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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I've been away from this forum and motorcycles for several years. Actually moved from AZ to FL last year. Had a Thunderbird in 2009, and Speed Triples before and after that bike. But stopped riding around 2017.

Anyway. While at the power sports shop picking up boat parts, I saw a blast from my past for sale on the floor - well, sort of. A 2013 Thunderbird storm 1700 caught my eye. Good price, and I might consider buying it..

For those of you riding Thunderbirds, how well are they holding up over time, especially now that they are not being made. The one I look at is well maintained, with 20k miles. What can I expect, are parts still fairly easy to get, and is the bike still reliable?

My last one gave me no trouble for 6k miles, except a stupid coolant leak from some hose, that never really got fixed completely even though they tried 2x under warranty. But the bike never let me down and I enjoyed it..

I am at a point where I want to return to riding, but will not be riding Harleys!

Would be great to be a regular here again after so many years!
 

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Mine was one of the fisrt pre order bikes i pickup up at the end of july 2009. Still have it and it's got 85,000 miles on it. As u may recall there was a issue a lot of people have where theres a random knocking sound apparently due to piston geometry. Mine had it tho these days it's pretty much gone. And it's proven NOT to be any sort of reliability or longevity issue, just an annoying issue if the noise bothers you. Soem have it, some don;'t, and every degree in
between and it;s random, not constant.

Anyways, i have never had a single issue with it and it runs literally better then it did new. It's my fav bike ever and IMO the greatest cruiser ever made and to ME, the greatest triumph ever made. The only issues i have had are wear and tear. On my 3rd clutch cable, and I *think///8 u could call that an issue because f you look at the threaded part it runs thru at the lever end the edges are sharp and thats where it frayed. This last one i investigated it and noticed that and beveled the end so it couldn't touch the very edge and sanded i the inner bit smooth. So i doubt it will happen again nearly as soon. Put a new belt on a 1000 miles or so ago just to be safe and because they may get hard or impossible to find being a discontinued bike.

And that's the one thing i think you need to consider...parts may become impossible to find rendering the Tbird the worlds most gorgeous door stop. If u DO get one i would suggest buying a new belt asap and any other parts that are likely to wear or break. But in any case as far as holding up/reliability, mine has been exceptional and having followed the forums here and elsewhere, thats generally the case with the vast majority of owners. I have literally not heard of any catastrophic failures and even minor ones are rare. So my only concern if i were u are discontinues parts. But i can't say how bad thats going to get and how soon or even if it's a issue already. But consider the fact that the bike was only in production about 7 years and very few wwere sold meaning even used parts are becoming hard to find. If it tells u anything about how few were made, in the 13 years i've had mine in a huge metro area (los angeles) i have literally seen less than a handful of them on the street. just 3 i can think of offhand. That means very few bikes for triumph to want to keep making part for much longer and very few used parts. That IMO should be your biggest consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That’s a spot on reply! Thank you!

Mine was one of the fisrt pre order bikes i pickup up at the end of july 2009. Still have it and it's got 85,000 miles on it. As u may recall there was a issue a lot of people have where theres a random knocking sound apparently due to piston geometry. Mine had it tho these days it's pretty much gone. And it's proven NOT to be any sort of reliability or longevity issue, just an annoying issue if the noise bothers you. Soem have it, some don;'t, and every degree in
between and it;s random, not constant.

Anyways, i have never had a single issue with it and it runs literally better then it did new. It's my fav bike ever and IMO the greatest cruiser ever made and to ME, the greatest triumph ever made. The only issues i have had are wear and tear. On my 3rd clutch cable, and I *think///8 u could call that an issue because f you look at the threaded part it runs thru at the lever end the edges are sharp and thats where it frayed. This last one i investigated it and noticed that and beveled the end so it couldn't touch the very edge and sanded i the inner bit smooth. So i doubt it will happen again nearly as soon. Put a new belt on a 1000 miles or so ago just to be safe and because they may get hard or impossible to find being a discontinued bike.

And that's the one thing i think you need to consider...parts may become impossible to find rendering the Tbird the worlds most gorgeous door stop. If u DO get one i would suggest buying a new belt asap and any other parts that are likely to wear or break. But in any case as far as holding up/reliability, mine has been exceptional and having followed the forums here and elsewhere, thats generally the case with the vast majority of owners. I have literally not heard of any catastrophic failures and even minor ones are rare. So my only concern if i were u are discontinues parts. But i can't say how bad thats going to get and how soon or even if it's a issue already. But consider the fact that the bike was only in production about 7 years and very few wwere sold meaning even used parts are becoming hard to find. If it tells u anything about how few were made, in the 13 years i've had mine in a huge metro area (los angeles) i have literally seen less than a handful of them on the street. just 3 i can think of offhand. That means very few bikes for triumph to want to keep making part for much longer and very few used parts. That IMO should be your biggest consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As much as I want the 1700, I am gonna hold off.
So glad I read your reply first and starting questioning everything..

