Anyone here trade up from an America? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone here trade up from an America?

I bought my first Triumph a few months ago, a new 2011 America Classic Tourer, and overall I have to say I have loved this bike. It looks great, rides great, is comfortable, but..... Sometimes I wish I had more power than the smaller 865cc engine can give me. On the other hand, I don't know that I would be happy with the extra 200 pounds of weight that the Thunderbird would be. I was wondering if anyone on this site started with an America (or Speedmaster) and then bought a Thunderbird and what their impressions were.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 09:55 AM
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I did that in the Harley world years ago...bought a Sportster 883 then a year later upgraded to a Twin Cam 88. It is very common for people to want a bigger bike. But I have now come from a 685lb Lowrider to a 740 lb Tbird...so the difference is minimal....except when you roll that baby around in the garage....

If you want the bigger iron....go for it. Just don't let your dealer bend you over too far.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 10:20 AM
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My other bike is a Suzuki Volutia which is 805cc and weighs 527lbs.
I like the Volutia, mine is pristine - rides and looks great - but I really notice the difference in power. The odd thing is that even though it weighs 152 lbs. less than the Thunderbird, the TB handles better - feels more balanced in slow turns in parking lots, handles curves better - just all around has a better feel.
I always stradle both if I have to move them around, and since the seat of the TB is so low, I really don't notice much difference.
Hands down the TB is the better bike. Love the torque - even if I do have the whimpy 1600 without the big bore kit (that's for you Daz!).
If you are in a position to do it, I'd certainly go for the TB - I'm sure you won't have any problem handling it coming from the America.

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 11:19 AM
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I worried about the same thing. I don't like huge or heavey bikes, but I swear the tbird feels lighter once moving even 2 MPH. At a standstill trying to push it, yeah, it feels heavier. but because they set the center of gravity so low, the bike handles way better than the america or speedmaster. I had the latter, tho same bike as the america.

However, and some will disagree such as my pal OGB above, but i wouldn't necassarily do it just for the power unless you go with the 1700, either by buying the storm or the regular Tbird and having the 1700 kit installed. (which is what i did) I just don't feel the 1600 has enough more balls to make it worth the extra $. It DOES have other things....better handling, much better build quality and lots of little features you don't notice till you get one. But IMO, and it IS just my opinion so take that for what it's worth, i just wouldn't pay all that extra initial maintenance costs for the 1600's performance. To me the 1700 makes the power feel like you expect a bike that size to have, but i don't feel the 1600 does. With TORs it's not so bad, they really make a good bit of difference. (the short ones do at least)

Anyways, thats what i feel after going from the 1600 to the 1700 engine. By the way, the majority of the power difference is due to the 1700 having hotter cams, the extra 100cc probably contributes 20% of it i imagine.

So in a nutshell, it's truly a better bike in every way, build quality, features, handling, cruises at much higher speeds with ease, etc. But whether it's worth it to upgrade to the 1600 i can't say. For me MAYBE with TORs it's enough to have made me happy i did it. I'm not sure at this point because i'm blinded by the power of the 1700 with TORs. It's far far more powerful than my speedmaster with pipes and mods was. It's an expensive upgrade both initially and maintenance wise, so weigh all your needs and desires against the cost very carefully.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 05:08 PM
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I have both an America and a 1700 T-Bird. As long as I can afford to keep both - I will. They are very different rides, and I love the feeling of both of them. Sometimes when I have been riding the Bird and letting the America set, I will think about selling the smaller bike. Then, I get back on it and take it for a ride and think "Wow! This is a great bike!! I just can't part with it."

A buddy of mine has 3 bikes - an America, a T-Bird, AND a Rocket III. He loves them all. There just isn't any bike which is "best" for all types of riding.

What I would tell you is that if you do upgrade to the T-Bird, definitely go for the 1700. I don't think the 1600 will give you enough of that "oh-wow" feeling of power to make it worth the extra costs - not just of the bike itself, but of running it.

BTW - is that a 686 in your avatar, vito?

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'10 Thunderbird, BB kit, long TORS

Last edited by argyle; 09-22-2011 at 06:39 PM.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 06:37 PM
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I havnt had an America but I have had the bike for a loan bike a couple times while my Bird was in for work.

No comparison what so ever . Im sure the America is a great bike but I couldnt wait to get rid of it and have my TBird back. Men and boys springs to mind .

The weight didnt seem any different to me as the America has a higher center of gravity it seemed. The weight certainly makes the TBird track much better and feel much more asured.

The power is obviously no competition so no point dwelling on it. I am comparing it to the 1700 version . I do disagree with my old chum Daz in one thing . The 1600 Bird still blows the pants off the America in every respect including power and is a good upgrade.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DruAde View Post
I do disagree with my old chum Daz in one thing . The 1600 Bird still blows the pants off the America in every respect including power and is a good upgrade.
Well, maybe i was being a bit harsh. But i will say that compared to my speedy with pipes filter and airbox mods (box was still there, just opened up a but) my 1600 wasn't about to blow it away. In fact, when riding home on the freeway on the 1600 when i took delivery i was disappointed in that the passing power felt no better than my speedmaster....maybe not even quite as good ! Of course break in (which maxed out around 4000 miles) helped and by then it was a bit better. But there wasn't a lot of difference till i put tors on. Of course like i said, that was with my speedmaster being modded and having about 6-8 HP more than stock. Also consider todays americas and speedys are EFI a have more stock power than mine had. (got one as a loaner so i know that) Comparing stock to stock tho you're close to right. Not sure i'd say "blows it away" tho. For one thing the Tbird is geared a lot higher. If geared the same then it would no doubt blow the america/speedys away badly. But they are cranking about 4000 RPMs at 70 while at 4000 RPMs the Tbird is doing 105 !
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 04:24 AM
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Fair enough mate I just got really bored on the America when useing it . I didnt feel half as happy overtaking . It just didnt launch fast enough for me . Like you say urs was modded and I know its a great bike . I had a Vulcan 900 to learn my trade on before a big bike and the America is much better but a lot more expencive.

You are right though a 1700 Bird is the real deal .
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 05:59 AM
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I went from a Speedmaster to a TB and though I loved the Speedmaster once I had a test ride on the TB it had to be a TB.
It holds the road better, you pick a line and it sticks to it. Does not matter if its on Motorway, A road or B roads it just eats up the miles. 600 miles over and around the West coast of Ireland 2 up for a weekend it does not get any better.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 11:53 AM
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A good friend of mine bought the America earlier this year before I had bought my Thunderbird, after I let him ride my Thunderbird he traded in the America within about 2 months and upgraded to the Storm. He liked the America but he loves the Storm. He has told me the handling is so much better and not to mention the huge power difference. Best of luck on your choice.
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