Part-time Surrogate Tiger Mum to Herman, Sumara and Joey at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Indiana
So I have been wondering..... how can I balance my home life with my adventure life. I've thought a lot about it, and the answer is to simply explore my own country in smaller doses. A very large country at that! This way I can satisfy the craving by being out there in the wild world, camping in strange places, exploring interesting corners of this vast land. Well not really corners, we are just one big island after all. And when I feel the need, I can just pop back home and enjoy my home life again! Sounds perfect!
Most of you would know that I spent 3 1/2 years riding a KTM 690 Enduro R around the world. Forty-nine countries to be exact. It was a feisty bike! I chose it because it was light weight and my biggest concern was to be able to pick up the bike on my own if I fell over. Yet, it had the power to handle large highways for distance days. The choice was right, it was the perfect bike for what I used it for.. light weight world travel! All around, it helped me manage the rough countries and seriously rough roads with a powerful lightweight machine.
In a perfect world, I know I have said it 100 times, I would like a shed with at LEAST five different bikes. I have 5 different pairs of sunglasses, I have far more than 5 different pairs of shoes, easily 5 different colors of nailpolish.. so 5 different bikes, right? That is my dream life. Haven't made it to 5 yet.. but I finally have #2!
Riding a single cylinder bike was fine for the most part, but I always wished I had a bit more power, and a bit more comfort during the long days on boring roads. So I knew I wanted to go larger, not smaller. If I stuck with the same brand, KTM.. where does that put me? The next size from the 690 is an 1190 (previously 990).. 1190!!!! That is a super-size bike! I looked at them, sat on them, seriously considered them.. No way. I have to be reasonable, and there is no logical reason why I should have a bike this size. I think it would be fun for the odd play-time but not for permanent time.
KTM 1190 Adventure R
Then I was given an opportunity to try the Triumph Tiger 800 XC while at the Touratech Australia Travel Event near Bright, Victoria. I looked at the Tiger and thought... no. It looks big and heavy as well, I was afraid to try it and made them promise not to get mad at me if I dumped it.
Well, lord have freakin' mercy..!! My trial was like, "Whoa!!!!" I remember saying after my ride that it was like riding on air! We did fairly easy tracks, but they were gravel, downed tree limbs, etc. And I hardly felt a thing! How can this be?!! (On my 690, I felt everything including the white or yellow lines on the road). I really didn't think I would like this bike but I instantaneously fell in love with it. Now I'm in trouble...
Now this bike makes sense to me. It is easy to manage in the rough stuff, mud, sand, gravel, etc. Yet it is a wonderfully comfortable bike on the long paved roads.. Sooooooo comfortable. I have to have one.
I've always been a believer of what you think, you create. I thought about this Tiger often, I showed everyone I knew the photos.. I made the photo into my screen saver on the computer. It didn't take long and.... voila! I thought about it so much, it created itself.
I received a phone call one day that said, "Sherri Jo, Have I got the deal for you"...
So I am now the very proud owner of a Triumph Tiger 800 XC.. To say that I am in love is an understatement.
More about the new bike in the next post..
SUPERSIZE THANK YOU to Robin at Touratech Australia, Safari Tanks and Mark at Triumph Australia...!!!!!