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Discussion Starter #1
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:
Year:
Color:
Mileage:
Overall Rating:

Modifications:

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

Problems / Resolutions

Owner Review:
 

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Ok, I will jump in first,

'04 TBS
Black/Yellow
10,000 miles
9/10

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.
 

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3,438 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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!)

Modifications:
Chassis:
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

Drivetrain:
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 ]
 

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Proposed format:
Year: 2000
Color: White/Orange
Mileage: 59k
Overall Rating: 9/10

Modifications:
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.
 

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232 Posts
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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361 Posts
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.
 

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04 TBS
Black & Yellow
3500 Miles
7/10

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:
 

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1998 TBS
Red & Black
20,000 km plus 7000 miles. Bought in US living in Canada had to change the speedo.

Modifications:

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.
 

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56 Posts
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 ]
 

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276 Posts
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.

Pete.
 

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Happy owner of an 03 Orange Crush. Came with ~8500 miles, D&D 3 into 3 pipes, superbike bend handle bars, bar end mirror, rubber grips.

Raised the risers ~1 1/2" with new bolts and washers. Waiting for winter downtime to add modified HD DUece risers and drag or broomstick bars (I'm 5' 10" with moderately short arms and inseam -- need either more rearset pegs or bars that reach further back and slightly up).

Some have complained of the bike having a high center of gravity. I don't believe that is the case. I think it is that this bike has a lousy turning radius due to the fork/radiator interference and bars that are relatively far forward, giving it more weight over the front (because the rider is canted forward) and the need to lean it a lot more at low speeds to make a turn sharper comapred to a bike with more swing in the front wheel. This makes you feel like it will fall over easier (and might, regardless of the technical reasons for it).

Had several warranty issues: pass to flash switch, speedo (starting to stick), tach (wavered at higher steady state speeds), instrument panel ground too small.

Has the typical peeling filler mouth on the tank. Will require draining the tank and cleaning it and the petcock this winter (I hit reserve early now).

Replaced the rear turnsignals with some neat chrome LEDs. Gave me the 2" I needed over the stock units to run some Tourmaster Cortech bags and carry my wife.

Added the Triumph stone guards for the forks (will probably put the gaiters on that I have put on most of my bikes over the last 20 years -- after having a stone pit wear out one seal after the other).

I weigh 205#, my wife is probably a bit over 140#. We can get 50 mpg even in the mountains, driving at car beating (but not overly aggresive acceleration) speeds. I get 42-46 if it's only me (due to aggresive acceleration).

The only suspension negative is the rear shock preload is a royal PITA!

Don't think the headlight and instrument cluster lamps should have died already (just over two years). I have noticed the battery was dry soon after I bought the bike. Could be overcharging -- will have to monitor to see.

Found that the seat is good for exactly 120.0 miles. Anything longer and the ass pirates have you walking the plank! Way, way too soft. Looking for a seat now.

In the silly features dept we have the side stand switch. Will probably go the way of the one that was on my old Virago: snip and jumper it when the seal goes and it gunks up. To make up for it it has adjustable reach levers (yeah!).

One detail that works great for me is that the riders pegs fold the correct way when you put your feet down (most bikes pegs only fold if the are pushed straight up). Speaking of which, my feet are flat on the ground.

Most fun bike I have owned! Wished it had at least a 1/2 gallon more fuel, but you need something to complain about.
 

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Triumph Thunderbird Sport

Year: 2000
Color: White/Orange
Mileage: 6500
Overall Rating: Excellent

Modifications: Predator Stainless Steel Cans, Flyscreen,
chrome back rack, front fork guards.

Problems / Resolutions : No real problems encountered as yet.

Owner Review:

I bought this bike last summer. I saw her in a dealer. Low mileage, mint condition, with all the above extras except the exhaust cans. I fell in love with her. Growing up in Glasgow in the sixties and seventies, I always dreamed of having a Triumph Bonneville. I ended up on a succession of rice burners, and by the time I could have afforded a Bonny, the British Bike industry had self destructed.

I had heard and read good things about the new Triumphs, and this bike clinched it for me. Since then I have used it for weekend rides and fair weather commuting. (I am actually proud to be a fairweather biker now, having endured years and many thousands of miles commuting in every kind of pain the Scottish weather could throw at me).

This bike is equally at home pottering along or making good progress through the twisties. Although relatively heavy the wide bars, responsive but not harsh brakes, nicely balanced chassis and relatively narrow profile (when compared with some cruisers that is) mean that when filtering through traffic she is remarkably nimble.

