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The Birth of a Thruxton Cup Bike

By Maxwell Materne
on January 28, 2015

Thruxton Cup racing is the kind of thing that gets in your veins.  Imagine getting off from a long day's work, grabbing an overstuffed backpack and hopping in a van jam packed with race bikes.  You're excited to participate in Vintage Fest, a bit scared to race in it but dreading the 5 hour night time drive.  At about 10PM you arrive to the gates of the Barber Motorsports Park and drive the hilly access road to the racer pit area.  Pull up to your pit spot to find that a party has broken out, excited racers, amazing barbecue even umbrella girls.  The people you're meeting now will become family to you for the rest of your life.  

 

This was the initial experience I had back in 2013 and ever since the moment when all of the Thruxton Cup racers welcomed me there was no way I wouldn't live this experience again.  The camaraderie, the competition, the racetracks, all of them made me excited to race in the 2014 season.  Both British Customs and BES Racing were kind enough to sponsor me for a number of races throughout the year, including Willow Springs and Barber Motorsports.  With the last race of the 2014 season at NOLA I was able to take home a few trophies that only made me want more for 2015.

 

This year started with purchasing my very own Thruxton in order to compete in more races, but the first of the season is fast approaching, this weekend!  Without enough time to prepare my bike for battle I've decided to race it bone stock, see how I do then modify based on my needs.  Here's where I'm starting:

An unadulterated 2008 Triumph Thruxton.  It has some accessories so far and a few of them will be just what I need.

A steering damper is required in all racing so fortunately the previous owner had the intuition to put one on already.

LSL engine sliders are a perfect addition to both race and street bikes as they keep the case covers from being punctured if the bike was to go down.  

 

A few more trinkets were added and fortunately none of them were illegal for the spec class of Thruxton Cup.  There was only one thing I needed to change to make race ready, and I certainly wasn't going to be making any exceptions on and that's tires.

 

These new tires are still DOT street tires but a bit grippier than the Metzlers that came stock.  A Continental Road Attack II for the front and a Bridgestone BT003 rear were my first choice as they were the ones I had raced on all last year with not one hiccup.  

 

Here's the first dyno run of the bike.  62 hp isn't bad but those bumps will require some tuning to remove.  Most Thruxton Cup bikes run between 65 hp and 70 hp so I'm starting with a bit more of a disadvantage but as I tune I'll keep writing more articles that share horsepower, lap times and race results.  

There are just a few small changes I have to make to pass tech and they are as follows:

  • Safety wire oil fill
  • Safety wire oil drain
  • Safety wire oil filter
  • Safety wire bake caliper bolts
  • Safety wire axle bolts
  • Safety wire axle pinch bolts
    • Install belly pan from British Customs
    • Tape up all of my lights

    There are a few more things I have to do in order to pass tech for an official Thruxton Cup scheduled event, but for WERA this'll do just fine.  After this quick work I'm ready to race!  Make sure to come out to NOLA Motorsports Park this Saturday January 31 and/or Sunday February 1 to see how I will stack up on a bone stock Triumph Thruxton against an arsenal of fully prepped, engine tuned, suspension upgraded race bikes.  Should make for an interesting show. 

     

     

    Max Materne

     

     

    Understanding suspension | Upgrading your Triumph modern classic

    By Maxwell Materne
    on December 04, 2014

    The point of a motorcycle’s suspension is to both absorb the road’s imperfections and keep consistent traction with the asphalt.  But how does it work?

    To understand the principles of suspension there are 2 different things to discuss: springs and damping.  The springs used in both front forks and in rear shocks are the same type of coil springs you would find in a pen or in a mattress, just much stronger.   What prevents the spring from continuously oscillating is the suspension’s damping characteristics.  

    Let’s look at a VERY simplified diagram how suspension works:


     

     

     

    There are 3 main components in this image to pay attention to; the oil, the valve and the damper rod.  The valve is on the end of the damper rod and is pushed through the oil as the damper rod is moved up and down.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



    As we push the damper rod up into the shock we can see that oil is passing through the valve.  The rate at which this oil passes through the valve is determined by the size of the holes in the valve and by the viscosity of the oil.

     

     

     

     

     










     

     

     

     

    The effect is the same in reverse for most stock shocks like those found on the Triumph Bonneville.  With shocks like these the rate at which the valve plunges through the oil is not adjustable nor can the oil be changed in order to get a different amount of damping from the shock.  








     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now let’s add the spring into the mix.  For every action (hitting a bump and the shock compressing) there is an equal but opposite reaction (the spring returning to its original length - rebounding).  


    Let’s discuss the Triumph modern classic line specifically.  The Bonneville, Scrambler and T100 have absolutely no adjustability while the Thruxton only has fork preload adjustability.  Preload is the amount of tension that is put onto the springs in order compensate for rider weight.  Our TTRNO Level 1 suspension package addresses the issue of preload adjustability and spring rate.  


    TTRNO’s Level 1 suspension kit for Triumph Modern Classics consists of:

    • Preload adjustable front fork caps
    • Progressive fork springs
    • Hagon preload adjustable rear shocks


    Preload adjustability is the first step in getting a motorcycle set up for you, but this Level 1 kit goes a step above by installing a spring with a progressive rate.  Let’s discuss spring rates…

     



    The above spring is a standard flat-rate spring.  These springs are  used in stock applications because they are cheap to produce and easy to tune.  They work great for setting up a bike for the track, but are not ideal for a comfortable street ride.  That’s where the progressive springs come in…

     

     

    Progressive springs are wound at a different rate throughout the length of the spring.  This allows for an increase in suspension “stiffness” as more force is applied.  On the road this allows for small bumps to be absorbed under a very light spring rate and more aggressive bumps to be controlled at a higher rate.  In other words, a soft ride without bottoming out.  

    Suspension level 1 price with parts and installation $920.




    TTRNO’s Level 2 suspension kit for Triumph Modern Classics consists of:

    • Preload adjustable front fork caps
    • Rider weight specific flat-rate springs
    • RaceTech Gold Valve front fork cartridge emulators
    • Ohlins S36DR1L shocks


    What makes Level 2’s components more advanced is the ability to adjust not only the spring preload but also the rebound damping.  Remember how damping is controlled by the valve on the damper rod?  Well, the rate at which the shock compresses and rebounds can be tuned by the size of the orifices in the valve.  RaceTech’s Gold Valve kit is able to tune both compression and rebound damping by both changing the size and shape of the valve orifices and by changing a series of shims that sit on both sides of the valve.  These shims help tune damping by their rate of deflection as fork oil passes them.  For simplicity’s sake I’ll leave it to RaceTech to explain the rest:  http://www.racetech.com/page/title/Emulators-How%20They%20Work.


    The rear shocks for Level 2 are made by the world-famous Ohlins suspension company.  They are preload, rebound and height adjustable with larger and more advanced valves than those used in Level 1’s Hagon shocks.  Adjustability is externally done meaning that changes in road conditions can be tuned quickly and easily.  

    Suspension level 2 price with parts and installation $2,300.





    TTRNO’s Level 3 suspension kit for Triumph Modern Classics consists of:

    • Traxxion Dynamics AK-20 Axxion cartridge kit for front forks
    • Rider weight specific flat-rate springs
    • Ohlins S36PR1C1LB shocks


    The set of components in Level 3 is all you need to make your suspension FULLY adjustable with preload, rebound and compression.  One of the largest advantages of the AK-20 cartridge kits is that rebound and compression damping can be externally controlled unlike that of the RaceTech Gold Valve kit.  This allows suspension tuning to be as simple as turning a few screws rather than taking apart the front forks.  Ohlins’ S36PR1C1LB shocks have an external “piggy back” reservoir to keep oil temperature and viscosity consistent.  All of the adjusters on these shocks are a simple turn of a knob with no need for difficult spanner wrenches and the damping control is so intricate that any and all traction characteristics can be tuned perfectly.  The amount of adjustability provided in this kit is the same as that of full factory race bikes and these components are by far the best on the market.  Take it from me, if you want the best suspension components on your Triumph Modern Classic, this is the kit!

    Suspension level 3 price with parts and installation $3,900.



    Maxwell Materne

    2014 WERA Thruxton Cup National Champion

     

    Back to Tech Center

    Scrambler Ducati Officially Launched

    By Nick Napoda
    on September 30, 2014

    Ducati has officially launced it's new Scrambler to the world at the INTERMOT motorcycle show in Cologne. The 2015 Scrambler comes in four models which use an 803cc air-cooled v-twin engine.

    For the full experience, head over to scramblerducati.com

    The first of the four variations is the base model Icon ($8495 for Red-$8595 for Yellow)

    The Urban Enduro ($9995) features a front mudguard, headlight grill, handlebar cross-brace, spoked wheels, ribbed brown seat, fork protectors, sump guard and 'Wild Green' paintjob.

    The Classic ($9995) recreates the look of the original Scrambler with metal mudguards, spoked wheels, brown leather seat and classic wing logo tank.

    The Full Throttle ($9995) is inspired by flat-track racing and features a two-tone paint scheme and road legal Termignoni exhaust. 

    ABS is standard on all four models. The seat height is 31 inches. The front wheel is 18 inches and the rear wheel is 17 inches. The Ducati Scrambler Icon weighs 370 lbs dry. Power is at 75hp and 50ft lbs of torque. 

    We will start seeing the Scrambler in Spring 2015, with the Icon being the first to arrive. We are accepting deposits now.

     

     

     

    For the full experience, head over to scramblerducati.com

     

    SCRAMBLER ICON

    SCRAMBLER URBAN ENDURO

    SCRAMBLER CLASSIC

    SCRAMBLER FULL THROTTLE

    Ducati Multistrada 1200S review by Nick N

    By Nick Napoda
    on September 22, 2014

    Zach was awesome enough to let me and Adam experience the Multistrada 1200S this weekend.  Previously, I had only ridden the Multistrada on short spurts during work hours. I decided to spend my time with it the same as if it was my own bike.


    On the way home we stopped to celebrate the closing of beloved Lucky Rooster restaurant and discussed our expectations of the bikes.  Up to this point I hadn't been convinced on the merits of Ducati Skyhook electronically damped suspension over a quality traditionally damped suspension, and vocalized my opinions on it's unfamiliar nature.  In true Italian style, the next stop for the evening was at Angelo Brocatos for espresso and cannolis.  I was already taking back some of my previous judgements.  Later as I followed my familiar ride home, I noticed that I hardly felt all the bumps I'm used to cringing when I go over.  #skyhooked.

    We planned to ride in the morning along route 90 / Lower Bay Rd to Cannellas for lunch.  This is a familiar route I take often.  A moto pet peeve of mine is wind noise and buffeting from most stock windscreens.  I could tell this was going to be a problem for me and decided to remove the screen.  Four easy bolts and 30 seconds later, I had free flowing air to my head and torso.  I packed the side bags with beach towels and flip flops, I flicked the bike into Touring mode (electronically selectable engine/suspension character) and took off.  Mergining onto the highway, I felt the wind blast on my chest immediately but decided I chose the better of two evils (more of this later).  The Multistrada is perhaps the most calm and confident bike I've ever ridden on interstate.  I had a commanding view of the nearby traffic while following I-10 out of town.

    Once out in the country going through long sweepers, I started to appreciate the effortless, neutral handling of the bike.  Skyhook gives you the taught, surefooted handling of a sportbike while absorbing bumps and yielding a comfortable ride.  Skyhook is stiffness while simultaneously having softness (If a normal suspension was set to offer this level of comfort, it would be very plush and wallow in the turns, under acceleration and braking, also sacrificing feel).  4 bikes in one?  I was beginning to think so, but what I hadn't foreseen is that the Skyhook enables it to be more than one bike at the same time!

    The Multistrada 1200 engine has a surprisingly gentle disposition that is well suited to long distance riding.  In Touring mode, throttle response is progressive and has no harshness.  Launching from a stop is so effortless that it almost seems deceptive.  The motor is a pleasure on the open road; I was already retracting my allogations that the 150hp powerplant is overkill.  Furthermore, Urban mode makes the bike feel absolutely benign.

    Flick the bike into Sport mode (can be easily changed while moving by rolling off the gas) and the bike is transformed again!  Throttle response is increased to a level I'm accustomed to with traditional Ducatis.  Here, the Multistrada's heart of a superbike came out and the engine howled with life.  It felt like it was always chomping at the bits, begging for more.  This is one of my favorite feelings of a motorcycle.

    I pulled up meet Adam and is girlfriend Catherine at the restaurant.  Whereas I am typically stretching out all my cramps and soreness from this same hour plus ride, I was utterly fresh without even a hint of fatigue.  I felt like I hadn’t even left town!  Meanwhile, Adam had thoroughly enjoyed the Multistrada two-up.  The extra power, load-adjustable suspension (configures suspension for passengers and luggage) and comfortable seating resulted in a fantastic biposto experience.  

    Adam commented that the stock windscreen buffeted his helmet badly resulting in shaking and wind noise.  I was glad I removed the screen as a band-aid fix, but having so much air on my chest wasn’t ideal either, especially on an upright bike.  The solution?  A small screen such as the Puig Racing Windscreen available at TTRNO (or choose the Pikes Peak).  It alleviates wind blast on the torso but leaves the head above the buffet zone.

    What more fitting way to spend the day on Multistradas than to go to an Italian-German restaurant, whose owner is a Ducati nut? Roberto of Cannellas not only cooks amazing food, he rides a Diavel and Monster and has Ducati paraphernalia decorating the cozy space.  After a delicious meal, I took off to hit the beach.  My helmet and jacket easily locked securely inside the panniers while I was swimming and getting some sun.

    Another glorious ride back home with the setting sun along the water and I was becoming even more enthralled with the Skyhook. The responsiveness and rigidity of the geometry actually results in great feel and confidence through the turns.  This bike is just effortless through twisties in situations where I would have been put to work on my bike.

    The next day I took the Multi on a couple errands through the city.  I’m a primarily urban rider, so I appreciated how the panniers held my groceries from Whole Foods.  I do wish they didn't always have to lock with the key (there is no need to securely lock a muffin).  The upright riding position and functional mirrors let me cut through traffic with confidence and awareness.  The Multistrada can feel mildly cumbersome (compared to a small bike like a Monster) while negotiating a parking spot, due to the higher seat height and center of gravity.  However, once under way this disappears and it becomes easy and relaxed through the city.

    At the end of my weekend, I had experienced three of the four bikes the Multistrada claims to be:  Touring, Sport and Urban (the last is Enduro).  Do I believe in this slogan?  Absolutely!  This is the only motorcycle I’ve experienced where you can have your cake and eat it too, with very little sacrifice.  I have always loved the Multistrada, but I walk away from it, most of all, with a deeper understanding of what Skyhook electronically damped and adjustable suspension has to offer.  If you love to ride and want one motorcycle that can truly adapt to any environment, this is it.  The best part of all?  It still has the personality and charm of a Ducati!

    TTRNO Introduces New Team Members

    By Nick Napoda
    on June 18, 2014

    Our primary core value is performance, and our most important application of performance in our business is the level of customer service we provide. In order to enhance the level of customer service as we grow, TTRNO would like to introduce to you the six new team members that have started this month. Our additional staff range in positions across the dealership.


    Dustin DiSalvo
    Service Advisor
    Ride: Ducati 1098S


    Danny French
    Parts and Accessories Specialist
    Ride: Honda XL70


    Mike Mickey
    Motorbike Specialist
    Ride: Triumph Speed Triple


    Johnnie Sanders
    Motorbike Engineer
    Ride: Vespa PX150 & Harley Davidson Shovelhead


    Bradley Swick
    Service Writer
    Ride: Triumph Speed Triple

    2013 Motorcyclist's Holiday Gift Guide

    By Nick Napoda
    on December 10, 2013

    Welcome to our Motorcyclist's Holiday Gift Guide. Maybe you are shopping for a loved one, or for yourself. Either way, here are our top picks on our wish list this holiday season.

    Triumph Johnson Motors Tees

    Tees come in an oversized replica of the cycle bath tin can originally distributed by Johnson Motors in the 1950s that was available at Triumph dealers. These shirts have the look and feel of your favorite vintage tee. $49.99


    Triumph Lucky Brand Tees - Lucky Jacket

    Lucky Jeans partnered up with Triumph to bring you these incredibly soft and comfortable clothing. Tees: $39.50

    Ducati 80s Perforated Leather Jacket - 80s Accessories

    Made exclusively for Ducati by Dainese the Ducati 80's jacket features CE certified armor, soft perforated leather, and is pocketed for the G2 back protector. Its comfortable fit, wide range of sizes, and Ducati 80's styling make it perfect for any rider. Jacket: $499.00

    Dainese Laguna Seca Insulated Jacket

    This jackets is highly versatile and comfortable in the colder months thanks to it's removable thermal lining, air vents on the sleeves, Microelastic inserts and adjustable fittings. Safety is provided by certified composite removable protectors and optiona G2 back protectors. Reflective inserts ensure high visibility. $249.95

    REV'IT Centaur Gore-Tex Winter Gloves

    These gloves offer terrific insulation thanks to the combination of a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® membrane with a textile upper and goatskin palm. This warm winter glove is very comfortable and will keep your hands safe from the elements. $129.95

    Motorcycle & Scooter Accessories with Free Installation

    Take advantage of our free installation on any accessories purchased during the month of December. Customize your bike with comfort, performance or aesthetic additions to get the most out of your riding experience.

    2013 EICMA Recap

    By Zachary Materne
    on November 12, 2013

    A range of new models from Vespa, Ducati and Triumph were introduced this year at the EICMA motorcycle show. Here is a recap of the new models which will be making their way to TTRNO.

    Vespa Primavera

    Light, fresh , brilliant performance, simplicity and joy in driving, Vespa Primavera , comes 45 years ago, as a breath of fresh air in a world that is hungry for change. Small , handy, agile, Vespa Primavera become one of the longest running and most beloved model in the history of Vespa, a true ” status symbol “, enjoyed equally by boys and girls.

    This Heritage is still alive in the new Vespa Primavera. Radically new design , new steel body , new dimensions , more agile but more stable and comfortable , Vespa Primavera reborn – driven by modern and ecological engine 50 2T, 4T 50 , 125 and 150 3V 3V – taking some of his stylistic solutions from Vespa 946, the most precious and most technologically advanced model ever devised.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    There is no date for US arrival, but the Primavera will be the replacement to the LX body.

     

    Ducati Monster 1200 & 1200S

    In 1992 it was presented to the world the first Ducati Monster, capable of giving rise to a new and futuristic motion segment for those years, naked bikes .
    Today , more than twenty years later , Ducati continues the evolution of this family and introduces the latest generation of this successful model that has been able to change and reinvent itself over the years to become the first reference for customization and personalization , for influencing more than two decades the entire motorcycling world.

    In 2014, Ducati introduces the new Monster 1200 and 1200 S , with the extraordinary 1198 Testastretta 11 engine.
    The new Monster 1200 – evoking some of the most legendary models of the past such as the powerful Monster S4R and S4RS – is proposed for the new season in the 1200 version from 135HP to 145HP and exclusive model S with a torque of 12.7kgm that enhances the driving pleasure thanks to powerful acceleration and a top-notch chassis and a dry weight of just 182kg.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    The new 1200 Monster is scheduled to arrive in April with the standards priced at $13,495, and the S at 15,995. 

    Ducati 1199 Superleggera

    It is called 1199 Superleggera and in Borgo Panigale the say that have never seen anything like this until now. A level of technology and engineering never proposed in the production of bikes; an incredible project.

    The name Superleggera (superlight) immediately conveys the new goal : this unreleased gem uses titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber to guarantee the best power/weight in the entire history of motorcycle manufacturing. With a power of over 200hp and a record weight of just 155kg, the 1199 Superleggera is the highest expression of the ” Authentic Italian Performance” .

    The 1199 Superleggera has been previewed in a dedicated website and accessible by invitation only. The success was beyond expectations and , to date, already 75% of the 500 units that will be produced.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    The Superleggera is scheduled for spring/summer 2014 delivery. 

    Triumph Tiger 800XC SE

    This special edition of Triumph’s Tiger 800XC takes the tough and capable characteristics of the standard 800XC model and adds a distinctive, fresh look.

    The commanding view the Tiger 800XC offers of the road ahead is now framed by black finished handlebars and matt-finished Diablo Red cockpit infills.

    At first glance the new Volcanic Black paint looks like a simple black finish, but when the lines catch the light you’ll see a burst of red metallic highlights. Adding to the unique look is a fiery red main frame plus black exhaust heat shields and black pillion grab rails.

    The look may be strikingly different but the outstanding performance is still the same, with XC special edition powered by Triumph’s characterful long stroke, 799cc triple engine. With its flat torque curve and refined power delivery, the Tiger 800XC is a pleasure to ride in even the most demanding of conditions. A sophisticated anti-lock braking system is provided as standard and can be deactivated for off-road riding, while the high-specification extends to a standard coded-key immobiliser and rear rack with generous – now black – pillion grab handles.

    The tough steel chassis is equipped with long travel 45mm upside down front forks and rear suspension unit, plus a 21” spoked front wheel, to deliver maximum ground clearance and the ability to cope with rough trails. With a high-level front mudguard and sturdy hand guards, there can be no doubt that the 800XC has been developed to cope with demanding conditions.

    The same qualities that make the Tiger 800XC so competent off-road also lead to an excellent road bike. The rider can adjust both the handlebar position and seat height, while cavernous hard and soft luggage options cater for those who want to take the ‘kitchen sink’ on their two-wheeled adventures. An extensive range of accessories allows the rider to tailor their bike exactly to meet their needs.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    The Triumph Tiger XC will arrive in the USA in Q1 of 2014

    Triumph Thunderbird LT

    Triumph’s new 2014 Thunderbird LT (Light Touring) is designed to make each and every journey the trip of a lifetime, transporting you with effortless power and style to new adventures with the easy-going, laid-back vibe of a premium classic touring cruiser.

    Items that come as standard on the LT include a pair of removable leather saddle bags, auxiliary spot lamps and the World’s first real white-walled radial motorcycle tyres riding on wide, wire-spoked rims. The ergonomics feature a completely redesigned, reshaped seat, with deeper foam padding and lumbar support for maximum comfort, while maintaining a low seat height to accommodate all sizes of rider.

    These features are in addition to the LT’s distinctive, charismatic parallel twin engine and class-leading chassis package that serves to underline Triumph’s commitment to handling excellence and manageability.

    Riders of all experience and riding styles will feel instantly at ease with the LT, able to relax and enjoy the ride for many thousands of miles to come.

    The motive force at the heart of the new LT is the World’s largest parallel twin motorcycle engine, as found in the existing Thunderbird Storm and based on the original Thunderbird.

    At 1699cc, the LT’s eight-valve DOHC motor produces 94PS at 5400rpm and a whopping 151Nm of torque at a lowly 3550rpm. The enormous thrust from its pair of saucer-sized forged pistons and uneven, long-stroke 270° firing interval create a classic big-twin feel, perfect for propelling the LT over long distances with a natural, easy-going groove.

    The Thunderbird LT remains true to Triumph’s core value of outstanding handling in all situations. As the result of careful development work on its steering geometry, the LT confounds expectations and delivers light, neutral steering, low speed agility, yet maintains stability at all speeds and in all types of conditions. Combined with a great degree of manageability, it’s an easy bike to ride for any rider.

    The LT’s steel tube spine frame, steel swingarm and optimised rake, trail and wheelbase figures maintain consistent, predictable steering characteristics alongside the dramatic look of fat-section 150/80 16-inch front and 180/70 16-inch rear tyres on wire 56-spoked rims. Shrouded 47mm Showa forks and twin 5-way preload adjustable Showa rear shocks provide excellent feedback with supple control to ensure a quality ride over the harshest surfaces, while ABS-enabled four-pot Nissin calipers on 310mm floating discs up front and a single Brembo caliper and 310mm disc at the rear give sensitive, yet powerful, braking under all conditions.

