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Thunderbird Cruiser Chat Cruiser chat for the the Thunderbird twin

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post #101 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 09:07 AM
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Image, hearatige and history??

I dont understand? Can someone please enlighten me!

These things are just not high on my priorty list when it comes to spending the kind of cash required to purchase a new bike!
Fit, Form, Function, engenering, performance, dependability, comfort, looks, price are some things I consider. I couldnt care less about a manufactures history or the image they or the people that ride them want to, or try to portray.

I will admitt that the short term history does mean something but when I compare the history of any bike manufacturer to HD. It seems that HD comes up short. Out of all the friends and aquaintances I ride with it seems that the HD riders have had the most problems and the cost-vs-function/performance is the worst.
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post #102 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 07:39 AM
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Main Motorcycle: Thunderbird 1600
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Location: New Zealand
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I have seen that video before and I have to say I was disappointed with the quality of the end review from the “professionals “ who’s paid job it is to test bikes and write about them for a living. I sort of understand where he was coming from though, but I think it was just put across badly.

However, he does say that the other two bikes handle better so if you are doing your own comparison score chart then that’s 10 points each for the Triumph and Victory on that front and 5 points off for triumph having no history, coolness or erm heritage (Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood and Bob Dylan rode Triumph Bonneville T120s. Marlon Brando straddled his own Thunderbird 650cc in The Wild One (1953), while Evel Knievel flew a Bonneville over Caesar's Palace fountains. But it was Steve McQueen who really made the Triumph name, when in one of the most memorable moments of 1963's The Great Escape)

I have also seen an MCN review saying the triumph is better than a victory and a Kawa (I think) because of its better handling and coolness of the badge. He also said what I Harley dealer told me the other day , if you are a Harley guy then it’s the only bike for you regardless of everything else (a bit like the Iphone 4 fans, self included☺) .

On the flip side Harley’s are also associated here as the choice of bike for the frustrated accountant, lawyer and mid life crisis guy as there are the only ones who can afford one, a fact supported by the avg riding age being around 55 and Harley trying to attract the younger buyer. Triumph is being seen as the cool brand as it is perceived to be less mainstream and retro so it swings both ways

For me it has to be handling, reliability and form. I would be lying if I said that I bought things purely based on functionality. The suit I wear to work, the art in my house, my car etc are all based on the style that I like and I won’t buy a bike that handles well if it doesn’t make me feel good when I look at it (marketers dream, perhaps).

I also wonder what Roland Sands thinks about Victory now, since his picture is all over the net on a high ball and presumably Victory are throwing cash at a bunch of other people to endorse their product (Arlen ness, Sonny Barger, Motorhead etc).

My Review to follow on my test rides so far
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post #103 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 09:23 AM
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So, anyway I test road the T-Bird last week.

Unfortunately it didn’t put the immediate big grin on my face that I was expecting after all the great reviews on handling on MCN etc.

From the shop I shot off through town, looking down at the speedo hitting 120 km/ph straight off without realizing it. Going fast in straight lines was effortless but I didn’t get the feeling I was going that fast, which is good in the sense you know it handles it okay and would be good on a long trip, but it didn’t quite give you the exhilaration of speed.

It had fistfuls of power on the bottom end and would be a bit of fun drag racing from the lights, although there would be some tickets to collect if your not careful as the speedo isn’t the easiest to see.

Next I took it out of town and round some very short narrow twisties and it felt like I wasn’t always in control. Going round in 3rd (and sometimes 2nd gear) wasn’t always giving me the traction I had hoped for. It felt like things could get out of hand quite quickly and it was unforgiving on the control front if you got the speed slightly wrong (as opposed to going too fast) on tighter bends due to the amount of torque. The front end also has a feeling of being quite heavy, and while you lean a bike it, it often felt that it was difficult to counter steer on corners and the bikes front end was trying to turn as opposed to going with it. So good on the straight, good on longer bends - be very carefull of short bends.

It is also fair to say that I have written off a few bikes in my time, some at high speed and I sense this may be a candidate if you don’t take it easier and slow down more on the tighter corners than you would on say a speedmaster, which is also a cruiser.

It could have been I was going to fast because the speedo is in a different position and wasn’t paying attention or that I just wasn’t that used to the instant power or the twisties were very tight and I have to keep in mind it is a cruiser and not a sports bike.

I was also surprised at the riding position. It felt like I was sitting too high up, almost like I was riding one of those sport tourer’s and it didn’t really give me the low down cruiser feeling I was hoping for that my speedy gives me (although mine has been lowered). Maybe a set of T-bars will change that.

