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I'm strongly considering trading up to a 2010-2011 Thunderbird. I'd like to get some user feedback on the bike. I've taken it for a couple of test drives and really like the bike, so it's probably just a matter of time. If you can help me with any of the below, I'd appreciate it.

How accurate are the gauges (speedo, fuel, odo)? On my current bike, the speedo reads 10% high stock, which translates into the same error on the trip/odo. The fuel gauge is also complete junk, and reads empty at 2/3 tank remaining.

Any option for locked gas cap other than Triumph branded? I find it weird that a locking cap is not standard.

Is there a recommended weight chart for the adjustable shocks? As I don't have the bike, I don't have a owner's manual yet and for some reason Triumph doesn't have them for download on their website that I could see. I've read some reviews saying the #1 setting is too soft and recommend #3 for riders >200 lbs. I've also read people say that #3 was too high for 2 up riding. I'm curious if this is documented in the manual at all, or if it's just trial and error/user preference. I'm about 250, and found the #1 setting on the test bike to be really soft and probably caused the pegs to scrape more than I would like.

Any info on when the 2012 should start appearing at dealerships? I'm currently looking at ~12k USD incl/ $400 in accessories on a 2011 ABS black. Having the leverage of labeling a prior year hold over when 2012s come in couldn't hurt. Also would be nice if the 2011's would get the preferred financing terms as well (cheap financing is only on the 2010s atm).

Can you mount highway pegs on the frame or do you *need* the dresser bars? If you want to add the Triumph pegs, it makes you pick up the dresser bar. Anyone mounted them on the existing black frame bars?

How do people find the stock seat? In my admittedly limited rides, I found the seat to be very comfy. But, I also thought that initially on the Vulcan, which turned out to be terrible after ~30 min. Is there a consensus on the stock seat or best replacement options?

Thanks in advance for reading and comments.
 

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How accurate are the gauges (speedo, fuel, odo)? On my current bike, the speedo reads 10% high stock, which translates into the same error on the trip/odo. The fuel gauge is also complete junk, and reads empty at 2/3 tank remaining.
speedo is 50 MPH at actual 46. But there is a program we get free (requires a $10-20 cable) called "tuneecu" that lets up play with the bike's ECU and you can set the speedo to be accurate easily. Fuel isn't exactly accurate, but not near as bad as yours. It shows a light when you are around 4 gallons down (holds 5.8) but it's a warning light, not a empty light. just there to tell you to fuel up before long. The gauge itself is fairly close but not totally accurate. i've never taken it down to empty, but when vey close the tank was pretty low. Odo....not sure.

Any option for locked gas cap other than Triumph branded? I find it weird that a locking cap is not standard.
I believe there is one. Se fasteddysports.com

Is there a recommended weight chart for the adjustable shocks? As I don't have the bike, I don't have a owner's manual yet and for some reason Triumph doesn't have them for download on their website that I could see. I've read some reviews saying the #1 setting is too soft and recommend #3 for riders >200 lbs. I've also read people say that #3 was too high for 2 up riding. I'm curious if this is documented in the manual at all, or if it's just trial and error/user preference. I'm about 250, and found the #1 setting on the test bike to be really soft and probably caused the pegs to scrape more than I would like.
cant help you there. Im 170 and setting 1 is so fine i have never even tried anything else.

Any info on when the 2012 should start appearing at dealerships? I'm currently looking at ~12k USD incl/ $400 in accessories on a 2011 ABS black. Having the leverage of labeling a prior year hold over when 2012s come in couldn't hurt. Also would be nice if the 2011's would get the preferred financing terms as well (cheap financing is only on the 2010s atm).
They seem to start coming in a few weeks after the new year from what i recall.

Can you mount highway pegs on the frame or do you *need* the dresser bars? If you want to add the Triumph pegs, it makes you pick up the dresser bar. Anyone mounted them on the existing black frame bars?
theres no place to mount them on the frame i believe because the radiator is in the way. But i'm not 100% on that. Don't think they'd stick out far enough if you did that anyways.

How do people find the stock seat? In my admittedly limited rides, I found the seat to be very comfy. But, I also thought that initially on the Vulcan, which turned out to be terrible after ~30 min. Is there a consensus on the stock seat or best replacement options?
I love it. I am nearly 60 and my arse doesn't like anything thats not real easy on it. But the firmness which some thing is too hard initially soon realize it actually HELPS with long distance comfort. There is a "long haul" one available, but some like myself have no reason to want that.

PS: get the 1700 kit installed along with shorties...that is a killer combination and the bike just slays the 1600 in how strong it feels and is much more enjoyable even riding sedately. Of course if you DO want to fly it will do so in a whole different league than the 1600. (it's all in the 1700's cams) Tone is much better too. I could never go back.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum; I think you'll find it better than most. There are many experienced riders, helpful folks, good moderators and the talk is mostly focused on Thunderbirds!
I'm sure others with more experience than I have will weigh in, but here are my thoughts on your questions:

I'm strongly considering trading up to a 2010-2011 Thunderbird. I'd like to get some user feedback on the bike. I've taken it for a couple of test drives and really like the bike, so it's probably just a matter of time. If you can help me with any of the below, I'd appreciate it.

