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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,

I posted here a handful of times a couple of years ago. I had rented a Thunderbird 1600 in Las Vegas and rode it throughout Death Valley. Bike absolutely stole my soul. Well here I am two years later and have just purchased a 2014 Thunderbird ABS with 5,000 miles on the odometer.







I bought the bike on Saturday and trailered it home for four hours in a driving rainstorm on a potholed interstate. Harrowing to say the least. Once finally home I gave it a quick wash and dry and snapped these pics. The I had to go out of town the next day, Sunday, for a week. I'll be back home for a day and a half and then I have to go out of town again for another full week. It's killing me to be away and the bike is sitting at home! I haven't had a chance to do anything with it at all.

Couple of questions:

  1. Apparently the factory heated grips had breakage issues...was that ever resolved with a new part number? I have two part numbers for heated grip kits for the standard Thunderbird but don't know if either of them is a "new and improved" version: A9638123 and A93638068. Apparently these are both discontinued but if there is an updated version I might be able to locate new old stock. By the way, why does the LT/Commander heated grip kit have a different part number A9368089? If it's just an electrical connection difference that may not be a show-stopper.
  2. Looks like the Jack-Be-Quick JBQ-TB-STD is out of production or temporarily unavailable. How critical is this to jacking the bike? Are there other ways to get a tire off the ground in the absence of this aftermarket kit?
  3. I ride solo and love to tour. I'm thinking of the long-haul solo seat and a sissy bar rack that fits where the pillion seat would be. Thoughts?
  4. I'm not a fan of the looks or function of the OEM bags. After the rainstorm trailer run, they were filled with water. Thinking I may go with Viking leather-covered hard bags. Anyone had experience with these?
 

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Futterman,

Looks great, I am jealous of the red. For jacking up, the factory approved of a board under the sump. While its scary, the dealers did originally. Over on the other forum, sometimes you can find parts like that on the classified section.

good luck

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the color kudos and for the jacking info, Dan. Probably should use a nice thick board that distributes the pressure evenly. Very strange “feature” of the bike lol.
 

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Nice bike! Now to your questions:

Apparently the factory heated grips had breakage issues...…….If you go to a dealer they will have an online parts lookup table that corresponds with your VIN number. That way you'll know the part is correct. As for breakage - probably nothing to worry about.

Looks like the Jack-Be-Quick JBQ-TB-STD is out of production or temporarily unavailable....I've got one & they are great but the dealer mechanics just jack using the sump with a board. You can get more expensive alternatives but I wouldn't bother.

I ride solo and love to tour. I'm thinking of the long-haul solo seat and a sissy bar rack that fits where the pillion seat would be.....Your passenger will love you for the extra wide backrest (don't get the narrow one) and you defs need a rack. Like this

https://picclick.co.uk/Triumph-Thunderbird-1700-Commander-LT-Sissy-Bar-and-Rack-292526517069.html

The standard seat is pretty good if not one of the best so just use that for a while. I just did 3k kilometres in 2 weeks and no numb bum for me.

I'm not a fan of the looks or function of the OEM bags. After the rainstorm trailer run, they were filled with water.....I actually like the look of the oem bags although my left one leaks a little if sitting on the sidestand in heavy rain. Otherwise they are rain proof as I've driven in rain often without issue. As a side benefit they are a lot more forgiving if you drop the bike. Mine rolled on it's side while stationary recently and the bag was unharmed. A hard bag would be scratched up at the very least.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips, Basil. Good to know about the jacking situation. If I don't need to spend the money and can save the weight and ground clearance all the better.

Also good to get a thumbs-up on the factory seat. I had no complaints about it during my rental ride in California. Will just live with a while and see how it goes.

Ms. Futterman has no interest in riding so I'm all solo all the time. I decided to give the OEM solo rack a try since it's only $30 USD. Will be interesting to see if it can handle a dry bag strapped to it.

On the heated grips, maybe the breakage was the result if insufficient cable slack following dealer installation of the kit. In any case, I like the clean wires-inside appearance so I'll probably get the factory kit. Maybe I will see about reinforcing the breakage-prone tab with something like epoxy or a little bit of fiberglass prior to installation.

On the bags I'm probably spoiled by the Shad-made OEM hard panniers on my BMW. Easy to use and fully watertight.
 

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Thanks for the tips, Basil. Good to know about the jacking situation. If I don't need to spend the money and can save the weight and ground clearance all the better.

