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Hello all,

This is my first post -- I've been lurking for a few weeks. There is a lot of great info on here!

Anyway, I'll get to it: last year, I purchased a '98 Thunderbird Sport with only 1,500 miles on it. If I can figure it out, I will attach a photo. Assuming that I sort the photo, you can see that the previous owner made some mods, nearly all of them cosmetic. Basically, he did his level best to turn it into a cruiser. Also, he changed the two-silencers-on-one-side to one on each side. To my knowledge, these are stock pipes. The left exhaust is having some chroming issues with bubbling, etc. -- digging around on here, that seems like a problem typical of the OEM exhausts.

Okay, here goes -- I am looking to get more power out of the bike, but not at the expense of rideability and reliability. I'd really like to beef up the power band throughout, with some added grunt throughout the low and mid-range. I live in a city, and as much as I daydream about winding roads, I spend more time darting across crowded intersections.

I know that this has been asked 25,000 different ways on here, and I did try to find what I could using the search function, but I'm looking for timely and local info. A lot of the links on those old posts are dead, and a lot of the parts don't seem to be available here in the USA. It looked like Wilcox Engines might have produced a kit that was just the ticket, but I can't find any info on it, other than piecemeal bits here and there (I emailed them, no reply as yet). I do have a working budget (got the bike for a song), but obviously I don't want to do anything that makes no economic sense whatsoever. (A little foolishness is okay -- we ARE on motorcycles, after all!) Some constraints:

1. I live in a rowhouse with nothing that resembles a garage, so everything will have to be done by somebody else. I went to one local shop, and after their initial excitement, they called to tell me that they basically could not find anything for my bike.
2. I prefer an all-in-one and convenient solution, rather than spend a summer amassing parts, and constantly adjusting. I'm more of a "set it and forget it" kind of guy. A proven package would be best.
3. I have to say, cosmetically, I agree with the previous owner and like the exhaust on each side. I'd prefer to keep it that way.
4. I need to be able to get the stuff here in the USA, and any labor needs to be within the realm of ability of a competent-but-not-specialized-in-early-Hinckleys shop.
5. I'm a clever guy in some respects, but severely lacking in wrenching skills (at least I can admit it). So please, the more comprehensive, the better -- if Part A also necessitates Part B and C, please specify, even if you feel it is something that a child should intuitively know.
6. Again, cost is a factor, so bang for the buck... but I do want to get it done in one shot.

I'm really hoping you fellas can help me. Where to order, what to order, in what order, etc.

Thanks so much! Happy to be here, and I really look forward to tapping into your collective wisdom.

 

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Hi Stringer, welcome to the forum :)

As to your question about more power, the most restrictive element is the airbox/intake. So this is the first (& relatively cheap) place to start.

I guess mine might be 'stage 1'. Add an extra hole in the front airbox with either a K&N or Pipercross filter. Main jets increased from 98 to 115 or so. Pilots 38 to 40 or 42. Stock or Thruxton needles with a shim or two. Or Factory Pro or Dynojet needles.

'Stage 2' could be pod filters with bigger (main) jets again & maybe some more needle tweaks.

Ideally the fine tuning should be done on a dyno, but the Keihins seem to enable fairly reliable results in any case with a minimum of trial & error.

'Stage 3' could be swapping in the 'green' cams from any of the 885cc 98hp T3 models, Trident, Trophy, Sprint, S3, Daytona (not Super 3). Intake mods are essential to make the most of these. The full 98hp is likely not reachable without a compression ratio increase to their 10.6:1. '750' pistons is the way to do this, but obviously a lot more work. The green cams will take the revs higher, so you'll need a 98hp model Igniter or an aftermarket Czech Ignitech programmable unit (cost ~$200).

FCR39 flatslide carbs are reported to be a good upgrade over the Keihin CVKs, tho' a higher budget item.

A rough outline for you - I'm sure others will chime in with more info.
 

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Nice looking bike although I'm not sure a sport should be turned into a cruiser but to each his own.

