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Old 11th September 2015, 18:42   #76
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

In order of my preference I'd recommend:

Necessity:
Bash plate/sump guard
Leg guard- don't like the Triumph original though
Luggage rack(I travel almost always with pillion)
Tank pads- the bike just looks incomplete without it
Power outlet

Good to have:
Tachometer- if its the A3

People also add- a dart screen, brake oil reservoir, king and queen seat, single seat, bar end rear view mirrors, rectifier relocator, alarm kit etc.

The original triumph leg guard fits into the frame bolts that are used for the ignition key relocation bracket so he should consider that. In case he wants to relocate the ignition key he should avoid the oem guards.

Hope this helps. If you need any specific feedback on any of these accessories just let me know.

P.s i hope he's getting the white- its the fastest

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 13th September 2015, 10:57   #77
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Sting,
My bonnie is finally ready for her 6,000 km highway jaunt.

Added the Sw motech crash bars, aux lights which are like floodlights at a cricket match, saree guards on both sides (just in case), dual horns. Apparently adding a non Triumph crash guard voids your warranty but a friend who just came back from ladakh said they were pathetic and bent at a low speed fall and had to be removed.

The sw motech ones seem strong and they're powder coated black.

Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121777886.jpgTriumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121792135.jpgTriumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121820090.jpgTriumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121832205.jpgTriumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121844575.jpg

Also got leds stuck on. They're super bright at only 20watts
Low beam
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121929186.jpg

Leds plus low beam
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121945781.jpg

Leds plus high beam
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442121961180.jpg

Have a switch to turn them on and off Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442122018505.jpg
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Old 13th September 2015, 20:23   #78
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Djpeesh,

Brilliant! You've developed it into one hell of a touring machine..

My observations on the 2 added accessories:

I like the positioning of the SW Motech guards that seem to have a low enough profile to handle the low speed spills. Considering they're Motech quality will not be an issue for sure. My grouse with the original Triumph guards (apart from their triangular shape) is that they are too high up to avoid damage to the pedals. Hopefully you'll not need to test this design! Which guards was your friend using? I've rested the Bonneville thrice fully loaded on the Renntec guard and there's not even a dent. I doubt any additional accessory that neither interferes with the mechanicals or the electricals will void warranty.

For potential tourers:
The accessory lights are a very (VERY!) useful addition to the bike. The headlight is at best average..I will probably add these soon enough.- right after I add the Stebel Nautilus that has been lying for so long.

You mentioned '2 horns'. Does that refer to a hella/roots kind of setup?

Can you also post pictures of the 2 saree guards, are these the OEM guards? I wil use the idea for my future long trips.

Ride safe and remember there are a lot of riders here who are envious of you

Have a great trip!

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 14th September 2015, 00:05   #79
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right after I add the Stebel Nautilus that has been lying for so long.

You mentioned '2 horns'. Does that refer to a hella/roots kind of setup?

Can you also post pictures of the 2 saree guards, are these the OEM guards? I wil use the idea for my future long trips.
Sting,
Make sure you mount the Nautilus with the opening mounted down. A friend on his rocket mounted his soundbomb facing forward and they got screwed in the rain, as water went inside.

I got the roots horn. Sufficiently loud.

Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442169184985.jpg

These are the saree guards. Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442169215134.jpgTriumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-1442169228398.jpg

Mounted on both sides. I got them from the showroom (all the discarded ones) and did a little bit of jugaad to turn the mounting screw and the foot rest thing to face the other way. Total cost 500 rupees.

Thanks for the good wishes Sumit. We ride in 4 days. Already have butterflies in my stomach. I don't know how I'm going to manage even a three day work week.

Last edited by djpeesh : 14th September 2015 at 00:07.
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Old 17th October 2015, 16:46   #80
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE IN LADAKH

There are now quite a few examples of people doing Leh on the Bonnie so Iíll focus not on whether you can or cannot take it to Leh but on where the Bonnie will excel and where it wonít in this epic 3000 km journey from Delhi.

