Finally joined the ranks of T-Bird owners - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Thunderbird Cruiser Chat Cruiser chat for the the Thunderbird twin

 28Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: '14 Thunderbird ABS
Member
 
Futterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 50
Other Motorcycle: '12 Honda CBR250R
Extra Motorcycle: '15 BMW F800GT (sold)
Finally joined the ranks of T-Bird owners

Hello everyone,

I posted here a handful of times a couple of years ago. I had rented a Thunderbird 1600 in Las Vegas and rode it throughout Death Valley. Bike absolutely stole my soul. Well here I am two years later and have just purchased a 2014 Thunderbird ABS with 5,000 miles on the odometer.







I bought the bike on Saturday and trailered it home for four hours in a driving rainstorm on a potholed interstate. Harrowing to say the least. Once finally home I gave it a quick wash and dry and snapped these pics. The I had to go out of town the next day, Sunday, for a week. I'll be back home for a day and a half and then I have to go out of town again for another full week. It's killing me to be away and the bike is sitting at home! I haven't had a chance to do anything with it at all.

Couple of questions:
  1. Apparently the factory heated grips had breakage issues...was that ever resolved with a new part number? I have two part numbers for heated grip kits for the standard Thunderbird but don't know if either of them is a "new and improved" version: A9638123 and A93638068. Apparently these are both discontinued but if there is an updated version I might be able to locate new old stock. By the way, why does the LT/Commander heated grip kit have a different part number A9368089? If it's just an electrical connection difference that may not be a show-stopper.
  2. Looks like the Jack-Be-Quick JBQ-TB-STD is out of production or temporarily unavailable. How critical is this to jacking the bike? Are there other ways to get a tire off the ground in the absence of this aftermarket kit?
  3. I ride solo and love to tour. I'm thinking of the long-haul solo seat and a sissy bar rack that fits where the pillion seat would be. Thoughts?
  4. I'm not a fan of the looks or function of the OEM bags. After the rainstorm trailer run, they were filled with water. Thinking I may go with Viking leather-covered hard bags. Anyone had experience with these?


Last edited by Futterman; 04-03-2019 at 12:44 AM. Reason: Fix typo; add more pics
Futterman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 05:55 AM
SuperSport
Main Motorcycle: 2007 Speedmaster
Senior Member
 
Mikerunsjax's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Jacksonville Fl USA
Posts: 983
Other Motorcycle: 2003 Thunderbird Sport
Extra Motorcycle: 2012 fat Boy Lo
Beautiful bike, congratulations.

Mike
Jax Fl.
2007 Speedmaster
2003 Thunderbird Sport
2012 Fat Boy Lo
Mikerunsjax is offline  
post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:58 AM
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: 2010 Triumph T-Bird
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: independence, ks
Posts: 58
Other Motorcycle: 1998 triumph T-Bird
Extra Motorcycle: 1981 honda xl500
Futterman,

Looks great, I am jealous of the red. For jacking up, the factory approved of a board under the sump. While its scary, the dealers did originally. Over on the other forum, sometimes you can find parts like that on the classified section.

good luck

Dan
danr620 is offline  
 
post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: '14 Thunderbird ABS
Member
 
Futterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 50
Other Motorcycle: '12 Honda CBR250R
Extra Motorcycle: '15 BMW F800GT (sold)
Thanks for the color kudos and for the jacking info, Dan. Probably should use a nice thick board that distributes the pressure evenly. Very strange “feature” of the bike lol.

2014 Triumph Thunderbird ABS Lava Red/Silver Frost

The lure of the unending road is a call that will not be denied.
We take to the Road for experiences and we get them.

Hamilton Mack Laing
Futterman is offline  
post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:02 PM
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: Thunderbird LT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 820
Nice bike! Now to your questions:

Apparently the factory heated grips had breakage issues...…….If you go to a dealer they will have an online parts lookup table that corresponds with your VIN number. That way you'll know the part is correct. As for breakage - probably nothing to worry about.

Looks like the Jack-Be-Quick JBQ-TB-STD is out of production or temporarily unavailable....I've got one & they are great but the dealer mechanics just jack using the sump with a board. You can get more expensive alternatives but I wouldn't bother.

I ride solo and love to tour. I'm thinking of the long-haul solo seat and a sissy bar rack that fits where the pillion seat would be.....Your passenger will love you for the extra wide backrest (don't get the narrow one) and you defs need a rack. Like this

https://picclick.co.uk/Triumph-Thund...526517069.html

The standard seat is pretty good if not one of the best so just use that for a while. I just did 3k kilometres in 2 weeks and no numb bum for me.

I'm not a fan of the looks or function of the OEM bags. After the rainstorm trailer run, they were filled with water.....I actually like the look of the oem bags although my left one leaks a little if sitting on the sidestand in heavy rain. Otherwise they are rain proof as I've driven in rain often without issue. As a side benefit they are a lot more forgiving if you drop the bike. Mine rolled on it's side while stationary recently and the bag was unharmed. A hard bag would be scratched up at the very least.

Last edited by BasilM; 04-03-2019 at 08:10 PM.
BasilM is offline  
post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: '14 Thunderbird ABS
Member
 
Futterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 50
Other Motorcycle: '12 Honda CBR250R
Extra Motorcycle: '15 BMW F800GT (sold)
Thanks for the tips, Basil. Good to know about the jacking situation. If I don't need to spend the money and can save the weight and ground clearance all the better.

