Rode a Triumph Thunderbird - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-27-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Rode a Triumph Thunderbird

Local dealer had Demo Day today, stopped by after the RedBull MotoGP Kick Off Event. I wanted to ride the Thruxton but it was already spoken for, they offered me the new Thunderbird so I thought I'd give it whirl.

I have to say it was the best cruiser experience I've ever had. Lots of power, torquey 1600cc upright watercooled twin, pulled very strong. Suspension was firm, could actually take a corner hard and feel pretty secure, obviously not a sport bike but also not some wallowing beast. Very good brakes, smooth and precise 6 speed transmission, nice clutch action. I'm still not comfortable with the arms out, feet forward cruiser riding position, but it was better than some I've ridden and the seat was decent.

Not sure who it appeals to, the v-twin crowd wants a v-twin, is there an upright twin cruiser crowd just waiting for the right bike? If so, this one is an impressive machine.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-27-2009, 06:19 PM
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This is a triumph I have not ridden!
I am excited to hear a report on it.
Can you compare it to any other cruiser in particular so I have a baseline of your experience!
It left a little to be desired in the design department (to me) - But I am sure with some pipes and some small cosmetic mods, it will all come together.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-27-2009, 06:56 PM
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I went to the Triumph Demo here in Iowa last weekend. All the Thunderbirds were taken. I rode a Sprint ST. I have to say that it had the most comfortable seat that I ever sat on and the intake noise/honk was awesome. I am way impressed with Triumphs.
The best sounding bike there was a Scrambler with a Arrow pipe. Man I wish I picked that one to ride.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-27-2009, 08:06 PM
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Thanks for the report Scott, it one of the cruisers I am interested in to replace my FXR someday.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-27-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
This is a triumph I have not ridden!
I am excited to hear a report on it.
Can you compare it to any other cruiser in particular so I have a baseline of your experience!
It left a little to be desired in the design department (to me) - But I am sure with some pipes and some small cosmetic mods, it will all come together.
Let's see...I've ridden a Suzuki M109R, it was massive and had tons of power, but didn't handle worth a crap compared to the Thunderbird.

Honda VTX1300, nice bike, but the Thunderbird beat it in power and handling.

Couple of smaller Vulcan 900's, but don't really compare to the muscle cruiser bikes.

Few Harleys, once again different machines than this one.

I'm not drawn to v-twins, don't really like the uneven thump and vibration that many people love. The Thunderbird certainly had some character, not going to mistake it for a smooth four inline four, but I liked how its power was delivered more evenly than a v-twin.

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post #6 of 12 Old 08-28-2009, 06:31 AM
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Did they have a Rocket3??

That' the cruiser that I see myself on.

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-28-2009, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000TJ View Post
Did they have a Rocket3??

That' the cruiser that I see myself on.
They did have a Rocket, it was spoken for during my time slot. The Thunderbird is a big machine, the Rocket is a MASSIVE machine!

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-28-2009, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
They did have a Rocket, it was spoken for during my time slot. The Thunderbird is a big machine, the Rocket is a MASSIVE machine!
I suspect that's where my 256lbs would be happiest.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-07-2009, 02:18 PM
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So I went to the Triumph Demo days this weekend. I got to ride a Thunderbird, and a Sprint ST. Would have liked to do the Tiger too, but I Ran out of time. Here's my impressions of the T-bird.

Styling is good, but a little Chunky compared to HD. Kind of a wider but not quite as long profile, think Bodybuilder physique. I like the Idea of the almost 6 gallon tank though so I can forgive this. Fit and finish was excellent. I especially liked the two tone models, the stripe divided the wide tank visually and made it seem narrower

Ergonomics fit me very well, comfortable feet slightly forward, but not overly so.

Suspension seemed pretty decent. I ground the pegs easier than I can on my FXR, but my FXR is unlike most HD's. Brakes were good, but the front was higher effort than I was hoping for, powerful, but it took more pressure than I thought they would.

The motor was nice, if not overwhelming. Better power than a stock HD, but not even close to my 113" powered FXR. Would like to try it with some less restrictive exhaust/intake combo, or the bigbore kit. That said, it had a very linear powerband, nice torque, very little vibration up to 5000 rpm, then only a little. The FI was well sorted, not snatchy or any flat spots that I noticed. Nice exhaust note, but would be better of course with some louder pipes.

On that note, they had one there decked out with touring accesories, windshield, bags, etc, and looked like it would make a very nice touring cruiser.

Over all I liked it, but I liked the Sprint ST better! In fact, I may consider putting one in the garage shortly.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-07-2009, 02:53 PM
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i passed a triumph t-bird on I95 today on the way home from work..

meh.... from the side its tank looks "humpy".... and kinda fugly... it looks big and top heavy... i guess that was the biggest thing i noticed... it LOOKED top heavy... and the exhausts looked kinda silly with those little bitty tubes sticking out the back... ...


not for me fellas... but don't let my opinion sway you... there are prettier girls at the dance....



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post #11 of 12 Old 09-07-2009, 03:57 PM
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Scott, it looks small sitting there next to your Kenworth Hybrid Compact in the background....

Actually it looks really nice, but if you want to ride a real comfortable crusier you better try mine. Jim

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-07-2009, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Good report Justin, interesting to hear it compared to your HD.

It is kind of top heavy looking, but that's tough to avoid with a large upright twin engine stuffed in there.

Would love to check out your Roadliner Jim, just gotta make it to one of your Tuesday or Sunday night rides.

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