Recently I had to take my Suzuki V-Strom 1000 in for some unexpected service due to a recall related to three separate electrical issues. It’s an experience that’s annoyed me on many levels, not least of which being the fact I can no longer hold reliability as an advantage over competitors.
Unfortunately, Fowlers didn’t have any 1050s on display, so I went down to the next floor to check out the Yamaha Super Ténéré. The bike’s shaft drive appeals to me, as does cruise control on the high-spec version. There is word that the bike hasn’t been selling terribly well and, as such, is also the sort of machine that can be had for considerably less than its list price.
Before I had a chance to investigate these rumors, however, I was called back to the service department to be informed that the problem that Suzuki’s recall had been issued to remedy had already affected my bike. The insulation on my bike’s wiring harness had burned through. I was told that my bike was unsafe to ride and that Fowlers would order a new wiring harness, but that it would take several days.
“OK, that’s fine…” I said, waiting for the service desk person to identify the problem that the person in front of her –– dressed in motorcycle gear –– might have with this plan.
“So, we’ll call you in a few days when your bike is ready,” she said.
“And how shall I get home?” I asked.
A millisecond pause as she read the look on my face that said : You have no idea how quickly this situation can turn sour.
“I’ll be happy to issue you with a courtesy bike,” she said. “It’s a Triumph Tiger 800.”
And just as quickly as that, I was reminded of why I go to the trouble to ride past one Suzuki dealership to get to Fowlers. The Tiger 800, meanwhile, has been a lot of fun and helped to alter my previously negative perception of the model.
My attitude hasn’t changed necessarily –– I still think it is ugly, I still have issues with its gearbox, I still don’t trust it, and I still wouldn’t choose it over the V-Strom 1000 –– but I’m no longer as critical. There is a lot of fun to be had with that triple. A lot of fun. So much, in fact, that if it were possible to do a straight trade of my ‘Strom for a Tiger 800 XRx I might –– might –– be willing to overcome my complaints about the bike.
It isn’t possible, though. I’ve looked into the numbers. The KTM, however, I’m still debating. And if I could find a Super Ténéré at the right price…