So the local Triumph dealer is willing to be "aggressive" with the pricing on a demo 2010 Thunderbird with 300 miles on it. I've ridden the bike and it's definitely calling my name. But there is no ABS on it... That seems like a feature I would really want, and they are willing to throw in a free quick-release windshield, touring seat, back rest, etc... but that still doesn't give me ABS. Is it worth it to get a discounted 'Bird (and what would a good price be?) or should I wait for the next year's model to come in and pay the premium? I figure this bike will be the bike I ride for a while, and if I'm going to buy a new bike, I'm not going to be wanting to trade up anytime soon to get ABS which will probably be standard on all bikes in the next few years. I know there is no real right answer here, but who else do I turn to with a dilemma like this? Thanks.
I am a rookie rider of the cruiser class. My 'Bird weighs more than the last two bikes that I rode put together. After not riding for more than two decades, it's almost like never having ridden at all. I took my bike out to practice a lot for the first month and a half. Emergency stops were practiced mostly at slow speeds (20-30 mph).
When Dufus pulled out in front of me I was doing 50 mph. I hit the rear brake harder than I intended (adrenaline will do that to you). What happened was that I did not high side the bike, I did not end up in the ditch and I did not hit bean brain's crappy Mazda pick-up; I was able to drop from 50 to 10 mph in less than 50 feet.
Thanks to the pulsating rear wheel I maintained complete control of my motorcycle and avoided the overwhelming urge to put some bullets in his butt.
I'll never own another street bike without ABS. Having said that, there are a number of riders out there that have more experience or better luck than I have. They ride without ABS and do fine. It is my fervent hope that the factory will offer ABS as an aftermarket add-on.
In my book it's the best $800 you'll ever spend. But, if the bike has what you want on it at a price you can't pass up and you can't locate a comparable 'Bird with ABS, don't let it keep you from riding a machine that most of us love. I thank my Thunderbird at the end of every ride for taking such good care of me. I hope that you will feel that way too.