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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this has been discussed here , but as someone that's just got back into riding and new here , what happened ?

been through a few bikes since getting back on , but knew it had to be a triumph . after much research knew it had to be a t-bird and now i have a beautiful adventurer in my garage .

i read something about the fire at hinckly , was that it ?
 

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No, it was a management decision I think they reckoned that their twin range was going to be the new classic range.

The official excuse was that the tooling and jigs were worn out and it was not economical to retool for a bike where sales had slowed [sales had dropped off for the classic triple range, market share had been saturated].

Funny thing is, they don't say that about the Rocket III or the Thruxton and after the initial rush they are slow sellers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanx tridentt150v , hey , personally like owning what is now a rare piece of motorcycling history .

it just seems to me that the t-bird and variations of it filled in a much needed hole in the triump line .
 

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On 2007-01-27 20:14, Woody1911a1 wrote:
thanx tridentt150v , hey , personally like owning what is now a rare piece of motorcycling history .

it just seems to me that the t-bird and variations of it filled in a much needed hole in the triump line .

I agree. Although I have only had my T-Bird for about 2
months, it has impressed me in many ways. It is a very
good "all rounder" that has that great classic look. Decent
power, with handling and brakes that are far better than I
was expecting from this type of bike.

I think Triumph made a mistake by dropping the line
entirely.
 

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This has been discussed here at length many times.

Bottom line is that:

1. The T3 engine design was very old (1992) and would likely not meet upcoming EU emissions requirements (noise and smog).

2. Triumph said that the tooling for the Thunderbird was worn out. The T3 unitary platform was dead, the only bikes on it at the end were the Trophy (also discontinued) and the Thunderbird Sport. There would have been no other volume bikes to share the retool costs.

3. the Bonneville was selling much better than the Thunderbird ever did.

4. The Bonneville is far more "classic" than the TBird which was in essence a restyled Trident 900. the Bonnie was built from the ground up to be a "modern classic"

5. Triumph no doubt felt that the Thunderbird was stealing some potential sales from the Bonneville.

6. The Thruxton was seen as the replacement for the Thunderbird Sport.

7. Triumph have not ruled out the possibility of a totally new Classic triple at some future date.

Like it or not this was the way Triumph decided to go. It was guided by a lot of market research and sales figures, but as they say "you cant please all of the people all of the time".
 

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Correct,I love my 95 Tbird and will keep it forever. If Triumph could produce a retro triple with 100hp and brakes and chassis to match I would be in the queue. The trouble is such a niche market may not be economic for production. How about a 675 in a T160 look-a-like ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess folks are finding out that they missed out on a good thing! :-D
Yup . at 51 , finally in a position where my priorities are under control and i can play again . that is til my daughter needs college tuition in 3 yrs , so i'm spending it fast , hehe .

hey the other day i spent hours and hours reading back here and learned alot . i believe it was 25 pages back and i cant remember running into this subject .

doesnt matter . glad to be here and have a beautiful adventurer in my garage :)

now if the temp would get above freezing , i'd be all set !
 

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I've always believed that the "No triple classic" arguements put forward by the factory are hollow.

It would take very little to modify tank, gaurds and seat for a speed triple and make a Thunderbird Sport out of the 955/1050 motor. I'd estimate under $1000 per bike.

Triumph are just being pig headed.
 

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On 2007-02-04 04:17, tridentt150v wrote:
I've always believed that the "No triple classic" arguements put forward by the factory are hollow.

It would take very little to modify tank, gaurds and seat for a speed triple and make a Thunderbird Sport out of the 955/1050 motor. I'd estimate under $1000 per bike.

Triumph are just being pig headed.
I can understand Triumph's decision to kill the T-birds, they just didn't sell that well. I almost bought a "new" 98 TBS in 2000 from a dealer. They had 1998, 1999 and 2000 models sitting there, brand new with 0 miles. I feel that the twins are inferior bikes but they sell a lot better. Go to a British bike show and see how many T-birds vs New Bonnies show up. It's usually at least 2 to 1. Better bikes do not always sell better. I could personally care less, for the prices and condition these bikes are normally in I wouldn't buy a new one if they made it. If you need a better version than what the factory made then build it, that would still be cheaper than a new one. These motors are overbuilt and have a lot of potential. Everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk about it but I have a T300 S3 (basically the same motor) with 110rwhp with no loss of bottom end or mid range. Thats with stock carbs and airbox! I want the ultimate TBS cafe racer so I am building it. As far as $1000 worth of changes to get the TBS look? On the T300 S3 compared to the TBS they are based on similar platforms, and may parts interchange but 80% of these bikes are different. If you could design a couple of cheap changes that would turn a new S3 into a TBS look-a-like I'd love to see it.
 