There is an endless list of modifications one can look at, but this post will focus on a largely stock Bonnevilleís performance in Ladakh. This post also focuses on the Mag wheeled Bonneville (A3) rather than the spoked wheel (T100). The T100 will have 2 advantages on the Ladakh circuit; better ground clearance and more resilient spoked wheels while the obvious disadvantage is tubed tires. I am also focusing more on the Ďnormalí Ladakh circuit of

Ö.Srinagar>Leh>Pangong>Leh>Khardungla>Nubra>Leh>Ma nali>ÖÖ

rather than the interior routes. On the other routes I have no personal experience but I hope this post gives potential Bonnie owners a fair idea.

Trivia: If you are taking a Triumph to Ladakh the closest service center is going to be Chandigarh.

WHAT YOUíLL LOVE ABOUT THE BONNEVILLE:

The Parallel Twin Engine: This has to be the strength that stands out. With rider, pillion and luggage combined we were nearing 200 kgs in weight. At no point in time did the bike feel hesitant or stressed. Not even at 18000 + ft. Iíd twist the wrist and it would respond as dutifully as it would respond on a daily ride. Heavy luggage, light luggage, with pillion, without pillion; it just doesnít make any significant difference. The engine is known to be under stressed, 80-90% of the torque is available at 3k rpm and it can cruise effortlessly at 130kmph all day (with 200kgs on its back!); all of which makes it a great engine to have at your disposal in Ladakh.

Reliability: All machines can breakdown Ė period. However, what works in the Hinckley Bonnevilleís favour is its legendary reliability. It has built up this reputation over many years and it remains a reliability hallmark to reckon with. Iíll copy paste a portion from a gentlemanís blog who has done 130,000 kms across the globe on a Bonneville T100:

ďSumming up what needed replacement after 130,000 km is a very short list: 1 rear sprocket bearing in Greece ($9.-), 1 clutch cable in China ($3.82) and 1 gear lever seal in India ($3.17), which makes a grand total of $15.99 in 130,000 km. Just two weeks after I bought my Bonnie I said 'I hope it makes the 100,000 km'. That was before I had any ideas to travel around the world on it and take it off-road or fit panniers. Having done 130,000 problem free km now, I'm looking forward to 200,000 km...m now, I'm looking forward to 200,000 km...

Some More from the same blog:

Remember, this bike left on this trip with 40,000 km on the clock and hadn't needed any repair work before we left. I then took it through New Zealand, from Vancouver to the top of Alaska, down through Canada via Jasper and Banff, zig-zagged through the western half of the USA including Death Valley, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We subsequently shipped it from Costa Rica to Europe and travelled through England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. All without needing any work done to the bike at all. After a stopover for Christmas at my parents place, it took me through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. In Greece it needed its first replacement part... its first replacement part ever! The bearing inside the rear sprocket wasn't as fresh as it should be and since we had Kazakhstan and the like ahead of us I decided to replace it. The wheel bearings are still the originals.

Full blog here.

I trusted the bike so much that I did Sarchu > Jispa in pitch darkness and a freezing night.



Capable in stock form: One can take the Bonneville out to Ladakh in (pretty much!) the stock form even for 2 up riding. The only mandatory additions I would suggest are sump guard (Rs. 4,000), OEM luggage rack (Rs. 8,000) and leg guard (Rs 8,000). With only Rs. 20,000 spent, the motorcycle will comfortably do a 2 up riding trip to Ladakh right out of the showroom. If one is travelling solo the Rs. 8k on the luggage rack could be saved too.

Extraordinary handling: There are thousands of kms on this trip where roads are exceptional and quite a few hundred kms that are a corner carverís delight. On these roads the Bonneville will excel like no other. The BRO has made some really smooth, well-marked and banked roads in the mountains where the counter steering and footpeg grinding skills can be put to utmost use. The banked roads where I could see 300-400 meters ahead into curves and had the opportunity to use the entire road were the most exciting to ride on. The short wheel base, low ground clearance and the Metzelers made those drives absolutely memorable. Some pictorials of where you'd love it:
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-curve-roads.jpg
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-straight-road.jpg
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-wet.jpg

Solid Build Quality: I came back after the trip and took it to the service station. Not a single bolt was loose. All I did was get the air filter changed and there was absolutely zero maintenance required. The fact that I had to wash it 4 times to get it back to its pristine glory is a different story altogether!

Capable of 2 up touring: A comfortable seat ensures the pillion is not hanging on for dear life. Comfort on such a trip is relative but I can safely say my wife had no complaints about the Bonnevilleís seat. We do use a Redlineplus.in gel pad to cover the saddle bag straps that run over the pillion seat. I've heard praise for the King and Queen seat but no personal experience.