I spent time inspecting it today at the dealer. I discovered the fuel gauge is wonky. $700 to fix if they can get parts, and they won’t agree to cover it. So I passed. Their response,”guess it’s going to auction”… sigh!

Back to the drawing board.
 

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I've had 13 years of never ending tire replacement because the beast eats them like gas. And with gas so high and not likely to ever go down to where it was, i'm feeling like nows the time to go small. Especially at my age. Love the Tbird but i've had plently of miles on it and I may keep it for those occasions where i gotta have that big torquey beast, but i'll ride whatever i end up with 95% or more of the time. Either a street twin or a T120. If a ST then i'd probably have to keep the Tbird, as the ST won't be good at all for high speed long distance freeway that i do a few times a year. But if not for the fact they are discontinued and the possibility of another clacker, i might have considered replacing the bird with a used one of the same with under 10k on it. So many things to consider that none of my possibly scenarious is 100% satisfying. If only they'd make a 1200 version of the old speddmaster/america type bike that would be the only perfect solution. Then i'd definitely sell the bird and make the new bike my do it all bike. But instead they came out with a second version of the bobber they call a speedmaster cruiser. It's the bobber with different bars and seat basically. Not much better then ducati calling the diavel a cruiser. Theres just nothing out there like the Tbird anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are right! I almost bought an America years ago. But passed on it because I wanted something sportier and ended up with my first speed triple. Right now I am riding around on a dirt cheap 2004 Honda vtx1300 I picked up Reliable but old as dirt! And I hate carbs. Sucks up gas pretty good too. But it cleaned up nicely and is reliable for something that got me back on 2 wheels. Now that I have realized I still love the ride, I want something newer, smoother, and cooler.

Too bad the thunderbird wasn’t a good option. Dealer called me late yesterday and claims the gauge now works. Not sure I trust that.

So for now I listed the Honda for private sale and will keep my eyes open! If I had the money I would consider an Indian Scout. But the right bike will come along. I would even consider a little smaller bike.I don’t want an 800# beast but something smaller that is can be comfortable for a long day of fun exploring.
 

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You are right! I almost bought an America years ago. But passed on it because I wanted something sportier and ended up with my first speed triple. Right now I am riding around on a dirt cheap 2004 Honda vtx1300 I picked up Reliable but old as dirt! And I hate carbs. Sucks up gas pretty good too. But it cleaned up nicely and is reliable for something that got me back on 2 wheels. Now that I have realized I still love the ride, I want something newer, smoother, and cooler.

Too bad the thunderbird wasn’t a good option. Dealer called me late yesterday and claims the gauge now works. Not sure I trust that.

So for now I listed the Honda for private sale and will keep my eyes open! If I had the money I would consider an Indian Scout. But the right bike will come along. I would even consider a little smaller bike.I don’t want an 800# beast but something smaller that is can be comfortable for a long day of fun exploring.
Well I have a 2012 storm I bought dang near brand new 6 months ago. 10 yrs old and only 4700 on the clock. I have been riding with the same tires. but i know they are hard AF. getting set to replace them. I love the bike. I also have a 2005 America that I have ridden for 18+ years. I havta admit, getting on the America after a few weeks on the Storm,,,, I miss the power. Ihave teh Hogslayers , K&N in teh air box and under seat air channel removed. I average 42 MPG. and smile ear to ear. 4.8 gallons also means Im usually only filing 1/2 a tank when riding with friends! LOL. when you have stops for the smallest tank in the crowd, (usually 3 gallons give or take) means every 110 to 20 mi.
 

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Hey all,

I've been away from this forum and motorcycles for several years. Actually moved from AZ to FL last year. Had a Thunderbird in 2009, and Speed Triples before and after that bike. But stopped riding around 2017.

Anyway. While at the power sports shop picking up boat parts, I saw a blast from my past for sale on the floor - well, sort of. A 2013 Thunderbird storm 1700 caught my eye. Good price, and I might consider buying it..

For those of you riding Thunderbirds, how well are they holding up over time, especially now that they are not being made. The one I look at is well maintained, with 20k miles. What can I expect, are parts still fairly easy to get, and is the bike still reliable?

