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Which bike should I keep?

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All-

Just looking for another data point in my dilemma, public opinion. I acquired a '96 T-Bird (not TBS) with 10k miles and a '12 Scrambler with 15k, both as projects, both at really good prices. The T-Bird needed some carburetor love to get roaring again and the Scrambler really didn't much besides a good, really good, cleaning. Wife says I need to narrow it down to one but they're both great bikes for me. Both are effectively stock, with TORs on the T-Bird.

I'm 53, and just got back into riding with the Thunderbird after a 30 year hiatus. I'm not a good rider, but I enjoy getting out. Don't need speed, reliability is pretty important but they both seem in good nick with low miles. I'm into the T-Bird maybe $1500 and the Scrambler the same, but I'd want to throw new rubber on it, so figure $1800-2k all in. Selling either will offset the entire price of the one I keep so I can't go wrong financially.

Yes, they ride totally differently but I don't put in 100 miles in a day so the scrambler is OK from that perspective. I also can't (tho I'd like to) go off-road where I live, so the T-Bird isn't eliminated there. They're both fun bikes to take the back roads on which is where I live, both physically and emotionally. The Scrambler isn't fun at freeway speeds for long periods but that's not my jam anyway and a less knobby tire will help.

Any input? Would walking away from either one of them be the biggest mistake of my life? I've done a lot of stupid stuff so the bar is high. I'm torn and not sure which way I want to go.

Posting here may be a small indicator of which way I'm leaning but it's really a 49/51 split right now.

750952
 

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Well I’m biased owning a 96 myself so would naturally say keep the Thunderbird however if you are not keen on doing your own work keeping the scrambler may make the most sense. Older machines no matter how well maintained can be a labor of love
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I’m biased owning a 96 myself so would naturally say keep the Thunderbird however if you are not keen on doing your own work keeping the scrambler may make the most sense. Older machines no matter how well maintained can be a labor of love
Hi Mark!

I will ALWAYS do my own work. I enjoy it and can generally make it through just about any issues with help from the forums and kind strangers like YOU!

Hope you and the fam are doing well.
 

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2017 Triumph T120
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I would keep the T-Bird. Triumph doesn’t make modern classic triples anymore.
 

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Really the decision is down to you, but take a look at the classifieds and see which is more common and therefore you are more able to buy again in the future if you change your mind.

My thinking is keep the T-Bird as you're unlikely to ever find another in that good condition again, and get yourself a Honda CRF250 or similar to enjoy a bit of off-roading. You can always buy another scrambler.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I picked up some barely used Tourance Next's for the Scrambler (with a wider 150 in the rear) and I'm learning how to roll my own. Once I get them on I'll take another ride or 2 and make the call. Thanks all for your input! They're both really fun and at least slightly unique bikes, so it's a tough call.
 

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I've had both. I had a blue and white 08 scrambler, still carbed. They have tons of character, look the part, and sound great (mine had the TOR pipes). It wore shinko 705s which for the price is hard to beat for what I'd call an 80/20 tire. Good for fire roads and spirited on road riding. The scrambler is a very easy bike to ride and work on too in my experience. Fairly comfortable riding position I really miss that bike in many ways. But it kind of lacked quality brakes and suspension (though fixable in the aftermarket).
I've had a couple other bikes, street triple included, and when I road my TBS I knew it was goldilocks. Good brakes, comfy seat, torqey motor. The things I disliked about the bonnie were addressed. That said it's a bit harder to work on and the aftermarket is not comparable. But to me the TBS is a great bike, and besides a few cosmetics, I'm not too concerned about upgrading performance. It scratches the itch without making me think I'm too old for a bike this fast and I'm going to do something stupid (street triple)
 
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