Also good to get a thumbs-up on the factory seat. I had no complaints about it during my rental ride in California. Will just live with a while and see how it goes.

Ms. Futterman has no interest in riding so I'm all solo all the time. I decided to give the OEM solo rack a try since it's only $30 USD. Will be interesting to see if it can handle a dry bag strapped to it.

On the heated grips, maybe the breakage was the result if insufficient cable slack following dealer installation of the kit. In any case, I like the clean wires-inside appearance so I'll probably get the factory kit. Maybe I will see about reinforcing the breakage-prone tab with something like epoxy or a little bit of fiberglass prior to installation.

On the bags I'm probably spoiled by the Shad-made OEM hard panniers on my BMW. Easy to use and fully watertight.
Futterman is offline  
post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 08:21 PM
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: Thunderbird LT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futterman View Post
Thanks for the tips, Basil. Good to know about the jacking situation. If I don't need to spend the money and can save the weight and ground clearance all the better.

Also good to get a thumbs-up on the factory seat. I had no complaints about it during my rental ride in California. Will just live with a while and see how it goes.

Ms. Futterman has no interest in riding so I'm all solo all the time. I decided to give the OEM solo rack a try since it's only $30 USD. Will be interesting to see if it can handle a dry bag strapped to it.

On the heated grips, maybe the breakage was the result if insufficient cable slack following dealer installation of the kit. In any case, I like the clean wires-inside appearance so I'll probably get the factory kit. Maybe I will see about reinforcing the breakage-prone tab with something like epoxy or a little bit of fiberglass prior to installation.

On the bags I'm probably spoiled by the Shad-made OEM hard panniers on my BMW. Easy to use and fully watertight.
Note that the 1600 you rented has a different seat to the LT. The LT standard seat is far superior (IMO).
Also the JBQ does not affect ground clearance and the weight is insignificant. If you can get one then do it but it's not a big deal if you can't.

Enjoy your new bike!
BasilM is offline  
post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:07 AM
World SuperBike
Main Motorcycle: 2016 KTM 1290 sd SE
Senior Member
 
steve59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: carol stream
Posts: 2,489
Other Motorcycle: 2012 K1600 GTL
Extra Motorcycle: 13S3-se/06R3/11Storm
Congrats! I did better with a leather over plywood corbin than I did with triumphs longhaul seat. For travelling a dbl seat with backrest and luggage rack along with your side bags will hold more than most touring bikes out there as I found out when my gtl wouldn't hold as much as a typical travel bag strapped to the back( and front riding solo) I would recommend a throttlemeister and some hwy pegs for the dresser bar, Beautiful bike. DO NOT treat the leather saddlebags! I used armerall on mine, the leather softened and the tops sagged looked like poop. For awhile triumph was replacing them under warranty, but no mas.
steve59 is offline  
post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: '14 Thunderbird ABS
Member
 
Futterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 50
Other Motorcycle: '12 Honda CBR250R
Extra Motorcycle: '15 BMW F800GT (sold)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BasilM View Post
Note that the 1600 you rented has a different seat to the LT. The LT standard seat is far superior (IMO). Also the JBQ does not affect ground clearance and the weight is insignificant. If you can get one then do it but it's not a big deal if you can't.

Enjoy your new bike!
Good info on both counts and thanks!
Futterman is offline  
post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: '14 Thunderbird ABS
Member
 
Futterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Kentucky, USA
Posts: 50
Other Motorcycle: '12 Honda CBR250R
Extra Motorcycle: '15 BMW F800GT (sold)
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve59 View Post
Congrats! I did better with a leather over plywood corbin than I did with triumphs longhaul seat. For travelling a dbl seat with backrest and luggage rack along with your side bags will hold more than most touring bikes out there as I found out when my gtl wouldn't hold as much as a typical travel bag strapped to the back( and front riding solo) I would recommend a throttlemeister and some hwy pegs for the dresser bar, Beautiful bike. DO NOT treat the leather saddlebags! I used armerall on mine, the leather softened and the tops sagged looked like poop. For awhile triumph was replacing them under warranty, but no mas.
Appreciate the tips greatly! I think a throttlemeister would be good as the return spring seems pretty robust. The bike had aftermarket highway pegs on the dresser bars but guess what? My short legs are too short to reach 'em. So I took 'em off. The regular pegs work fine as highway pegs for me. I just put my heels up there and I'm good to go!
Futterman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options
All posts must adhere to Forum Rules

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter your valid email address, that can receive an automated confirmation message. Otherwise, you won't be able to gain full access.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How many of you Bird owners going to Bennington in May? bnz433 Thunderbird Cruiser Chat 52 06-12-2015 11:03 AM
Bird LT owners The Hornet Thunderbird Cruiser Chat 4 03-28-2015 08:39 AM
I've joined the Bonnie owners group. racerdave1 Air Cooled Twins Talk 17 06-26-2013 05:38 PM
Trolling for awile finally joined Narwhal The Welcome Center 1 10-24-2012 02:34 PM
How many owners are on-line? BishRat Biker Hang-Out 6 02-07-2008 12:49 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome