5 days and 3200 miles later I'm here in Sunnvale, CA… way ahead of schedule. I mostly stuck to the plan, only deleting the hotter parts of UT. I also logged way more miles per day than I had originally budgeted, most days spending 12 hours in the saddle or more. I've got some decent pictures but they'll have to wait till I pick up a card reader so I can download them. I'll post a more detailed trip log over the next few days or so but here's the long enough summary:

The Triumph was amazing. I beat the hell out of it. High speeds, high heat, high elevation (over 12,000' multiple times), questionable gas and dirt roads… No complaints. It was very comfortable too. Only my ass really hurt and that was more due to the heat than the seat. I am now a liter-bike convert. For long trips the power is really nice.

Lowlights: With the high heat, and high speeds (close to 100mph for 4 hours) I burned up the last of my Dunlop in Nebraska. Luckily I found a dealer that was open, and got a new BT010… $276 installed (ouch.) By the time I got to CA, I burned off a significant amount of it too.

In Leadville, CO (elevation 11,000') I stepped in an unseen puddle of oil at a stoplight, and hit the ground before I knew what happened. Cracked right fairing, cracked belly pan, smashed turnsignal, and scuffed front fairing & mirror. A $1000 puddle of oil. I didn't realize I banged up my shin too until I made camp that evening in Nevada.

I-70 Utah: Hottest part of the trip… 103F. Over 100 miles between exits with any services. The scenery was equally hellish… it was like a slag heap in any direction you looked.

Highlights: CO twisties! The road up and over Independance pass (highest coninuously paved roadway in the US at over 12,000') was amazing. Riding through the Rockies at night to Leadville was incredible too… Seeing outlines of giant peaks on either side, and so many stars. Wow. Camping at Mt. Wheeler (higest peak in NV @ 13,000') was the best. The campgrounds were beautiful, complete with burbling stream, and the view was just hard to describe. The number of stars visible was just unbelievable. Yosemite was very cool, but I was so burned out by then it was hard to appreciate.

Speed: I ran through nearly two tanks of gas at over 115mph in NV. Even over a small range, I was slowing down only to 100 or so for the well constructed turns. Wild. My speed sensors were completely reprogramed. 100mph felt slow.

Close call: My radar detector detected nothing, and I saw only 3 cops (all involved with other duties) in the entire trip… except for Nevada. On US 6, there is a 25mi long straight-away. Near it's end, at an indicated 125mph, I crested a small hill to see a Nevada Highway Patrol car coming in the other direction. My radar detector spazzed as we passed each other. I didn't know what to do, so I just kept going waiting for him to chase me down. About 4 miles later I passed another NHP car which had pulled over 2 other sportbikes. I never saw the cop I passed again.

Summary: Fun but grueling. Adding up the costs of yet another new tire, gas, wear-n-tear, and untold damage to my ass, I've decided to ship the bike back. For about $420 I can fly it back, and for about $200 I can too. That's worth it for me.