I also felt that the noise was more of a zzzzzzz hum than the sound of the angry giant clearing his throat that I was hoping for. Easily cured by a new set of pipes though.

However, a strange thing happened on the way back. I started to enjoy the bike a bit more and threw it around on the long sweeping bends as I became more used to it and confident and much better on traction and feeling more solid than the speedy on the big bends. It seems like a bike that grows on you and so you need to have more than one test ride before you discard it like I had initially done. Maybe I took it on too tight a road for a first time ride

So to be fair I will also test a few Harleys again and then the T-Bird as it probably is a bigger jump in terms of handing for these bigger bikes compared to the Speedy than I was expecting. Still waiting for a Victory Highball to come available.

The Brand loyalty thing has taken a knock though and I have got over the " I don't want to ride a Harley thing and no its not a mid life crisis". If the Harley street bob handles as well then its going to come down to price, grin factor and dare I say aesthetics (I do like the street bob look).

So in summary, I really want to like the T-bird, being from the UK its all about Triumph old skool cool for me and supporting industry where there isn't much left. Thought that after the test ride I would have bought one, but felt a little disappointed as the handling wasn’t as good as I expected - maybe my expectations are too high and a second ride may prove me wrong, maybe its a bike you have to put the time in to understand it, practicing as opposed to just jumping on it and thrashing it.
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post #104 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 10:08 AM
Main Motorcycle: Thunderbird Storm
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Interesting to read your experience. Did you test the regular tbird? Try a Storm if you liked your Speedy. Interested to hear how you like the Street Bob. It is a good looking bike.

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post #105 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 06:53 AM
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each bike requires a bit change in technique. the bird is faster and heavier than the master, so go slower to get used to the wider seat and wider back tire. once you find the sweet spot you are going to be in love of what you can make her do.
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post #106 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by at-home-daddy View Post
Generally speaking, I think that's exactly right -- but I've never been able to figure out why. Anyone have ideas on that?
Yup - it's because it FEELS better between you legs too!


Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things
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post #107 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 08:04 PM
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Main Motorcycle: Triumph Thunderbird Storm
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Hello members,

Any response to my new thread would be appreciated.

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post #108 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by busyelbow View Post
Interesting to read your experience. Did you test the regular tbird? Try a Storm if you liked your Speedy. Interested to hear how you like the Street Bob. It is a good looking bike.

Well took a harley out ( a 2003 FXDWG - Wide Glide).

Not really my bag but it was all they had so I gave it a go and it did put the instant grin on my face. There was just something about that initial thump, thump, hands way up in the air legs stretched out feeling driving through town with my Triumph jacket on.

Your doing fifty but you feel as if your going way more. Didn't push it to much on the coast road bends but handling wasn't as bad as expected, that low end torque doing a good job slowing the engine down and providing traction (as opposed to free wheeling) as you take the throttle off before gunning it again round the bend.

I got a bit bored on the trip back though once I got over the thumping noise and the adoring passers by had disappeared, just me and the machine out in the country.

Don't get me wrong, great fun for ripping away from the lights but not something I could see myself in a long term relationship with. My one night stand had come to an end. Like all one night stands, they (The dealer) promised to phone, I looked awkwardly and told him I would be out of town for a while…. At $23k for a 9 year old bike, they were looking for a sugar daddy….I never went back, they never phoned.

However, a week or two later I get THE phone call--- 1600 T-bird, very low miles. I give it another go…..

Its silver and black, the colour just changes the entire look of the bike for me. We take it out, pegs scrape the ground, sparks fly. The handling it different from the last time

I am either more confident, just more used to it or its true…. The silver and black is a faster, and a better bike than the blue and white one I originally tested.

Just goes to show, wasn’t love at first site, but after the Second date, we are in love. I stammer I know we have only been out twice now, but will you move in with me. Okay she says but only if you stop ogling Harleys. Okay pick you up Saturday, once I break the news to the current one that erm, its not you, its me.

The ride home on the speedy felt small and lacking, handling was clumsy in comparison. I think we were both ready to move on.

Just goes to show you, first impressions are not always right.
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post #109 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 01:09 PM
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So you decided on a thunderbird after all. Congrats on the new ride, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

"I am either more confident, just more used to it or its true…. The silver and black is a faster, and a better bike than the blue and white one I originally tested."

Yes its true!
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post #110 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:40 PM
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Other Motorcycle: Had a T-Bird Storm 2012
Extra Motorcycle: Had a 2010 America
When I made the move from my 2010 America to the Tbird Storm I knew it was the right move. Every time I ride my decision is further reinforced. BTW, the blacked out Storm is the fastest and most nimble of the bunch :-)!

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