In May of last year, I replaced my first motorcycle (a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250… (Rideit would be proud) with a 2008 Triumph Street Triple. I was sad to see the Ninja go, but it was becoming increasingly clear that I just didn’t fit on the Ninja 250: my knees were over the tank and I was resembling a bear on a tricycle. A quick trip over to Cycle Ergo gave me a better idea of what I was looking for and would fit me, and combined with a wave of raving reviews from Reddit, I started looking for a Street Triple.
Finding a Ninja was easy… finding a Triumph was not so easy. I knew I was going to buy it used, and let someone else eat the cost of a new motorcycle, and the risk of dropping a new bike right away. Eventually, I found a Street Triple in downtown Phoenix in great condition, with very few modifications done. The only change the owner had done was to put Arrow slip-on exhausts on to replace the stock exhausts. That I was fine with… but he removed the baffles and got rid of them, and I haven’t been able to find replacements. At least my neighbors haven’t come after me with pitchforks yet.
Of course, disaster struck on the fourth day of ownership… I was run off the road, leaving the alternator cover scratched, the handlebar end scratched, the left mirror and left turn signals broken off, and a missing shift lever and gear shifter. So began the farkling.
Summer in Phoenix had begun, so I used the time off to start making the mods. I replaced the alternator cover and bar end, and upgraded the mirrors and the turn signals. For mirrors, I went with the Rizoma Dynamic. Though not giving quite the same visibility as the stock mirrors (I see a lot of elbow), I liked that they were more compact and less akin to Mickey Mouse ears.
For the rear turn signals, I chose the Rizoma Track-77 LED signals and installed them into the rear fender which I, unlike so many sportbike riders, have left intact.
For the front turn signals, I went with the Zero-11s, also from Rizoma.
To replace the gear shift lever and the brake lever (that was intact, but things have to match… you know how it is) I got the ASV unbreakable short levers.
I was going to add frame sliders to help prevent another disaster, but just decided to spring for a full set of protection… and went with the GBRacing full crash protection set. Expensive, but I am confident in my ability to withstand a minor crash with minimal damage.
To round out the changes, I got some Gripster Tech Spec Snake Skin tank pads. Very handy, and really improved the handling and my positioning on the seat. Here is the result, in late 2011, taken in northern Arizona.
And, a gratuitous action shot, taken on a group ride…
Here’s hoping I keep the shiny side up for a long time. I’ve got some longer distance rides planned in the future, and will need to make a few more changes to make this a better sport tourer.