Street Triple on tour

Joe’s Street Triple RS heads off for an alpine ad­ven­ture

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - joe.dick@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

The plan this year with the RS was al­ways to do a big road trip some­where in Europe – some­where I’d not been be­fore and a place in which I could re­ally test the bike in dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios. There was only one place for it, the Alps. I have an old school mate, Glenn, who lives not far from Cha­monix, France, and it was the per­fect ex­cuse to get over and see him for the first time in years.

Try­ing to find a week free in my sched­ule was dif­fi­cult, but I soon knocked a cou­ple of gru­elling travel days off my itin­er­ary by or­gan­is­ing my bike to be shipped out to Geneva us­ing Bikeshut­tle (they’ll trans­port your bike there and back from £445 with re­duc­tions for a one-way trip. Visit www.bikeshut­tle.co.uk).

I dropped my bike with them at 11am and one minibus, flight and overnight stop later, I was in Geneva and re­united with the RS out­side my ho­tel at 7am the fol­low­ing morn­ing. Bril­liant.

There was no route plan be­fore I ar­rived but once I was there the weather de­cided to turn against us, forced us to travel down into Italy in search of some sun­shine.

What we found was a road that looked in­cred­i­bly promis­ing for some great ac­tion and a place to camp – the Colle Del Niv­o­let, aka The Niv­o­let Pass. This road had it all and climbed high into the sky with switch­back hair­pin turns and sheer drops to get the adren­a­line pump­ing.

I rode for 400 miles in the first day and the Tri­umph didn’t protest once. The only thing was that at al­ti­tude, it did be­come a lit­tle asth­matic, with the lack of oxy­gen at just over 2600 me­tres be­com­ing no­tice­able – not just for the en­gine but for me as well!

Fit­ting the Pirelli Di­ablo Rosso IIIS (ap­prox £250 mail or­der) be­fore the jour­ney made a world of dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially with the amount of rain I had to con­tend with. They’re in­cred­i­bly con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing, and do a great job of dis­pers­ing stand­ing wa­ter.

The weather put a downer on things and forced us to camp for only a cou­ple of nights. It also meant I had to miss out many of the roads I’d wanted to see (a sec­ond visit is on the cards). What I did ride though was un­be­liev­able, partly be­cause of the sheer beauty of the Alps but more so be­cause of the bike. It was flaw­less at be­ing a lug­gage mule, a wet weather ex­pert and a sporty lit­tle num­ber on the Alpine passes.

The ride back was the part of the trip I was least look­ing for­ward to. Lug­gage loaded with 95 litres of clothes, cam­eras, tripods and flash kit, I pro­grammed the sat-nav for home, turned the key and got my head down to catch my Eurostar cross­ing. Af­ter 702 miles and 12 hours, I was home.

It rained for 60% of the jour­ney, which sucked – es­pe­cially when one of the pan­niers split open and the wa­ter­proof cov­ers failed. I had no cof­fee stops, food or respite other than the time it took to re­fuel, but to my sur­prise I woke up the fol­low­ing day feel­ing brand new.

It took 650 miles for my back­side to start aching, but even then I was still able to ride with min­i­mal dis­com­fort. I am gen­uinely sur­prised at how good the RS was at munch­ing the miles.

It took four tanks of fuel to get home, av­er­ag­ing 180 miles be­tween fuel stops. On the French mo­tor­ways I was get­ting over 200 miles be­fore need­ing to re­fuel though, which I thought was re­ally good con­sid­er­ing the pace I’d set. The RS took on the near-2000-mile round-trip with ease and was more fun out there than any lum­ber­ing tourer.

Next stop, the track.

‘It took 650 miles for my back­side to start aching, but even then I was still able to keep go­ing’

Niv­o­let Pass… that oxbow style hair­pin is where Joe camped

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