I'm a little crazy for this little guy.
But if I was going to get a 160HP bike, it'd have full fairings.
Yeah, personally I'm not all that tempted by all the gadgets and fancy electronics. ABS is non negotiable (It's saved my bacon in a few critical spots), but beyond that you're just making a bike that rides itself. I could see maybe if I was a track demon and was always like, number two or three in the pack and just couldn't gain that extra few feet - then maybe I'd lust after some teched-out Panigale so I could go full throttle out of an apex and not worry about sliding the rear tire. But for being just a hair above average in ability with most of my riding being commuting and (mostly made up) errands - with the occasional weekend canyon trip - Triumph does it for me quite nicely and with just the right level of panache.
"Issue" to some, "desired charm" to others. A British guy once broke it down to me something like this:
If you ride the best-speced bike and are not always at the front of the pack, people will label you a wanker. You do not want to be a wanker. However if you ride a Triumph, a bike from a company that is not interested in spec sheets, you don't have the kind of pressure that comes with having the latest, best-speced bike. But if you overtake that guy with his new best-speced bike on your Triumph, "you'll be a hero to your mates when you stop back at the pub for lunch. You see, Triumph do not want wankers riding their bikes. Triumph riders have heart.." etc..etc..
As for my opinion, I like Triumph for two simple reasons: 1) Nothing I've ridden has felt as good/easy/exciting/attractive/versatile/comfortable/refined to ride. 2) I tend to like anyone I meet who also rides a Triumph.
You know? Take the FZ-09. It's a triple with a bigger engine and more power than my STR, it's $2k cheaper, similar enough in form and function. So that's the better buy right? If you're into spec sheets, totally. But I'm into nuance in look and feel. I think the FZ-09 looks like Yamaha tried to build their own Street Triple. I think the suspension would need an upgrade to be smooth enough and the choppier throttle response/fuel map would infuriate me simply because I have known better. That nuanced feel of riding something that just works perfectly... you don't get that from spec sheets and you rarely get it from motorcycle reviewers, who are always just looking for granular points that they can use to determine the "best right now."
So yeah, bring on every bell and whistle you can think of. I'll probably still keep my Street Triple until the frame is rusty and everyone's talking about "magnetic hover" features.
But if I were to get a SECOND bike. Which I'm sure I will. I will probably be looking for heated grips. =)
To be honest if you mostly commute with your bike in various types of weather, traction control just might come in handy. I have a car so I'm good. I want a Streetfighter S, not beccause of teh traction control but because of the lighter wheels and the ohlins. When and if I decide to bite the bullet, I'll probably dial the t/c waaaaay down and ride it like a "regular" bike
Road trips? Can't always predict the weather. Good to be prepared.
I think the main thing traction control is great for is the track though. If you have stupid-high HP, you need something to keep yourself from getting killed with it! At least I would.
Road trip in a car? I did that when I was a kid. And I learned a lot about America too. Mostly that it's nothing but corn and soy fields between Pennsylvania and Colorado. Boriiiing. If I'm going a distance I'm either flying through the night, drunk and knocked out on pills, or I'm getting some excitement out of it.
Hell, tomorrow I'm going to ride up to Lake Winnipesaukee for the night. It's an exercise in minimalism for sure. One pair of pants. Two sets of underwear. One off bike tee. One riding tee. DR Bronners tube for combination tooth paste and all applicable soaps. I think this time I'll bring my extra kriega bag and pack a hammock. I love hammocks.