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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I'm new to the forum and also new to the motorcycle world. After messing around with 50cc oldtimers for the last decade, it's time for my first motorcycle. And a Thunderbird Sport it will be. I like the mix of the retro look with modern touches. After searching for months, I have found a potential bike.
But off course, before I go out to have a look at it (6hrs drive), I want to collect as much as possible information about the Thunderbird Sport.

The bike I'm looking at is from 2004 and has 40.000km (=25.000miles). On the pictures it looks very well maintained, I think.

- What are the main things I should check with this bike? (I hope a test drive will be possible. Done by a friend of mine) What are the weak points?
- Which parts do probably need a change around 25.000 miles?
- I'm looking for months now, and I notice that the prices are still high for a 15 year old bike (and most of them have around 25000 miles). In Belgium retail price back in 2014 was 10000€ (11400$). Now the prices are still between 4500. and 6500€. (some even ask 8500€!) Is it because it is extremely wanted, rare, ...?
- I like to work on motorcycles myself. Is it easy to work on the engine without removing it from the frame? Other things I should think off, concerning diy'ing on this bike?

Probably will fire some more questions later...

Thank you!
 

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That's a nice looking bike. I've been talking about getting one for two years, but the biggest issue was room for it. There's three bikes in the garage now.
And I was looking for the perfect one.
I found it and showed it to my wife last month, and she bought it for my 60th birthday.
I've only had it a few days, but it's a great bike. Very quick, and handles nice.
If it's the bike you want, I'd say get it. You can correct any issues, if there are any, but you can't change another bike to the one you really wanted.
Good luck.
 

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Prices fluctuate by location quite a bit.

I'm not sure about your market, but I paid $4500 USD in the midwestern US for one in excellent shape with 10,000 miles last year.

They're very good motorcycles and I wouldn't be concerned with one that's been cared for at 25k.

You may want to look into parts availability in your area and consider keeping extra spares around as they're getting harder to find.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Excellent point re: parts. I'm not having luck finding either a center stand or frame sliders here in the States for my new-to-me '99. As soon as I fix the picture upload issue with my computer, I'll post pictures. It did come with a touring screen and luggage rack, a couple things I would have had to buy.
I'm trying not to think about riding it now though as it's frigid, white, roads are sand/salt choked and winter is still in full crap.
One note (and please don't take it personally - or at all if it doesn't apply): I've had a lot of bikes and even though I haven't even ridden this one for any distance, I believe the TBS is a rare and special ride. I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a first bike. It's a rather top heavy bike and a panic grab of the front brake at low speeds when turning for instance would be a big mistake for bike and rider. And damage to blinkers, tank, forks might be difficult if not impossible to replace with original parts. You mentioned having 50 cc bikes but didn't say how much seat time you've had. That's why the comment. A 300 lb., 250cc bike is great to spend a season on if you haven't ridden on the road before.

Good luck with the new ride!
 

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It's a rather top heavy bike and a panic grab of the front brake at low speeds when turning for instance would be a big mistake for bike and rider.
I will add that, unless you have pretty long legs, best get some experience on a bike with a lower seat. That was the major factor in me getting the Legend and selling the TBS. (I have about a 30" inseam.)
 

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I will add that, unless you have pretty long legs, best get some experience on a bike with a lower seat. That was the major factor in me getting the Legend and selling the TBS. (I have about a 30" inseam.)
You know that is total BS, you sold it just to make me happy..............
 

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That's a really nice bike!!! It looks virtually brand new. I have had my Thunderbird for over 20 years and have done just about all the service/maintenance/repair items myself. You can do a lot with the engine still in the frame. I think you can even take the cylinder head off with the engine in the frame (although I haven't had to tackle that yet).

Regards,

Noel
 

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Getting back to the original question: common issues with TBS is the coils, (Many of us simply replace them with the nology coils) temperature light going on when the bike isnt actually overheating, The rubber grommets on the headlight brackets have a Tendacy to disintegrate, (And the replacement is a lengthy Job, as you need to pull top clamp and forks to do it) Typical carburetor issues that are common on non-fuel injected motorcycles. Replacing the air filter is a bit of a bear because you have to remove the carburetors.

The one you are looking at appears to be pretty well sorted. Instincts tell me the current owner knows his way around the bike. If he’s an honest chap, He’ll let you know what works been done to it, you should be in good shape. The all black with yellow accent is a really nice color scheme. Hope this helps.
 

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You can do a lot with the engine still in the frame. I think you can even take the cylinder head off with the engine in the frame (although I haven't had to tackle that yet).
Noel
Indeed, you can do alot with this engine in a frame.
🙂 basically you can fix everything but transmission, starters clutch and crankshaft without taking engine out 😄
 

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