Books require research. Some more, some less. But each one gets me out to new places, talking to new people, having new experiences (some good, some well…). Everything a writer experiences, or sees, or smells, or sometimes even just hears about second hand, can suddenly jump into a story and become a key component of a plot. So it was that I recently found myself at my local motorcycle shop.
The Triumph mark was popular in the 1960s for the light weight and power of their 650cc vertical twin. It was used in movies like the Great Escape with Steve McQueen and The Wild Ones with Marlon Brando, and ruled the café racer scene in London that emerged from the now famous Ace Café. The Triumph was far and away the most popular brand to be stripped and converted to cafe racer form by young English riders. So I went in search of Triumphs old and new because my next (fourth) book contains an element of motorcycle culture in addition to the vintage Moto Guzzi that Qigiq rode in Mash Up.
And look what I found.
In 2016 Triumph introduced an amazing new machine with classic looks. I only got to sit on it standing still in the parking lot, but it definitely has cafe racer good looks, from the dropped grips to the bar-end mirrors and seat cowling. At the same time it has modern components (love those gold Ohlins suspenders) and an all new 1200cc engine (way up from the 650cc of the 60s) that promises to be stellar. The bike suggested a number of ways it could appear in the book. But I’m thinking maybe I should get one and do a little riding before making a final decision.
You know, just for research.