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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like the Thunderbird did quite well in the review. Interesting that zooming thru the twisties was a problem for 3 of the 4 bikes. The California Black Eagle paid the price for this performance in poor ergonomics.

This presents and interesting question about cruisers in general. If the demographic for cruising is low and laid back, why are people surprised that they drag pegs and footboards when a cruiser is ridden like a sport bike?

What cha' think?

56R
 

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Because like myself don't think all people look at cruisers as a "laid back" ride without any consideration to performance. In fact, i doubt anyone would prefer a cruiser that does nothing well but cruise. Cruising may be the 1st consideration for some, but that doesn't mean they don't wish for more. Why wouldn't you? I, like many or all here, ride a Tbird for the very fact that it DOES corner and perform well. Just because i bought a cruiser don't mean i wasn't looking for that. So your next question will probably be, "then why didn't you buy a sportbike?" Simple....i hate them. I love the cruiser ergos and look, but i also like performance both in handling and power. Hate everything about sportbikes except the performance.

What i don't get is why people think that everyone must fit into some sort of mold. Your question is one i see all the time, but i just don't get it. Why must someone want a bike to NOT do certain things well? I can understand if the thing they do well is not your #1 consideration and it happens to hurt whatever IS your #1 consideration. But if it does it all, why would you not be ecstatic about that? The way I see it you're getting a huge bonus. And i believe 99% of those looking at a cruiser would be happier if the bike they want does it all well. And i don't think anyone is surprised at cruisers scraping pegs. It may be mentioned in a shootout but i b=never heard any reviewer sound surprised, only reporting the fact.

Anyways, I think the thunderbird is helping to rewrite the book on what a cruiser can and should be. In the past manufacturers didn't even bother with those things when they built a cruiser, and thats why there are so may mediocre ones that do one thing well and 50 things horribly. Thats changing and it's a good thing. IMHO a cruiser that cruises well and does nothing else well is a very flawed motorcycle.
 

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I'm more of a hands on person. The Thunderbird is a great all round motorcycle that handles better than most all of the current day cruisers on the market. The larger V displacement bikes don't lend themselves to optimal handling. The wheel base of the bikes are to long, which slows side to side transitions. This effects recovery in turns. They're generally lower to the ground which limits clearance. Their balance is also effected by the placement of the engine.

With Triumphs parallel twin there's no need to stretch out the frame to accommodate the motor. This allows for a more compact frame and shorter wheel base. It also has better steering geometry. Side to side transition are much easier.

Motor wise, there's a large advantage in both horsepower and torque as can be seen in the dynos. This has an even greater effect on the road. Better overall response.

I'm not surprised at the T-Birds domination in the test. It just proves Triumph designed the T-Bird to be allot more than just straight line crustier. For those that doubt it's capability, I suggest you take one for a spin and decide for yourself. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

People buy a cruiser for stylized daily use and straight line comfort. It's no surprise they later find it inadequate for spirited riding. The T-Bird is an exception to the rule and has proven it since it's original release.
 

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Looks like the Thunderbird did quite well in the review. Interesting that zooming thru the twisties was a problem for 3 of the 4 bikes. The California Black Eagle paid the price for this performance in poor ergonomics.

This presents and interesting question about cruisers in general. If the demographic for cruising is low and laid back, why are people surprised that they drag pegs and footboards when a cruiser is ridden like a sport bike?

What cha' think?

56R
Interesting question! I was never supprised that a cruiser would not handle as well as a sport bike but was always supprised at just how bad some cruisers are in the handleing department.

Myself like many others have owned and ridden many different bikes over the years giving me/us an expectation for a little more than just the ability to cruise slowly!

Why is it that the people who have settled for all the poor handleing cruisers not demanded more for thier money all along?
 

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The fact of the matter is that Triumph does,infact,call the Thunder Bird "a Cruiser".It looks like a Cruiser,it is comfortable to ride like a Cruiser,and Triumph advertises it as a Cruiser.So it must be a Cruiser.BUT!!! Even though it is heavier than a sport bike,the bonus here is that you can drive it like a sport bike if ya want to,but it's still a Cruiser.Dave!!!
 

