Before I tell you about the Triumph, I have to tell you all about meeting Toby Price again.
I asked for an interview for work, and, as always, Toby was ready and willing to do anything he could to be helpful. He asked where we should meet, and I said the Macca’s south of Coffs. He said, “The one where you pushed in front of me that day? I thought was going to have to lay one into your ribs!”
I’ll never stop being embarrassed about that.
Never mind third at Dakar. If there were awards for the nicest, happiest, most easy-going bloke in the world of motorcycling, Toby would win it outright. Easy.
After we’d done all the serious interviewing and recording, his eyes lit up and he said, “I’ve got my Dakar trophy in the car! Wanna hold it?”
What a crack up. I felt like I was eight years old and getting to shake hands with Humphrey B Bear. I think Toby got a kick out of seeing how awestruck I was. He’s actually a little awestruck with his achievement himself, I think.
Now, the Triumph 800XCX.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, DualSport Australia had the job of preparing the route for the media release of the new bike. Marty, as usual, put together a sensational route. We rode it and agreed it was sensational, and everything looked good.
But then it rained for a week or so leading up to the Triumph guys coming up to approve the route. I’d assured them it was perfect for the 800, and they’d love it. Mark Berger, the national marketing manager, and Wilko, my favourite photographer, showed up with a mint new 800XCX and a four-wheel drive, and Mother Nature seemed to think that a signal to make it rain even harder. It bucketed down all Monday night, and was bucketing down as we headed into the forest on Tuesday morning.
The preride didn’t go well.
That’s all I’ll say…except maybe to point out we were half-an-hour or so into the ride when the new bike was lying on its side with broken bits scattered around it and the four-wheel-drive was up to the rear diff in some soft goop.
In our defence, Marty and I didn’t see the action because we’d bolted up the hill and were waiting at the top.
To their credit, Wilko and Mark B kept smiling, we got the bike and four-wheel-drive up, Marty made a good decision not to continue on the route (there were tougher sections ahead), and we cut across to the road to regather.
Marty soon had us on the pipe and back in action, and the rest of the ride went well. Wilko’s pics are, as always, astonishing. Actually, Marty’s pics are pretty frigging good as well. It seems I’m the only one who shot really crap pics.
Anyway, according to my camera, this is how it looked…
I only rode the Triumph for a few photos, so I can’t tell you much about it yet. It felt very manoeuverable and the front felt especially agile. Wilko rode the bike for the three days and won’t stop raving about the WP suspension. I’ve always loved the engine, and the bike in general, so if the suspension’s even half as good as Wilko says, I’ll be sold.
Now, let’s talk about Pottsy’s Ultralight Adventure.
It’s only a few weeks away. I haven’t heard from Pottsy, but I’ll get in touch with him and find out where we’re up to. If you haven’t put your hand up yet, do it now. It’s a ride specifically for 250cc adventurers. Pottsy’s got the loop planned, and I bet it’s a rip-snorter. If you have a 250cc bike and you miss this ride, you’ll be a fool to yourself and a burden to others.