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Monday, January 15, 2018

Himalayas on the Triumph Street Triple S

Text & Photographs : Bobby Roy & Krishnendu Kes

Ever since I can remember, I have forever been in love with travelling. And it was but natural that the bug bit even harder once I was introduced to motorcycling. This was many years back. I have been riding motorcycles for more than a decade now and it's really hard to believe I've been doing anything that long; many other hobbies have come and gone by but this is one passion which has remained ever since I was introduced to it. Why, you ask? I don't really know. There's a clairty in the entire experience perhaps, a richness that accumulates.

So, you can imagine when travel & motorcycle came together, my happiness knew no bounds. I have also been touring on motorcycles for half of my life now! And trust me, there is nothing better than touring on 2-wheels. And when this winter I got an opportunity to visit the Himalayas yet again and that too on one of the most amazing motorcycles (read cult!) ever, I, ofcourse couldn't have let this pass by.So, on an usual winter morning in the Capital which, for your reference is really cold & foggy (or smog, whatever you want to refer it by), I along with my colleague Krishnendu Kes (who was on a KTM Duke 390) started off for a beautiful destination in the Himalayas, Chail. Now, before I move ahead with the travelogue, I would love to let you know how much am I in love with the Himalayas. Probably, you are too if you love travelling even half as much as I do. You see, Himalayas humble you. You almost feel like a speck of dust in this vast expanse; the Himalayas make you feel the silence.

Like that is perhaps the ultimate truth. All else is pointless noise.Anyhow, without getting into the philosophical side of things, let me continue. Well, it as really cold and we kept riding at a decent pace because we wanted to reach our destination (Chail) before nightfall as neither of us wanted to ride in the hills during night. Not that we are inexperienced but because there's no use torturing your body because of the cold. And once the sun goes down, temperatures can drop pretty drastically.

I was riding the Triumph Street Triple S and was having a gala time. That 765cc 3-cylinder motor has all the power & torque that you could ever need. Overaking was a breeze and maintaining three digit speeds almost became a joke. Also, the fact that the seat was comfortable, the riding posture was not sporty (unlike litre class superbikes) meant that I was pretty relaxed on the highway as we sped towards the hills which was a couple of hundred kilometres away.Eventually, we did hit the hilly section and realized that for a good few kilometres, the roads weren't ideal. There was construction work going on and also the fact that there had been landslides earlier meant that many sections of the road was in pathetic condition. I feared the worst simply because big bikes like the Street  Triple S aren't really meant to handle bad roads efficiently. But boy, was I proven wrong and how!

The suspension took all the potholes and bad roads in its stride and this did take me by surprise. I played with the torque curve on the hilly section keeping the motorcycle on 3rd gear and playing with the curvacious roads.Also, the fact that the Street Triple S has two 'riding modes' meant that I could actually put it on the two different modes and feel the difference outrightly. So, to name them, the modes are 'Road' and 'Rain'. Now, as the name suggests, the 'Road' mode is meant for the road and gives you full 112bhp of power on tap. But the interesting bit here is that the 'Rain' mode doesn't really cut power in any way but rather dials down the response of the throttle so as to prevent wheel-spins. However, with ABS and traction-control, I was really confident riding the motorcycle on the hilly roads and on extremely bad patches of roads that we encountered in between.

Finally, after more than 8 hours of constant riding, taking breaks in between for pictures and ofcourse to fuel up the motorcycles and our respective tummies, we reached Chail just after sunset, the total distance covered being a shade over 400kms.I wasn't really exhausted. Tired yes,  but not exhausted. Maybe it was the motorcycle which helped me relax in way of the sitting posture or the overall experience which took care of me.

Now, Chail is an amazing destination in itself. And since we were at such a quaint little town up in the Himalayas, we wanted to stay at the best possible property that the place had to offer - the Palace, Chail. And we got lucky as we got great prices and discounts because the 'season' hadn't started yet. Happy, we checked into our comfy log-hut and after having a sumptuous dinner crashed for the night.The next day was pretty uneventful as we explored the surroundings and I mostly kept taking photographs of the Street Triple S. She's such a looker, I tell you. No matter what angle you look at her from, you cannot get enough of her. Whether it be that small bikini fairing or those thick Showa 41mm front USD forks, everything is just so beautiful and high-quality. This particular Street Triple S that I was riding had a few extra bits added to it, namely, a Triumph branded rear seat cowl which I thought made the entire motorcycle look even sexier, an Arrow after-market exhaust which ofcourse meant the motorcycle sounded out of this world, and a quick-shifter. Now, this quick-shifter works during upshifts, so, no auto-blipping down-shifting shenanigans here! But, I didn't really miss the auto-downshifts as I was too busy in enjoying the motorcycle and the ride, overall.

After spending two quiet days in the lap of the Himalayas, the 3rd day came when we had to ride more than 400kms. back home to the Capital. You see, when you enjoy something in life, it becomes really tough to let go of it. You get attached to it emotionally and in ways that you cannot really describe. That is exactly what had happened to me. I got attached with the Street Triple So. So much so that while riding back to Delhi, I could not help but feel a sense of sadness because I knew once I was home, she shall go back to Triumph India. That, really made my heart break.

Eventually though, we rode back to Delhi. The ride back was non-stop. We were tired but the motorcycles did not even budge. It was as if the machines could go on forever. I have been in love a few times now and I can safely say, what I felt for the Triple S was nothing short of pure, unabashed love. I sure hope she and I would be able to get back together for one more adventure, very soon. Till then, the memories shall suffice...

Motorcycle: Triumph Street Triple S
Total  distance covered: 900kms.
Fuel efficiency: 23km/litre (highway run mostly)

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Item Reviewed: Himalayas on the Triumph Street Triple S Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Bobby Roy
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