IrlMike pretty much summed it up with the exception of maybe the Nology coils and Factory Pro ignition advance which some people say made a difference while some say they didn't notice anything. I've got the ignition advance on my bike which by the way has the same paint scheme and is the same year as yours however, I'm still waiting on some gaskets and alternator parts so I have yet to fire it up and try it out.

I also just put "Green Cams" in mine that I got from a 2001 Speed Triple off eBay. This was the first time I've ever changed a camshaft in a bike but it was easy. I just got the manual and followed the instructions. Nothing to it if you have the right tools and the time.

P.S. Welcome to the forum.
 

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How about exhaust systems? I just joined the forum as well and have a 2000 TBS (bone stock with 700 miles on the clock). I absolutely detest the sound of stock pipes. Any suggestions?
 

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How about exhaust systems? I just joined the forum as well and have a 2000 TBS (bone stock with 700 miles on the clock). I absolutely detest the sound of stock pipes. Any suggestions?
Some people say they are too loud but I love my D&D 3 into 3 exhaust. I also like the sound of the Thunderbike exhaust. There is a video on their site where you can hear the exhaust note.
 

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How about exhaust systems? I just joined the forum as well and have a 2000 TBS (bone stock with 700 miles on the clock). I absolutely detest the sound of stock pipes. Any suggestions?
I think all the aftermarket options are loud. I have the Thunderbike & I like the look & sound (quite light too). I've a home made baffle now which at least drops the level at low revs, but when the revs go up..well, subtle it ain't. The snag with youtube videos is auto recording level - they don't show the true sound level.

The 'middle ground' seems to be TORS or drilled stock mufflers.
 

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Well, you are not far from some nice roads, so don't let living in Baltimore get you down.

I'd start with some aftermarket exhaust. Slip-ons are just that. That'll give you some more grunt.

I'm right up I83 in York if you need help or want to use my garage.

PM me, I'll give you some info on the Baltimore Triumph Renegades. They're a local group with a nice mix of old and new Triumphs.

If you've got the $$$ the FCR-39 setup will give you alot of bang for the buck. It'll probably run about $1200 for the carbs, k&n pod filters, and adapters.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
First off, thanks everyone! Great stuff. I'll do some more digging based on all your comments to keep the newbie questions to a (hopefully) tolerable level. BigAl -- good to know you are up the road. I actually grew up in York (1st grade through HS anyway).

Do any of you have a reputable place from which you order your parts? Or do you mostly scavenge the 'Bay?

(Oh, and to clarify, I was not on board with the previous owner's decision to cruiser-fy the bike. So help me, it had leather tassles on it when I picked it up. I do like the look of one exhaust on each side.)
 

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To make it go faster- Add lightness.

You have about 50lbs of extra weight on that thing. Crash bars, luggage racks, windshields, oh my....

Lower the bars and it will really go faster;-)

Do the airbox, pipes and lightness mods and see how you like it then.
Check your pipes first though, you might already have "Offroad" pipes, and other aftermarket pipes might not add much then. If they are Triumph accessory ones, it will say offroad use only on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
To make it go faster- Add lightness.

You have about 50lbs of extra weight on that thing. Crash bars, luggage racks, windshields, oh my....

Lower the bars and it will really go faster;-)

Do the airbox, pipes and lightness mods and see how you like it then.
Check your pipes first though, you might already have "Offroad" pipes, and other aftermarket pipes might not add much then. If they are Triumph accessory ones, it will say offroad use only on them.
Ha, good point on the weight (truth be told, I have a bit of extra girth around the mid-section myself that I've been meaning to lose... gym tonight). That pic was right after I brought it home. I've already lost the windshield and some other superflous bits. The crash bars can stay -- I've already been thankful for them once, courtesy of some chick who blew a red light and decided to slam on her brakes mid intersection.

Where will the pipes say "offroad use only"?
 

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That is an old quote from Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars- "To go faster, just add lightness"

My offroad pea-shooters have it stamped into the mufflers near the mounting brackets.
 

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Do any of you have a reputable place from which you order your parts? Or do you mostly scavenge the 'Bay?