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Looks like the Thunderbird did quite well in the review. Interesting that zooming thru the twisties was a problem for 3 of the 4 bikes. The California Black Eagle paid the price for this performance in poor ergonomics.

This presents and interesting question about cruisers in general. If the demographic for cruising is low and laid back, why are people surprised that they drag pegs and footboards when a cruiser is ridden like a sport bike?

What cha' think?

56R
Maybe a company that introduced a cruiser in recent years changed peoples minds on what to expect out of a cruiser? Standards are based off of current or historical expectations, so it only makes sense that raising those standards introduces change in our perception (expectations) of what a cruiser is or should be capable of, or just call it evolution.

Mmm...what company/bike could have caused this...:Mexican wave
 

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I've ridden the Diavel - and I encourage any of you to ride it as well and tell me what you think. I loved the power but that was the ONLY thing I liked about it. It has more buttons and displays on it than some cars and I found it very distracting. Never did figure out how to toggle through to see my RPM's until he showed me after the ride. I'm 6', 200lbs and I found the ride very uncomfortable - upgright my pa-tootie. It is NOT. While not total sportbikish I found I was supporting too much of my upperbody weight with my hands, and in just 15 miles my hands fell asleep and I was taking turns shaking them to return blood flow. The seat drops into a severe V (to keep you from sliding off the back at full throttle?) and for my body type I found the weight bearing to be too far forward and it was hard to position the man parts to where my weight wasn't where I didn't want it to be. The handling in the twisties is superb, no doubt but it was very sport bikish, I could get on the throttle BEFORE the turn, much before I would on my TBird. It is feather lightish, too light, does not feel like a cruiser. When you stop at a light or sign you have to disengage your feet from the pegs because they are behind your knees, not just lift your feet off and down to the ground like a cruiser. I found it awkward to tuck them back up on the pegs behind my knees each time I took off. I was very glad to get off of it and back onto my bird. You just have to go ride one to know everything I'm talking about. To call it a cruiser in my opinion is like calling the Porsche Cayenne a station wagon. Somebody is stretching and I don't think we should let them!

About the lean angle on the TBird - don't let it fool you - they have to put the pegs and drag pins there for federal safety regulations, but a guy at a shop I trust just laughed at me and told me I could lean the bike so far past that - he said I could probably drag pipe and still be ok. I take a peg hitting as a mere indicator of where I am - not a need to panic anymore. Still quickens my heartbeat don't get me wrong, but I don't have the all out panic I did when it first happened to me!
 

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Daryl, i think he's wrong on that. (that you could lean far past the pegs if it weren't for them) There are several guys that reported having gone past the pegs by leaning till they folded way up and at that point the pavement contacted the frame, which doesn't give way ! Instead it of course will lift the wheel off the ground. At least one member suggested he found that out the hard was and trashed his bid.
But like i said here recently, I can lean and ride harder than a sane person should w/o going that far, so i now see it as a safety valve. I used to wish i could lean further, but i now feel the pegs keep me from leaning to the point where things start becoming really dangerous. There are time i wish i could, but I'm glad it's like this because i really can't help myself at times and i feel i would push it much too far. I already push it further than i know i should and having the clearance to do more i fear would end in disaster.
 

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maybe the Diavel, while not everyones cup of tea, might raise the bar

I have said it before in an other post
The Diavel is not simply a cruiser, it can only be classified in with the bikes the japaneese introduced in the 80,s wich would be considered "power cruisers".
The yamaha V-max,Kawasaki Eliminator Honda sabre/magna to name a few. All built to have an overabundance of get up and go but yet be able to be civil and cruise a bit. All of these bikes fit right into line with the new diavel but the duc just dosnt fit into the cruiser segment compleetely no matter what its intended market or what some people at a mag say it is.
I also firmly belive the v-rod is also in the power cruiser sement and shouldnt be counted as a cruiser.
 