Luggage options: Saddle bags are more bike design sensitive, tail bags not so much. Thankfully, almost all saddle bags available in the market will easily fit. Iíve used the Dirtsack Frogman and had no issues with clearing the twin exhausts, keeping the rear footpegs free for pillion or avoiding tire rub. Iím quite sure other brands and designs will work well too. Iíve never used the sari guard and the bags do just fine.

Looks great in the mountains: Donít trust me? Hereís proof:

Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-rohtang.jpg
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-sarchu-plains.jpg
Name:  railway track.jpg
Views: 1679
Size:  289.8 KB

WHAT YOU WONíT LOVE ABOUT THE BONNEVILLE IN LADAKH:

Low ground clearance: The mag wheel Bonnie has a very low ground clearance; 100mm was what I was told by the dealership. With luggage and pillion and an added bash plate this would reduce further. At the start of the day i's ridet is easy to maneuver bad roads. After 10 hours of riding when the destination is another 2 hours away the arms and body begin to give in and self-preservation takes precedence. These are the stretches when the ground clearance becomes an issue.

Oil Filter Placement: The oil filter is located at a VERY vulnerable position and prone to rupture in such terrain. Strangely, none of the bash plates available in the market cover it either. This is a must carry spare and one should know how to replace it. More on the spare part list later.

Suspension: The suspension, that is a delight on the smooth curved tarmac, punches the kidneys out in the tough terrain. The suspensionís great performance in the good roads unfortunately does not make up for the anatomical distortions it causes on the potholed roads. A front heavy design, road slick tires and a bad suspension setup makes it an uncomfortable bike on the broken sections. Thankfully, bad sections in Ladakh are inevitably followed up with great roads. Strangely, the ride quality improves significantly once you adjust the suspension to the stiffer mode!

There will be many occasions when an RE rider and pillion will come and sail through on the road you are pottering and hopping around. I once pointed out to my wife how an RE pillionís head appeared extremely stable on a bad road while we are having our skull rattled to the core!

Where you won't love it:
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-bad-road.jpg


Foot peg issue: One has to be conservative while standing on the foot pegs since there is a known design flaw and many cases of broken peg bolts have been reported in India and internationally. In a terrain like that of Ladakh this is not a reassuring thought.

Headlight: At best can be described as poor. On the climb to Baralachala:
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-climb.jpg

AREAS THAT ARE NEITHER HERE NOR THERE:

Tank Range: The bike goes in reserve at 190-200 kms and has another 20-30 km range left at that stage. For most stretches this is good enough. I carried fuel on LehĖPangong-Leh stretch (5 liters) and Leh- Kullu (10 liters). After filling up at Karu I was able to reach Kullu. The spare 5 liters was put in Pang and another 5 litres was put in the tank at Jispa.

At much talked about fuel station at Karu:
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-petrol-pump.jpg

Mag wheels/Tubeless Tires: Like the suspension, the tubeless tires and mag wheels have the advantage on better roads while the spoked tube variants are better off in the landslide zone. I canít make up my mind whether I like the reliability of the tubeless tires while worrying about a potentially cracked wheel or would I prefer a spoked variant while constantly running the fear of flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, I havenít heard of any known issues with Bonnevilleís mag wheels in spite of a lot of them being put through rigorous terrain.

Most of the issues above can be addressed. A custom made bash plate can cover the oil filter, auxiliary lights can provide additional candlepower, dual sport tires can provide better off road grip and there are countless options for aftermarket suspension available at the click of a button. But as I mentioned earlier, this is an evaluation of a largely stock bike- similar to what mine is. Not everyone has the will, skill or money to modify a bike that already costs 7 lacs on road; add to it the expenses of good riding gear.


In summary: If you have a Bonneville, prepare well and ride to Ladakh; even if you want to take it stock.

************************************************** ************

WHAT SPARES TO CARRY?

This is a tricky question. Some people carry an entire motorcycle while others donít even carry a screw driver. My recommendations are solely based on my touring experiences (which are not a lot!) and these could very well change as I ride more. These will also depend on the distance you intend to tour. For a Ladakh trip I would suggest.

