Sunday, November 22, 2020

BMW R1200GSA Fly & Ride: November 2020

So last week I sold a big street bike —a Triumph Rocket III—that I’ve had for a dozen years.  Didn’t plan to replace it right away but I had an opportunity to buy a well-sorted bike that I really wanted so I jumped on it.  I made arrangements for the purchase and bought a plane ticket.  Here’s what happened:

Yesterday I got home after a 4-day, 1,600-mile trip...a true Fly & Ride.  

I flew from Tampa to Dallas to pick up a bike— a 2018 BMW R1200GS Adventure with tons of accessories. 

After picking it up, I rode south to Killeen to hang out with my friend Brad—a super good guy and ace BMW mechanic.  He provided me a tutorial on the bike...but it’ll take a while to understand all of the technology. 

The next day I rode even farther south to Bandera—outside of San Antonio—to hang out with my buddy John.  He and I drove to Laredo for lunch with a couple of friends, Billy and Gabe.  

The next day I departed Bandera and made it to Baton Rouge, LA.  And yesterday I rode 735 miles home to Tampa .  

The weather cooperated, the bike is an absolute blast to ride and I saw some pretty scenery along the way. make some room in the garage.  🤭

Saturday, November 14, 2020

I sold the Triumph Rocket III today

Well, it’s gone.  It’s bittersweet, really. If you’ve sold a bike you’ve really loved, you’ll understand.  I needed to thin out the herd of bikes (down to 4 from a recent 8) and I just listed them all on Craigslist and the R3T was the first to go.  Ah, but the memories...

Back in 2008, I had a Kawasaki Nomad 1500. And while on a ride in Montana, I told a friend I wanted a new bike...but something different, unusual, that not everyone had. He told me I should look at the Honda Rune, a big Victory...or the 2300cc Rocket III.  Hmmmm, I started researching that right away.  

I bought it new from Rocket Motorcycles in San Diego in 2009.  The crate showed up from England and the Rocket crew assembled it in their shop.  Boy, it was sure beautiful!

I rode that thing all over the lower 48, Mexico and Canada. There was just a few hundred miles over 60k miles on the odometer when I sold it and most of those were enjoyable miles.  Yeah, the big girl caused me some grief over the years—leaving me stranded more than once due to mechanical issues—but Triumph always stepped up and made it right.  

And I guess the best part of the Rocket III experience was the people...fellow Rocket Captains I’ve ridden with or otherwise interacted with over the years—so many characters that made me feel like part of a family.  A weird, dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.  

And she was a head turner, that’s for sure.  How many times did I pull into a parking lot full of ubiquitous Harleys and have everyone come over and ask about my Triumph? A lot!

The most recent big ride was to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon.  Been to Key West twice and across the US several times. Rode from San Diego to Michigan just for some free beer, then rode Route 66 back to check an item off a friend’s bucket list.  Took her off road a couple times, too! Didn’t want to but sometimes it was necessary in the middle of BFE.  She did fine for a 1/2 ton bike.  

The silver lining was that it went to a good new owner.  The guy who bought it recently sold his 2007 Triumph Rocket 3 Classic because he wanted more of a long distance bike and his 240-series rear tire was never comfortable enough for multi-day rides.  He seems pleased.  And I totally understand why.  

Well, that’s it, then.  As I start researching what’ll replace her, I sit here and smile, thinking of the wonderful memories this bike has given me over the past dozen years.