What’s in your Dream Garage?

RossiIt goes without saying, I would first need a garage, let alone a dream garage. That being said, most motorcyclists have some bike they’d “love to have” but don’t because… (insert reason here). If money were no object, what would I park in my “Dream Garage”? For the sake of argument, let me frame this discussion under the premise: “let’s say you can only have 3 motorcycles, what would they be?”

The 1st Order of Business

MotoADVR_Tiger800XCxI think the first choice is pretty simple, the “daily rider”. Considering many of you are riders yourselves, it goes without saying that each of you have a bike in mind based on your particular riding style and frequency; you may even already own this bike. At the moment I’m surpassing my own annual mileage goals, I also want to ride even when the pavement ends, and I recognize that I’ve chosen not to ride on various days because of the weather (because washing the bike sucks, and dirty chrome looks awful…). 2015 Tiger 800 XCxWith that in mind, for me, my first choice would undoubtedly be a utilitarian bike, capable of handling anything I throw at it, and aesthetics be damned. Considering the growing “Adventure bike” sector, there are a lot of models to choose from; based on recent experience, I feel safe in saying that I see the new Triumph Tiger 800 XCx as the right tool for the job. I concede that something like a KLR 650 might be a better choice for various reasons (lighter, more flexible between street and dirt), but a another major consideration for me is not only miles, weather, and off-road capability, but that I often ride two-up, and do a significant amount of touring, and sadly, that sometimes involves a significant amount of time on the freeway. I agree that virtually any bike can be set up to be a touring bike, but in the end, it still comes down to personal taste.
motoadvr_scramblerhilltopOther contenders in this category:
BMW 800 GS
Yamaha FJ-09
Honda Africa Twin
Triumph Scrambler
KTM 1050 Adventure
Triumph Tiger 1050

Two Wheel Drive

MotoADVR_UralGearUpCamoWith a utilitarian “tool” like the Tiger, I believe my second choice would be a catch-all that could solidify my goal of realistically riding a motorcycle 365 days a year. There are places in the country, like southern California, that (virtually) never see snow; I unfortunately don’t live in such a place. Dayton is by no means somewhere like Cleveland or Buffalo, but we do receive a reasonable amount of snow each year. I also concede that there are guys (even gals), that are either crazier, or certainly more skilled, than I am and manage to ride two-wheels through the snow.20150110_104652
I salute those folks, but propose that a two-wheel-drive Ural is probably the most reasonable “motorcycle” that can accomplish my goal. That would make the Ural Gear Up the second “motorcycle” parked in the dream garage. Yet another utilitarian tool, the Ural would provide me with 3 points of contact in the snow, a truly bare-bones simple design, and enough storage space I can go grocery shopping without a car. I’m also a huge fan of the camouflage powder coating!

Other contenders in this category:
…. A Jeep Wrangler?

Three’s a crowd?

TriumphRally7With two practical bikes parked in the garage, it only seems reasonable to have at least one “Dream Bike” right? Moreover, with only one space left, choosing one motorcycle against the sea of sport, sport touring, vintage, and cafe racers is truly a tall order. Similar to bike number 1, it’s obvious I’m in the tank for Triumph. That in mind, the Speed Triple and the Daytona 675 immediately come to mind. With “do anything” tools already parked in the garage, I think I would want a something more synonymous with speed to carve up the canyons. Both the Daytona, and the Speed Triple have reputations that speak for themselves, it’s mostly an argument of preferred seating position, faired vs. naked, and “lighter is faster” vs. “no replacement for displacement”.

ChuckCarsonTrophyI also have to consider my wife’s taste in this category, the Tiger would certainly do two-up, but would she be more comfortable on a sport touring bike like the Trophy, FJR, or BMW 1200 RT? All of which have very reasonable prowess when the road gets twisty, but are adorned with plush pillion seating and the creature comforts the two of us. I might even take that argument one step further and suggest a cruiser, more clearly labeled in the “touring” category, like the Gold Wing or the Road Glide. I’ve heard multiple stories from friends whose wives have actually fallen asleep in the lavish passenger throne of a touring “bagger”; I’m not sure how to better define motorcycle comfort than that (although my wife has fallen asleep on the Speedmaster…).

MotoADVR_48panheadSince the Genie is only granting me three wishes, it also makes since to consider some vintage or “classic” bikes that I might want to occupy this space. I would imagine for some, a 1948 Harley Davidson Panhead would be the vintage bike of choice; although I think I’d rather have a 1942 Indian 741 (mil-spec!), or a 1938 Triumph Speed Twin. While having a vintage bike seems like a cool idea, I admit that I enjoy riding a lot more than I like wrenching or “admiring”; so perhaps a more modern “classic” makes more sense? Truth be told, when I started lusting after motorcycles, the Triumph Bonneville is what caught my eye first; it was “classic” with the modern amenities of EFI and lord knows the advancement in modern tires. Cruisers are obviously the American standard (love it or hate it…), so the blacked out bike with subtle chrome and sexy lines, the Speedmaster seduced both the wife and I. MotoADVR_TriumphScrambler900That being said, the fondness for the British icon hasn’t faded, and has only be exacerbated but recent media coverage like David Beckham’s South American adventure and Jurassic World. One of the best parts of owning a Bonneville is that it can become a Thruxton or a Scrambler with just a few bolt on parts. The modern Bonneville line would still offer me the opportunity to tear into the twisties (two-up), while at the same time marvel at classic lines and maybe even shiny paint… well maybe I won’t go that far.

