I'm not sure how the Thunderbird looks anymore "Japanese" than the America, but one's interpretation of styling is of course subjective. One of the reasons I bought a Thunderbird was because I liked the styling. I don't think it looks like a Japanese cruiser, and I don't think it looks like a Harley. I find it has its own look, which is what I wanted. Beyond that I like the fact that it is water cooled. I live in climate that regularly reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit and beyond in the summer. I like the fact that it is a big bike with plenty of torque and horsepower, yet is so well balanced that it handles better than my last bike, which had 500cc less displacement. I think the America is a great bike, but honestly I can't see any advantage it offers over the Thunderbird other than the fact that it costs less money, and perhaps is a better fit for a person of smaller stature than myself with less physical strength.
The Thunderbird was styled by American Tim Prentice who before coming to Triumph worked for Honda on the VTX and Yamaha on their Road Star.
This is a 2005 Honda VTX
vs the T-bird
At this power level and in the extreme heat you ride I agree liquid cooling is the way to go...but I wish Triumph would have tucked the radiator between the front frame rails like Honda does for a cleaner appearance.
I am 6'1" 240lbs so handling the Thunderbird was hardly a challenge.
Last edited by outerbanks; 11-24-2011 at 11:15 PM.