How accurate are the gauges (speedo, fuel, odo)? On my current bike, the speedo reads 10% high stock, which translates into the same error on the trip/odo. The fuel gauge is also complete junk, and reads empty at 2/3 tank remaining.
My speedo reads about 10% high, but I think that's very common across lots of bikes; that will of course effect the odometer. The gas gauge appears to be adequately accurate. Some have reported problems with a sticking speed but mine is fine so far. Apparently the dealers are aware of the sticky speedo issue and repairs are done under warranty.Any option for locked gas cap other than Triumph branded? I find it weird that a locking cap is not standard.
Yes there are non Triumph locking gas caps available.Is there a recommended weight chart for the adjustable shocks? As I don't have the bike, I don't have a owner's manual yet and for some reason Triumph doesn't have them for download on their website that I could see. I've read some reviews saying the #1 setting is too soft and recommend #3 for riders >200 lbs. I've also read people say that #3 was too high for 2 up riding. I'm curious if this is documented in the manual at all, or if it's just trial and error/user preference. I'm about 250, and found the #1 setting on the test bike to be really soft and probably caused the pegs to scrape more than I would like. I have been able to download a manual. To answer your question though, the one that comes with the bike says setting #1 if for solo riding and setting #5 is for riding with a pillion. There are several threads on the subject and some have experimented with higher solo settings.
Any info on when the 2012 should start appearing at dealerships? I don't know the answer to that. I'm currently looking at ~12k USD incl/ $400 in accessories on a 2011 ABS black. Having the leverage of labeling a prior year hold over when 2012s come in couldn't hurt. Also would be nice if the 2011's would get the preferred financing terms as well (cheap financing is only on the 2010s atm). The price you mention seems reasonalble. I paid $13,312 for mine out the door - tags & taxes. Mine is a 2010 without ABS but there was a special incentive for windshield, locking sissy bar, and touring seat included. Those options at list are $1390.

Can you mount highway pegs on the frame or do you *need* the dresser bars? If you want to add the Triumph pegs, it makes you pick up the dresser bar. Anyone mounted them on the existing black frame bars? I don't know the anwer to that either.How do people find the stock seat? In my admittedly limited rides, I found the seat to be very comfy. But, I also thought that initially on the Vulcan, which turned out to be terrible after ~30 min. Is there a consensus on the stock seat or best replacement options? Some (many?) have complained about the stock seat. Personally, I think the touring seat is much more comfortable. It was part of my package, but I retained the original seat.Thanks in advance for reading and comments.
Hope this helps - good luck with your decision. I have no regrets having made mine.
 

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I see Dazco beat me to the punch while my fat fingers were pecking away! Then again I'm almost 65 so he has the younster advantage. :p
 

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I have some thoughts on a couple of your questions:

The speedometer does seem a bit high on mine, but I'm not sure. There's a speed indicator LED on the highway near my place that I pass every day. At exactly 100km/h on my gauge it gives me a radar reading of 92 or 93. But I've often thought I have more trust in my bike gauge than in some sign a bureaucrat put up for the express purpose of making sure I get tickets so they get paid (a great reason to undercalibrate a radar sign).

I haven't looked into the locking cap. Don't think I need it as I always park my bike in a locked garage or where I can see it.

I think that as Dazco mentioned, the radiator would prevent attaching pegs to the frame, but that's just speculation as I'm not sure how they attach.

The stock Thunderbird seat fits me perfectly. I took a 500km + trip the other week and felt perfectly comfortable at the end in the stock Tbird seat. But ... I also know that its impossible to know how a seat feels for someone else. I'm sure plenty of people love that Vulcan seat? I hated the Vulcan 900 seat - after half an hour my legs went numb, it was horrible.

Mind you, nothing compares to sheer awful like the Harley Nightster I sat on the other day. Holy smokes, that thing felt like sitting on a couple of warped 2x4 boards nailed side by side. I can't understand how people actually enjoy riding that bike.

Draeger
 

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All that being said...get the bike it is AWESOME!

I have had mine now for almost a month and I simply cannot get enough of it.

It is an absolute joy to ride. What a sweet machine.

I got mine used. It already had the twin-t handlebars and hog slayer exhaust installed...amungst a few other things. I highly recommend the bars and exhaust.

Good luck
 

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Those roadside speed signs are surely accurate. I have 2 near my house and severl more i go by regularly and they all read exactly the same according to my speedo, so they are obviously calibrated meticulously to the same speed ragardless of what that is.

now if you think what that is is undercalibrated, how do you supposed they get away with that when lots of people have GPS and can test them. No way they would hand out tickets based on those. There would instantly be a big buzz about that and the police would have big problems and have to pay back potentially millions in tickets. they can't even get away with uncalibrated radar guns today, so having lying speed signs all over the place just ain't gonna happen. i assure you they are accurate. further proof is i have seen people say that according to thier GPS the Tbird's speedo is off by the exact same amount mine is, and that means all the speeds signs i see are spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments everyone.

