Main Motorcycle: Triumph Thunderbird Storm
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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.