My last one gave me no trouble for 6k miles, except a stupid coolant leak from some hose, that never really got fixed completely even though they tried 2x under warranty. But the bike never let me down and I enjoyed it..

I am at a point where I want to return to riding, but will not be riding Harleys!

Would be great to be a regular here again after so many years!
I've had my 2015 Storm since March of that year. I have put 60,000 miles on it, traveling 3 times across the USA and back and one trip riding all four corners of the country. Whether it is multiple days in a row or just a day-trip the bike has been absolutely perfect and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
 

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You are right! I almost bought an America years ago. But passed on it because I wanted something sportier and ended up with my first speed triple. Right now I am riding around on a dirt cheap 2004 Honda vtx1300 I picked up Reliable but old as dirt! And I hate carbs. Sucks up gas pretty good too. But it cleaned up nicely and is reliable for something that got me back on 2 wheels. Now that I have realized I still love the ride, I want something newer, smoother, and cooler.

Too bad the thunderbird wasn’t a good option. Dealer called me late yesterday and claims the gauge now works. Not sure I trust that.

So for now I listed the Honda for private sale and will keep my eyes open! If I had the money I would consider an Indian Scout. But the right bike will come along. I would even consider a little smaller bike.I don’t want an 800# beast but something smaller that is can be comfortable for a long day of fun exploring.
I don't usually read this forum but I owned a 2014 T-Bird LT for 7 years, and it was an awesome bike. I've also ridden the Storm. But last year realized I wasn't riding the T-Bird because of the weight/size got to be a bit much for me. I wanted to get something lighter, and ended up with a 2021 Speedmaster. I've set it up for touring, and it's not a match for power compared to the Storm, but it handles well and has a great engine. This is my 3rd Triumph-- '95 T-Bird, '14 T-Bird LT, and 2021 Speedmaster. Reliability on all of them has been excellent, and I just took a touring trip on the Speedmaster.

So even though it's a smaller bike, it's versatile enough to fit with panniers, windshield and other parts necessary for touring. It's a different animal from the Storm, but worth checking into if you can't find a Storm you like or worry about the parts situation. Good luck on your search. HappyTrails, DBrian
 

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I don't usually read this forum but I owned a 2014 T-Bird LT for 7 years, and it was an awesome bike. I've also ridden the Storm. But last year realized I wasn't riding the T-Bird because of the weight/size got to be a bit much for me. I wanted to get something lighter, and ended up with a 2021 Speedmaster. I've set it up for touring, and it's not a match for power compared to the Storm, but it handles well and has a great engine. This is my 3rd Triumph-- '95 T-Bird, '14 T-Bird LT, and 2021 Speedmaster. Reliability on all of them has been excellent, and I just took a touring trip on the Speedmaster.

So even though it's a smaller bike, it's versatile enough to fit with panniers, windshield and other parts necessary for touring. It's a different animal from the Storm, but worth checking into if you can't find a Storm you like or worry about the parts situation. Good luck on your search. HappyTrails, DBrian
How's the 1200s suspension on long rides.
I hear it's not very forgiving. For an old dude with little ass I need a soft ride.
 

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How's the 1200s suspension on long rides.
I hear it's not very forgiving. For an old dude with little ass I need a soft ride.
You're right that the SM doesn't have anywhere near the soft ride of the Thunderbird. My LT just floated over road imperfections, bumps and small potholes as if they weren't even there. Not so with the SM, and when it bottomed out on me the first time, I was worried because I'm an old dude with a lower back that doesn't like to be jolted.

Systematically, I increased the preload on the rear mono shock by one setting and then purposely rode over rough pavement. I repeated this until there was no bottoming out, even with my wife on the back. For me (at 225 pounds) that meant increasing the preload to the 5th out of 7 settings. The ride was better, but still not "soft". However, after putting 3,000 miles on the bike I feel a difference and more "softness" in the ride. It handles bumps much better without any bottoming out.

Put in car terms, I'd say the Thunderbird was like a Cadillac and the Speedmaster is more like a good handling sports car with a taut suspension. Not harsh anymore, but taut. I hardly notice the bumps, but if there's a BIG bump in the road, I always lift up on the pegs enough to make sure I don't absorb it... even though there's no bottoming out.

I hope that helps. If you really want a cushy ride, then the SM is probably not for you. I know some have gone to aftermarket monoshocks like hagon or ohlins or others, and there are lots of threads on the forum about that. I hope this was helpful. Let us know what you decide... and happy riding. DBrian
 
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