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Thunderbird Cruiser Chat Cruiser chat for the the Thunderbird twin

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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 11:44 PM
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I have been riding on and off since 1974. I recommend to everyone to get a very used smaller bike like a Honda Shadow to ride for their first season and build skills and confidence. Then at the end of the season if you still want to continue riding a motorcycle trade on a left over 2012 Tbird. The Thunderbird is a big bike to start on IMO. But that is just me.
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:24 PM
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BMK I would have recommended the same thing, but the OP states that he used to ride, so he has experience.
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 04:40 PM
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Older than dirt started back on the Thunderbird as well. I was glad not to have to buy another bike by using an intermediate bike. The thing that surprised me is the range of heights of riders that this one bike will accommodate. Comfortable, plenty of power, good brakes, smooth shifts, if you needed any more, you would probably want egg in your beer too. :-) Go with the Thunderbird and take your safety course, ride within your abilities and maintain your bike. In my experience, anything this much fun is probably illegal. :-)
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Lantesh View Post
BMK I would have recommended the same thing, but the OP states that he used to ride, so he has experience.
I know but it was 30 years ago. Long time in between.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments everyone. All of you guys make some great points and have tons more experience then I do. I'm not buying anything till after my safety course. That way I will be able to make a little bit more informed decision. Thanks to everyone for your help and keep the comments coming please.

Mutt
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 01:30 AM
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Can't really comment on the experience thing having ridden a bike for the last 30 years on and off... but I have to say that the Tbird is easier to ride and handle than almost every other large metric cruiser I've ridden. For some reason it feels lighter and more nimble compared to the Kawi Nomad, Yamaha V-Star lineup or Suzuki M series (all of which I've ridden extensively) it is just an easier bike for me to manage.

I'm also a taller dude (6'2", 210) and the Tbird just fits me perfectly.

Look.... if you were on the Ninja 600 forum right now I would tell you to get a smaller bike. There are plenty of 600's with 125+hp that would be way too much for a beginner to handle, even though they are 'smaller'.

Cruisers are just different - the power band is much smoother and you work more in the low end torque range. They are simply easier to ride overall - hence all the middle aged dudes and dudettes on cruisers.

My prediction: If you buy a Tbird you will not regret it. If you buy an America (even though its a great bike in its own right) by the time you hit August you'll be longing for an upgrade and you'll lose $5000 on the trade.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 02:03 AM
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I have just passed 4000 KM (Almost 2500 Miles)on my storm, I had a gap of 30 years between bikes. Had a 650 Bonneville and a few 650 Yamahas.
after a demo around the block at the dealers I had a 150 km(93M) trip home and got used to the bike on the way 2 up. by the time I got home I was relaxed and felt I had made a great buy. If you exercise a bit of caution. (need to scrub the tyres in for a bit before the grip is great.)
Go for it. This is the best thing I have done for years. No regrets at all.(Maybe only that I did not do this a long time ago.)
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 09:51 AM
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Many people have not ridden a bicycle for 30 years, and I doubt they will have forgotten how. Main thing is have the bike fit and take it easy. My son told me many people need about 4500 miles under their belt before they are reasonably comfortable with a bike. Don't know what hat he pulled that number out of, but it is not a bad idea on the surface of it. I think he was talking of the notion that proportionally, many accidents occur on bikes with new or inexperienced riders and in the initial miles. Some riders can wrap around a pole on a moped, so try to use that squishy stuff between your ears, take your safety course and ride smart, and enjoy your Thunderbird.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 10:12 AM
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I have a similar view to BMK, per my earlier post. When I was getting advice on this same question last summer, most of my friends with 30+ years experience riding strongly encouraged me to go mid-size with the first bike, even though at the same time they suggested I could likely handle something larger. Looking back, it was the right advice.

For a meager investment (4k or so), you can get a solid used (e.g., 2008) starter bike in the 750-900 cc range. Then you can get a feel for riding, get a better handle on what you like in a bike, and then upgrade when you're ready. And only lose 1k or less when you sell the starter bike. It's like a prolonged rental.

We're not talking about driving SUVs. It's motorcycling, and IMO it's prudent to proceed a little cautiously out of the gate.
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 08:46 AM
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Started on an America in 2008 after a 30 year period of little riding. I'm 5' 9" so the America felt about right as a bike to get my skills back up to par on. Practiced a lot in the school parking lot before going to take the skills test at the BMV, and passed it with flying colors. Only had the America for 9 months when the new TBird came out... sat on one at the dealer and that was it, traded and never looked back. I have to say in comparing the two bikes, the Thunderbird is a much better handling bike in the corners, and in the parking lots. Although a heavier bike, the low center of gravity makes a very pleasant bike to handle at low speeds. I have wondered if the TBird were available when I purchased the America, whether I would have gone for the bigger bike to start with? I think for me the America was a good confidence builder, so I agree with others here. Find an inexpensive, used starter bike for a few months and get your confidence and balance back up to par, and you will lose very little when it's time to upgrade to the TBird.
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