    Built to impress over long distances, special attention has been paid to the LT’s riding position and wind management to allow the rider to arrive feeling fresh and relaxed at their destination.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    The new Triumph Thunderbirds are scheduled to arrive in Q2 of 2014.

     

    Triumph Thunderbird Commander

    Triumph’s new 2014 Thunderbird Commander gives the rider the power and the presence to dominate every road and every ride.

    Much more than a mere fashion statement, the Commander comfortably exceeds the highest expectations of the custom cruiser class thanks to its strong and willing engine, refined chassis, powerful looks and broad riding position.

    But the Commander takes the concept further than ever and refuses to be compromised on values not normally associated with the segment: all-day comfort, all-round accessibility, significant practicality and confident, predictable handling.

    This approach is typified by the decision to reshape and double the foam thickness of the Commander’s seat to bring a new level of riding comfort to custom cruisers, yet maintain a low seat height and thereby make the Commander available to as many riders as possible. Achieving this necessitated a new design for the Commander’s frame. Coupled with revised steering geometry to accommodate new, ultra-wide tyres, it showcases Triumph’s commitment to handling excellence and manageability. As a consequence a broad range of riders of any experience and riding style will feel instantly at home on the Commander, fully able to enjoy its commanding presence on the road.

    Powered by a pair of saucer-sized forged pistons, the 1699cc eight-valve, DOHC engine’s uneven 270° firing interval and long-stroke design produces a potent 94PS (93bhp) at 5400rpm and a huge 151Nm (111 lb.ft) of torque at a lowly 3550rpm, endowing the Commander with a surfeit of pulsating twin-cylinder character.

    It’s equally important the aesthetic of the Thunderbird Commander’s engine matches its outstanding performance and sound. A pair of wide header pipes flare out from the cylinders before folding back into twin, straight-cut drainpipe silencers in a distinctive evocation of Triumph’s venerated parallel twin heritage. And with machined engine fins, and chrome engine covers juxtaposed against deep black barrels and crankcases, the Thunderbird Commander’s striking motor makes a fitting visual, as well as motive, centrepiece.

    The Thunderbird Commander’s bold engine styling continues across the bike and reflects the high quality and detailing expected of a Triumph fat custom cruiser. With a massive polished top yoke and polished stainless steel fork shrouds, signature Triumph twin headlamps, bespoke Commander badges and Art Deco LED tail light and rear indicator assembly all combining to form an incredibly low, sleek fat cruiser look, the Commander will steal the limelight whenever and wherever it hits the street.

    The Thunderbird Commander’s ergonomics are meticulously evolved to exploit every facet of the bike’s engine and chassis performance. Rider and pillion seat foam is a double-layer, dual-density material, soft and receptive on first feel but compressing to give a firmer, supportive yet pliant ride. The rider’s seat has also been especially shaped with wide, flared sides and a lumbar support to provide maximum comfort even at the end of a long day’s ride. The cover material contains a degree of elasticity so that it ‘gives’ as the seat compresses, maintaining the ideal shape and reducing uncomfortable pressure points.

    The Thunderbird Commander also enjoys high quality foot-boards made from chromed high-pressure die-cast aluminium, featuring replaceable skid plates and an adjustable heel/toe gear lever. The handlebars sweep back to give a wide yet natural-feeling hand position, while the electrical wiring has been routed through the bars to give the rider’s eye-view a clean, unfussy look.

    Further practical touches include a coded key immobiliser, self-cancelling indicators, a massive 22 litres fuel tank with off-centre filler cap and a well-appointed, tank-mounted dash console including classic analogue-style speedometer, a fuel gauge and an LCD with range-to-empty, twin trips, odometer and clock functions, conveniently scrollable via a handlebar-mounted button.

    Two striking two-tone paint options complete the picture.
    Source: http://www.eicma.it

    The new Triumph Thunderbirds are scheduled to arrive in Q2 of 2014.

