OHHHHHHH KAAAYYYYYY...

Well, that didn't take long.

After a week of "sleeping on it" after my test ride on a 2011 Sprint GT, I decided that I wanted to buy one.  Swung into the local dealer where I had my test ride and made an admittedly long-shot offer that I knew they wouldn't take.  They've been great so far, but we weren't able to come together on a price.  They were just trying to get too much for their 700-mile demo model, even if it were a new bike with no miles.

So, I started poking around and found a 0-mile example in Canton, OH for a song.  Now, when I say a song, I mean it.  These bikes have been sales dogs, and any dealer who is even remotely serious about opening up their floor space and selling one is doing so at a deep discount and likely for a loss.  I ended up paying roughly 20% less than MSRP for the bike.

The catch?  For those paying attention, I mentioned the bike was in Canton, OH.  I don't live in Canton, OH.  In fact, I live about 500 miles east.  That presents a problem.

Have I mentioned I have friend his own plane?  Let's just say we're shaping up to have a very interesing ride report!
 
Here's the third in my 3-part series, which consists of completely unrelated topics and has taken a bit longer than I originally wanted.  I'm dealing quite well, I'm hoping you hold up, too.

So, what could possibly be the grand finale of this little trifecta?  In short, I'm torn.  I'm trying to come to terms with my needs and wants and figuring what fits where.  Still confused?  Read on.

I love my Buell.  It is hands down my most favorite bike I've owned or ridden.  It's fast enough for me, great on gas, super comfortable, lightweight, handles two up well for the amount I need it and offers plenty of storage.  On top of that, I've put a lot of effort into getting it to fit my needs well.

But all of that said, it is still a 10-year-old machine that wasn't ever exactly known for it's dependability even when it was new.  Most of the modifications I've already made, and some that are still on the to-do list are merely to correct issues with the bike's construction or design in the first place (having to reinforce and alter the mounting of the saddlebags comes to mind, as well as adding the HID headlight).  This mixture of modified parts and questionable dependability to begin with (despite having never left me stranded, but has had me needing to turn around to head home or just not going for a planned ride in the first place) is troublesome for me at a time when I'm down to owning only one bike.

So, that brings us to the inevitable conclusion that I'm shopping (MAYBE) for something new.  But what?  I have been looking and looking and it is damn near impossible to find a bike that offers the comfortable seating position for myself and a passanger, the luggage capacity (even aftermarket options), the lightweight and the sportiness of my Buell S3T.  Any of the Japanese "sport tourers", as nice as they are, are just too heavy and, frankly, way too expensive.  The only bike from Japan that interests me for this would be the Kawasaki Ninja 1000, but seat comfort looks questionable and the bike is just flat out ugly, in my opinion.  America, sadly, has nothing for me.  I'm not completely opposed to a Buell Ulysses, but I think my S3 is prettier and I'm not looking for an adventure-styled bike.

This brings us to Europe, who has a couple of possibilities for me.  The first is the Ducati Multistrada.  Pros?  Fast, light, comfy, lots of gizmos.  Cons?  A little too upright for my tastes and money, money, money.  Another posibility is the BMW K1300S, not terribly heavy and has more power than any mortal should desire.  But, it is VERY long and VERY expensive and bags are extra to boot.

The final, and strongest contender in my eyes, is the Triumph Sprint GT.  It's about 70lbs heavier than my Buell all gassed up, but after that, the consolations more or less come to an end.  The riding potision is slightly more aggressive than the Buell, but I don't think it's so much that it will cause any issues ergonomically.  It has close to 30 more horespower to get down the road with the extra heft.  The suspesion is a bit prehistoric, but likely plenty good enough for the realistic needs of what this bike is supposed to do.  Passanger room is plentiful.  Included hard bags along with substantial underseat storage and the little lockable glovebox in the fairing make luggage space a non-issue.  The maintenance, when you break it down, is not much worse than the Buell, which is known for being easy on the scheduled maintenance.  I have a chain drive instead of a belt - messy and takes maintenance, but at least I don't have to be worried about being stranded if it breaks.  I have to valve checks on the Trumpet, but I no longer have to do TPS resets, static timing checks and primary chain adjustments like the Buell needs.

The bottom line is I'm hopelessly smitten with the Sprint GT.  I have a test ride scheduled for tomorrow.  No idea what I'm going to do if I end up liking it, but I'll never know if I don't ride it.