Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, My wife would like to go along on a few local rides, but the seat on my Sprint is too stepped, and she sits too high. Plus, it's not very easy for her to get on and off.

I started looking around, and really like the T-Bird, so the question is, how comfortable are they two-up for 2-3 hour rides? I'm not as concerned about power, as I am about handling, as most rides will be secondary road pleasure rides. We're not lightweights, about 400# combined, so the suspension would need to be pretty stout, or easily upgradable.

All input appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
My wife really enjoyed riding with me on my Thunderbird Sport. We took several day trips on it together, including taking it on our honeymoon... :) I have a Rocket III now, and even with the gel seat, no one really enjoys riding as a passenger on it.. lol. The Thunderbird isn't a Gold Wing, but we had a great time riding two-up on that bike. It also sit your passenger more inline with the rider than sitting her above you where she catches all the wind..

My wife and I both are 5'11" and combined we weigh about 360 lbs.. Th bike handled just fine with both of us on it..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Hey Sherpa. You're not far from my home. I wonder if you have seen the Tbird for sale at CAT?

My wife rates the Tbird pretty high - 8-1/2 out of 10. She liked the gel seat I added. I'm still running the stock suspension, though I would like to upgrade soon with a Hagon and some better springs. Combined we weigh close to 360lbs - add 50lbs of luggage and we're over 400lbs. We have gone out of state a few times, weekend trips. The Tbird handles the load pretty well, though it's a little squirrelly at low speeds and the suspension is a bit rough. My wife likes the bench seat of the Tbird over stepped seats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Another local! Have you considered any other T300 bikes, like a Speed Triple? It has a lot of the same attributes as the Tbirds but with more power, better brakes and better suspension. For two up riding I would recommend one with an aftermarket rear shock and a corbin seat. The passenger pegs are higher than on a Tbird but I do not think it is that radical. Aftermarket handlebars like Helibars or a LSL superbike bar kit would be good. A Trident would also be worth looking into. If you have to have the classic look I would recommend a 2000 or newer Thunderbird Sport.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
728 Posts
If you have to have the classic look I would recommend a 2000 or newer Thunderbird Sport.
Well - for two up riding the TBS rearsets put the driver's feet closer to the pillion rider's feet. On at least some TBS models they also move the pillion pegs higher which can't be as comfortable as the TB's more standard riding position.

Having said that, my wife and I don't care for the standard seat. We both get numb bum after 50/60 minutes - we should get the optional king and queen which a friend vouches for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
I have the king/queen seat and have ridden two-up only a few times. The first time my girlfriend complained of not having anything to hang onto. She had to lean forward to hold my waist and it was somewhat uncomfortable. So I bought a grab bar from this site and we rode again. She tried it but wound up holding onto my waist anyways. (Might have been the cold as she kept her hands in my pockets.)

We weren't on the bike that long to give a good review but for me the seat is ok. I come from a history of forward controls so I am still getting used to the new riding position. I haven't been on a ride more than a couple of hours and my back hurts a little from that. Otherwise it is a fun ride. My girlfriend does say she likes riding it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,170 Posts
FWIW, my wife is pretty lightweight and she hated the stock pillion seat on anything other than short hops. An hour or so was pushing the limit (same for me too on the front).

I switched to a TBS seat, it's not perfect but it is an improvement.

The rear spring preload was wound up to max when I got the bike and it has stayed there ever since. I have never had a problem with it bottoming out even two-up with a full load.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
On 2007-02-11 08:47, SherpaT wrote:
We're not lightweights, about 400# combined
IIRC the maximum load for a TBird is 375. You need to bear in mind that's 375 including all your gear etc. not naked weight.

Even with suspension upgrades I would not recommend it. I have had around 390 on my Tbird (back when it was stock) and it felt dangerous. the engine, brakes and suspension were really not up to it.

My advice is to find a used Trophy.

[ This message was edited by: MickMaguire on 2007-02-12 07:44 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
On 2007-02-12 07:43, MickMaguire wrote:
IIRC the maximum load for a TBird is 375. You need to bear in mind that's 375 including all your gear etc. not naked weight.

Even with suspension upgrades I would not recommend it. I have had around 390 on my Tbird (back when it was stock) and it felt dangerous. the engine, brakes and suspension were really not up to it.

My advice is to find a used Trophy.
Mick has a good point about the brakes/suspension. But I don't recall the load capacity being so low. I did some googling and found this TBS test which lists the bike's wet weight as 540lbs, and its GVWR as 972lbs, giving it a load capacity of 432lbs.

As always, correct me if I'm wrong.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
The max load is listed in the handbook - I dont have mine available right now to check. the TBS may have a higher load rating.

[ This message was edited by: MickMaguire on 2007-02-12 09:42 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
You're right, Mick. Per my factory handbook, the TBS has a load capacity of 200kg, while the Tbird is 181kg max.

200kg = 441lbs
181kw = 399lbs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
I ride two up with my girlfriend on my legend and we're fine. I do feel like we're about at the maximum with just a day pack on the back. She has no complaints about the king queen seat, and I love it solo, we did a 12 hr 4 or 500 mile run last fall and my only complaint was that it rained for the first part of the trip. I wasn't sore at all, but two up on the king queen forces you to sit forward on the part of the seat in front of where it scoops out, so the bump makes longer rides slightly uncomfortable, but speaking for probably 80% of pillion riders, they prefer to stop long before comfort ever becomes an issue for the regular rider. These bikes are ok for two up riding, but if you're expecting to do more then afternoon runs or day rides, you'll probably want to look into a bike more suited for it. I agree to look for a trophy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
My wife and I took a 3~4000 mile trip this past summer. I figured we were ~1000#. Did Tail of the Dragon, etc. And yes the Dragon had to be run a little conservatively (with my wife on back it was going to be anyhow). Close to max on the rear preload, mid-hi on the front, dampening settings higher. I would suggest a modified seat with a higher pad (longer inseam, more opportunity for leg support). 2000 and up TBS has longer/lower passenger peg hanger. Wife would like a taller backrest pad (stocker). I have a custom seat that still only gets me about 80 miles before numb-bun sets in. Wife is slightly longer (~100 miles).

Wished I had a Hagon for switching between 1 and 2 up. GOing to change to a higher fork oil from stock as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey, thanks for all the info everyone! :upthumb:

It sounds like the useful load will be the main determining factor. We're going to do a weigh-in, with gear and all, and then go sit on one, and see what attitude it takes. It's too cold for a test ride, so right now I'm thinking I should hold off buying anything until it warms up a little.

Rincewind: the 2001 at CAT is what initially caught my attention, and the more I read about the T-Birds, the more I liked them! BTW, I bought my Sprint at CAT -- they're great to deal with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I have a Legend with lots of miles and smiles but I wanted to do more so I did as some of you have suggested I bought a Trophy. I looked for two years but finally found one that was a 2003 model with 270 miles( this means that it was actually new.) It is a great ride with all the comforts of home. It came with a corbin seat and backrest so really comfortable on a long haul. I had Sargent rebuild my seat on the Legend and it is probably more comfortable than the Trophy. If anyone asked which one I prefer the most it would be the bike I am riding at that moment.
Flybiker :razz:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top