Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've run across a 1997 Thunderbird for sale used ....

Anybody have info or suggestions about this model/model year ?

What is a good price for this (mileage not known)?

Thanks in advance for advice & suggestions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,438 Posts
1997 and 1998 are two of my favorite years. All the bugs were worked out, and the build quality was a little better than the later models.

I would check the NADA site for the best current value. In the past year, these bikes have been appreciating. Should be good if you can get it in the $3500 - $4500 range.

Be careful of low mileage bikes.. Too low a mileage may mean it has been cared for poorly, and could need carb work, battery, new rubber, etc. I'd want a bike this age to have at least 10k on the odometer...

Are you getting this bike for yourself, wife, etc?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,462 Posts
Could still have earlier (somewhat fragile) sprag clutch parts - my 98 Tbird escaped by getting later factory fit parts by only a few hundred VIN nos. according to the fiche. This can be checked by removing alternator and looking to see if the drive cog is held by a stud & nut (good) or bolt head (not so..) IIRC. Clutch has to come off to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
T-Bird

1997 and 1998 are two of my favorite years. All the bugs were worked out, and the build quality was a little better than the later models.

I would check the NADA site for the best current value. In the past year, these bikes have been appreciating. Should be good if you can get it in the $3500 - $4500 range.

Be careful of low mileage bikes.. Too low a mileage may mean it has been cared for poorly, and could need carb work, battery, new rubber, etc. I'd want a bike this age to have at least 10k on the odometer...

Are you getting this bike for yourself, wife, etc?

Am looking for myself - something classic as a solo bike and hoping to find better gas mileage than my Rocket :)

I have been keeping an eye out for a Bonnie or America and this one poped up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Tbird on Ebay

There is a 2001 model with just about perfect mileage, not too much - not too little, down the road from you in Georgia. It looks like it is priced right and you should be out of the dreaded Sprag clutch VINs. That is the good news. The bad news is it probably has Gill coils. ($200.00 for a set of Nology coils and an hour or so of wrenching sure beats changing a Sprag clutch.)

just in case you missed it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2001-Triumph-Thunderbird-Low-miles-No-Reserve_W0QQitemZ190274363469QQihZ009QQcategoryZ80649QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,438 Posts
Am looking for myself - something classic as a solo bike and hoping to find better gas mileage than my Rocket :)

I have been keeping an eye out for a Bonnie or America and this one poped up.

Fuel mileage is not so hot on the Mikuni bikes. I think Mik's perform better, and are much easier to work on then Keihins, but Mikuni MPG is in the 33 - 42 range (your mileage may vary).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
That 2001 model has one more thing to consider, it probably has the cheaper starter on it as well. It is still easier than a sprag clutch.

I had Mikunis on my S3 and Keihins on my TBS and I definitely like the Keihins better. They did get better mileage (which they should since the S3 has a higher spec motor and lower gearing) and seemed to stay in tune better and be less finicky on start up and in bad weather. I even put Keihin FCR's on the S3 and got better mileage with more horsepower!

Having a Rocket I understand about the mileage, I'm going to use my 1100 Shadow as a daily driver this summer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,438 Posts
I definitely like the Keihins better. They did get better mileage (which they should since the S3 has a higher spec motor and lower gearing) and seemed to stay in tune better and be less finicky on start up and in bad weather. I even put Keihin FCR's on the S3 and got better mileage with more horsepower!
I've run both on a Bird. Miks are definitely more cold natured. I just like working on them better. Setting the floats on the K's is a pain, IMHO.

Huge difference between the Keihin FCRs and the Keihin CVTs... totally different animal. 'Course, you are back to cold natured again with the FCRs, since they are racing carbs and don't have any choke, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
I've run both on a Bird. Miks are definitely more cold natured. I just like working on them better. Setting the floats on the K's is a pain, IMHO.

Huge difference between the Keihin FCRs and the Keihin CVTs... totally different animal. 'Course, you are back to cold natured again with the FCRs, since they are racing carbs and don't have any choke, right?
Correct, no choke. The procedure is turn the idle up the whole way twist the throttle three times (this varies of course with weather) and hit the button and she fires up easily. The carbs have accelerator pumps so it isn't as bad as you would think but I have it jetted for warm weather so that is when it gets ridden, at least when it is rideable again. They are suprisingly good at being an all around carb for the road, BigAl seems to have good luck with his. They do require a lot of messing with to get them right.

I realized that the FCR's are very different I was just using it as a mileage comparison that I got better mileage with Kehien race carbs than the stock Mikunis and still gained a lot of power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,934 Posts
FCR's are a bitch to get going in the cold (below 50). You need to prime the accelator pump by twisting the throttle. Then I usually let them idle a little high until the bike is warmed up.

Lost a little gas mileage by switching to the FCRs but the additional power is well worth it.

Hopefully we'll get a bunch of people together in NC to compare notes in May!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
762 Posts
slowry, you ask a simple question and you get really quality answers. Any year T-Bird you get will be a good one. Each year has it little quirk but don't let that stop you because the solution is right here for everyone of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I picked up my 97 TB last summer for $2500 with 20k miles on it with complete maintenance records all the way back to day 1 from the previous owner. I'm noticing that either the prices are climbing or I just got a rat killing deal. Its had its little quirks, but nothing major yet. Overall, I've got about $3k invested, mostly cosmetic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Gidday I have just purchased a 97 T'bird 42000kms one owner service history in excellent condition. Have done 2000kms and bike goes fantastic!! I had a 60's T'bird in the 70's and I've just come back after a break of 32 years riding and it sure is good to be back on two wheels at every opportunity.
Robert
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,084 Posts
Welcome Robert, a '97 with low mileage, you were lucky to find it.

Keep riding and posting !


----------------
Ride on ! :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top