We met up with Keith on our way to Triumph day, he rides a lovely Thunderbird classic. He wrote this article about the ride there and what he thought of the new models. If you are not familiar with South African “slang” please have a look at the dictionary at the bottom.
Article by Kief Hoender( Keith Henderson)
I would be a bald-faced liar if I said particularly discerning but nevertheless downright dirty bike aficionados didn’t get all hot and bothered at the first appearance of Triumph’s 2016 Modern Classic range in October last year. Many a night was spent gazing into the soft, gentle, mesmerising cell phone glow of WhatsApp and Chrome over a candlelit dinner on date night, or at the end of the bar on a Tuesday morning at 2.34am while the jukebox played The Final Countdown. If you smaak that kind of thing then you know what we are talking about and you were probably where we were this past Sunday.
Ask any oke or chick with a bike and they will tell you they don’t need an excuse to get on it and ride somewhere… the further the better. So it was no surprise that Triumph Day was already full when we pulled in at around 10 or so. We were initially following a chom on his BMW and that’s why we had originally ended up at The Piston Ring where the cars were so mean I have to say I felt a little intimidated.
Luckily we spotted some of our own dangerous-looking homies and, following our bud on a Triumph, we high-tailed it out of there lank fast and loud in the hope we would not be followed. Luckily we caught the guy that actually knew how to get to the jol because there’s a good chance we would not have found it otherwise.
Nick from Tradional Triumph says the signposting was good but I think what he meant to say was that only true Triumph owners would discover the secret clues that lead through the enchanted forest to the land of eternal sunshine. It was clear our fearless leader for the next couple minutes could sniff out a new Triumph, a flippin epic custom, or restored one, kays away.
The mountain bike enthusiasts who thought they were going to have a serene ride through the Modderfontein Reserve must have cursed the moment they slipped their Crocs off and their cleats on, because jis there were shit-tons of bikes everywhere, or at least a lot for a Sunday meant to be spent avoiding nothing but runners. All of a sudden they ceased to be a top of the food chain. That must have sucked.
We found two birds lying in the parking lot extracting their bicycles from said cleats and after interrogating us I could see they were dreaming of the open road and riding something you do not have to pedal. I could go on for days about the level of sweetness and badass all rolled up into one that was parked all over the place down at the Triumph concourse but no doubt, the reason we were all there was standing majestically in a tight square just down on the lawn.
Nothing really prepares you for the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you see something of beauty in the form of machines such as were beheld on that Sabbath. It’s like the feeling you get when you spot that Super Ass Tough bird from Vikings who is so hot but also capable of splitting you in half by just lunging in your direction.
Something goes funny in your brain and you start scheming about how you are going to get another credit card or take some money out of your house loan. Or grow more plants and get that sativa strain pumping for next year.
Triumph had the 2016 Bonneville T120, T120 Black, the fearless (all new) Street Twin and their now-even-more-potent cafe racer, the Thruxton R on show.
Those who had made it to these four hallowed alters of profoundness will attest to the fact that it appears as if Triumph just got cooler and more gnarly at the same time.
The T120 Black (R147 500) really caught the eye of my non-patch and non-club affiliated non-gang and many could be seen standing awe-struck and dreaming of all the Instagram opportunities. It looks like Indiana Jones nicked Steve McQueen’s ride from The Great Escape, klapped it hard with some street knowledge and then hit a Black Ops vibe on it.
What really hammered it home in my opinion was the new, sleeker, dark tan seat, a proper win on this beauty, which along with the matt black pipes, is pure genius. Triumph seems to have hit a win with the seat because we noticed the same in black on the more traditional maroon Bonnie that represented the standard T120 (R145 000). I mean no disrespect when I say standard because obviously there is nothing “standard” about this work of art. Have a look at the pic and you will get my drift.
The other firm favourite was the Thruxton R (R174 500), which is designed for those cafe racer Rockers and blokes who like to be flat down on the tank and cranking it on the some quiet road at the witching hour. If this bike represented a babe then I guess in this instance we’d be talking about aforementioned viking lass or perhaps Scarlett Johanssen’s Black Widow. I could tell people knew shit just got real when they walked up to this bike. My non-patch non-affiliated non-gang reckon the Thruxton’s big sister the R is going to mean less sales for the former. It seems likely because everyone wants to be bad ass and will probably beg, borrow and steal to scrape together the extra dough. The glazed look in their eyes seems to say it would be worth it.
Final ace in this pack is of course the Street Twin (R129 500). This year Triumph has played its cards perfectly… the Twin checks all the boxes for those okes out there who have not yet heard of the Mods or the Rockers. These guys, deep down in their souls, know that Triumphs are epic but don’t fancy themselves on a Street Triple or a Daytona 675.
They don’t know why but they dig a lumberjack shirt and have just discovered 16 Horsepower but also love Snoop Dogg. The Twin modernises the range without compromising, is the thing. One would think after witnessing these revelations the mind would not be able to compute any more epicness, but the line of bikes on show were bloody fine as well.
The only thing that sucks in a situation like this is that you don’t arrive loaded to the gills with money and can’t throw greenbacks at everything.
I would definitely have thrown some Tom at a couple gems there. Nick and Rory’s collaborations were particularly drool-worthy and it’s clear that some seriously cool shit is happening now that Straight Edge Customs lives above Traditional Triumph. Go and check them out some time. They are lekker okes. Just don’t go on a Friday because Nick will look worried and tell you that’s his busiest day of the week.
Of course a lot of other stuff happened at Triumph Day, including motorcycle enthusiasts trying to look dapper and bands playing rad rock tunes and people with nothing better to do complaining about not getting beer quick enough, as well as homies hanging around looking cool among other things. But wow.
Those 2016 Modern Classics just stole the show.
ZA Slang Dictionary:
Smaak – Dig it, like a lot
Oke – Bloke, guy, dude
Chick – Birds, ladies, honey, sweetheart, baby
Chom – Chum, buddy, pal, homeboy
Homey – Homeboy
Bud – Chom, buddy, pal
Lank – A lot
Jol – Party, event
Flippin – Frikkin
Kays – Kilometres, just like miles but different
Jis – Exclamation of wonder
Sweetness – Coolness, epicness
Gnarly – Radical, extreme
Klapped – Hit, smacked
Get my Drift – Understand my vibe
Lekker – Amazingly cool
Cranking – Giving it gas, riding like the wind or lightning
Dough – Tom, Greenbacks, cash, money
Rad – Lekker