Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Can't really comment on the experience thing having ridden a bike for the last 30 years on and off... but I have to say that the Tbird is easier to ride and handle than almost every other large metric cruiser I've ridden. For some reason it feels lighter and more nimble compared to the Kawi Nomad, Yamaha V-Star lineup or Suzuki M series (all of which I've ridden extensively) it is just an easier bike for me to manage.
I'm also a taller dude (6'2", 210) and the Tbird just fits me perfectly.
Look.... if you were on the Ninja 600 forum right now I would tell you to get a smaller bike. There are plenty of 600's with 125+hp that would be way too much for a beginner to handle, even though they are 'smaller'.
Cruisers are just different - the power band is much smoother and you work more in the low end torque range. They are simply easier to ride overall - hence all the middle aged dudes and dudettes on cruisers.
My prediction: If you buy a Tbird you will not regret it. If you buy an America (even though its a great bike in its own right) by the time you hit August you'll be longing for an upgrade and you'll lose $5000 on the trade.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?