I missed the Triumph Demo Truck when it was at my local dealer but that turned out for the best as the roads suck around here anyway. I went to the Triumph site to checkout the schedule and today drove out to Boyertown, PA (about 65 mi NW of here) to catch the truck at Martin Motorsports. My buddy lives near there so I made him go too.
They have two groups of demo bikes with one of every model in each group (except the 675 daytona - only 1 of these total). Guided 20 minute rides take place about every 30 minutes. When you arrive, you sign the promise-not-to-sue form, they check your ID, and ask you what model you want to ride. It's 1st come, 1st served so if someone else is scheduled to be on the bike you want you'll have to choose something else or wait until the next session or so.
I chose the Tiger. It looked just like this one:
I really don't like the looks of the old model, with the two headlights and stupid jungle graphics. It looks much better now.
I've been more interested in lighter, more upright bikes lately (I must be getting old) and this has had my interest peaked.
Each bike has a label on the tank indicating the MSRP (brother p-touch). This Tiger, equipped with ABS, lists for $12,9.
I saw a shrimpy guy sizing himself up on everything and on the Tigger he could barely touch. I'm 6' & thought the height was nice.
The bike had 1100 miles on it, still shiny & new. Fired right up & purred nicely. The gauge was weird because the left side shows your fuel range in large digital readout and your speed is on the right, below the tach. At a glance, my eyes kept taking me to the left for some reason, seeing 175 and thinking "huh? Oh yeah, the speed is over there."
That area of PA is great! Our route took us down the highway a bit, then up into a series of hilly, twisty, roads through apple orchards and farmland. Had I caught the demo truck here, there's nowhere fun they could've taken us within 20 minutes. It was really a fun area to try a new bike.
The bike itself did not disappoint. It was zoomy in every gear, turning about 3500rpm at 65mph in 6th, quiet & smooth. I thought it handled real well, especially considering it looks so "upright". The fairing, although small, diverted most of the wind. I was expecting head turbulance from such a short screen but there wasn't any.
The mirrors are junky and your ankles are always warm but these things can be gotten used to.
If I could swing a new bike right now, I think this would be it. I picked up an '01 Bandit 1200S recently and it'll do for a little bit but not for long. I might sell three bikes and shop for a 2-3 yr old Triumph.