Cafe'ed Triumph Triples Owners Reviews - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Club Cafe' Cafe Racers; the Thruxton, Bobber and other custom cafe styled bikes.

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Main Motorcycle: 1996 Thunderbird "Nessie"
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Other Motorcycle: 1973 Trump TR7RV "Loosie"
Extra Motorcycle: 1996 Triumph Super III
Cafe'ed Triumph Triples Owners Reviews

O.K... so fair is fair.... since we created a special Thruxton owners review discussion and stickied it, here is one for the TBS riders too. Since potential buyers have found the site and have questions and concerns, owner reviews might help folks select the right bike for them.

Proposed format:
Overall Rating:


(optional): Owner Height/Weight (may be usefull when describing ergonomic issues

Problems / Resolutions

Owner Review:

Scot Dail, IBA #31553; 59 Club #29906
Old Photo Album : New Photo Album
"Thunderbirds are GOOOOOOOO!"
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 02:16 AM
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Main Motorcycle: '04 Thunderbird Sport
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Location: Ex-pat Aussie in Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 9,798
Other Motorcycle: I wish!
Ok, I will jump in first,

'04 TBS
10,000 miles

Mods: Ventura SportsRack, Lockhart Phillips Cafe Screen, drilled mufflers, tweaked carbs.

Owner: 5'10/230 lbs

No problems so far.

I commute every day to work (16miles each way), mainly freeway riding, with the occasional weekend ride around the island (100+ miles). The only thing that I can say is that for shorter rides the seat is fine, but is too hard for my butt on longer rides (50+miles at a stretch.
The fit and finish on my bike is great except that I have had to replace (under warranty) the rear fender brackets that had started to corrode as now are the head light brackets.
All things considered, for me, this bike is going to be with me for along time.

Click to see My Photo Album

Age is of no importance, unless you are a cheese.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Main Motorcycle: 1996 Thunderbird "Nessie"
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC , USA
Posts: 3,435
Other Motorcycle: 1973 Trump TR7RV "Loosie"
Extra Motorcycle: 1996 Triumph Super III
O.K... my bike did not start OUT life as a TBS - it was a T-Bird. They did not make the TBS in 1997 when I purchased it, so it has slowly gone through a transformation to a TBS/S3/Daytona hybrid:

Year: 1996 T-Bird w/ Cafe Mods
Color: Cassis Red and Cream
Mileage: approx 39,000 miles
Overall Rating:
8/10 - Highly reliable, flexible and versitile bike - great for touring, twisties and cruising through town. It is very good for all things, but not the perfect solution of any ONE (a very good compromise, though!)

Speed Triple handlebars w/ Halcyon Bar End Mirrors and TBS Risers
BMW Fork Gaitors
TBS Turn signals (w/ shortened stems on front)
National Cycle Fly Screen
Sky King frame sliders
Corbin Gunfighter Seat, alternate with a custom painted cowl seat from TBS
Custom painted front fender - to match Triumph two tone accesory fender
Bobbed rear fender w/ custom paint
Lucas tail light
Staintune peashooter silencers
TBS Air Box Covers
Mods in progress: TBS Rear Sets and considering rear fender delete

Sprint/S3 Cams
6 speed transmission
Unrestricted Carb Rubbers and Air screws out 3 turns
120 main jets, 42.5 pilots
K&N Filter
Modified airbox - Extra holes
Daytona Super III ignitor box/CDI
Mod in progress: '96 Daytona Exhaust, Dynajet needles and springs in carbs

Wheels/Brakes and Suspension:
TBS front suspension, dual discs and 17" front wheel
Race Tech front springs and gold valve emulators
5/8" front master cylinder from '96 S3
Mod in progress: Modified '02 Daytona rear shock, and
17" x 4.5" rear wheel from '00 Tiger

Owner Height/Weight
5'7", 170 lbs

Problems / Resolutions
- Sprag clutch repair (watch for in '95 & '96 T3 bikes - $1k to repair - so factor this into your purchase price)
- 2 failed coils

Owner Review:
It has been a long strange trip, but a fun one! This is a great bike for touring and sport riding, with a classic look. It has grown with my riding tastes, since mods are easy for more performance with "accessories" from the other T3 powered bikes. This makes it a great project bike. Since the T3 engine is basically "bulletproof" (some have registered over 250k miles), you will get a long life out of this bike. Also, you can get a great deal on a used one!