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The Diavel or as some put it Drivel, is something else and I agree with the defination of power crusier just like the old Kawaski 900 LTD, V-Max etc. It's not in the same class as the crusiers tested. I had the opportunity to examine and sit on one. Looks cheap by Ducati standards. Egronomics are designed for shorter individuals an really don't accomodate taller. It's lighter no doubt but a what expense, overall quality is a big question. Sure it runs a 127 RWHP hp but if I want to go this direction, then why do it in a quasi-crusier? Of course there's the point of manintenance cost. It's no cheaper than maintenance on a 1098, which isn't inexpensive. Market wise, it's not really going to compete in the same class as the T-Bird.

I talked to the dealership owner about the bike. It had 1700 miles on it. I questioned him regarding the trade in and for what reason? He stated the owner just didn't like the ergonomics of the bike and was looking for a crusier with good all-round performance. What's ironic, he traded it in for a new T-Bird.
 

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What was ironic is; he traded it in for a new T-Bird.
Thing is, it may be a powerhouse. But it IS after all a non cruiser engine, and they are very different animals that feel very different and satisfy different desires. Ergos and all that aside, it has a lot less torque than the 1700. I think i read 90 Lbs at 6000 RPMs or something along those lines, where the 1700 has around [email protected] So yeah, it's faster, but i prefer low end torque any day because it's useful and fun all the time even when riding sedately. That is what makes the Tbird a cruiser IMO even moreso than the ergos and look. I don't wind my bikes out every other stop light. If that was so important i'd be riding a speed triple.....it's a triumph and a lot cheaper than the daivel and probably a better bike. I don't get the guy who bought a diavel then traded it for a Tbird.....did he not understand they are apples and oranges? Kinda like going out looking for a 4WD and buying a porsche instead then deciding to get the 4WD after all because the porsche was no good in the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The responses here are why I love coming to this place so much. I work with a guy that used to race motorcycles. He swears that he has taken turns to the edge of the tread and the sidewalls. I believe him 'cuz he has the scars and healed fractures to prove it. The very first you tube review of the 'Bird I saw was in Spain. You could hear the pegs scrape on the drive bys. What I was commenting on was that the riders doing the reviews were not full time cruiser riders. They ride anything that is classified as a motorcycle from dirt bikes to the big touring rigs. Every cruiser review I've read invariably mentions dragging the pegs in the twisties.

Riding at the posted speed limits, I have yet to scrape a footboard (knock on wood) on the local winding roads. There are supposed to be some good ones about 85 miles from my home that are on my to do list. The fact that I can ride winding roads at the posted limit is a testament to the 'Bird's overall design. How firmly she's planted on the pavement in any turn is why the Thunderbird is such a good bargain. For me at least it's just looking down the road and my 'Bird follows my gaze. I don't have to think about it. It just happens. Which is great so I can watch out for deer and other assorted goof balls.

The funny thing is when I come up behind bikes riding slower than the posted limit on winding roads they have all been cruisers. Not just Soft Tails and Road Kings, but Stars and Vulcans as well. I have yet to come upon a Gold Wing that I've had to wait for it to get out of the way. They might be out there. I just ain't seen one yet.

Happy Trails,
56R
 

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I've had a number of riders I've met comment on my Thunderbird 'sportbike tires' and they ask how it corners.

Honestly, I never really thought about the tires much when I bought it. It just fit me, had gobs of power, and it handled well ... and that's what mattered to me.

But the obvious fact to any astute observer is that this bike just reeks of more than just a boulevard cruiser ... because it is. Them Metzler tires are stock for a reason.

I bought a 'performance cruiser', and this particular cruiser because I was looking for a bike that wasn't just about the cool, laid back stance. I would have bought the Yamaha Stryker if I wanted pure cool and mediocre everything else.