    Triumph Updates Modern Classic Range for 2014

    By Zachary Materne
    on October 04, 2013

    Bonneville SE

    The 2014 Bonneville Special Edition boasts a paint scheme inspired by one of the last Meriden models off the line in 1982, the T140w TSS. The distinctive Jet Black and Lunar Silver paintwork creates a unique-looking Bonneville, with black livery on the tank and side panels (with twin, hand-painted gold coach lines), while the front and rear mudguards are painted silver with jet black centre stripes and gold coach lines. The Special Edition also sports the new detailing on the cylinder head cooling fins, solid black oil cooler lines and a throatier sounding silencer.
    •Distinctive new paint scheme
    •Hand-painted coach lines
    •Redesigned silencer
    •New cylinder cooling fins
    •Color: Jet Black with Twin Gold Coach Lines
    $9.799

     

    Thruxton

    The Thruxton oozes retro racing style, with its unmistakable 865cc twin-cylinder engine and aluminum rims, an enthusiast's riding position and adjustable rear suspension. Triumph's cafe racer also benefits from revised megaphone si lencers for an even more liberated sound. A color-matched flyscreen, with center stripe detail, joins the seat cowl as standard equipment.
    •Revised megaphone silencers
    •Color matched fly screen
    •Center stripe
    •Seat cowl
    •Colors: Phantom Black; Brooklands Green
    $9.099

     

    Scrambler

    The Scrambler gets a "back to black" treatment on the oil cooler lines, handlebars, wheel rims and hubs, plus the rear master cylinder reservoir cover. A new seat design with an embossed logo adds to the attitude, while a clear, anodized bash plate provides protection from gravel and rocks.
    •Black rims, hubs, handlebars
    •New seat design
    •Anodized bash plate
    •Colors: Matte Pacific Blue; Lunar Silver/Diablo Red
    $9.099

     

    Bonneville T100 Black

    The TlOO Black offers a mean and moody look with its striking Jet Black color scheme, made even more distinctive with the addition of black-finished wheel rims, hubs, handlebars, RSU springs, mudguard stays, mirrors and grab rail. The Jet Black bike also sounds off with a more compelling voice, thanks to its revised silencer, while the machined detail on the cooling fins is offset beautifully by the black engine finish.
    •Back in black ...Jet Black everywhere
    •New exhaust tones
    •New cylinder cooling fins
    $8.999

     

    Bonneville T100

    With a nod to its 1960s heritage, the new TlOO offers a Crystal White and Aurum Gold paint scheme, inspired
    by the 1964 Bonneville, with the stylized color split carrying across the front and rear mudguards. Like the
    Bonneville, the TlOO gets a throatier exhaust and the same machined detailing on the cylinder head cooling
    fins. A standard chrome grab rail and chain guard add a classy finishing touch.
    •Heritage paint scheme
    •Throatier exhaust
    •New cylinder cooling fins
    ·Chrome grab rail
    •Chrome chain guard
    •Colors: Crystal White/ Aurum Gold:
    Jet Black/Cranberry Red
    $9.199

     

    Bonneville

    The 2014 Bonneville is the ideal city bike, thanks to a rider-friendly seat height of just over 29 inches, comfortable ergonomics and a combination of easy maneuverability and retro good looks. And while the Bonneville is right at home on urban streets, its distinctive 865cc twin engine provides more than enough power for open roads. The 2014 bike boasts redesigned silencers, a distinctive new tank badge, three fresh paint combinations and distinctive new engine cooling fins.
    •Redesigned silencer
    •New tank badge
    •Fresh paint combinations
    •New cylinder cooling fins
    •Blacked out oil cooler lines
    •Colors: Phantom Black. Lunar Silver:
    Crystal White/Sapphire Blue
    $7.899 single color I $8.199 two-tone

    My 10 Years of Vespa

    By Maxwell Materne
    on September 25, 2013

    By Jen Sharp, TTRNO’s Office Manager

    This week marks my 10 year anniversary of owning a Vespa. It was early 2003 when I caught a Martha Stewart show where she was tooling around New England on a Vespa ET4. The segment featured Vespa’s re-entrance into the United States with their new clean, efficient engines, automatic transmission, and classic Italian style. A lightbulb went off in my head and I started saving money that week. A few months later I only had about $800 saved when I totaled my car. Instead of trying to buy a replacement car for the $3000 I got for my Honda Accord, I took that and added it to my Vespa savings and bought my first brand new black ET4 on September 26th, 2003.


    After one St. Louis winter of my scooter being my only form of transportation, I decided instead of breaking down and buying a car, I should just move south so I could ride year-round. Naturally. So in May of 2004, I moved to New Orleans and was lucky enough to land a little office job at my local Vespa dealer. And what do you know, as Benny Grunch recently said, it looks like this job might work out.


    In the years since since becoming a full-time scooterist I’ve upgraded to a GT200, and then a fuel-injected GTS 250 that starts up every. single. time. And in ten years I’ve racked up at least 20,000 miles. I primarily ride my 3 miles to and from work, but every now and then go for a ride to Abita Springs or Baton Rouge. And even after 10 years, I still get excited when my bike hits that buttery spot around 40mph. So, thanks to Martha Stewart for setting me on the path of the fun, wise, and dolce vita lifestyle. 

