That would be the question.
First off I need to apologize for the lack of pictures in this post as it is mostly informational. That said.....continue.....
As a final post regarding the dilemma of which bike to keep, the Bonneville or the Gladius, I thought I'd do a little comparison. Please keep in mind that what follows are my experiences and my opinions and I am sure there are people who have ridden these models that feel completely different.
Unfortunately Cycle-Ergos doesn't seem to have the 2009 models online like it used to. Oh well. Here are the comparisons using 2010 models. Oh and they don't have the Bonneville SE either which has a 29.5" seat height making the knee angle higher than shown.
|(2010 Bonneville ergonomics)|
|(2010 Gladius ergonomics - nothing different from 2009)|
1. The styling. I think it's gorgeous.
2. The seat does not pitch me forward and so my wrist/hands don't seem to go numb when riding like they do on Max.
3. Planted in the corners. Pick a line and it holds no adjusting needed.
4. I also seem to hold a higher cruising speed as it doesn't decelerate as fast as Max when easing off the throttle.
5. The front brake is awesome and right there. Very strong.
6. Smoother over small bumps. (but about the same as Max over larger ones)
7. It's a Triumph (I don't think that one really counts, but it can up the cool factor in a crowd) :-)
1. The styling. I think it is striking too.
2. Fuel economy, I can go at least 150-160 miles before the gas light comes on.
3. Very easy to maneuver at low speeds. Very nimble when parking.
4. Only 446 lbs (202.3 kg) wet weight.
5. Seat height. Tall enough I am not too cramped when riding, but yet I can flat foot it at a stop.
6. Clean wind at highway speeds for a naked bike. Not really any buffeting.
7. It just feels right. You sit on it and go ahhhh that's it. (It took riding the Bonneville 150 miles to make me realize this one.)
ATTRIBUTES (TO ME)
1. Fuel economy (we think due to aftermarket Norman Hyde pipes)
2. Seat height combined with peg height makes my hips hurt. (who knew a low seat would do that)
3. Fuel filler nozzle hole size not just inconvenient, but really annoying.
4. Kickstand placement and/or length combined with foot size just doesn't work. (Or as I say, how to look like a brand new rider in every parking lot)
5. Turning radius larger than Gladius (see cheeky note in #4)
6. For a naked bike the wind really pushes you back, which in turn pulls at your arms when riding at highway speeds thereby tiring you quicker.
1. Seat tilts a little forward putting pressure on the wrists and makes my right hand go numb quite often.
2. Bumpy when riding over forestry roads/chip seal and frost heaves.
3. Front brake feels quite squishy and soft in comparison to the Bonneville brake.
As you can see both bikes have quite a few positive attributes. I am sure there are more but I just can't think of them right now. We've been up at 5 am the last two days since Troubadour is teaching. I need to switch from decaf to regular coffee I think.
Where the bikes really differ is in the amount of negative attributes. When doing the comparisons, please note I have not included anything like heated grips, saddlebags or those types of farkles because they can be bought for any bike and I didn't think that should be a deciding factor.
For me personally the Bonneville has more negatives in it's column and if it were one or two that might not be to bad, but as a whole I just don't want to deal with them. If I felt the love a little more maybe, but it just isn't doing it for me now matter how pretty it might be. For the type of riding we do 112 miles (180 km) between fuel ups is unacceptable. When traveling over long forestry roads I do not want to have to pack petrol with us.
The Bonneville seems more like a bike someone would ride to coffee, commuting to work, or to the coast and back for chowder but not necessarily the long haul tourer that suits my needs. Now I know Tuscon Bonnie rides his Bonneville everywhere and loves it, good for him. I just can't see myself doing it. (oh and if you haven't checked out his blog, I suggest you do - good stuff over there).
Soooooo, like you couldn't guess already, Max is not going anywhere. That's right after that whirlwind infatuation with Beau, he can't beat my steady go-to everyday constant Max. The grass was not greener on the Triumph side - for me anyway. The picture below was taken the day I first rode Max. Do you see that smile? That is the most important thing that was missing with Beau. It just wasn't there. I felt indifferent, I felt meh.
|(My first ride on Max - with Scarlet by his side)|
Now that a decision has been made we need to plan on the next step. It takes a few weeks to receive the title from the DMV and we need it before we can sell Beau. Once it is received we will ride it down to Rod at Cycle Parts Triumph in Eugene and put it on consignment. Sure we could probably sell it ourselves, but he is the go to guy when you need a bike sold and has a high turn over too. It is the only used 2009 Bonneville SE in that color combination that we can find in the State of Oregon so I am hoping for a quick sale.
Once it sells we will do a few things to Max to fix the few cons that were in his column..
1. We will purchase a longer front brake line (steel braided) as well as longer throttle cable and clutch line so that we can install the Roc risers.
2. Then we'll ask Don at Mr. Ed's Moto in Albany to custom make a seat for it. As Dane at Northwest Explore posted a few weeks ago, Don is a wizard with customizing seats. His post regarding his new seat experience can be found at this ----> link.
3. Purchase a GSXR shock to replace the stock Gladius shock. According to the forums this is an inexpensive fix for the suspension issues and makes a world of difference.
All in all I am happy with my decision. I don't regret buying the Bonneville because I think I would have always wondered if it wasn't the perfect bike and I'd missed my opportunity. I also don't think I would have noticed most of those things on a test ride. I think test rides are a good thing, but maybe an opportunity to rent a bike for a whole day would give a person a better idea if a particular bike was suited to them.
Now, it is gorgeous and sunny and warm and my back yard looks like this right now so I need to go play.
|(looking left from patio door)|
|(Looking straight back - zoomed a bit so it wasn't just the deck. |
Forest Pansy Redbud in the foreground is starting to leaf out)
|(View slightly to the right to avoid the 2-story house next door.|
We hope to finish the pergola over the deck this summer)
- Au Revoir
"Although every man believes that his decisions and resolutions involve the most multifarious factors, in reality they are mere oscillation between flight and longing." - Herman Broch