“You can’t always get what you want…”

I have been planning on another type of bike for a few months now, diligently reading and researching models and options based on the type of riding I am wanting to do.  Now before I am accused of cheating on Pearl, I am still very much attached to my HD Roadster, it’s just she’s currently undergoing her makeover and I needed a new ride, not to mention, Pearl will eventually be the beautiful southern pageant queen the bike builders, BL Machining, and I am dreaming she can become (minus the sequins and tiara of course).  It wasn’t very lady like for her to pose for this photo but here she is all naked, gasp! What can I say, she’s an exhibitionist.  So with the disclaimers out of the way regarding Pearl, let me introduce Sarge…  I’ll let you guess as to why this OD green Triumph Tiger 800 xcx is named Sarge.  I mean what can you expect from a couple of enlisted Army vets?  And besides Sarge looks good all camo & out in nature.  Here we have the Tiger in it’s natural habitat…

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry…

…What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain?  What the anvil? what dread grasp, Dare it’s deadly terrors clasp?…”   -William Blake

Much like one of my favorite poems, the Triumph Tiger also finds it’s origins in the land across the water 🇬🇧. I want to start by stating how I never even considered this bike.  I wanted a Honda Africa Twin and as these things usually go I become quite rigid in my thinking once my mind has been made up.  I had watched the YouTube vids, did image searches, read blogs, pretty much followed everything Honda AT related.  This rigid mindset was folly on my part b/c at 5′ 5″ I’m not what you’d call a tall gal, it may not have even worked out that I could ride it.  The Honda AT is a tall bike as it should be, it’s for adventures after all.  The Honda AT was to be my bike.  I had the next 5 years of adventure already planned in my head.  I read the reviews on seat adjustment for height and I have no issues tiptoeing it on hubster’s KTM.  We located dealerships, made some calls, and all that was needed was for me to finally sit on the bike in the lowered seat position, make the purchase, and ride her home. The hubster attempted suggesting alternatives but I wasn’t hearing it.

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”  -John Lennon

Life has a knack for abruptly switching gears despite what you want & one would think I’d learned this lesson but, hey I’m stubborn.  I won’t go bashing a dealership by name in my blog but I will say that if you’re a salesman and you know ahead of time that a customer is driving 2 1/2 hours to your dealership then have your ducks in a row b/c they are serious about purchasing.  I also won’t re hash all the details of how my time was wasted and the blatant disregard for customer service, but long story short they wouldn’t let the Bike leave the dealership until 2 days later over a paperwork issue that, had we known ahead of time, wouldn’t have been an issue. They were also kind of pushy about having us finance through Honda instead of our bank, at a higher percentage rate, seriously?!?!?!  Never be afraid to walk away! We were polite in leaving but the salesman and staff cared little about our time and I have the final say in where I spend my money, I’d rather spend it where customers are valued.  Since we had a 2 1/2 hour drive back home I decided to do a simple Google search of other motorcycle dealerships in the area & found this little gem of a dealership, DandD Cycles. Already feeling kinda bummed, I didn’t expect to buy anything at this point but as a lover of all things motorcycle, & the lack of European bike dealers in my hometown, I thought looking at some Italian beauties might cheer me up.  We arrived and were greeted by a salesman who spoke to us a bit and gave us space to explore, he stayed close by for any questions we had.  Looking across the showroom floor I immediately spotted the Triumph Tiger 800 xcx.  I knew of this bike previously and gave it a passing glance in photos, the pics just didn’t do this bike justice.  In person I loved the look of this bike and actually preferred it to the Honda AT.  The sticker price on the bike set me back a bit, this was a bit more than I was looking to spend.  “Excuse me, Mr. Salesman…”  I’m glad this guy knew his stuff because he informed me about some standard Tiger options that I didn’t get with the Honda AT.  Items like the 12v port, gel seat, crash bars, heated grips, beefy-er skid plate, and more; all aftermarket options that I had planned on purchasing for the Honda AT.  This difference made the pricing competitive with that of the Honda, not to mention this dealership wasn’t trying to force some other financing option down my throat.  It was decided, I was buying a Tiger!  The owner, a woman, came out to greet us, as well as the service department and we discussed routine maintenance and controls.The seating position of the Tiger was comparable to that of the Honda AT but the seat on the Tiger was much more comfortable to me.  Not having ridden the AT, I can’t give any feedback on riding it, but if it is as well balanced as the Tiger then do not be intimidated by the height.  The Tiger has easily adjustable high and low seating positions, and I use the low.  I am still on tip toes but it matters little b/c this bike is so well balanced that sitting at red lights I only need my toe to merely touch the ground ever so slightly to maintain keeping the bike upright.  I’m sure most of you will know what I mean about that “point of no return” spot on a bike that when standing still if it leans too far it isn’t getting back up despite your best thigh muscle efforts, well after 2 days of riding I haven’t found that spot on the Tiger yet.  I’m sure I will soon but I’m in no hurry to get it off road quite yet, but with the variety of riding modes available on this bike I have high expectations.  Again, this bike is balanced very well.  The controls light up ever so slightly at night, eliminating that fumbling around in the dark and the joy stick on the left control easily toggles through the various display screens.  The display screen adjusts to the outside lighting.  I spent all day riding with the Alabama sun beating directly down on me and was still able to see the display screen with ease. If you are in the market for an adventure bike look at all the options available.  So far the Tiger has left me smiling.  Don’t settle for crap customer service, if you’re like me, you work hard for your money and a motorcycle purchase should be fun.  I want to thank the folks at DandD in Pensacola, FL for making the process fun, introducing me to Sarge, and allowing me to end this post with that catchy Stones tune that we began with, 🎶”…but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need.”🎶  I needed some wind therapy today.

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