I'm now stuck on deciding between the 1600 w/ ABS or a Storm. The Storm is leading atm (I prefer the blacked out look and dual headlights to uber chromed), but ABS is an attractive feature.

They seem to start coming in a few weeks after the new year from what i recall.
Ah, bugger. That would mean I might have to wait even longer. Patience has never been my strong suit :)
 

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Greetings and Welcome!

I've had my Tbird a little more than a year now and love it... I've a couple Harley's but I ride the bird exclusively. I do a 3hr ride one way about twice a month... from Austin to DFW.

I found the stock seat pretty uncomfortable. You will definitely have a few HOT SPOTS if you're in the saddle any length of time.

I have a Corbin on my FXLRC, so I contacted Corbin and they make a single and a two up seat for the Tbird... Lots of material and other options available... I have found that the this new seat is much more comfortable... but you will sit a little higher (more padding). Corbin takes into account your height and weight when they make your saddle. They also tell you that it will take several hours in the saddle to break it in too.

Changing the seat and adding floor boards has made my Tbird the most comfortable bike I ever owned. I test rode the RIII which is like a Rolls Royce!!!!

If you buy this bike, you will love it.

hagatha
 

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Call triumph's USA headquareters and talk to a rep. The website says it's available on the storm so the dealer is likely an idiot. Most are anyways. Triumph USA: (678) 854-2010
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did ask the dealer about ABS on the Storm, and he said they weren't available yet. But the brakes on the Tbird are great even w/o ABS (although I would have preferred ABS).

However, I did end up going with the Storm. Got it $13k OTD w/ shorties, black seat rack, and a few other minor goodies. I'm loving it so far. Everyone that said there is a noticeable difference between the 1600 and 1700 were not joking. The 1700 has a bit more of a 'shoulder wrenching' feel to it. Plus I love the murdered out black look and dual headlights.

Too bad the weather is starting to turn here. Going to be a short rest of the season for me and the Storm. :/

Thanks everyone for your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And, come to think of it, I have one more question.

After getting the bike and reading the manual, it seems like I have to get the service done at the dealer per the warranty terms. I usually prefer to do the maintenance stuff myself on my car and bike (you know how much of a ripoff dealer service can be). I haven't called to ask about this yet, but does anyone else have any info on whether the service has to be done by the dealer or the warranty is void (obviously, self service needs to keep receipts)?

The finance lady tried to push a '2 yr service package' on me for $700, which I passed on. As soon as I did, she said the first service usually runs $400, which seemed really high. But, I hadn't read the warranty blurb requiring dealer service, so I didn't think anything of it. According to the manual, the first service is an oil change, ecu check, and 'make sure nothing leaks/looks broken' service. How can that be anywhere near $400?? Anyone have any input on what the first service ran you from the dealer (for reference, their standard oil change only rate is $70)?
 

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You're right, theres no where near any kind of validity to the prices they charge. they charged me $500 for the 600, and i only did it because i just spent more on a bike than i ever had by about two fold and was paranoid about not doing it. But i quickly went back to me "dealer ain't touching my bike" attitude after that. Big mistake doing the 600....$500 for what is essentially just an oil change. anything else they did i could do in minutes.

as to the warranty issue, there are laws that prohibit them from denying warranty issues because you did the work yourself. I always look at it like this....by the time your warranty is out, you will have spent so much money on service that had you done it yourself you'd have saved enough $ to have anything that you can imagine going wrong fixed. I believe most paid around a grand to 12 hundred for the 12k service. The valve adjust is best left to them unless you are experienced, but you can have them do only that for around $250 (quoted by my dealer) and save $750 or more doing the rest yourself. dealers make a huge part of thier living on insanely overpriced service. there will always be enough people who will do that because they are unaware of the reality or aren't able to do it themselves. But if you are able, don't be ripped off. I am no mechanic, but mecanically inclined, and so far I haven't found anything i can't do myself as far as typical maintenance goes besides valves. tires i remove the wheels myself and take to a ducati dealer where they mount them for 20 buch each.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks daz. I'll look into a bit more and probably call Triumph to verify it.

Like you, I'm no mechanic, but I can follow a service manual easily enough. So, I'd much rather do the service myself. I can't see spending $70 on an oil change when I can do it for about $30 on a lazy Saturday. I'd need to see something pretty big to warrant spending $400-500 on the first oil change.

Anyone else have any experience with submitting a warranty claim after doing their own service?
 

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One thing is for sure, Triumph dealer service prices are all over the place. Dazco paid $500 for the same 1st service that I paid $150 for. It is worth calling your own local dealer to see what they charge before deciding that it isn't worth it. I certainly would not have paid $500, but I didn't mind paying $150.
 
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