(Oh, and to clarify, I was not on board with the previous owner's decision to cruiser-fy the bike. So help me, it had leather tassles on it when I picked it up. I do like the look of one exhaust on each side.)
I'm glad to hear you are not a fan of turning a TBS into a cruiser. If you were, that wouldn't last too long after you see what the others have done to their bikes.

For parts e-bay is good. Although I work in Baltimore, I am not a fan of Pete's Cycle. I go up to Capital Area Triumph for any new OEM parts I need. There are also a number of dealers who are good mail order sources.

If you're up for it, we have a ride meeting up in Reisterstown at Martha and Mary's on Sunday, 4/17. It's a dotheton.com ride but a bunch of the Baltimore Triumph Renegade guys are planning on riding as well.
 

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drill em...hey puff98..cams?

stringer; drill your stock pipes for starters..lots of great reading on every conceviable detail here on the forum...great!!!!
I have the same bike as yours in red n black...I have to be upright...no choice...risers and spitfire windscreen..at about to be 59 and several painful discs in my lower back I still like going fast...!!!!
gotta ask Puff98....please give us a report on your cam upgrade? I would seriously consider doing this ...IF.. it does'nt compromise the low and midrange torque...let us know please...good luck and enjoy the great TBS!!!
 

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gotta ask Puff98....please give us a report on your cam upgrade? I would seriously consider doing this ...IF.. it does'nt compromise the low and midrange torque...let us know please...good luck and enjoy the great TBS!!!
I have not been able to fire it up since doing the cam upgrade as I've been waiting on parts to fix the alternator. Everything I've been waiting on arrived yesterday so today I'll be working on finishing up the job and giving the bike it's first test run. I'm sure I'll be spending the rest of the weekend tuning the carbs.

I might have my work cut out for me since I did all the upgrades at once (cams, ignition timing, pods) but you never know, sometimes things just fall into place :) (Hope I didn't just jinx myself).
 

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Hi Stringer

Good to see that bikes with such low mileage can still be picked up, good find.

Mine's a later black and yellow one and has had higher bars fitted by a previous owner so when I put the sissy bar and rack on to take my wife pillion it looks like a cruiser as well - looks much better when I fit the single seat and cowl on.

Interesting that yours has pannier rails fitted, first one that I've seen with Thunderbird rails. They weren't made for the Sport but I have recently bought some like yours which I need to modify to fit.
 

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I can't imagine a TBS as a cruiser. I owned a '99 TBS, and it was more like a street fighter naked bike. Transform her into a cafe racer and enjoy what she was designed to be. Just my opinion.

Welcome to Triumphrat.net.

Kem
 

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Don't worry Kem, most of the time I'll be using it as per my avatar i.e. with flyscreen and single seat on which looks great.

As I said, sissy bar and rack will only go on when I'm taking the missus for extended rides and that and the pannier rails only when I'm stopping with friends for weekends away and tours etc.

I've got a Tiger 1050 for more serious touring duties!

I've also picked up a black front mudguard and side panels so I can have it as standard/stock when I fancy a change. Have thought about putting the bars back to standard but the riding position is more like the Tiger's so I'm happy with it.

That's one of the great things about the TBS and other classic triples they can be 2 or 3 bikes rolled into one!

By the way, love the metallic red of your bike - one of my favourite colours.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
turn signals

Anybody have a good idea for replacement front indicators? The left one snapped... apparently a new OEM (for just the left) is $52. I might go ahead an order it, but for that price, I thought it wise to consider my options. (Again, I did exhaust the "search" function before posting... forgive my newbie-ness.)

Thanks!
 

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They come up on Ebay fairly often, certainly over here. Not cheap though so you might as well buy new at that price?

With regard to options I don't think there are any really as the original design suits the bike best apart from those who have gone down the more serious customisation route?
 

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Howdy folks just reviving this thread . Stringer if youre still kicking about, how are all the mods treating your bike . Im especially interested in the hole drilling in the box. I had it off recently and out a k&n filter in( bitch of a job) and now im about to oush the button on these bad boys. Have you or anyone come across this crowd. Ive been drilling them about their aftermarket silencer and it sounds and looks like what im looking for
Any feedback just holler
https://youtu.be/ToiCLS2aiyU
 
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