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I saw a blue and white striped T-bird parked outside a coffee shop today, and just stood there admiring it! It just looked HUGE. Had a regular windshield, big crash bars and side bags, but it just looked massive. My first immediate thought was that I don't think I can handle this bike....and I'm a 6"1', 215 lb athletic guy.

The guy who owned it was right behind me and was kind enough to chat for 15-20 mins. Told me if I'm not used to cruisers, I shouldn't buy a T-bird (Storm) as my first bike.

Any suggestion from the experienced riders here?
 

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Ok all of you muscle men. Full Disclosure: I'm overweight, 5'10.5, 32 inseam, and getting weaker the older I get. I've been riding a short time, not quite two years. The Storm is easy for me to handle. IMO, handles much better than my America did.

Time to eat! :)


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I've owned ten motorcycles in the last three years. The Thunderbird handles better and easier than any of them. The only one that came close was a Yamaha 1900 Roadliner. with a similar low center of gravity, but it wasn't very close.
 

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I am 5'3" 29 " inseam a 150 lbs and I have absolutely no problem handling my Tbird. I say if you want a Tbird buy it, you will not have any trouble handling the size of the bike. If you want the 1700 go for it, I have the SE with the 1600 and honestly I just don't have the need for the 1700 upgrade. I get great fuel mileage and I have plenty of power. I purchased my bike March 2011 and it now has 21, 000 on the clock. So I do put in some seat time on the bike.

Monte
 

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The size and weight of the Thunderbird is deceptive, as it is easier to ride than it appears. My last bike weighed about 150 lbs. less, and was 500 cc's less, and it was harder to handle than the Thunderbird.
 

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Everyones experiance is different. Sometimes inproper rideing technique will lead soemone to feel a bike is heavy when if they would take the time to learn good low speed rideing the same bike wont.
My guess is the person you were talking to isnt as good of a rider as they think or is trying to guestamete your ability based on (first BIke questions) many people belive the first bike should be real small no matter what.

So with that being said, I dont see why your size would prohibit you from the thunderbird. I am 6'2" and about 212lbs and find the thunderbird just about perfect for me. However your skill level will have to be coinsidered and this is something I cant do on a computer. Its also something i wouldnt base on the time you have been rideing but rather how well you can ride/handle a bike that I personally see you ride! Then and only then could I make a comparrison based on your size-vs-bike-vs-experiance and state weather or not its a good fit for you.

based on past experiance helping new riders My first instinct would be to say no its not a good first bike but as in the past there is always the exception!

So let us have the info needed to help you better. How long have you been rideing? what have you ridden? have you had any professional training? Do you have good long term riders to help you along the way? If so what bikes have they recomended as your first bike?
 

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paulfun has it nailed...it's not your size that should prohibit you from owning a TBird (especially since, as far as that goes, I would think just about any adult can reasonably hand this low-lying albeit heavy cycle) but rather your skill level. For someone who has never ridden before, it is a good first bike? Perhaps. With proper training it can be...if you're willing to make the investment in your skill set.
 

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You should take a test drive, try something smaller like an america too. See what you feel most comfortable with.

If your after a big cruiser you'll not find a better handling bike than the Thunderbird, storm or otherwise.

It's about what you feel you can safely handle, training will help your confidence and ability to handle the bike when things go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So let us have the info needed to help you better. How long have you been rideing? what have you ridden? have you had any professional training? Do you have good long term riders to help you along the way? If so what bikes have they recomended as your first bike?
Thanks for the great insight paulfun!

I used to ride all the time when I was back home in India; started in 1997 and ended in 2006 when I came here. I had a vespa there as well as a 125cc bike (which is pretty standard for the subcontinent). Been in the US since 2006 and have not driven a 2 wheeler here but every time I go back, I do.

Driving a bike in India is a tough deal. Throw in over crowded streets, no-lane rule, rash drivers, and it is nothing less than an ordeal in the hot weather. I've never met with any accident or even come close. Knock on wood.

I am starting the Motorcycle Safety Program next Monday, May 14th that ends on May 20th. It will be on a Suzuki GZ250. I don't have any intention of going on a test ride before I complete this course and learn defensive driving.

I guess the size of the T-Bird is overwhelming at first; especially for someone who has never seen a cruiser up close. But my first bike here is going to be either a T-Bird or a Storm. Period. :)
 

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For what it is worth. If you have rode for years then I am sure you will be fine. Anyone that survives the roads in India must be pretty sharp as you need to be alert.

Once you take that rider course you should test ride the Tbird.

It all comes down then to how you feel. You will know. Good luck.


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Based on that info I would also say go for it.

Take your time getting used to it just like anyother motorcyclist here would do and you will be fine!
 

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Told me if I'm not used to cruisers, I shouldn't buy a T-bird (Storm) as my first bike.
With a bit of experience it should be quite manageable.
I test drove a Storm before I bought my SE. Once you get used to it, it's really not that intimidating. Gobs of torque, but if you use the throttle judiciously, your going to be fine. There is a fair bit of power, but it's predictable. I'd be more worried if you wanted a GSXR 1000.
 

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Go For It!

I just got my Thunderbird and like you, I was a little intimidated by the sheer size, weight, and horsepower (I got the 1700). Although I have been riding for a while, the largest bike I ever rode was a Suzuki M50 (800 cc's and about 550 pounds). All my fears were put to rest the first time I rode the Thunderbird though. It is truly a very manageable bike and really does ride a lot smaller than it is. I honestly find the handling to be as nimble as my M50 was, if not better. The extra power is nothing to be afraid of either as it is also very manageable. It's there when you want or need it, but never uncontrollable. I rode a 2012 HD Fatboy Lo 2 days before I rode the Triumph and I was amazed at how much easier the Triumph was to ride. The best advice I can give is to set your intimidation aside and take one for a test ride. You won't regret it!
 
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