Test, Triumph Adventurer 900
Triumph 900 Adventurer
Everything has been there before: The Ace Café has reopened, the Beatles are selling records again – and Triumph is again building a motorcycle with a deer antler handlebar.
In England it is a national holiday, like Christmas or Queen Elisabeth’s birthday: Labor Day.
At the beginning of the seventies, figures leaning back more and more casually mingled between the hunchbacks of the café racer drivers. At that time, Triumph offered the 750 twin-cylinder Bonneville for the first time in a special version in addition to the classic variant: with high handlebars and cream-colored two-tone paintwork. Nobody called this type of motorcycle »chopper«. “U.S.-Spec.”, The American specification of the Bonneville, was what the Triumph advertising department named their youngest child at the time.
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Triumph 900 Adventurer
A quarter of a century later the Queen is still Elizabeth, Labor Day still falls on May 1st, motorcyclists still flock to Brighton, and Triumph is still building a motorcycle with tall handlebars and a two-tone cream paint job. Sure, a few little things are different. The basic model from which the new “U.S. Spec.” Is derived is no longer called Bonneville, but Thunderbird, no longer has two, but three cylinders and a displacement of 900 instead of 750 cubic centimeters. It is no longer produced in Meriden, but in Hinkley. And it’s not called “U.S. Spec.” – it’s Adventurer.
The Adventurer differs from the Thunderbird (test in MOTORRAD, issue 5/1995) by only a few components. The Thunderbird’s long, screwed-on rear frame gave way to a significantly shorter version. The steel tail rump now takes on a supporting function. The Adventurer is equipped with a thickly padded single seat as standard. However, Triumph offers a whole range of other seat pads as options. For example, the small pillion bun that is screwed onto the fender for 244.55 marks. But two-person benches are also on offer. For 440.37 marks, a couple can sit on a thick or thinly padded bench with a smooth cover. And for 48.96 marks more, the cover is even plush buttoned. The passenger footrests are included in the price of the bench seats.
Whether it is actually worth buying a double bench is a question of the scales. Even if the load of the Adventurer easily allows operation with two people, the shock absorber imposes a strict diet on the crew – or taker qualities that are worthy of a fakir. The problem: the nib is far too soft. Even when the locknuts of the spring base adjustment are turned up to the last thread turn – goodbye, beloved hydraulic spring strut adjustment – the motorcycle sags a third of the spring travel without load. With the rider, there is just one centimeter of suspension travel left on the damper rod – corresponding to three centimeters of suspension travel. With a pillion passenger, there is nothing left of the rear wheel travel – the Adventurer becomes a rigid frame motorcycle.
If the asphalt on which the Triumph is on the move is not really flat, the shock absorber is right on the stop even on its own, and the rear wheel often jumps far out of track. It’s a good thing that the 900 is otherwise a pious motorcycle. This is also due to the appropriate ergonomics. The handlebar is a successful specialty. Buckhorn? Riser? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. “Deer antlers” was the name of such a handlebar in the seventies. But this deer here is easy to grab by the poles.
The handles are perfectly at hand. And together with the low seat cushion and the footrests – also adopted from the Thunderbird – the driver has the Adventurer under control. But if you really want to drive a lower handlebar – please: The friendly Triumph dealer has a flatter handlebar for the Adventurer as a mounting kit with steel braided lines, throttle cables and ABE for 158.91 marks in the range – and you hardly suspect the standard one Handlebar of the Thunderbird. The engine, chassis and attachments of the Adventurer are absolutely identical to those of the Thunderbird. The three-cylinder engine starts safely and runs smoothly, pulls through nicely and sounds fantastic. The Thunderbird can’t help that it always reacts to gas commands with a little delay and always runs like a rubber band.
In fact, the Adventurer has unregulated catalytic converters in the exhaust manifolds, which Triumph claims are the precursor to the regulated catalytic converter. An exhaust test bench must show how these catalysts work. Here it can be stated that the cats neither have a negative effect on the maximum output nor increase consumption. Five liters of super per 100 kilometers on the country road and eight liters at 140 km / h on the autobahn are on par with other “US Spec.” Machines without a cat. That the Thunderbird brakes on the cruiser leave a positive impression as sure as the fact that the Adventurer’s lights are as bad as the Thunderbird’s. But that the sales of the Adventurer will still be just as high as that of the Thunderbird worldwide since May of last year – that shouldn’t really surprise you anymore, considering the similarities between the two machines, right?
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