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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of purchasing this Triumph Thunderbird and wonder if anyone familiar with the model can offer advice?
The bike is in NSW Australia, about 7 hours drive from Sydney (where I live) so i'd like to know as much as possible about it before I make the trec out there.
I believe it is a 1953 model; the owner (an elderly gentleman) has restored it over the last 10 years but has been unable to ride it the last three due to his various aches and pains. He assures me it is in excellent condition. He is a member of a vintage motorcycle club out there and he mentioned something about it not being electrical (or something), not sure what he ment there but perhaps a refference an attempt at reasuring me it sufferes non of the electrical problems I'm told early Triumphs are renound for.
So I suppose the questions I'd like answered are:
1. Is this particular model / year a good one, or notorious for lemons?
2. What questions should I ask the owner to ensure (as best I can without eyeballing it) that the bike is in a reasonable condition?
3. What do you think would be a reasonable price to pay for such a machine (in NSW Australia)? Taking into consideration the 14 hour round trip?

I'm not familiar with Triumphs too much, especially not ones of this vintage so I hope this message finds an expert out there.
Many thanks in advance.
 

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Hi Vito and welcome! First of all, if the thumb nail is the bike, it's NOT a 1953. The first swing arm Thunderbird is 1955 and the front brake is from at least 1958. If you can get an engine and frame number, let us know and it can be checked to see what it ACTUALLY is.
Roy.
 

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If you get the numbers to Roy, HE WILL get you the low-down on what it actually is or what it is made from.

Don't mind that so much, just don't pay more than you are willing, based on what YOU think of the bike for what it is.

If he is a member of a decent club, one of the other members ought to be able to help him service it and get it running before he sells it, it would definitley be in his best interest. That said, the price might go up if its running!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much fellas, and for the welcome Roy,

The engine number is 6T29841.

The owner does insist it runs well.
That said, am I potentialy biting off more that I can chew here? This will be my only bike and i'd like to use it to get into work once or twice a week and for a cruize on the odd weekend. I don't know much on bike maintenance but is this of a vintage that will see me forever in the garage?
I guess it might just force me to learn somthing new, which really ain't a bad thing..

Thanks again guys.
 

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hi vito,,i allso live in sydney..well mate yes you will have to spend some time in your garage ,,doing some maintenance,and dont forget the time you will spend in there cleaning and pollishing your bike ,,,,you will come to love your garage and you will end up wanting to get out there to injoy what you have in there,,,,,, dont forget this is a old british bike that needs some lovin and care,,,, as long as you treat the old girl with the respect that she deserves and not flog the ass off her she will serve you well .... may i ask how much are you looking at to buy this bike?????? have you looked at any other bike??? have you thort about a later modle 1960s....1970s ...unit???....you will find this forum will be the best thing on the net when you get your new old bike,,the guys in here know what there talking about and will help you with whatever you need to find out... and there is one drawback with rideing a old triumph people ALLWAYS want to talk to you about it...... let us know what you decide to do ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,albert the tiprat
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to respond, it's very much appreciated.

Albert, he is asking $8000. I asked, but he isn't negotiable. Sound crazy? I've looked at lots of bikes, of different ages and i'm not against any of them. Just took a particular shine to this girls curves.

Roy, thanks for your research, I will forward it to the seller and see what he has to say; it should be interesting. I'll keep you posted.
By the way, what does the "6T" stand for infront of the serial number?

Thanks again guys..
 

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6T= 650cc Thunderbird

5T= 500cc Speed Twin
T100= 500cc Tiger
T110 = 650cc Tiger
TR5= 500cc Trophy
TR6= 650cc Trophy
T120= 650cc Bonneville

That's just the basics - there was lots of variation on these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmm ok,

So would it be possible for two different bikes to have matching serial numbers but with a different preffix?
I.e. 6T29841 and T10029841?

I ask because the serial number 29841 is coming back as a T100...

Here is the other picture the seller has posted. I'm not sure if it will shed any light on this at all.

Perhaps I should check with the seller to make sure the frame and engine numbers match? Is there anything else I can ask him which will help verify the machines lineage?
 

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Same numbers, different prefix? I doubt it, but there are others on this forum far better versed in Triumph numbers than I who should be able to answer that one.
 

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hey mate 8000 seems a verry high price to me,,, for what it is ,,,, has it got rego???????????if not there is another 800 bucks then if you insharance 600 to 1000 bucks,,,,now your getting up to around $10,000...mmmmmmmmm thats a lot to pay for a pre unit triumph,,,,, at the end of the day its your money ,,, if i was you i wood not pay that much i think 6000 is more like what it is realy worth.... i was looking for a triumph tr6 for over 6 months before i found the one i wanted,,looked at lots of bikes in that time so i know what your feeling sometimes you think this is it the wait is over then you sit down and think ,mmm thats a lot of cash for that bike ,,,,, there is a big bike swap meet at golburn in a few weeks time well worth going to this as theres allways lots of bikes there .... anyway the fun you will have with what ever you get will ofset the price anyway you will love it and she will love you back most of the time .... good luck vito,,,,albert the tiprat
 

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Hmm ok,

So would it be possible for two different bikes to have matching serial numbers but with a different preffix?
I.e. 6T29841 and T10029841?

I ask because the serial number 29841 is coming back as a T100...

Here is the other picture the seller has posted. I'm not sure if it will shed any light on this at all.

Perhaps I should check with the seller to make sure the frame and engine numbers match? Is there anything else I can ask him which will help verify the machines lineage?
Where do you see the serial coming back as a T100? I gave you the link to the serial number reference. the model would be designated by the prefix on your engine number ... in your case, 6T. They would not have re-used that number ...
 

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T100rc, It is me who says it's a T100, not a 6T.
Vito, as I said in my pm............ WALK AWAY FROM THIS ONE!
Roy.
 

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well if you have some factory reference sheets that state that the supplied serial number was originally a T100 then that leads to serial number tampering of some sort. Shadiness is always a bad sign and should lead one to walk away.

However, if it has a valid title ...
 

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Vito; The first triumph i bought was a 53 thunderbird, the bike pictured is not a 53 thunderbird, the bike pictured looks like a 54 T100 i had with some later additions the front brake looks to be 58 or 59 the gearbox side cover is the later type if it has the 6T number on the case that is thunderbird i would say this bike is a bitsa using a 53 thunderbird title. It may be a nice bike for a rider but not for that price. Gearhead
 
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