Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just getting back into bikes after 20 years. I started by looking at Triumphs, then looked at the HD's, and all other metric HD knock offs and came back to Triumph.
I'm attracted to the America or Speedmaster, but the T100 and Bonneville look faster and better handling. Then I ran into a used Thunderbird that seemed like the perfect fit.
Help!!!

Q1 Which is the better bike? I've heard that the triple is bullit proof

Q2 Whch is the quicker or faster Bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Q2 Whch is the quicker or faster Bike?
[/quote]

Hyabusa, KRS, GSX ect...

you need to first decide what you want out of a mc, then match the want to the hardware.

a fast Triumph is the 955 triples or the 675.
a Bonneville is fast in 1960 terms...the page got turned.

go to your local dealer and ride every bike you can until one bites you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I'm looking for a good all around bike. My concern was that the twins would be underpowered. the Last bike I owned was a V65 Magna. I'm not expecting anything in a cruiser to contend with that . But was told that the Speedmaster wouldn't be enough bike to haul me and my wife on trips with the V-twin gang!
 

·
Registered
2019 Triumph Street Twin
Joined
·
2,422 Posts
For 2007 models, the America, Speedmaster, and the Classics (T100, basic black Bonneville, Scrambler, Truxton) all have the same size motor, at 865cc. The Truxton has 2 - 3 extra hp due to different cams, but basically they should all run about the same in terms of top speed. But the Classics weigh a bit less than the America and Speedmaster, so perhaps the latter two bikes will be a slight bit slower by comparison, regardless of which bike looks faster.

On 2006 and earlier models, the America and/or the Speedmaster (plus the basic Bonne) actually had the smaller motor, at 790cc.

A triple Thunderbird, used I assume (since they have been discontinued) would have the most power and top end speed, and would be a great bike choice as well. It is a compromise in styling between the more classic looking Bonne bike, and Triumph's other 3 cylinder sporting bikes like the Datoyna.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
If you really want to keep up with the V twin gang and make them all look like old ladies then get a Rocket 3.Otherwise go with the Thunderbird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Bottom line, Triumph triples are a fantastic power plant, though the Thunderbird won't have the performance of a Speed Triple, the Sprints, Daytonas, or a Tiger..... but they're very respectable none the less.

If you go for the Thunderbird, go for the newest 'Sport' version you can find. They have VERY classic lines, but they don't get anywhere near the attention of a Bonnie.

Get a Bonnie though, and you will have just accepted a power plant that has a VERY traditional delivery of power albeit under 60 horses to the rear wheel. Put a week in the saddle of a Bonnie, and you WILL be putting a different intake and pipes on the thing.

There is a tremendous amount of bias toward the parallel twin here, and the love affair does nothing but grow stronger and stronger with time and modification(s). I come off MUCH more powerful machines, as MANY other riders here. And for those of us with more than a couple bikes in the garage, somehow we end up spending more gratifying time on the Bonneville. There is something about returning "back to the basics." If you have ANY bad riding habits though, the Bonneville will telegraph them to you; which is a good thing. I'll bet we're all better riders than what we were prior to riding the Bonnie's.

Either go for the Thunderbird 'Sport', barely given the recognition it deserves. Or buy a Bonnie and learn to nod your head knowingly as complete strangers come out of nowhere to talk to you about your bike. And THAT too, is a good thing!
:cool:

Edited to include:
If it's better "handling" that you want, no amount of suspension modifications is better than taking any of the reputable courses that teach YOU how to correct poor riding habits and learn good riding techniques. I'll be willing to bet I could have taken four riding courses or attended a couple good riding schools for the amount I've spent on suspension modifications, and it's questionable if I'm a better rider..... my bike is better, but I'm still lacking.

[ This message was edited by: Olderyoungster on 2006-12-31 21:43 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,724 Posts
I couldn't have said it better myself. :gpst:


PS: I really wish you two guys (akenaten/Olderyoungster)would loose that mexifornia attitude. Don't give up so easily... "Remember the Alamo!".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,592 Posts
On 2006-12-31 18:39, Readyt wrote:
...and came back to Triumph.

...Whch is the quicker or faster Bike?
I understand why. I started out for a Harley too. Still like them, but for the price the decision was easy.

I came off the Tiger (955i triple) and didn't want to give up the power. The classic triple was a compromise for both style and performance, but I ultimately decided on the look, sound and feel of the twin.

So decide how badly you want performance, and how much you want that classic ride. My Thruxton is plenty punchy, and a thrill on the backroads.