On motorways the curse of the naked bike kicks in, as wind blast would make riding above 80mph for any length of time a painful experience. The seller assured me the flyscreen deflected a lot of turbulence. It certainly did not work for me, and I am not tall coming in at 5ft8in. I rarely use the bike on these roads however, and am content to stick to more sedate speeds.

Bendy A roads and twist B roads are where the fun really starts with this bike however. The engine is a peach. It has torque enough to allow a lazy 'stick er in top gear and forget it' riding style. If up for it however, the handling and available power range through the gears is so good, that rapid and grin inducing progress can be made. These factors and a comfortable upright riding position with good vision make safe positive overtaking an easy prospect.

The sound the engine makes when being worked a little is fantastic. I can only describe it as a howl / growl, and it makes the hairs stand up on your neck. She doesn't burn oil, and is so far, extremely reliable. Starting in damp, cool conditions is an art. You have to experiment with the optimum choke position, but once you have it its a dawdle.

She needs a lot of cleaning to keep the trim looking good, especially in the winter, but when buying this type of bike that is a given. The chain needs regular attention too.

I reckon with panniers, a decent screen and a scottoiler fitted she will make a spanking good long distance tool, a theory which I will test this coming summer. I will post the results of said experiment on this site. As you may have guessed I love this bike and would recommend it to those wanting a change from sports bikes/sports tourers, but still looking for a bit of grunt when required.

Recent Pictures

[ This message was edited by: Levenvale on 2006-02-27 02:38 ]
 

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49 Posts
Year: 2004
Color: Black/Yellow
Mileage: 3k
Overall Rating: Excellent

Modifications: D&Ds, K&N, rejetted, otherwise none

Owner Height/Weight: 6' 0" 220#

Problems / Resolutions: I ride my Bonneville less

Owner Review: Fantastic bike, good power, great handling. I have a modded Bonneville 904 with better than Thruxton performance and near Thruxton ergos...but there is no comparision...my TBS is a better bike...

But the Bonne wins on fun factor and uniqueness
 

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Year: 1999
Color: Tornado red and black
Mileage: 18K
Overall Rating: 9/10 I love riding this baby through the twisties. Also, you can't beat the attention is gets everywhere you ride. The seat could be more comfortable, but after a few long rides your butt gets used to it. I love this bike and plan on keeping it forever.

Modifications: Off road pipes, summer screen, bar end mirrors, and grab rail.

6' tall 185 lbs

All I do is change the oil and lube the chain. I've replaced the tires and chain and sprockets. One of the fork seals is starting to leak, so I guess that's next. It sounds like a good winter job. So far this is the most reliable bike I've ever owned.

Kem
 

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209 Posts
Year: 2003
Color: Orange / Black
Mileage: 2000
Overall Rating: 9/10

Modifications: bar ends, triumph off road pipes, ventura grab rail / sport rack combo, fork gaiters

Owner Height/Weight: 175, 6'2"

Problems / Resolutions: seems to be a bit tough to start when it's sat for more than a week, or is cold. I got a freshly charged/watered battery now, but maybe a new one is in order. That said, it always starts, so its a minor complaint.

Owner Review: I love this bike. Had a 98 TBS, and as cool as the double pipes looked, I like the 1:1 better now- certainly makes putting panniers on it more of an option.
All the same opinions basically- the seat is a little rough for long rides, but not too bad. I wouldn't mind a touch larger fuel tank. Also, minor in a well planned ride.
The look is great, lots of charachter. Being 6'2" this bike fits me well. A lot of bikes feel too small with long legs, I feel like I've got plenty of room to be comfy on my TBS. Only other downside, is with any out of production bikes you need to keep up on parts availability. I plan to keep this one forever. :)
 

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1998 TBS
Red / Black
25,000
Excellent

I am 5'7", 140 Lbs.
I have owned this bike since new. Mods as follows;
Solo seat/cowl- red
Fly screen- red
Rear fender elimination ( my own) w/ new turn signals front and rear, LED tailight, and newly fabricated rear assembly using stock license plate light.
New horn w/ cow bell elimination!
Triumph fork protectors
Motrax bar-end mirrors
Woodcraft clip-on handlebars
Oberon UK billet black anodized foot pegs
(looking for steering damper)

I'm not planning any engine mods as I can already scare myself very easily with the stock performance. I have no trouble staying with any rider I encounter, although I only weigh 140.

This bike is incredible. It does everything I want, although the range is a bit short ( small tank capacity), and the solo seat gets uncomfortable quickly. The only problem I have ever had with this bike has been that It takes me a long time to get anywhere. Any time I stop people want to look at the bike and talk about it or the Bonneville they once had!

