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After much deliberation, I've finally decided on a Thunderbird for my next bike. I've got a Bonneville now and want something bigger. I was pretty high on the Tiger 800 for a while, and I test rode it and the Storm a month or two ago. The Tiger was nice, but the Thunderbird was a lot more fun. So I will be moving up to a Thunderbird this Spring (riding season is just about done here). This brings me to a couple of questions...

I'd like to get either the short TORS or Hog Slayers when I get the bike. Is it better to break the bike in with the stock pipes and map, and then upgrade the pipes? Or is riding it off the lot new, with aftermarket pipes/map okay? When I bought my Bonnie, the salesman said it was good to break it in with the stock pipes, but I am wondering if he was full of crap.

I want the 1700, but I don't necessarily want a Storm. I really like the Storm, but I don't think I can do the black paint. My Bonnie is black, and the paint is so soft, and I am so OCD...it might drive me crazy to have another black Triumph. I really like the blue with white stripe, can it be ordered from the factory with the 1700 kit installed? Or, do you have to have the dealer install the kit after the bike arrives? I haven't studied the prices in detail yet...but is the Storm a better value than installing the 1700 kit on a standard Thunderbird after the fact?

I'll probably have more questions as I count down the days, thanks in advance for all of the help.

Andy
 

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I don't think you can get it factory installed, but you could try calling the USA headquarters and ask them if they will arrange for that. But usually they want the dealer to do it in order to give them the profits and keep them happy. The storm will be a cheaper way to get the 1700 unless you can fenagle a great deal on the bike and kit+labor from your dealer.

As to break in, i don't know, but i can't imagine why it would matter either way. But considering it's only 600 miles for the initial break in period i think you can wait.

Congrats....you will love the bike. I had a speedmaster and going to the Tbird felt like going from a toyota corolla to a porsche, not just power wise but quality, features, everything.
 

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In hindsight My advice would be to just buy the stock standard bike take it home ,ride it as much as you can,read,heed and digest as much as you can from forums such as this and then start making decisions on what you want your bike to be.
 

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In hindsight My advice would be to just buy the stock standard bike take it home ,ride it as much as you can,read,heed and digest as much as you can from forums such as this and then start making decisions on what you want your bike to be.
I think that makes a lot of sense. The TBird is very versatile and after you get a good feel for what it can do you may have a totally different set of desires than you have now, not really knowing the bike. No sense doing it twice or being stuck with something you really didn't need.
 

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Funny this very question came up today A friend of mine was home visiting for the weekend, he has been looking at buying one and wanted to check mine out ever since I told him I got it. He was told by a dealer that the big bore kit was dealer installed only and bascially the same thing as you, to wait till after break in. The cost he said he was quoted sounded very high also. This prompted me to call the dealership that I got my bike from and ask for some numbers for him.

Install the big bore before or after?
When I asked my dealer this question today thier answer was the same as mine "why do break in twice if you know your going to install the kit anyway". they also told me that triumph has no problem with them installing short tors or the like befor break in!

For the question of a factory installed big bore kit the answer was not cut and dry. It seems that some bikes did have the kit installed at the factory but its not the norm!

For me the question is self explanitory. If the item cant or shouldnt be installed before break in is performed then that item should never be installed as its not compatible with the machine!
 

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I paid for my BB kit when I got the bike, but because it was the day before easter weekend they couldn't put it in till after the following week due to staff on leave.So I rode home and rode back a week later, which is a 1700km round trip then rode the 800odd km home with the kit in.The BB kit is not a must but it does make a substantial difference in power.It's the accessories that I mean with the hindsite thing, I got all mine with the bike,tors,dresser bars, sissybar, windscreen just to name a few and I'am happy with them all but would of gone different panniers for a couple of reasons.There are quite a few different options out there for accessories, I think there is about 6 different exhaust systems you can get for example.
 

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You might be able to get it factory installed. I was recently at the dealer and they had a black 1700 alongside a silver 1600, both brand new. The 1700 was about $1000 more msrp than the 1600.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
 

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My point had nothing to do with break in, etc. If you know you will want the additional power, go for it right away. I have the 1600 and rode the 1700. The 1700 is impressive indeed. Would I actually use the additional power after paying for it? Probably not, except to show off. My 1600 has never put me in a situation where I felt I really needed additional power, so why pay for it? For me, it's not worth it. For you it may be a necessity.
 

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After much deliberation, I've finally decided on a Thunderbird for my next bike. I've got a Bonneville now and want something bigger. I was pretty high on the Tiger 800 for a while, and I test rode it and the Storm a month or two ago. The Tiger was nice, but the Thunderbird was a lot more fun. So I will be moving up to a Thunderbird this Spring (riding season is just about done here). This brings me to a couple of questions...

