Andy's 2000 model 955i Triumph Speed Triple.
|I guess I oughta show you what I’m riding at the moment shouldn’t I.
I’ve been building & riding trikes for the past ten years or so & before that have had several hardtail chops & a succession of cut down Jap street bikes. I’ve had Brits, old 70s/80s Jap stuff & even 3 Moggy Minors, including a matt black pick up with flip front & Fiat Mirafiori 1600 twin cam motor -wish I had some piccies of that one to show you. Forever letting me down but SO much fun when it was on full song. Sigh.
Where was I? Oh yeah. The current modus transportus. Decided to rebuild my Hardtail Reliant trike at the end of last year. I’d been riding it for four years or so & had done all I could do with it. Had a lot of fun, got a lot of attention, won a lot of trophies, but it was time for a change. It was supposed to be a quick winter rebuild -a new rigid frame with all the old running gear hung back on it, just to change the shape a little & simplify things. That was back in late October. It’s now July & I’m still only halfway through building the frame! Life in general just seems to have got in the way. Always other things that need to be done.
|Got involved in several other trike projects, been to lots of shows & rallies. You know how it goes. I’m determined to get it sorted before the end of the summer but probably not this week!
So in the meantime I needed transport. After splitting up with a long term girlfriend, who had banned me from having two wheels, deeming three to be somehow safer, (!), I had a moment of madness. What the hell, nothing to stop me now! Took out a humungous loan & within a couple of days had bought this! As I said, I’ve been riding trikes for a while, (got a car licence but don’t own one), so getting back on two wheels was a bit odd to start with. The ride home after buying it was VERY sedate!
|Took a day or two to get into the swing of leaning into corners again! That was late last year & now I love it! Never owned a modern sports bike before -the magazines always refer to this as a “hooligan” bike rather than sports. Not a bad description actually! It really does encourage you to ride it fast & hard. Just not built for pootling about on. The motor’s lumpy & chuggy, the riding position’s painful on the wrists at low speeds, pillions always complain the seat’s too hard & so’s the suspension, but get it out on the open road -preferably a twisty, windy country road, & it’s transformed. Handling is superb -well, compared to anything I’ve owned before anyway! The throttle just winds on more & more power. Never found its limit yet. The brakes are pin sharp, although the back one never seems quite as strong as the twin discs up front which would pitch me over the bars if I yanked ‘em on too hard.|
|Haring up a long straight, working it up through the 6 gears, then dropping it back down & pulling it over low into a long sweeping bend before rolling on the throttle again never fails to put a grin on my face. I’m not a natural boy racer but I do like this! It’s affectionately known as Kermit the Thug, cos it’s big & green & scary!
This is a 2000 model 955i Triumph Speed Triple. 1000cc, water cooled, fuel injected, 3 cylinders. Built in the Hinckley factory based on an old Kawasaki engine design, it’ll do 148mph according to the manual -but not with me on board! It’ll certainly out perform me. I’ve taken it to 120 or so, but beyond that my reactions just aren’t quick enough & besides, without the benefit of a fairing, fighting against the wind pressure becomes too uncomfortable to bear for long.
|I’d originally planned to keep it just till the trike was road worthy again but to be honest I’d be sorry to let Kermy go now. I’ve always had one-off, custom machines, but this is one of the very few bikes I don’t feel the need to mess with. The previous owner fitted the flat bars & I’ve added a small but well positioned bar-end mirror, but other than that, it’s just as it left the factory. Personally I reckon it’s the shapeliest of the Speed Triple versions, including the new ‘05 model, & I wouldn’t want it in any other colour than Roulette Green!