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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking for a bigger bike to step up from my current Iron 883 to give me more power on these high speed Texas highways and better accommodate 2 up riding. I had my heart set on a new 2018 Speedmaster that was being sold discounted since it was last year's model, but the price was still more than I wanted to spend (especially after my wife pointed out some other spending priorities that are a bit more important). I've pretty much narrowed my search down to Triumphs since I had a 2012 Speedmaster and loved it other than the suspension and Triumph seems to be the best bang for the buck among the brands that I favor (Triumph and HD).

I have a pair of 2010 Thunderbirds that I'm looking at. Both are around $5800-$6000 with about 11k miles. One of the bikes is the 1600 and the other has the 1700 BB kit, both are garage kept and have maintenance records available. All other things being equal, which would you choose and why? Does the 1600 suffer from the piston slap I've read about or is that isolated to the 1700s?

Thanks for any input you might have.
 

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I don't think the piston slap is strictly in the 1700's, but does seem more prevalent on them.
I have 28,000 + miles on my 1600 and do not have any noise other than that annoying belt squeak.
That being said, the 1600's have more than enough power to carry you and your bride in comfort.
Some folks are never satisfied with any amount of power and always want more!
The T-Bird will ride better than the America/Speedy.
You should be able to find even newer ones than 2010 for that money.
Prices are in the tank now, especially with winter looming in most of the country..
 

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The TB1600 is a better option for 2-up on the highway. Big difference between my current TB1600 and my previous America-900 is that the TB manages the wind from passing traffic much better on the highway - much less buffeting. I figure the Speedmaster is very comparable to the America both in terms of power and weight, so think you will enjoy the TB more. Also makes a louder grunt!! The America was pretty quiet. The America (Speedmaster) was a bit more agile on the back roads and weighed in at about 550lbs vs 750lbs for the TB1600. Did not have a power problem with the America 2-up, though combined passenger weight with my 5ft wife pillion was only about 280lbs. Definitely prefer the TB vs the America but both great bikes and as they say "horses for courses"!!
 

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The 1700 is a better option assuming it tests well. More HP is always good ;)

Either will be a far better ride than the 883 or smaller Triumph cruisers.
 

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I had a Sportster 883 and my wife hated it, could never get comfy. I traded it for a Road King which we both like. But the most comfortable bike for touring is the T-Bird. I have the 1700 LT but I don't think it really matters which engine you get. Just be sure you are OK with the weight of the T-Bird (it is one heavy beast!!) about 100kg heaver than either the Sportster or the Speedmaster. It's fine underway and handles all types of roads beautifully, you just need to think about where you are going to park :wink2:

Steve
 

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I have a 2010 1600 with 40,000 miles on it. Many of those miles were 2-up with both saddle bags and a sissy bar pack fully loaded. I have never felt that the bike lacked power, whether cruising the interstate in excess of 70 mph, climbing steep mountain roads or effortlessly passing cars on two-lanes. It is stable and comfortable, yet nimble and fun in the twisties.
 

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Waterford,

Welcome, I bought 2010 with bigbore kit several years ago and found out how great a bike it was. As the boys say no comparison in comfort to the smaller bikes. After getting triumph back rest and mustang seat for the Lady she will ride almost anywhere. Basically she wouldn't get on the concours and we were crowded on the little T-bird. Not unlike your sportster. The handling is great for the size of the bike and find it very comfortable on trips.

good luck

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice so far. I’ve also found a 2015 Commander with 3800 miles for $6500.

To be honest, my first thought was to just go to a bigger Harley. I actually picked up a Low Rider last year and sold it within 6 months. I was fine with the extra weight and more deliberate handling, but I found that I was just getting tired of the vibration. I know that’s been pretty much solved with the M8 engine. I just can’t see ever spending $18k or more plus the Harley tax to make the bike what I want.

I’ve regretted selling my Speedmaster from the day I let it go. Now that what I want in a bike has changed a bit, the Thunderbird checks all the boxes and is so much “bang for the buck”. And I love that they are different from everything else out there.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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....... I’ve also found a 2015 Commander with 3800 miles for $6500............
That sounds like a pretty good deal there.
All 2014 and up have locked ECUs, so you won't be able to change the tune.
The LT/Commander are a bit more complex.
The LT & Commander have the catalyst welded into the header pipe, so without surgery, it is not removable like the base T-Bird & Storm.
 

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Thanks for all the advice so far. I’ve also found a 2015 Commander with 3800 miles for $6500.
Sounds like a good deal if it's a good clean bike. It will also have the fantastic rider seat......imo the most comfortable motorcycle seat ever :smile2:

Steve
 

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You might consider a T120. Flat seat and my wife says she’s comfy. 1200 still pulls well with a pillion. Also nimble enough when riding solo. I bought a used one and originally tested the Speedmaster (which was ok but didn’t put a smile on my face like a Bonnie). Just a thought.


I have been looking for a bigger bike to step up from my current Iron 883 to give me more power on these high speed Texas highways and better accommodate 2 up riding. I had my heart set on a new 2018 Speedmaster that was being sold discounted since it was last year's model, but the price was still more than I wanted to spend (especially after my wife pointed out some other spending priorities that are a bit more important). I've pretty much narrowed my search down to Triumphs since I had a 2012 Speedmaster and loved it other than the suspension and Triumph seems to be the best bang for the buck among the brands that I favor (Triumph and HD).

I have a pair of 2010 Thunderbirds that I'm looking at. Both are around $5800-$6000 with about 11k miles. One of the bikes is the 1600 and the other has the 1700 BB kit, both are garage kept and have maintenance records available. All other things being equal, which would you choose and why? Does the 1600 suffer from the piston slap I've read about or is that isolated to the 1700s?

Thanks for any input you might have.
 

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That sounds like a pretty good deal there.
All 2014 and up have locked ECUs, so you won't be able to change the tune.
The LT/Commander are a bit more complex.
The LT & Commander have the catalyst welded into the header pipe, so without surgery, it is not removable like the base T-Bird & Storm.
I think the PC5 will work with LT/Commander ECUs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’m taking a look at a 2011 with 16k miles on Tuesday. 1700 BB kit was installed by a shop at 15k. The bike has been maintained by a Triumph dealer and local shop, owner has all of the maintenance records. Has short TORS and the ecu has been flashed. Everything looks good so far. I’ll keep y’all posted.


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I have a 2011 with only a couple of thousand miles on it. (It's the bike that never was but that's another story). Now due to surgery my Doc says my riding days are over. It's the bike in my avatar if you're interested PM me. I have it on cycle trader for $5,999.
 
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