in the accessory socket which shares the same wiring as the grips fitted by Metropolis. The moment you try to plug something in to the socket, it shorts and the fuse blows instantly (you can hear it popping if you have the saddle off).

Also, from new there has never been any power to the socket in the powered top-box. Ah. According to Triumph UK, that’s probably because Metropolis may not have fitted a relay that they needed to… {sigh}

So I’ve contacted Jack Lilley at Romford to get them to sort both issues under warranty. I’m waiting for a call back to book it in.

Why was I looking last night? I was removing the wiring for my old Tom Tom Rider and fitting the much more substantial motorcycle mount and loom for my new Garmin zumo 590LM.  This is in preparation for this year’s Eurothrash to Austria with Ali on the pillion – she was comfortable enough to fall asleep on the back the other week – and has also meant I’ve upgraded our intercom/headsets to the new Cardo scala rider G9c PowerSet.

After a few changes of plan, I put another few miles on the clock midweek by riding over to GT’s on the GT on one of the hottest days of the year, having received a load of admiring looks and remarks from colleagues at work.

I’d taken the panniers off to be able to filter through rush-hour traffic and so it was.

Friday morning and it was lashing down with rain. Fortunately I’d left some waterproof over-trousers at GT’s for her to use when she was doing her own bike lessons and test, so I wore those, but my perforated leather jacket was – sadly – doing its job perfectly: I was soaked!

So I dropped the Sprint off at Metropolis, pointed out the small issues with the bike – a missing fairing bolt, stupid plasticene indicator screws fixed with superglue, a blown fuse and too much throttle slack – and then picked up the courtesy bike which was a brand new Tiger 800 and headed home to drip dry rather than going into the office as planned.

The Tiger 800 is a bit of a gem, by the way, but I’m not sure it’s worth £8,000 with ABS: only £500 less than the Sprint GT.

Riding home and the Sprint felt much better with the throttle response being soooooo improved. Pity that Metrop told me they need to drill out the indicator/mirror screws … No shit, Sherlock! That’s what i thought they were doing.

Ah well. I just need to check they’re replaced the fuse and signed the service booklet and wash all the filth off the bike after the wet ride.

…continues.

My son came down to London to stay the weekend. Unlike his sister, Jack had never been keen as a young child to go on any of my bikes (Amy had regularly scored cool points at primary school by riding in on the back of my bikes and made sure to keep her helmet on her coat-peg). So it was that at 17, he’d never really been anywhere on the back of my bikes.

My trusty Scala Rider headset had packed up recently, so rather than doing a like-for-like replacement I had opted for the Scala Rider Teamset Pro: two headsets that link together by Bluetooth for a little bit more than an individual headset. The plan next year is to take GT on the GT (!) to somewhere in Europe – possibly Austria – on another Eurothrash so being able to talk rather than relying on taps and hand-signals would be a bonus.

So we checked that one of my helmets fitted Jack securely, hooked up the headsets, kitted him with gloves and leathers and headed down to Loomies in Hampshire via Ryka’s in Surrey. His Mum was more than a little concerned when she found out what was going on…

Jack, on the other hand, was a natural and the 160 mile roundtrip was enjoyed by both of us and being able to chat on the road was a new experience for me.

Purge was at Loomies on his equally new Ducati Multistrada and I pointed out a missing bolt from the rear mudguard … as Yox pointed out a missing bolt from my fairing! Oops! Another little thing for Metropolis to sort out at the first service in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I’d sent off the forms to transfer another plonker plate onto the Sprint: 8000 RM. The new tax disc and authorisation arrived today, so I’ve let the insurance company know, printed off a new insurance certificate and ordered a new numberplate to fit to the bike, hopefully before the weekend…

Saturday morning found me heading out on the bus with a leather jacket and clutching my open helmet to head to Metropolis Motorcycles to pick up the Sprint. And so it was that I got off the train at Vauxhall and wandered over just as they were opening … which was just as well as it was filling up for “Crash a Triumph Day” aka Triumph Open Day with test rides aplenty.

After we’d done the paperwork and I’d laughed at the stupid warning label on the pannier liner bags (have I got to take a Triumph Technician everywhere with me?), I fired up GT with its 3.1 mile mileometer (or odometer as Triumph refer to it) reading and headed home via a petrol station to fill the tank right up. It was handy having the top box as well because I could put all my paperwork – in a neat Triumph pouch – and a Triumph T-shirt and mug in the cavernous boot.

To be fitted by a trained technician

To be fitted by a trained technician

Top Box Inner Bag. Really?

Top Box Inner Bag. Really?

So home, arriving with a little over 6 miles on the clock.

It was then that I noticed the scratches on the massive OEM silencer – the “Hoover” – which had been effectively hidden in the showroom and not showing up when I climbed onto the bike from the other side:

Scratched End Cap

Scratched End Cap

Scratched Silencer

Scratched Silencer

Now while I have told the dealer about them, it’s only important for when/if I sell the bike, because I’d already decided that I wouldn’t be happy with this profile:

Before...

