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Thunderbird Twin - Technical Talk Technical talk for the big Thunderbird twin

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  • 1 Post By BasilM
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Noisy engine

I just completed a 800+ ride in the Smokeys. After a short while I heard what I thought was my valves clicking and the more I rode at higher elevation, the louder it got. I'm due for my 24K valve adjustment at 23876 miles, but I got 50 mpg the first day's 168 mile ride so I figured I was OK. But after a few days the noise really became annoying and so did my concern. I checked the Triumph forum and was horrified at the problems fellow Thunderbird riders have experienced with noisy engines, especially the many that had rings slip, motors that had to have major repairs, etc.. After about the fifth day a fellow rider suggested it might be due to the higher elevation and 87% octane fuel that I've always burned. Upon the next (2.87 gal) refill with 91% octane the noise quieted down slightly. The next refill at several gallons, even quieter. I'm still not at a 100% tank of 91% but it definitely has made a difference. I have experienced the clicking noise for some time here at home, but just thought it was normal. Not anymore! I rode it for the first time yesterday for only about ten miles and all I heard was the exhaust! No clicking at all. So it was pinging and not valves; what a relief. No more 87% octane fuel for me.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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That’s great that it was just something simple. I think for most of us, they’re not just bikes. And thinking something is wrong with them, can get a little stressful

Mike
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:41 PM
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Bigmac,

I think manual calls for 89 octane, and most stock bikes can run 87 and get away with it.

good luck

Dan
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 04:37 PM
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My 2013 is in the shop for same service, same mileage. I just bought the bike and part of the "deal" was the Dealer had to do the valve check/adjust if any. They don't allow test rides but I got out of them they'd take care of any issues should I buy the bike if discovered in a reasonable amount of time.

Gas gauge wasn't working as well so they're fixing that also.

As to the valve check, while riding I definitely was noticing the "clacking" noise, mainly on the right side under load at anywhere from 2k rpm to 3k rpm, not just revving, but has to be in gear and moving. Let the Dealer know within a day of riding it that it was doing it. Did a BUNCH of research same as you and saw the same scary things. Was scheduled to bring the bike into the dealer on a Wednesday, brought it in last Monday because I didn't want any damage done with that noise.

Called the dealer today for my one week check up on the bike. They ordered a new cam chain and are "hoping" that fixes the noise. Not very inspiring to say the least but as it's a veteran owned Triumph Dealer they've really been super so far so I'm staying optimistic.

I've even read some posts where they suspect that Triumph discontinued the Thunderbird due to these issues rather than addressing/fixing them in the build process. They have been really good about warranty work, some folks having had new pistons/rings done and all kinds of other stuff. I buy liquid cooled bikes these days because the motors are quieter and I like to hear the exhaust, NOT the engine.


It certainly does NOT inspire confidence as this is my first Triumph, and I've owned 32 bikes so far.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzlesticks6 View Post
I've even read some posts where they suspect that Triumph discontinued the Thunderbird due to these issues rather than addressing/fixing them in the build process. .
No they were discontinued because they didn't meet euro4 emission standards. The grace period ran out in 2018 and Triumph apparently didn't think it worthwhile to develop a new motor to replace it....(however rumours persist of a brand new Thunderbird circa 2020 with modern electronics and a bigger motor).
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:00 AM
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I'd like to see Triumph come out with a kit to fix whatever existing issues there are with the 1700 motor. New decomp cam, better decomp springs, pistons, sleeves.....in short what ever it may be. This has been a frustrating, aggravating problem for many on this and other forums. Not to mention a bike you can't give away let alone sell it.

And yes BasilM retooling cost were prohibitive to produce Euro4 compliant motors due to lackluster sales.

Last edited by slingshot60; 07-08-2019 at 08:05 AM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:13 PM
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Ahh the rumoured Tbird replacement. I remember when the full fairing tourer was rumoured to be released in 2016-2017-2018. That rumour finally died when Triumph killed the big bird. I'm sure one day we'll see a new Thunderbird badged bike as it's an iconic Triumph name. I will be surprised to see a big cruiser.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 12:52 AM
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I'd like to see what happens with the new 2.5l Rocket. It's only limited release supposedly but I can 't see the value of doing all that design/manufacture and then letting it go.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasilM View Post
I'd like to see what happens with the new 2.5l Rocket. It's only limited release supposedly but I can 't see the value of doing all that design/manufacture and then letting it go.
Maybe, but also maybe is that at $30k they may be able to pull it off with a limited edition. If they do bring it back as regular production it would likely be due to demand. And even then it would likely change some or they'd be cheating the limited run owners out of the uniqueness they paid for. The limited factor is part of the attraction. Sweet bike tho. If i could play around with that kind of money i'd be on the list for sure. I'd prefer they do this with the Tbird tho and give it an improved version of it's current engine with the extra grunt and fixed noise issues along with fly by wire and all the current 'puter stuff. I'd be all over that if it took selling a kidney.
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