Today is Triumph Street Triple R collection day so it was a tour starting off on four wheels, clambering into the “arm in arms” motor with leather gear and boots made for the trip over to Performance Triumph in Stratford-upon-Avon and interesting one, I was going to go the whole hog and wear my helmet but ‘er indoors drew the line at that one……… Pitched up at the dealers well before opening time and bade farewell to my taxi driver and set off into the shop, went through the usual hand over procedure and came out with my new to me 4 month old Triumph Street Triple R.
I had planned on an early pick up in an effort to avoid the punters picking up their new 64 plate bikes, there were a few about, not as many as I thought there would be as it was the first Saturday of the new registration season. Turned out the 3 bikes on the forecourt were demonstrators and there were only a couple of planned hand overs during the day. Sign of the times I suppose with all areas suffering.
I decided to do the right thing and get acquainted with the bike, especially as there were a few bodies milling around, check the display and pressed a few buttons to see what they did, after all if all else failed I could read the owner’s manual.
Now being someone who relies heavily on a sat nav I had picked a round trip of a 100 miles or so to carry on the running in procedure as there were only 335 miles on the clock, this route looked easy on the maps and was going to take me to Kemble Airport in the Cotswolds and specifically the AV8 Café which was on the site. So off I set, the clutch and revs interface was a bit different to my usual beast which, you guessed it, resulted in a stall, bugger dam and blast, quickly prodding the start button fired the engine back up and I pulled away hoping no-one had noticed.
By the first set of traffic lights, at the end of western road, I had mastered the clutch / revs interaction and headed into Stratford-upon-Avon town centre to pick up the A422 out of town. It was quite handy having to run the bike in as it gave me chance to get used to it in a sedate manner, the 6k limit equated to 70 mph in top gear which was Ok for the most part, there were the usual “Niki Lauda” types but I kept out of their way.
At the crossroads, no not that crossroads Miss Diane, island I picked up the Fosse way heading down to the Cotswolds, the traffic around Moreton-in-Marsh was its usual Saturday self plus a bit more, the signs were saying there was the agricultural show on that day so I ended up doing more filtering than usual, a plus point for the bike, being nice and small this operation was a doddle and was to prove even more useful on the return trip. After Moreton it was onto Stow and Bourton and heading to Cirencester. A fuel stop was required, looks like the bike will pass most thing except a garage, I would guestimate the useful tank range of 120 miles so there will be plenty of rest stops on a long trip.
Cirencester proved a bit tricky without the trusty sat nav, road works didn’t help but I managed to circumnavigate the ring road system with not too many errors in lane selection.
Finding the airport at the end of the journey was the most tricky part of the day, I had missed my intended routing somewhere but somehow managed to end up at sign for the airport, I turned off the main (ish) road and down what gave the impression of a glorified farm drive but it turned out to be the way in. I stopped at the gate for a couple of photos before venturing onto the series of aprons and roads (couldn’t tell which) and followed the signs to the AV8 café. Once in the car park I pulled up alongside a couple of Ducati’s which looked the dogs in traditional Italian Red.
Venturing into the café it gave the impression of a restaurant which is probably right considering the overall name of the place. I ordered a sausage and bacon batch and a coffee and passed over my hard earned.
I took up a position on the outside balcony / viewing area which had a fine view over the site. This airfield is used as an aviation breakers yard so had a few large jets knocking about in various states of dismantleisation. After refreshments I wandered about and took some more photos to prove I had visited. Apparently the place is a meeting point for bikers but perhaps today was a bad example. I didn’t check out the menu or facilities (other than the obligatory trip to the loo, the ol’ bladder range aint what it was…) I will save that for another visit now I have familiarised myself with the venue.
So to the trip home, by now I had a good feel for the bike and tried to concentrate more on the journey home by going the reverse route, all was well until I came upon a diversion at Cirencester, like a good motorist I followed the cars and hoped they were going the same way until getting back onto the route. When I got close to Moreton-in-Marsh the tide of visitors to the show was at its height, the roads were in chaos, again I was glad of the small Triumph and managed to filter without too much of a problem eventually passing the cause of the hold-up and setting off for home as fast as the running in restrictions would let me.
The Café (Restaurant) certainly warrants a second visit, not too sure on the pricing / quantity equation but there is only one way to find out.
Another trip for Billy NM
Kemble Airport website – www.cotswoldairport.com
AV8 Cafe – www.av8-cotswoldairport.co.uk