Before…

… and I’d much prefer this one instead:

...and After

…and After

This has the added benefit – having removed the baffle – of releasing a lovely, deep growl from the triple engine without being too noisy, thanks to the catalytic converter in the headers/collector box (I only swapped out the silencer). Start to finish, it took me 10 minutes to fit this carbon fibre Remus Hexacone silencer. Lighter weight, smaller, shorter and better looking. And it makes the popping and banging on the overrun even better!

I then spent another 5 minutes taking off all the warning stickers from the tank before they get a chance to harden and take hold on the tank. Marvelous!

The next job was to fit the RAM mount for the satnav to the fork tops and then wire up a power lead to plug into the accessory socket. Sadly, this wasn’t actually putting out any power (and neither were the heated grips which share the same circuit) so that’s another job for the dealer to sort. I wired up another lead direct from the battery to the new powered satnav cradle from Amazon… which is also DOA! So the morning had taken a slight turn for the worse … which got much, much worse when I scraped the left pannier going into the garage due to my misjudging the width at the rear – the bike’s wider at the back than the front, even with the wide mirrors. Arse! Out with the T-Cut paste.

Finally, it was time to change into my black race leathers and matt black Arai for the full stealth effect. High viz? Schmy viz! Then off to Egham to drop off some apartment keys for Amy and then on to Epsom and the other GT for dinner.

Sunday morning and I was up and out of the house by 8.00am as I was heading down to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu to meet up with friends for breakfast and a natter. I chose the A3 as it was a nice mixture of roads and off I went, keeping the revs and throttle openings to a modest amount as I’m running the bike in. Playing with the trip computer showed that the GT was giving over 50mpg at 90mph – on closed roads, obv! – and even with all the town riding was averaging 46mpg with a range of a little over 200 miles.

Some slight tingling through the bars at around 90 as well, so I will need to keep it just under or just over on Eurothrashes.

After a lovely time with mates, I headed back to Epsom where the other GT had finished a difficult half-marathon – “demanding”, said the website – especially in the heatwave. I was pleased to have avoided it on doctor’s orders after my GP and Consultant had told me to rest my duff knee until it’s fixed.

On the way back up the M3, a crash had slowed traffic to a halt so I was able to see what it was like to filter with the additional width. It was OK: I just had to be a little more careful and filter with less extreme prejudice than usual.

Then in the evening it was back home through more heavy traffic up to Wandsworth and a weekend of around 250 miles.

Excellent!

…and these colours are really nice (especially the blue and silver one):

http://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/triumph-world/news/27800

Triumph has once again teamed up with custom paint shop 8 Ball to create a limited edition run of just 50 eye-catching Sprint GTs.

Triumph has created two distinctive looks based around the standard Sprint GT colours; the first a striking pacific blue and pewter silver with scarlet red pinstripe design and the second an attention-grabbing phantom black and pearlescent bullion gold.

The bold paint schemes run across the Sprint GT’s flowing faring, fuel tank and large capacity panniers.

Just 25 bikes have been produced in each colour option ready for this summer’s touring season.

The new machines are exclusively available via the UK Triumph dealer network, priced £8,649 OTR.

130702_sprint_gt_8ball_black 130702_sprint_gt_8ball_blue

Delayed

Well just like when I bought the RX-8, I didn’t take delivery of the Sprint GT as planned on Saturday because it wasn’t ready: the (confirmed) factory recall – a minor recall to replace a detent spring, neutral switch and a small washer – wasn’t sorted so I’m now picking it up next Saturday instead.

Fingers crossed for more great weather!

More bad news today from Metropolis Motorcycles: apparently there’s been a factory recall from Triumph which means they’re not allowed to register/tax my Sprint GT and they’re hoping the part will come in tomorrow.

I can’t find anything on the VOSA website so is this just a lame excuse?

Had a phone call this morning – as promised – from Metropolis letting me know there was some good news and some bad news…

The good news is that delivery of the Sprint GT is on for this Saturday! I just need to arrange my insurance now.

The bad news is that for some complicated reason, they haven’t been able to assign my vanity plate to the bike, so I’ll have to do that just as soon as the registration document arrives.

The other good news is that the weather for the weekend is looking good for some rides out with the other GT 🙂

And even more good news is that planning is underway for Eurotour 2014 and possibly something else this year…

Crate News!

I just rang the dealer to see if they have any news as to when the Sprint GT will be ready for me.

It turns out it arrived in from Triumph today! Still crated up and needs to be PDI’d but we’re more or less there: the vanity plate will need to go on as well, but we’re there or thereabouts.

And there’s a nub of an idea forming about running it in with a couple of big trips: one for the initial running-in period to the free service at 500 miles and then a longer trip to get to know the bike properly.

Now all I need to do is work out where to go: I’m thinking a couple of long weekend rides for the former and somewhere in Europe for the latter…