I have had all major services done by the dealer and have done my own mods and oil changes, always using the Mobil 1 synthetic racing oil and oem filter purchased from the dealer.

I've replaced the chain once and I am on my third set of tires.

The relatively low mileage is due to a combo of short season in Vermont, other bike, and car which is almost as much fun to drive as this bike. The WRX is way more fun in the rain or snow, and we get a lot of both here!

I will own this bike until I die. :(

Cheers

[ This message was edited by: TBS-cafe on 2007-05-14 13:36 ]
 
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1998 Thunderbird Sport
Red/Black

Rider "6""4" and 280lbs

I bought it used a year ago with 3k miles and have done the following modifications.

I used Speed Tripple bar risers with a Renthal aluminium dirt bike bar.

I replaced the turn signals with short aluminium ones.

I had the airbox pulled and three individual K&N pods put on. With that change the carbs were rejetted since I had a California bike with 95s in the carbs.

Works rear shock repalaced the factory shock and the front end got RaceTech springs.

I have LSL rear sets and frame sliders for the bike also.

The fun change was that I bought a Morad 17x5.5 rim and had it laced up by Buchanans. I had them put in heavier stainless spokes. I used the Morad rim because it is polished aluminium, dimpled and looks exactly like the stock rim except for width. The 17x5.5 fits under the stock TBS fender with a 185/55 Avon tire. I did not have to modify the chain gard at all, but there is only a hairs clearence.

Current projects are trying to replace the levers with shorties, most likely Pazzo and to find a rear fender to bob.

[ This message was edited by: NPHRED on 2006-10-12 11:35 ]
 

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1998 tbs, excellent bike. has 29000 miles on it, brilliant silver overall, i give it 8.5/10. i am 5'10", 200lb, bike is cafe'd out, bars, pipes etc.
i have green cams, custom exhaust work, rejetting etc,. Signifigant increase in power, still absolutely reliable.
the only failures have been throttle cable (2x)! already. i just had the alternator impeller bolt come off, and thats it.
i have taken it on 500 mile days, race up and down local mountain roads, wife to dinner, you name it, it does it well.

i bought this bike almost as a goof, but it has turned out to be one of my all time favorites. i change bikes more often than is probably rational, but this one has missed the chopping block several times, i may keep this one forever.

it IS a ***** to do anything on this bike involving airbox removal, which is just about everything, and getting that throttle cable end situated on the carb is a job designed by satan himself.

i keep going in and looking at the thruxton, but i think i need the triple, it makes the best exhaust noise, ever, period.
 
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1998
red n black
18,400 miles
9/10
6'/ 195 lbs.

Fixed alternator bolt at 16m
drilled out stock mufflers only 3/4" holes
centerstand, flyscreen, front wheel mudguard,chrome valve cover, Gel battery, replaced all 3 coils w/nologys.

To me; the looks of this bike stock, are stunning. Handles,accelerates wonderfully. Starts instantly,beautiful exhaust note out of the twin side stock mufflers that are the trademark of this timeless classic.
 

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Ha! I love these reviews. We all belong to a cult gents!

Year: 2004
Color: Black & Yellow
Mileage: 5500 km
Overall Rating: 9/10 (she only gets a 10 if I sleep with her!)

Modifications: Triumph sissy bar/rack, Napoleon screw in mirrors, Memphis Shades Shooter windscreen (thanks Idahotb :chug: ), fabulously expensive plastic chrome radiator guard - what's with the plastic Triumph????

(optional): 5' 8" more than 160 pounds

Problems / Resolutions - Gas tank is too small. I fill at about 200km, which gives me some reserve. And the TBS is a looongg bike, making parking lot maneuvers interesting. Care is required not to end up in some embarrassing situation for sure.

Owner Review: I love the bike. I went on a ride with the Island RAT group after I had the bike about a week, after a break in riding of about 10 years. I rode about 600km that Saturday. When I got home I was tired (well Duh! :-D ) but I wasn't sore!. So the TBS fits me like a glove. And she's pretty, I've heard that word more than once. Awesome bike.

She's not the fastest bike on the road, but there is plenty of power to do anything I need or want to do on the road. And she's very quiet, which isn't what everybody wants, but turns my crank. The handling is great, and as I get more comfortable with her I know she won't let me down in the corners. I know I'm the limiting factor about how fast we go, not the TBS.

I expect the TBS to be in my driveway for a long time to come!

[ This message was edited by: TBirdVI on 2007-03-05 22:56 ]
 
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