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In my quest for a Thunderbird 900 I’ve came across two Sport models with similar mileage and both in good condition.
One is Yellow/black 98 model with front gaiters, napoleon mirrors and center stand, the other is a 2004 Black/yellow with no extras.
Apart from the exhaust lay out and paint is there any other difference between the two models?

I like better the paint scheeme of the early one, it is also some 15% cheaper than the 2004. Which one would you recommend me to buy and why. Please advise ASAP

Thanks
 

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I’d go with the later model just logically since if there were any kinks and I can remember at least one (stator I think) they would have been ironed out.

I also prefer a muffler on either side for the look unless it’s a 3:1


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Personally, I'd buy the one that looked like it was in better shape, but I've always been more worried about function than I am form.

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Center stand alone is worth around 180$ and it helps alot in servicing. Older version with exhaust on one side is harder to find and their value is growing faster. Yellow with black tank sides should have additional solo seat in standard (value around 250$).
I’m choosing red and black option like mine ? (everyone knows that red one are the fastest one ? )
One thing that you should check during the comparison is cylinders compression. Both of them can have damaged cylinders surfaces because of standing for long time without riding.
They got different types of ecu, different types of a gauges (different manufacturer)( I don’t know which one is better).
Once I had a black motorcycle and after that I’ve promised to myself - never again ? It is very hard to keep it clean and shiny.
Tbs’s after year 2000 have different type of subframes and they are more comfortable for passenger (lower passenger footpegs) and it’s easier to attach panniers on them.
 

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i prefer the early model alloy rims compared to the chrome ones on later model , harder to keep clean but polished alloy looks classier than chrome i think,
 

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As the owner of a 99, my choice would be a 98. The exhaust going up the right side I find more appealing. Just a bit more stylish. Also, the wheels are polished aluminum Akront, which were preferable to the steel wheels used in later years. I also find the yellow and black a great color scheme. If the bike looks to have been well cared for, you should be fine. All the colors schemes are very pretty, so it does make it a hard choice.
 

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I would go for 2004 since the swingaem was redesigned and hopefully has better suspension. The rear swing arm and suspension on the 95-98 is garbage. It bottoms out and going to a high end shock has been a super pain because so there isn’t a whole lot of travel.
 
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