My most regular riding buddy has a 2007 Vulcan Nomad 1600 and when he really decides to get serious I cannot hang with him in the corners. I do not know if this is the bike or his superior riding skills. Would be fun to get one of you more experienced riders to follow him up some twisties. I know I'm not super aggressive in the corners because I have nearly 7,000 miles on my bike and my pegs aren't even half ground down yet.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.