Oh, ride both before you purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,617 Posts
Get one of each! If you tweak the suspension, you can ride two up all day on any of them. While a large bore HD may have a lot more torque than a Bonnie, it is still down on horsepower to it. With a little dough, you can get 64 hp out of a HD big bore,
HD HP
At that point, you're hitting about 17k to 20k price wise. If you only want to go straight ahead on super highway, the Bonnie will run at 90 all day on the road, get over 150 miles per tank and will not vibrate NEARLY as much.
Now if you want to get more than 57 hp from a Bonnie you can do the same thing for alot less.
Pipes/tuning will get you over 60 hp for $500.00
Pipes/tuning/airbox removal closer to 65 hp for around a grand.
You can get a Tiger triple with saddle bags and have around 100 hp stock, with the best motor on the road. Not as custom as the HD, but they'll get tired of your taillights and you'll get tired of waiting while they fill up the tanks. Any way you go you come out ahead.
Pipes/tunig/airbox removal/904 big bore/cams/carbs closer to 80hp+ for around 4k.
Add that to a Triumph and you are starting at 7 or 8k brand new. You can get a great used model for a lot less. You'll be smiling and can go on a lot more trips with the 10k to 12k you'll save on a stock bike.

[ This message was edited by: Brooksie on 2007-01-01 14:37 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
It all boils down to how fast you want to get there and how much abuse your buns can take on the trip. :-D

At my age, I want to get there as fast as legally possible (yeah, right) with as little trauma to my buns as possible. Hence I ride the R3 Classic and leave the T100 for shows and short jaunts. :wink:

Different strokes for different folks....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,617 Posts
Hey Flip-let's have a look at that R3. I had a chance to ride on last summer at the dealer and really was impressed with the easy handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Brooksie:

I have a sinking feeling that this is leading up to something.....Like.....you were at a certain dealer's demo ride day and saw my T100 and sidecar and probably me. The T100 and Spyder stands out. It's not like there are a ton of 'em, only 2.

I didn't buy the red/cream with the Corbin bags. I took one (red/cream) on the floor and put the leather bags, summer screen and tall backrest on it.

It's a hoot. Way too fast for this old fart. Guaranteed to put a big grin on your puss everytime you get a spasm in your right wrist. I'll let you in on a secret. I can take a VRod for top speed in 4th gear. Been there did that.

My cage gets better mileage as does the T, even with the sidecar on, but the R3 isn't about mileage, it's about being imposing at the same time as being comfortable.

All I need now is a classic Meriden twin or better yet a Trident or original Rocket 3 to round out the garage.

Yeah, I bought one. 4.99% was hard to pass up.

I'd post a picture, but honestly, I don't know how. Getting on here has been interesting. I was a poster here back in '03 at the inception and somehow got lost in the shuffle and never could get back online on this site. I met (online) a person, actually persons who know Shawn personally and it took Shawn to manually reinstate me for me to get here. Quite a journey. :wink:

[ This message was edited by: Flip on 2007-01-01 21:21 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
The Thunderbird is a great bike, bulletproof engine, good handling and the Sport especially with the pipes on one side in yellow looks great, but the Bonnie has the classic stying that was not quite there on the Thunderbird.

The vintage Triumphs are cool but be prepared to become a decent mechanic or know one and have a cell phone to call for a ride when you break down. In almost 20 years of vintage ownership and 50,000 miles on my 1974 I rebuilt the top end three times and lower end once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,848 Posts
Readyt,

I had both at the same time--'02 TBird and '04 Bonnie.

First,
The TBird is an awesome bike. Great power delivery but not so much it'll scare ya. Smooth motor at any speed. Decent handling. If you're tall (I'm 6'), the pegs may have ya feeling just a bit cramped but not somuch it detracts from the ride.

They don't make the TBird anymore, so there's the exclusivity of having one. And since it's used, I'm guessing it'll be easier on your wallet than a brand new Bonnie.

Unlike the TBird Sport, it doesn't have adjustable suspension. You may need to upgrade that.

Second,
I sold the TBird because it sat unridden once I got my Bonnie. Sure, the triple pulled a lot harder than the twin, but there's just somethign about the way the Bonnie handled. I found it more predictable than the TBird.

I like the riding position of the Bonnie much better. The way I describe it is this: because of the "large" tank on the TBird, I felt like I was sitting "IN" the bike. On the Bonnie, I feel like I'm sitting "ON" the bike. I like that much, much better.

