Cape Town Triumph

Its December and that usually means tinsel based misery mixed with beige food and forced fun events taking up your time.  Its normally cold and wet therefore very little fun to be had outside on four or two wheels.  All is not lost this year however as we are in the southern hemisphere, December is the heart of the summer holidays, temperatures are on the rise and we have discovered Wolf Moto, a modern motorcycle rental firm based in the heart of the Mother City.

Most tourist hot spots have the standard rent a Harley or tour yourself silly on a BMW GS and after several holidays in Cape Town Kyle at Wolf Moto spotted an opportunity, much like us it was noted that you cannot just hire and ride a stylish bike about for a day. As a result Kyle started Wolf Moto and has a selection of cool retro/custom/cafe/standout bikes available to you to rent for very agreeable prices.  Oh and don't worry about not having your gear with you either as you can rent that too. Cape Town has a healthy custom motorcycle scene and this is honed through cafe come bar come venue The House of Machines. This makes an ideal location for Wolf Moto and its clients, a perfect base your motorcycle hire firm. Upon arrival at "THoM" you are treated with a delicious coffee as Kyle runs you through your bike.  Admin all squared away and its time to leave.

We are on board a 2015 Triumph Scrambler, this was all that was available for the time we had given it is high season. However it works in our favour as it follows neatly on from the Ducati Scrambler that we rode in Tuscany back in the European summer, useful to see how they stack up against each other.  Immediately it's clear that the Trumpet is heavier, a lot heavier but to help with that it has more punch on the first stage of throttle.  The Ducati was light, nippy and turned really well. The Triumph does steer well although it does take more of a shove than the lighter Italian number. The bigger tank on the Triumph meant more miles than the Ducati and also the ground clearance on the British built bike is lower than so leave your Guccis at home, no one likes a scuffed loafer.

On with the riding.  Cape Town and the Western Cape has a lot of great roads to explore, we were never going to scratch the surface (definitely not with this ground clearance) so we focused on the scenic southern peninsula and the infamous Chapmans Peak Drive.  Chapmans Peak is up there with the most iconic of scenic drives, the Pacific Coast Road in the US, Stelvio Pass in Italy, Route Napoleon in France and the winner of DHL's recent Worlds Best Road competition the Great Ocean Road in Australia. The Triumph dealt with all the roads adequately, it had enough gas to drive itself around and given the speeds were not crazy, the bends were managed with a distinct shove of the bars.  Again on these Scrambler bikes the Trumpet was fitted with knobbly tyres which not only gave your tie-fighter style drone sound but didn't give you the best feedback when braking into an off camber down hill hairpin. This would be one thing I would change, and the exhaust. The pipes are the elephant in the room for this bike as they are far from subtle and look ridiculous however they do grow on you and the heat shielding is remarkably good. The exhaust note on this air cooled version was a little timid at tick over but when on song you could just about hear some pops and grunts so no doubt when a slip on is fitted it will release a throatier note.  Back to that down hill off camber hairpin as this is where I should point out another handy feature which can be found on most bikes and its called the back brake.  The front brake on the Triumph does work yet to give you that necessary confidence, a decent jab of the back brake is required to sort matters out and took off that extra bit of speed. I didn't find this necessary on the Ducati so its no doubt due to the weight difference.  The Triumph weighs 227 kg against the 186 kg of the Ducati.  This is noticeable, a fact not even the beautiful denim blue paint could hide. Its big.

Out on the roads these factors added to the experience and the bike coped well with the heat and endless runs over Chapmans Peak, through the Constantia Wine Route and over another pass, Ou Kaapse Weg.  The western coast the road runs along, the icy blue sea and its crashing waves. Its a hot spot for surfers, wind and kite varieties too so the sights are amazing.  You can take this road all the way to the tip of the cape although the actual tip is in a national park that you have to pay to enter. You need not go in as the road continues on and it goes round into Simons Town which is at the southerly tip of the False Bay side of the cape.  This road takes you along the Bay until you opt to take another one of the mountain passes back over towards the city.  Or you stay on and follow the main road, the R310, and then head out to Stellenbosh and visit the many wineries available.  From there you can go to Franschhoek or join the infamous Garden Route and go to places like Knysna (make sure you stop off at the Motorcycle room if you do).  This part of South Africa offers many smiles even when you are not out riding and it was only when the time came to take the bike back to Wolf that our smile faded, but just for a short while.  Back at The House Of Machines, in the 30 degree heat,  it was time for a good chat and cold beer with owner Kyle.  We were told us to keep an eye on the website and we can see that Wolf have just added a Ducati Supersport to the lip smacking line up....Looks like we're going back !

Thanks to :

Wolf Moto