    Max's Very First Time

    By Maxwell Materne
    on September 19, 2013


    Photo credit: Luis Zayas. © 2013 Zayas Images, LLC

    The first time off my feet in 15 hours and I could hardly keep my eyes open.  It was Friday night after a long track day put on by Tracktactics who was there to provide an extra day of practice for the WERA racers.  I was shootin’ the shit with Clint, another NOLA Motorsports member, who started riding on the track a year ago and has been racing for about half that time.  After Clint pried I came clean and told him with the 5 years of track riding and no excuses I have never raced a motorcycle in my life.  Within an hour Clint had convinced me, and somehow I had agreed, to race on Sunday, I really had no excuses not to…

    Saturday morning came far too early and was busy with WERA racing and a Red Knights poker run using our Speed Shop as a card stop.  I snuck away for just enough time to go see Sean Clarke, one of the owners of WERA, to ask if he could think of an excuse why I couldn’t race on Sunday.  He was far too helpful and I ended up in 2 races in the blink of an eye.  It had become too late to back out so I pulled my track bike on the lift and started prepping it to race.  My bike already wears race plastics without lights and water with water wetter instead of coolant, but here’s what was necessary for my Triumph Daytona 675R to race in WERA:

    • Drill and safety wire
      • Axles
      • Axle pinch bolts
      • Caliper bolts
      • Oil filler cap
      • Oil drain bolt
      • Oil filter (using a hose clamp around it)
      • Radiator filler cap
      • All muffler mounts
    • Silicon
      • Oil galley plugs
      • Brake pad retaining pins
    • Race numbers
      • Yellow background
      • 4 inch tall black numbers
      • On front and each side toward the rear of the bike

    Every bike is a bit different so I would suggest reading the rules for yourself (http://maps.wera.com/rulebook/).  So far all of this was pretty easy and if you’re going to use the race prep as your “excuse” to not race then just let me do it for you.  


    The morning of race day is when things started to become foreign and the reality of the situation began to set in.  I had taken Kevin Schwantz’s race school already so I didn’t need to take the Saturday race school provided by WERA.  Signing up for the races on Sunday was as easy as signing a few papers and picking my races.  I purchased a lap timer, so that I couldn’t use that as an excuse next time, but they can be rented as well.  Then it was off to get my bike and gear tech inspected.  For WERA you want to remove your belly pan before going through tech so that they can check your safety wiring, but don’t forget your helmet, they check that too.   From here you get ready for your practice session and wait while the butterflies threaten to come up in your helmet.  


    Practice feels like a normal track day.  No one was blowing the proverbial doors off of me and I was doing an okay job of holding my own.  The track was cold and had some damp spots so everyone was going a bit slower than normal but overall I felt comfortable, all except for passing.  I’ve been told the key to passing is commitment but I couldn’t get the confidence so I ended up staring down the tailpipe of a few bikes that were holding me up.  I felt it went well, but wasn’t too excited to see a 2:00 min lap time when I know some of these guys are turning times 10 seconds faster that than.  


    Photo credit: Luis Zayas. © 2013 Zayas Images, LLC

    Fast forward what seemed to be 10 min but was actually a few hours and I’m hearing, “third and final call for race 4.”  I rush on with my helmet and off with my warmers and before I can second guess myself I’m on the track doing my warm-up lap.  The piece of paper taped to the WERA RV had told me earlier that I was gridded last in row 7 of 7 total rows.  So as I pulled up even to the little yellow #7 cone I started to remember that I had no idea what I was doing.  This will be my first race launch and I had never even practiced one just for fun before.  Michael Sanders, a fellow novice 675 racer, told me when the “2” board drops hold the revs at 6,000 RPM and at the first glimmer of green flag dump the clutch.  I did that…  and lo and behold I passed 4 bikes into turn 1.  By the time I pitched the bike left for turn 2 I was on the rear tire of a 1098 and I passed him!  I passed him!  It was glorious, I screamed in my helmet prepared for my next overtaking into turn 3.  I lost a little ground in the back section of the track, but once I realized where everyone else was faster I sucked it up and twisted the throttle harder.  By the end of the race I was at the middle of the pack and had no idea I had it in me.  Crossing the finish it hit me that I had done something that had always scared me and I wasn’t half bad.  On the cool down lap Michael and I shook hands while riding (GP style, a long time dream of mine) and I giggled in my helmet the entire way through the pits.  


    Photo credit: Luis Zayas. © 2013 Zayas Images, LLC

    It wasn’t until the times were posted that I saw I had run a 1:53.2.  That was 7 seconds per lap faster than my practice time and 4 seconds faster than I had ever gone before.  Not only that but I had taken 3rd place in my class.  It was then that I realized that a green flag changes everything.  My second race was there before I knew it and the same out of body experience took place.  I felt like someone else had taken over me, someone much faster than me.  By the end of this race I had placed 1st in my class.  Now, I’m hooked!

    Already I have had 4 friends tell me they will do their first race in November when WERA comes back into town.  If you want to join the ranks of these track day riders gone racers let me know and I’ll do everything I can to make it happen!

    ~Maxwell Materne

    See More photos from the event at www.ZayasImages.com/WERA

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