The Thunderbird is about cool, but also about potential in corners, wicked brakes and neck snapping power when you demand it. Its not a track bike, and never will be; Its a cruiser with potential, and I will probably never test its performance to the max.

I'm getting used to my pegs clicking the ground from time to time. It no longer freaks me out when it happens, because I know this bike is built for everything I'm going to throw at it.
 

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Cruzy

Interesting how we all like to define what a cruiser is. I find the bird appeals to a wide variety of riders.It is like the perfect woman...a lady in the lounge-room and a whore in the bedroom.

Now, something that occurred to me is that Triumph have built an evolutionary bike in the Thunderbird. They did not have a big bore cruiser for a long time but learnt from having a giant cruiser in the R3 to having very traditional bikes in the Bonny and Speedmaster/Americas. The 'bird evolved from getting a mix of all the above bikes and making one to please all.

Basically there is really only a choice of two models in the T-bird range. Either a 1600 or 1700. Everything else is cosmetic and designed to be customised by the owner.For example, if you are into touring you can say it is a great long distance mile muncher and make it fit that role. If you like a minimalist ''cruiser type' bike go for a black Storm. If you want a fast sporty cruiser you go for a Black T'-Bird and add some bling. If you want a slower more sedate bike you can get a silver or blue one or some other slow colour.;)

The big BUT is that it does what we want it to. I think it handles well because of the time and design study that went into it before production. Anything on wheels handles better today than a decade ago and go back 20 years and by todays standards bikes and cars were generally not as good as what we have.

Triumph made 'traditional' bikes when Adam wore short pants. Harleys did the same. Ducatis have always gone for the exotic go fast bikes and made them very hard to work on, ride and get comfortable on but ask any Ducati rider what the bike is like and he will tell you it is great. The Diavel to me is a real oddball machine. I just don't get it.I fell like a grasshopper when I sit on one. My legs are half way up my backside, the seat is designed for small butts and the bike is too light.

If we went to a Ducati forum they would probably think the Diavel is the modern interpretation of a cruiser for the 2000's.
 

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I agree you shouldn't lean until you shove your pegs up into your shins! But I also thing if you are just touching now and then there is no cause for alarm.

Guys some of us are falling into a trap and doing exactly what we criticize others for doing when they make comments on our Thunderbird...but haven't ridden it yet. I have ridden the Diavel - have you? Sitting on it and reading specs are not the same as riding it....right? As much as I didn't like it personally - I actually rode it. The torque ratings are misleading because the bike is so much lighter, the Diavel runs just fine in low RPM and you don't wish for more torque - you do NOT need to rev it up to feel the power - you get more, way more power than the TBird long before the Diavel hits it's power band when it then pulls your arms out of your shoulder sockets. So it's easy to ride sedately if you choose to. So as I read all the opinions and this and that, I'm cringing because so many of us have jumped on other guys, especially Harley guys that say negative things about our bike without ever having ridden one. I hear a lot about plastic - maybe I need to take a closer look at what packages the Diavel offers, but my buddies bike has Carbon Fiber all over it - and while to an untrained eye you might think "plastic" - the two cannot be confused. I personally don't like all of it's styling and exterior shell components - but to say it is poorly put together with inferior components, I believe, is a misrepresentation of the facts. Go ride one! Start a thread on that - and lets compare notes - or we can start a thread called "I sat on a Diavel and read the brochure" Yes yes I know I'm a sarcastic a-hole, and that's why you love me. :D
 

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Interesting how we all like to define what a cruiser is. I find the bird appeals to a wide variety of riders.It is like the perfect woman...a lady in the lounge-room and a whore in the bedroom.

Now, something that occurred to me is that Triumph have built an evolutionary bike in the Thunderbird. They did not have a big bore cruiser for a long time but learnt from having a giant cruiser in the R3 to having very traditional bikes in the Bonny and Speedmaster/Americas. The 'bird evolved from getting a mix of all the above bikes and making one to please all.