[ This message was edited by: cafetbird on 2005-02-06 09:32 ]

Scot Dail, IBA #31553; 59 Club #29906
Old Photo Album : New Photo Album
"Thunderbirds are GOOOOOOOO!"
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,258
Proposed format:
Year: 2000
Color: White/Orange
Mileage: 59k
Overall Rating: 9/10

Offroad Pipes
Speed Triple Wheels, Forks, Gauges, ECU and Front Fender
Solo Seat
Bar-end Mirrors
Mecatwin undertail with LED brake light insert
Aprillia Mille-R Brembos
LSL Clipons
Sprint Steering Dampener

Owner: 5'8", 135#s

Problems / Resolutions: None/None

Owner Review:
I really do love this bike. This is my 2nd Thunderbird and it provides everything that I felt was lacking in the Legend. Better brakes, suspension, and some needed attitude. In 2000 they changed the TBS for the better in my eyes. I carry passengers and until then the TBS' passenger accomodations were laughable at best. If I weren't concerned with that I'd buy a 99 as the dual pipes are very cool.

The TBS was, in my mind, the best bike in the Triumph line-up. It cruises, tours and handles all with great ease. After 1999 its very comfortable for a passenger, and I easily get 160miles till reserve on the highway. Its classy and retro with nice touches like the cylindrical reservoirs and bobbed fenders with that raised line down the centers; not to mention triple discs and adjustable suspension. It also provides a perfect upgrade path, because for not a lot of money you can add a handy 15hp with the S3 cams.

The TBS looks very cool in full cafe racer form (It carries itself in an aggressive manner that the Thruxton can't touch), but even things as small as bar end mirrors and a solo seat do wonders for it. And with a set of loud pipes the sounds are fantastic.

2000 TBS Cafe Racer :: 2000 Frankenmille
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 09:01 AM
Main Motorcycle: Ducati Multistrada 1100S
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Winchester TN
Posts: 232
Year: 1998
Color: Yellow/Black
Mileage: 5400
Overall Rating: 8/10

Modifications: Triumph Flyscreen, custom paint on fenders, chrome chainguard. Just trying out the solo seat which may or may not remain.

Owner Height/Weight: 6', 270 lbs, 31 inseam.

Problems / Resolutions: Alternator cush drive bolt sheared, repaired by drilling and tapping for larger bolt (fix is described in a thread on the classics forum).

Owner Review: I'm a pretty new guy to the bike scene with about 2 years experience. The TBS is my third bike, arriving only a month after my 00 Sprint ST. I had an Adventurer first (sold), so you might say that I like the Triples :-D . Of all of the bikes, I like the TBS best for general riding. The position is the most comfortable of the three, the looks garner a lot of compliments, power is sufficient, and it's very flickable and controllable in the twisties.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-19-2005, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 361
Year: 2000
Color: Custom Yellow w/Ghost Flames
Mileage: 18,000
Overall Rating: 10/10

Modifications: Corbin Seat, Lockhart Phillips Fairing, Sprint Cams, Rejet, open airbox, Ma's engine guards, Std TB handlebars (had to get longer brake line)

Owner Height/Weight 5"10" 170#

Problems / Resolutions The only problems I have had are adapting mods. I have never had any trouble from the bike.

The Corbin seat is made for the 97-98 TBird and the locking pin had to be removed, reversed and repositioned to fit the TBS.

Once the Corbin was on I found that it sits you back about 3 inches and lower about 1-2 inches. Reaching the bars put me too far forward so I got TB bars which are higher with more pullback than the TBS bars. They also come in more and are almost Buckhorn style.

Owner Review:

I love my bike. I bought it in November in Nashville and rode it back to Houston with no problems. Since November, counting the ride home (900 miles), I have put about 4k miles on the TBS and about the same on the Tiger.

It runs great. It starts everytime with a minimum of choke input.

It is comfortable enough to take short trips. I have it set up to scoot around town and I am sure if I wanted to set it up for distance riding it would be up to the task but I currently limit it to 100-200 mile rides. Anything longer and I generally take the Tiger.

