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hey folks-

I'm new here. I'm a guzzi guy and am selling one of the bikes and thinking of getting a trumpet. I was considering an 04 TBird Sport. Anything i should know about? Any typical problem areas? What sort of mileage can you rack up on this engine (not like I'm a fiend- just want an idea of durability). Parts availability?

The owner mentioned some problems with some rust in the tank (not a perforation, but enough debris to clog carbs)- he had it coated. The machine has been dealer maintained.

Thanks for your input!
 

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Just read a few pages of old threads - common issues are failure of the stock Gill coils and a few other things, which you'll see multiple threads asking about just by skimming. This is a good place to start - lots of good knowledge here and the members are generally ready to assist with any specific questions.
 

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The TBird Sport is probably already the most sought after bike of the Hinckley era & an appreciating 'classic'. (Maybe only the 1st gen Daytona Super III & Speed Triple are on a par.) 04 is the last year they made them.

The engine is internally identical to the other mild-cammed 'classic triples' & goes for very high miles without problems. The sprag (starter) clutch is a slight weakness, although failures after Triumph upgraded it in '97 (-ish) are extremely rare. Providing the battery is in good order & doesn't struggle to turn the starter motor, there's usually no problem even with earlier models. A 90s Trident (98hp variant of our motors) was reportedly bought back by Triumph from a courier that had done 240,000 miles on it - just 'routine sevicing, including 120 oil changes'. I suspect the latter might have been the key - oil change every 2k miles on average. (I try to change the oil on mine every 3k miles, not the 6k the service schedule says.)

The Gill coils are a known source of misfiring issues. Replace with Nology or PVL & you're fine. If the bike's been laid up a while, fuel in the carbs can gum up the pilot jets & cause misfire & poor starting. Thorough cleaning puts them right.
 

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Forgot about the sprag issue - that's really the only thing I dread/fear/am paranoid about. I keep my battery on trickle charge in the winter and am careful with the electric starter as Mike said, and so far I've had no problems (knocking on wood with fingers and toes crossed). :) Overall it's been a very solid bike and a true pleasure to work on a ride. I do have a set of Nology coils for my 98 TBS - just started to notice a bit of the predicted Gill coil stumble, but not bad enough that I haven't been riding all summer, waiting for the weather to cool off enough to work on them without dying of heat prostration... :)
 

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I have a '97 Thunderbird that starts first time always luckily. Regarding the original posters concerns how would you know if your sprag clutch was on the way out? What are the symptoms. Thanks in advance.
 

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A bad sprag clutch makes a God Awful Horrible Grinding Skreetching noise.

I've never had one go bad myself. I heard one at the first Indy MotoGP that was going bad.

It will screetch intermittently and that sound will alternate with the engine turning over normally. Eventually it will just screetch and the engine will not turn over any more.
 

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Thanks for the reply denny, I'll keep my battery charged up and fingers crossed. Sounds like it's the most expensive fix these T'Birds would ever need.
 
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