Basically there is really only a choice of two models in the T-bird range. Either a 1600 or 1700. Everything else is cosmetic and designed to be customised by the owner.For example, if you are into touring you can say it is a great long distance mile muncher and make it fit that role. If you like a minimalist ''cruiser type' bike go for a black Storm. If you want a fast sporty cruiser you go for a Black T'-Bird and add some bling. If you want a slower more sedate bike you can get a silver or blue one or some other slow colour.;)

The big BUT is that it does what we want it to. I think it handles well because of the time and design study that went into it before production. Anything on wheels handles better today than a decade ago and go back 20 years and by todays standards bikes and cars were generally not as good as what we have.

Triumph made 'traditional' bikes when Adam wore short pants. Harleys did the same. Ducatis have always gone for the exotic go fast bikes and made them very hard to work on, ride and get comfortable on but ask any Ducati rider what the bike is like and he will tell you it is great. The Diavel to me is a real oddball machine. I just don't get it.I fell like a grasshopper when I sit on one. My legs are half way up my backside, the seat is designed for small butts and the bike is too light.

If we went to a Ducati forum they would probably think the Diavel is the modern interpretation of a cruiser for the 2000's.
I am not defineing the class here! Only pointing out that the class was already defined by the buying public and the mag's way back when the japanese tried raising the bar for the cruiser class!

Please dont go making blank statements about 20 year old bikes that you cant prove. I have a bunch of them (all between 20 to 26 years old) and everyone of them would whip my thunderbird out in the twisties with no problem! They will also cruise all day long nice and easy or run hard all day long wich ever you prefer. Not to mention I could still take any one of them to the track and whoop on all the current cruisers exept for maybe the diavel as its rummored to be a bit faster!
 

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Please dont go making blank statements about 20 year old bikes that you cant prove.
I don't think he really did but I sure can. I grew up riding almost everything from a Cafe to a Crusier. That was more than half a decade ago. Most of the Kawaski's wouldn't handle and wobble like a metronome in highspeed turns. This was inherent in the frame design. The only real bike that had the edge in the handling department was the R series BMW's of the time. The Suzuki's and Honda's liked to wallow in the turns and their suspension compliance was sh#t. Most all the Japanese bikes needed serious suspension and frame work to handle well.

Now the European bikes like Lavarda, BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and others were much more refined. They handled well and didn't require much tweaking. Some were down on power but made up in spades in the handling department.

Frankly, the T-Bird is a refined, well designed motorcycle with allot of viable traits. It's an all-rounder with class leading performance.
 

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I don't think he really did but I sure can. I grew up riding almost everything from a Cafe to a Crusier. That was more than half a decade ago. Most of the Kawaski's wouldn't handle and wobble like a metronome in highspeed turns. This was inherent in the frame design. The only real bike that had the edge in the handling department was the R series BMW's of the time. The Suzuki's and Honda's liked to wallow in the turns and their suspension compliance was sh#t. Most all the Japanese bikes needed serious suspension and frame work to handle well.

Now the European bikes like Lavarda, BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and others were much more refined. They handled well and didn't require much tweaking. Some were down on power but made up in spades in the handling department.

Frankly, the T-Bird is a refined, well designed motorcycle with allot of viable traits. It's an all-rounder with class leading performance.
I dont know how you determine wich handles better. Most of my bikes are kawasaki and they all outhandle the bird. Yes they have some inherent problems but only at speeds and lean angles that the thunderbird cant achieve to begin with.
I wont get into picking the bikes apart that supposedly handled back then as I have ridden most and beaten most threw the turns with so called inferior handleing Jap bikes. What I will say is that The thunderbird handles well for what it is but it can not hold any one of my old Jap bikes threw the turns as they all will outrun/outperform it.
My thunderbird gets ridden hard and I have no chicken strips on my tires and am already threw the feelers and into the pegs of the bike. So I feel I am ridding the bird to its full potential and am capeable of making a fair comparison since I have the old bikes right here in perfect working order and do ride them on a regular basis.
 
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