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Hi, I've joined up here to get a feel for Triumphs. I currently ride a Suzuki Bandit 1250 and am planning to buy another bike in 2010 so will spend 2009 doing some research and taking a few test rides.

My Bandit is fast, reliable and handles well. I get a buzz from riding it but I don't get a buzz from owning it or looking at it. It looks like any other Japanese motorbike. I use the bike for commuting (but take the car when it is wet or icy) so it really is an indulgence rather than a necessity. I also like to take my wife out for runs at the weekend so something with options for passenger comfort would be nice too.

I'm not into screaming high-revving engines but I do like performance. I'm more a torque man rather than a BHP man. So, I'm looking for good looks, loads or torque and a bit of charisma. I want to avoid chains but also have something manageable (no Gold Wing for me) and reliable. I know - I want my cake and to eat it! :)

So, I have discounted an Italian bike on the grounds of reliability and longevity and have discounted another Japanese bike on the grounds of them all looking the same. I might consider a V-MAX or an MT-01 but these bikes are really designed for 2-up practicability. This leaves Harley or Triumph.

I like the Rocket III but it's a big bike in Gold Wing territory so it will probably be OTT as an everyday ride (another option is to keep my Bandit for shopping trips and commuting and the new bike for the longer rides). I do like the grunt of the beast and the fact that it is a bike not to be ignored.

A Harley Fat Bob is another option. It looks good and can be customised readily for comfy short-haul touring with a screen and sissy bar.

Then Triumph announces the Thunderbird. I am eagerly awaiting the reviews of a production machine. Will it give almost Rocket-like performance in a chassis that is more nimble than the Rocket?

Either way, if you guys don't mind, I'm going to hang around here to get more vibes on Triumph ownership. I know from browsing the various forums on the web that all bikes have their own issues and that no bike is perfect. Even the fit, finish and reliability of BMW seems no better than any other bike. However, from reading a few posts here, it seems that most members are pleased with their bikes and the ratio of positive:negative posts seem quite favourable.

My most major observation so far is with the forum itself - on loading it up, my memory usage in IE goes sky high. Is that due to all those animated ads in the sponsors section on the left?

Thanks
 

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What is it about the Bandit 1250 that needs improvement? It sounds like what you want, not high reving and torquey? You find it bland looking?

As far as the rest goes, don't discount Moto Guzzi. I don't know if it's affordable or not, but they aren't reliability problems. THey're build like tanks. And you get your shaft drive.
 

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What is it about the Bandit 1250 that needs improvement? It sounds like what you want, not high reving and torquey? You find it bland looking?
Like I said, it's nothing to look at. There's nothing to make it stand out from 1000s of other similar bikes on the UK roads. Nothing to say "look at that engine", "listen to that wonderful sound". OK, I can add a can but that only makes it sound like a loud rasp. I like a bike to sound like a traditional bike and not like a racing car clone. Besides, I am being greedy - I am wanting form AND function. With the Suzuki, I've got the function but no form. I want both and therefore get something that gives me pleasure to look at and own just as much as much as riding it. Also, I am looking for something with better options for a pasenger and maybe something a little easier for my wife to get on. A Harley seat is quite low. I don't know about the Thunderbird or R3T though.

As far as the rest goes, don't discount Moto Guzzi. I don't know if it's affordable or not, but they aren't reliability problems. THey're build like tanks. And you get your shaft drive.
I looked at them as an alternative before buying the Suzuki. A local dealer and shaft drive was quite tempting. I stayed in contact and met up with a few local Guzzi owners. They were enthusiastic about their bikes but from their stories of warped discs, faulty instruments, bolts coming undone, corrosion and broken trim, I knew that a Guzzi wasn't for me. I did test ride a Breva but the engine was average low down and breathless and thrashy and higher revs just like a BMW flat twin. And I didn't like the annoying rattle that the single-plate clutch makes when pulled in.
 

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"I like the Rocket III but it's a big bike in Gold Wing territory ".....

Ride the Rocket before you compare it to a gold Wing.

Completely different feeling machines.

My opinion is biased, but I do not see how anyone can do anything but fall madly in love with the rocket.
 

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Welcome to the forum SteelD.

I understand what you mean by the bland factor. I have ridden a few and they just don't stir the soul.

Your lines show a direction towards the ST but it depends on your love/need/want of a fully faired bike. They go like the powers and have torque from 2000rpm right through to redline. They tour well, are good for 2 up and you can still cut the traffic at the lights.

The sound with a TOR, Ixil or Trident makes you wet yourself (figuratively speaking), they're reliable, predicable and heaps of fun in the twisties.

But as rndtaylor said - Don't discount the Rocket they are a formidable bike. :)

I research Triumphs for about 6 months before deciding on the RS but had a limited budget otherwise I would have bought and 03/04 ST 955i.

Good luck with your research and choice..
 

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"The sound with a TOR, Ixil or Trident makes you want to wet yourself [figuratively speaking]"


What do you mean [figuratively speaking?] I've had to return home several times to change my trousers after thrashing the throttle on my tiger!:D
 
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