I'd like to get either the short TORS or Hog Slayers when I get the bike. Is it better to break the bike in with the stock pipes and map, and then upgrade the pipes? Or is riding it off the lot new, with aftermarket pipes/map okay? When I bought my Bonnie, the salesman said it was good to break it in with the stock pipes, but I am wondering if he was full of crap.

I want the 1700, but I don't necessarily want a Storm. I really like the Storm, but I don't think I can do the black paint. My Bonnie is black, and the paint is so soft, and I am so OCD...it might drive me crazy to have another black Triumph. I really like the blue with white stripe, can it be ordered from the factory with the 1700 kit installed? Or, do you have to have the dealer install the kit after the bike arrives? I haven't studied the prices in detail yet...but is the Storm a better value than installing the 1700 kit on a standard Thunderbird after the fact?

I'll probably have more questions as I count down the days, thanks in advance for all of the help.

Andy
There was some discussion a while back as to the BB Kit vs the factory built 1700 has different cams. I don't remember what came of the opinions but it might be something to look into. Many posters here want the most power and torque they can get. I'm very happy with what I have now. In full riding gear I come in at around 245 pounds. On a stock SE I can ride in 6th gear at 50 mph and climb fairly steep grades without downshifting and even speed up without lugging the engine. The max speed on most of the roadways I travel is 70 mph, the tach reads under 3,000 rpm. If I roll the throttle too hard and quick I have to hold on to keep the bike from getting away from me.

My plans for mechanical upgrades are to intake/exhaust first (these transfer to the BB kit) and then decide if the engine upgrade is for me. The thing is that it will be a while before I get around to these. The dresser bars come first, followed by EZ brackets for the saddle bags.

Most of all, it's your money, it's just my 2 cents.

56R
 

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I see in the bike section of the Sunday times this morning the dealer that I got my bike from is selling new Tbirds with the BB kit installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the advice. It'd be nice if they'd just start putting the 1700 in all of the bikes for 2012...problem solved. :)

That probably not being the case...it doesn't sound like there is any harm in installing the aftermarket items while the bike is new. I guess I'll focus on finding the color I want, with ABS, and then talk to the dealer about what they can do in the way of a deal for installing the BB kit. If they can't do much, I'll just wait. Like most of you have said, it's a nice to have, but not a necessity...especially for how I ride (not super aggressive). I just know that if I don't get it, I'll probably always lust after it.

I'd like to get the pipes right away, because it's easier for me to lump that in when I buy the bike...for some reason it feels more expensive buying them after the fact. I never got around to getting pipes for my Bonnie for that reason. After have a stock Bonnie for a while, I am eager for a bike that makes at least a little bit of noise...

Really kicking myself for not jumping on a used bird a few months ago. I wasn't quite ready yet, and it was 8 hours away, but it was the color I wanted with the pipes I wanted, and a few other nice upgrades...and he wanted less than $10k. I believe it had under 5k miles as well. Someone on the forum ended up picking it up, I don't remember who, but he made a wise choice. Kinda hoping something like that comes up again, but if not, I'll go new in the Spring.

Andy
 

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You can do what I did if you can stand the wait....wait till the 12k service and have it done then. That service is very expensive mainly due to valve adjustment. This way you don't need that since the new top will include valve adjustment. So do any other stuff lie coolant change or whatever yourself, and the cost of the service is basically replaced with the cost of the kit and labor, which brings the kit cost down to about $1000 or less depending on your dealer's labor cost.

And yes, get the pipes right off. They will make the bike's power much more tolerable w/o the BB kit. I have the short tors and for me i felt they too the power to a point that i felt comfortable with the power. Before that i felt i was always wanting more chronically. As to what pipes, i am a big purveyor of the short tors for a number of reasons...they're by far the cheapest, (1/2 as much as hogslayers) they really bump up the power as nicely as any pipe likely will, somehow they actually reduced the bike's vibration, (i think due to the length and the resulting pulse length) they look great, they allow access to the rear axl and for easier wheel cleaning. I also don't like real loud pipes, but i do like a bit more than stock, just enough to hear it. The short tors do just that, so if thats what you like they are going to be quieter than the hogslayers or any other pipe that removed the cat. Anyways, some of that is subjective so it's your call, but I find them absolutely perfect.
 

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To big or not to big....,

I think Willie Shakespeare said something like that. My advice is to buy as much as you can afford when you buy the bike.Nothing worse than waiting for bits to arrive and then get fitted.

BBkit, shorty tors, less restrictive air filter from the start.Bling can come later but I have found that if it is done when you pick up the bike you know how it should and should not feel.

I agree with Dazco about the shortys. Value for money you can't beat them
 
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