It gets comments and compliments from all classes of riders from 1%'ers to Sports Bike Riders and everything in between.

It is just a great around town bike and does everything I ask of it.

When you look like a rude, crude, scum sucking cretin people tend not to ask you stupid questions!
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-21-2005, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cleveland Ohio USA
Posts: 15
04 TBS
Black & Yellow
3500 Miles

Modifications : Butt Buffer otherwise stock.

Me : 6'1" 225 #'s

Overall the bike is great, however there have been a couple of issues. Maybe I'm just hard to please.

1) During the break-in period I felt the throttle response was sloppy. I then noticed that the cable was VERY loosely attached at the carbs. This was most likely a dealer issue, but was scary to think about what if it came entirely off and jammed the spring return open.

2) I was missing the water drain line from the air box. Not a show stopper, but still makes me question the QA at the dealer / factory.

3) Current issue : I have a power surge when moving the throttle from full to 7/8 ths open. Frustrating because the jetting / intake and exhaust are stock. I think this has always been an issue, but most of the time I don't ride hard enough to notice.

4) The bike is very difficult to start when cold. It has always been this way. Hopefully I can resolve this when I upgrade the air filter, exhaust and jetting.

5) It will not accept a center stand. This make chain maintenance a production.

Overall I love the bike, but it does have a couple of issues that can test my patience at times.

Regardless of any problems I have with the bike; it is without a doubt the best looking motorcycle made ( subjective yes, but you've got to be honest with yourself). :wink:

One Day That Will Be Me ...
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Montreal
Posts: 494
1998 TBS
Red & Black
20,000 km plus 7000 miles. Bought in US living in Canada had to change the speedo.


Front springs and fork revalved
Technoflex rear shock
Sprint manufacturing seat and summer windshield for 2 up
Solo seat and fly screen for solo riding.
S3 cams, trophy air box, rejetted with 138-134-138 main jet, 1/2 shim under the needles.
Trophy rear wheel with 45 tooth sprocket.
(looking for Trophy front wheel)
Fender eleminator kit in the making (custom)
Lowered handle bars ( flipped around)
Tomaselli adjustable bars on order.

5 foot 10, 150 pounds.

Great overall bike, fun to ride, surprising for many. For some reason, I can't think of selling it.

In doubt, crank the throttle.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hazlet NJ
Posts: 56
Year: 2003
Color: Flat tracker Orange
Mileage: 8000+
Overall Rating: *****

Modifications: Cowled single seat, Triumph off-roads, Ventura Rack, Chromed side covers, C&H 650 tank bag, Formation Clock and Temp Gauges, F-15 sport shield, Bar end mirrors, clipit bracket to hold cellphone with GPS, Vista-cruise thottle lock.

Owner Height/Weight 6 ft, 155lbs
Problems / Resolutions
Throttle cable went at 2800 miles, replaced under warranty (Warranty is 3000 miles for cables)

Owner Review: Best ***** bike I've owned.
Stone reliable, HD crowd digs it, Squids are shocked by its capabilities (not mine for sure). :???: Wish it had a bigger tank though.

[ This message was edited by: tntremainiac on 2006-10-17 10:29 ]

Frankly... I'm dumbfounded!!
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-04-2005, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Norfolk, England
Posts: 276
Year: 1997

Colour: Yellow/Black

Mileage: 25,000

Overall rating: Excellent

Modifications: Shortened rear subframe, custom single seat unit, clip-ons, T3 cams, rear airbox removed, TOR pipes, re-jetted, bar end mirror.

Problems: Moisture in clutch lever switch caused starting difficulty. Cured with squirt of WD40.

I bought this bike from a Triumph design engineer with most of the mods done. It was one of a small number of development models and had 9,000 miles when it became mine. The seat has no padding, but is the right shape and in the right place for me (6' 140lbs) and is comfortable. The clip-ons are comfortable (for me) so long as I don't have to follow someone at 45mph for 35 miles (you know who you are!).

To compare with the Thruxton, Of course the 'bird has more power, straight line performance and conering ability. However, the Thruxton inspires more confidence and can be thrown about with gay abandon.
The Thruxton wins on style, the 'bird on outright performance.



Do as you will, but harm none.
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