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Please guys don't forget the total rebuild-ability that these bikes have. Take one beat up T-bird ($2750), throw some oversize pistons and sleeves, an extra gear for the 5 speeds to 6, FCRs and Trick cams and igniter, brakes and suspension - that can be done for $5-6000, surely! Shazz-am you have a new bike! :razz:
 

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On 2007-02-04 20:55, trypcil wrote:
Please guys don't forget the total rebuild-ability that these bikes have. Take one beat up T-bird ($2750), throw some oversize pistons and sleeves, an extra gear for the 5 speeds to 6, FCRs and Trick cams and igniter, brakes and suspension - that can be done for $5-6000, surely! Shazz-am you have a new bike! :razz:
You know.........I keep thinking about doing just such a thing. But I baulk at it, guess I'm 'gun shy', I reckon as soon as I do it Triumph will bring out the same thing only better!!!
When/as meridan triumph went bust I spent up big on my 1975 Trident [1000cc kit, flowed head, bigger conrods, clutch, belt primary etc etc], and for a while I was one of the fastest meanest Triumphs on the road, then Bloor came along and my +$20,000 Trident was immediately slower. Life is a gamble :)
 

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On 2007-02-04 04:17, tridentt150v wrote:
I've always believed that the "No triple classic" arguements put forward by the factory are hollow.

It would take very little to modify tank, gaurds and seat for a speed triple and make a Thunderbird Sport out of the 955/1050 motor. I'd estimate under $1000 per bike.

Triumph are just being pig headed.
But you've got to remember the other side of that equation: Sure, Triumph could build them, but who would buy them?

The GBP/$ ratio is a huge handicap here. By the time Triumph discontinued the T-bird they were selling for upwards of $9k. Now, the T-bird is an awesome bike, but $9k puts it in the company of bikes like the FZ1, the Harley 1200 Sporty, and most of the other "big cruisers." At that price, they just can't sell enough to justify the expense.

OTOH, not only is the Bonnie more "classic" in appearance, it's also cheaper to build which puts it in a more marketable position.

We have to face reality here: Most motorcyclists either want top-notch performance and don't care about "retro" looks, so they buy a sportbike or a standard; or, they care primarily about looks and styling, so they buy a cruiser or a classic-styled bike. The T-bird's biggest advantage - that it combined classic styling cues with a modern, sophisticated engine - was also it's downfall, because to too many buyers, it was neither fish nor fowl - not fast enough to be a sportbike, and not "retro" enough to be a cruiser. And the high price just sealed its fate.

I can't say I'm happy about Triumph discontinuing the T-bird line in favor of the Bonnie, but I understand it was a rational business decision.
 

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On the other hand, those of us who have managed to get our hands on a Triple have an awesome bike that is going to become more rare and desireable and valuable as time goes on. There's always an upside isn't there?
 

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Yes.. those of you who have classic triples and have been smart enough to hang on to them, you have some awesome bikes. I still ride a Triumph, and probably always will, but I do miss my '00 Thunderbird Sport a bunch... One of these days I'll justify having one along side the Rocket... :)
 

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I understand the 'niche market' concept but am a bit skeptical that is necessarily Triumph's logic. Take a look at the volume of postings and topics on this forum (Classic and Cruisers), compared to the other THREE forums. We outnumber all of them. So we need to keep telling Triumph what we want, assuming they read this board.

Buell makes a range of models with different set-ups, Kawasaki makes the z1000, Ducati makes the Sport Classic GT1000 and Sport 1000S. Moto Guzzi, BMW and others make the kind of bikes I think we are talking about. Even KTM, sorta. Could it really be that hard to do, starting with the S3 motor but a little more comfortable ergonomics? Modern and quick, but not a crotch rocket or V-Twin.

Maybe we need to get clearer and more specific about what we want them to make.
 

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That 1050 is one ugly azz engine on the left side; it looks good on something like the S3, but not on a bike that is supposed harken back to mechanically simpler times. Tiumph had to restyle the T3 engine to give it fins and make it curvier, it would take significant work to clean up the 1050 engine. Thats one of the reasons why people love the Bonnies, people hate radiators on retros and the engine is really attractive.

[ This message was edited by: TBSstunta on 2007-02-10 10:07 ]
 

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On 2007-02-04 04:17, tridentt150v wrote:
not fast enough to be a sport bike, and not "retro" enough to be a cruiser. And the high price just sealed its fate.
:gpst: I think people wanted a retro bike, or a sport bike and the TB wasn't quite enough of either. It lacked the real retro appeal the bonnie has and didn't have quite the performance edge the sport crowd is seeking. It was a great bike that a lot of people didn't really know what to do with.
 

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I'm not nearly as technical as y'all, but am I the only one who loves the trips just for the feel of the engine? I find it neither as buzzy as the v-twin sportbikes I've ridden or as pounding as the thumpers. There's just something very silky about the engine configuration that makes for long-term comfort and the duel personality of a mellow bike at low RPMs vs a rather more assertive one past 4k is really something special.
That's what saddens me about their discontinuation.

-Stephanie
 
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