Must carry:
  1. Oil Filter
  2. 17 inch tire tube Ė I did not carry this but will do in future trips

Good to Carry:
  1. Brake and Clutch levers- the OEM ones are designed to break at 1/4th point and Iíve seen this work very well on many Bonnevilleís that have taken a fall. Check your levers to see if they have a notch where your ring finger sits. If they do, then theyíll break at that point in a fall. My bike did not have this notch on the brake lever (the clutch had this design) so the lever bent. It did not break even after a fall.
  2. Clutch wire
  3. Spark Plugs. Trivia: the HH Karizma spark plugs fit the Bonneville if I go by the model NGK recommends.

What usual maintenance and other items did I carry?
  1. A tool set that can help me open up the rear and front tire and change the clutch wire.
  2. Tubeless puncture repair kit
  3. Slime Air pump
  4. Air pressure gauge
  5. 1 liter spare engine oil- Castrol Power 1 10w-50
  6. Motul chain cleaning and lubing sprays
  7. 2 Pairs of ROK Straps- absolutely recommend it!
  8. 1 redlineplus.in luggage tie
  9. 1 bungee cord and 1 net Ė never used it
  10. Side stand spring- have lost one to an odd bump on the trip to Rajasthan
  11. 1 palm sized handheld weighing scale- to balance the saddle bags
  12. A cut out of non-slip, non-marking PVC sheet that I put under the magnetic tank bag- again a miracle product available for Rs. 100 online! The tank doesnít have a single scratch and the bag sticks like a leech.

Jerry cans- asked the hotel if they had any spare and they gave two 5 liter cans of a handwash product that were sturdy and lasted well.

How did I carry fuel?:

To Pangong: I carried the jerry can in the Rynox tank bag
Leh- Manali stretch: Carried one in the tank bag and another tied with ROK straps on the luggage rack:
Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-sarhu-ii.jpg

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 23rd October 2015, 17:12   #81
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

On a related note, the Bonneville got another companion; a Royal Enfield TB 500 to replace an aging Pulsar. The customary pic:

Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home-img20151013wa0003.jpg

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 23rd October 2015, 19:47   #82
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So now you have a bullet and a modified bullet?? Congrats buddy.
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Old 23rd October 2015, 20:30   #83
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Yup..a 'double silencer' bullet!
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Old 24th October 2015, 00:11   #84
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Quote:
Originally Posted by djpeesh View Post
So now you have a bullet and a modified bullet?? Congrats buddy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
Yup..a 'double silencer' bullet!

Actually I consider this as a blessing. The bike is left "un-molested" even in most of the crowded parking places as no one gives it a second glance.

Sting , well written and crisp travel diary/observations

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 2nd November 2015, 07:53   #85
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Updated the 4th and final part of the Leh travelouge here.

Cheers,
Sting

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 2nd November 2015 at 14:33. Reason: As requested.
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Old 18th February 2016, 14:29   #86
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
On a related note, the Bonneville got another companion; a Royal Enfield TB 500 to replace an aging Pulsar. The customary pic:

Attachment 1430206

Cheers,
Sting
Hey, I was wondering, why don't I buy a TB-500 along with my ER6n, just for pillion riding? Tell us something about this bike. Is there any other thread where you wrote about your experiences? How is the reliability? How does the EFI function? Do the spark plugs go really black in the Delhi winters? Do the cables touch the engine and do the fuses last?
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Old 18th February 2016, 16:39   #87
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

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Hey, I was wondering, why don't I buy a TB-500 along with my ER6n, just for pillion riding? ...
Hey Oreen, The TB 500 has done 6000 + kms in the last 4+ months and has not given any issues at all. The EFI works well, the spark plugs remain unchanged and the TB just thumps along each day..every day!

However (just love using this word!), after riding a poly cylindered bike with reliable characteristics, great performance, long service intervals and good refinement levels it is unlikely the TB will impress you. The pillion seat might be comfortable, but that is where your (or your wife's!) love for the TB will end. You will keep wanting to go back to the ER6n motorcycling experience. Plus there will be the added costs of separate equipment and farkles on 2 motorcycles. If you ask me for my opinion, I'd rather have just one Versys 650, T100 or the likes; In the shorter run the financial outlay will be higher.In the longer run, the better motorcycling experience for you and your wife and the lesser cost of keeping just one bike, longer service intervals etc will far outweigh the upfront higher costs.