Also good to get a thumbs-up on the factory seat. I had no complaints about it during my rental ride in California. Will just live with a while and see how it goes.

Ms. Futterman has no interest in riding so I'm all solo all the time. I decided to give the OEM solo rack a try since it's only $30 USD. Will be interesting to see if it can handle a dry bag strapped to it.

On the heated grips, maybe the breakage was the result if insufficient cable slack following dealer installation of the kit. In any case, I like the clean wires-inside appearance so I'll probably get the factory kit. Maybe I will see about reinforcing the breakage-prone tab with something like epoxy or a little bit of fiberglass prior to installation.

On the bags I'm probably spoiled by the Shad-made OEM hard panniers on my BMW. Easy to use and fully watertight.
Note that the 1600 you rented has a different seat to the LT. The LT standard seat is far superior (IMO).
Also the JBQ does not affect ground clearance and the weight is insignificant. If you can get one then do it but it's not a big deal if you can't.

Enjoy your new bike!
 

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Congrats! I did better with a leather over plywood corbin than I did with triumphs longhaul seat. For travelling a dbl seat with backrest and luggage rack along with your side bags will hold more than most touring bikes out there as I found out when my gtl wouldn't hold as much as a typical travel bag strapped to the back( and front riding solo) I would recommend a throttlemeister and some hwy pegs for the dresser bar, Beautiful bike. DO NOT treat the leather saddlebags! I used armerall on mine, the leather softened and the tops sagged:( looked like poop. For awhile triumph was replacing them under warranty, but no mas.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Note that the 1600 you rented has a different seat to the LT. The LT standard seat is far superior (IMO). Also the JBQ does not affect ground clearance and the weight is insignificant. If you can get one then do it but it's not a big deal if you can't.

Enjoy your new bike!
Good info on both counts and thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Congrats! I did better with a leather over plywood corbin than I did with triumphs longhaul seat. For travelling a dbl seat with backrest and luggage rack along with your side bags will hold more than most touring bikes out there as I found out when my gtl wouldn't hold as much as a typical travel bag strapped to the back( and front riding solo) I would recommend a throttlemeister and some hwy pegs for the dresser bar, Beautiful bike. DO NOT treat the leather saddlebags! I used armerall on mine, the leather softened and the tops sagged:( looked like poop. For awhile triumph was replacing them under warranty, but no mas.
Appreciate the tips greatly! I think a throttlemeister would be good as the return spring seems pretty robust. The bike had aftermarket highway pegs on the dresser bars but guess what? My short legs are too short to reach 'em. So I took 'em off. The regular pegs work fine as highway pegs for me. I just put my heels up there and I'm good to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I flew back in from Arizona last night and have to fly out again to Germany tomorrow, but at least I got some seat time on the Thunderbird today. It is an incredible machine and I had a blast! Bike ran and handled flawlessly.








 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
What possessed you to take the screen off?
Who wants to know and why? :laugh2:

Because it’s made to come off. And go back on. And come back off again. :grin2:
 

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Recently my sdr was in for service so I asked to borrow their storm, it's been awhile since I sold mine and I get nostalgic, anyhow I was startled by the amount of buffeting, dirty air coming over the bars on the storm on a reasonably calm day. Your bike your business.
 

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Sweet looking 'Bird, mate! You'll never regret buying one of these! Just knocked up 54,000 km on the weekend, my 09 1600 is flying, just eats up the miles (mostly 2-up and loaded too..)

good riding mate - from New Zealand, cheers Pat
 

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You just bought the best bike no one ever bought. I blame the lack of advertising. I have owned many bikes over 50 yrs. of riding and this bird is my favorite. It is the last bike ill own. Congratulations....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sweet looking 'Bird, mate! You'll never regret buying one of these! Just knocked up 54,000 km on the weekend, my 09 1600 is flying, just eats up the miles (mostly 2-up and loaded too..)

good riding mate - from New Zealand, cheers Pat
Cool! It's an amazing and terrific motorcycle!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You just bought the best bike no one ever bought. I blame the lack of advertising. I have owned many bikes over 50 yrs. of riding and this bird is my favorite. It is the last bike ill own. Congratulations....
Even though I've only been riding street for about 7 years, I've ridden a lot of different bikes. Nothing comes close to the T-Bird! I am literally giddy when I'm riding it.
 
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