Also, for a time, I thought I'd keep the TBird as a two-up bike for my lady and I to take some short trips. Now my lady is a small gal and I'm pushing 185.

The Bonnie handled MUCH better two-up than the TBird did. Which left me with the dilemma of totally upgrading the suspension on the TBird for the random two-rides or just selling the bike. I chose the latter.

Truth be told, I don't really miss the TBird at all.

Another caveat, the Bonnie has truckloads of aftermarket goodies letting you really personalize the bike. The Tbird is slim pickens for anything more than new bars and signals.


If you go with the TBird, I have no doubt you'll love it. Same with the Bonnie. So really, which bike speaks to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
In 2001 when the Bonneville came out, I test rode one and also a Thunderbird. The T-bird had Triumph's off-road exhaust, and the sound was fantastic. I think the only reason I didn't buy one was that I felt lots of heat on my legs. And I didn't buy the Bonnie either, because as much as I liked the handling, it just didn't have enough oomph.

The T-bird Sport was highly regarded by MCN, but its look just doesn't light my fire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks
Still Looking em over. Went to two dealers and they won't let you test drive a bike without Motorcycle insurance.
Harley did, Honda did, Yamaha di ...no problem. Both Triumph dealers said no.

:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Olderyoungster:
>I come off MUCH more powerful machines, as MANY other riders here. And for those of us with more than a couple bikes in the garage, somehow we end up spending more gratifying time on the Bonneville. There is something about returning "back to the basics."<

here here... tea promptly at 2

started out with home-made mini-bikes in the woods...went to a T100C, then a spectrum of light dirt bikes...then a couple cafe road bikes...even a CB750 truck with raked fork 8" over.

since 81, I had a GS750EX Suzuki...a Triumph clone with 4 cylinders...quick...liked the bullet-proof, and would run with anything here in SW Pa where you have straights ending in corners...quick, nimble, and heavier than one needs when the curve kicked in on gravel or mud. too specific a nitch.

then in 02 bought a new BMW RT...a country gentleman...Pharaohnic Nile Barge...nimble by tourer standards...technical...too much so for the Outback, and also too specific a nitch.

2 wives, 4 kids, 40 years, and one inopportune incident with a venison phaquer later:

quick and comfy left something out...the T100 rekindled the fun. It's not overly quick, but then again it's handleable in gravel. What I found is it reminded me of why, as a teenager, I got into bikes...it wasn't the girls, the status, the show-off, ect...it was the fun. the joy beaming thru my face in an otherwise dismal world of impostors and liars in a Halloween costume party.

nice to have specialized machines...even nicer to be out there somewhere, and slip into dirt mode...or into distance mode...or into cruize thru the park mode, without an inconvenient trip back home for the other bike that always seems to be in the other pants pocket.

right in the middle, Jack of all trades, master of none...brings out all the skills in your bag-o-tricks. at my age, I'm not getting way out there wild in the revines, yet I may run up some anti social trail to burn a rope...maybe a quicl flat-track slide... yet a dirt bike sucks in truck wind...any HD kickstand rally in the land welcomes the Bonnevilles...yet it's not Simon Sez..."ride snarly".

IMHO. it's so far out, it's in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
whoa, Whoa, and WHOA!

What a write up 'modre',
right up there with best of 'em!

And on this 34 degree morning, I now wish I woulda ridden the Bonnie into work.... What a great read!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
It got up to 43 degrees here so me and the missus went for a ride. Me on my creamcicle and her on her Grand Dink.Stayed fairly warm but the wind got a little heavy.
As for the dealer not letting you ride without insurance I'm not surprised. What does surprise me was the others did let you. What did you test?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Lots of great advice in this thread. I find it interesting to hear from owners who previously rode Tbirds, particularly McQueens comments that his Bonnie did better 2-up than his Bird.

My Tbird is very fun for me. I think Modre's comments on the universality of the Bonnies is also applicable to the Tbirds. Having tested a few Bonnies, I agree with McQueen's idea that you sit "in" the Tbirds and "on top" the Bonnies.

The power difference is not the great if you are looking at the larger cc Bonnies vs. the Tbirds. But the liquid-powered triple and the air-cooled parallel twin feel completely different. The twin to me sounds more staccato like a jack hammer, and has the better low-end torque. The triple has more of a strum and a growl, like an animal, and is fun to redline. The twins are more like a classic motorcycle, thin and bicycle like, while the Tbird is a lot more like a UJM standard.

ReadyT - if you like the bikes, just buy one. Twin or triple, they're Triumphs and I bet you'd love it.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top