Of course, in an ideal world I'd keep the Bonneville and a Versys 650/Tiger in my garage. One for shorter rides, and the other for touring. Both are comfortable for the pillion. Alas! Some day.

Do discount my recommendations though; I've developed a soft corner for those multi cylinders!

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 18th February 2016, 16:55   #88
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Quote:
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Hey Oreen, The TB 500 has done 6000 + kms in the last 4+ months and has not given any issues at all. The EFI works well, the spark plugs remain unchanged and the TB just thumps along each day..every day!

However (just love using this word!), after riding a poly cylindered bike with reliable characteristics, great performance, long service intervals and good refinement levels it is unlikely the TB will impress you. The pillion seat might be comfortable, but that is where your (or your wife's!) love for the TB will end. You will keep wanting to go back to the ER6n motorcycling experience. Plus there will be the added costs of separate equipment and farkles on 2 motorcycles. If you ask me for my opinion, I'd rather have just one Versys 650, T100 or the likes; In the shorter run the financial outlay will be higher.In the longer run, the better motorcycling experience for you and your wife and the lesser cost of keeping just one bike, longer service intervals etc will far outweigh the upfront higher costs.

Of course, in an ideal world I'd keep the Bonneville and a Versys 650/Tiger in my garage. One for shorter rides, and the other for touring. Both are comfortable for the pillion. Alas! Some day.

Do discount my recommendations though; I've developed a soft corner for those multi cylinders!

Cheers,
Sting
Hmm. Am undecided about what second bike to buy. Was thinking about a used Harley 750 or a used Bonnie to join the Kawasaki in the stable, but because of the costs, thought why not settle for an RE (given I have ridden an AVL and a t-bird earlier). Maybe will wait for your Bonnie to be up for sale. You are soon buying a Tiger anyway. :-P

Ideally, had it been just for myself, i would have sold the ER and bought a Tiger XR base model. One bike for everything: commute, highway-runs, off-road, etc.

After owning the ER for 9000+ kms I now feel I should have gone for a Bonnie first (for two-up) and a KTM 390 (for solo) later. But the absurd offers I got for the ER made me decide otherwise.

Last edited by Oreen : 18th February 2016 at 16:56. Reason: wrong english
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Old 29th February 2016, 09:29   #89
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
I've rested the Bonneville thrice fully loaded on the Renntec guard and there's not even a dent.
I have a question about the Renntec guards if I may please.

Which one is more sturdy? SW Mototech or Renntec?

I may be wrong but these are bolted onto the chassis and the stronger the guards, the more impact it transfers to the chassis which may lead to chassis damage. Don't you think?

I saw a Renntec one on eBay india for 11k odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djpeesh View Post
I don't know how I'm going to manage even a three day work week.
Please let me know how taller the high mount backrest is compared to the one you have on the bike. Would the high mount backrest be an issue for the pillion to swing a leg over the bike?
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Old 29th February 2016, 18:41   #90
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville - El Caballo Blanco rides home

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I have a question about the Renntec guards ...Which one is more sturdy? SW Mototech or Renntec?
Hi n_aditya,

Both are built to last and are renowned for their quality. SW has been tested well by djpeesh on his Bhutan trip while mine was tested in Ladakh! I'd suggest pick the one you like more aesthetically, you can't go wrong with either. Both are way better than the standard Triumph ones! At Rs 11k the Renntec are a good price.

Quote:
I may be wrong but these are bolted onto the chassis and the stronger the guards, the more impact it transfers to the chassis which may lead to chassis damage. Don't you think?
The Motech is more directly bolted on to the frame, djpeesh can probably confirm this. I would choose the strongest guard I can reasonably find for a few reasons:

1. It's primary purpose is to protect the legs and god forbid should such a situation occur I wouldn't care much about the chassis!

2. It's almost impossible to reliably know if the guard is strong enough to slightly bend and not pass the impact to the chassis but not soft enough to bend so much that it traps your leg. The speed & angle of impact, the weight one is carrying, the surface one falls on etc. will all play a part and with so many variables it's almost impossible to determine the right metallurgy that can save the chassis and my legs! No doubt the legs are a priority

Btw, I thought you had n250. A Triumph on the cards?

Cheers,
Sting

Last edited by Sting : 29th February 2016 at 18:45.
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