MotoADVR_ThruxtonRYet the Bonneville isn’t the only “classic” bike that I feel partial to, the allure of an Italian sports bike also strikes my fancy. I imagine some would immediately drop the new Ducati Panigale into this spot, but what I’m actually talking about is the Ducati Sport series; i.e. the Ducati Sport Classic 1000 from Tron Legacy. I attribute Tron to lighting the fire of this motorcycle obsession, it seems only fitting to have an Italian L-twin, outfitted in classic clothes, in the third slot. Well, that was until I saw the news about the new 2016 Triumph Bonneville line. For folks unfamiliar, Triumph has revamped their Bonneville line with an all new liquid cooled 900 and 1200 cc engine (I assume sleeved like Harley’s Evolution engine; I also assume water cooled to pass 2017 European emissions standards). These early reports and photos are still just a hint of what’s to come (I’ve not seen official specs yet), but there’s no denying that the new 1200 cc Thruxton R is a wink at Ducati, emulating lines from the Sport Classic 1000. With Brembo Brakes, Ohlins suspension, throttle by wire, EFI, and liquid cooled 1200 cc engine, the new Thruxton R could feasibly be the marriage of sport yet “classic” bike that would still carve canyons and get me home in time for “tea”.

MotoADVR_StreetTwinBlackIn the end, I think the choice would come down to the Speed Triple, the Scrambler (865), and the new Thruxton R 1200. It would be a very difficult choice, but knowing the history of the Bonneville line, I would expect that there would be interchangeable scrambler parts for the new Thruxton R, making it the logical choice. With the performance enhancements to the new Bonneville line, the Thruxton R would (theoretically…) have the energetic prowess to keep up sport bikes, but maintain the vintage look, while offering the flexibility with an abundance of bolt-on accessories that have been prominent with Triumph’s Bonnevilles.

Other contenders in this category:
MotoADVR_ScoutTankRedBMW R NineT
BMW R1200RT
BMW S 1000 XR
Ducati MultiStrada
Ducati Scrambler
Ducati Sport GT1000
Harley Davidson Road Glide
Indian Chief Vintage (2015)
Indian Scout (2015)
Triumph Bonneville (865)
Triumph Rocket III
Triumph Scrambler
Triumph Speed Triple
Triumph Thunderbird LT
Triumph Tiger 1050
Triumph Tiger Explorer
Triumph Trophy 1200
Yamaha FJR
Yamaha YZF-R1

I imagine as time passes, what I would park in my dream garage will change. Moreover, it’s probably easier to pin down specific bikes if that dream garage could be expanded to 5 bikes. With 5 spaces, you could feasibly have a sport bike, a dirt bike, a daily rider, a vintage bike, and another wild card (like a Ural?).

So what’s in your “Dream Garage”?

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16 Responses to What’s in your Dream Garage?

  1. witttom says:

    Peter Egan (surely you remember him, right?) wrote an Article for Cycle World called “Exactly how many bikes does a person really need, anyway?”. It also appeared in his book, ‘Leanings’. Find it. Read it. Actually, just read that whole book. Trust me. Anyway, I don’t remember ALL of the specifics of that particular article, but it was five. He had very good reasoning behind it, and I think most serious riders who feel compelled to own more than one, would agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob says:

    Hmmm. Still mulling this one………….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bikermissus says:

    Great post, with some awesome choices. I wrote a similar article a while back: http://ridenewfoundland.com/2014/03/09/my-dream-garage/
    I now own three bikes, with three distinct purposes. I use my Vstrom 650 for touring, mild off-road and commuting. I use my YZF600R for spirited backroad riding (I can’t say “canyon carving” because we don’t have canyons) and I use my TW200 for getting dirty on gnarly trails. I would still love to have a modern retro bike, I’ve been drooling over the new Triumph Thruxton lately!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, and thanks for the link over to your page! Some good choices on there too. As listed on the post, I truly see “Adventure Touring” and “Sport Touring” as closely competitive categories. I too would consider a KTM 1190 (or 1290) against a Triumph Tiger Explorer, Trophy, and FJR; all would do a good job, merely separated by riding taste. Re: Triumph Street Triple vs. FJ-09, while I’ve ridden neither, reviews suggest that the Triumph is “more refined” with more reliable suspension; I agree the Yamaha is the better buy, but you probably made the right choice with the Street Triple (I’m of course bias…).

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  4. RR says:

    Perfect number of bikes always = n+1, with n being the number of bikes you own.I think the (extensive) list you just wrote shows thus quite well!

    I am lucky to currently have 3 bikes in the garage and I can tell you there is always another one missing. My currently “do it all” bike is a 2011 Ducati Multistrada S, I use my GFs LML125 as a city driver and just bought a 2001 CBR 900RR to use on track next spring.

    If I were to do a bucket list of “dream bikes” I don’t think I would have as many Triumphs as you do but there would certainly be a couple in there.

    Grand Tourer: BMW K1600GT if riding with pillion, love the smooth inline 6! If riding solo, probably my previous ZZR1400

    Do it all Adventure, etc…hard to tell. My Multistrada is awesome but a bit too sporty (and Italian to be used offroad). Probably a KTM 990 Adventure (the 1290 is too similar to the Multi).

    Sportsbike: Daytona 675R.

    Naked/fun bike: my KTM 990 Super Duke (I just sold it and already miss it). With the Speed Triple R a close second.

    Supermoto/enduro: KTM 690!

    Cruiser/Classic/Bike to take to the cafe: Either a Ducati Diavel or a Paul Smart SportClassic

    And I am going to stop here otherwise the list will be endless as I keep thinking of other bikes I love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading RR! Agreed, in in the tank for Triumph, but you make good points, I considered most of the bikes you mentioned, although I like the 1200RT more then the K1600. However I forgot about the 690 Duke, that would be a great competitor against the Speed Triple. Like everything it comes down to taste and your riding habits at the time, and right now I simply need better tools.

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