Thinking about a Triumph Thunderbird Storm

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Quedok, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    I have been kicking around the idea of getting another bike...a cruiser. I have riden Harleys, Victory's and now looking at the new Triumph Thunderbird Storm. My current ride is a 1996 BMW R1100GS that I dearly love and have owned since new. I won't sell it but I want a criuser with something different. The Triumph caught my attention.
    Any owners out there who can tell me how they like their bikes so far? Good or bad I want to hear it all.
    #1
  2. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    I lke the TBird Storm in the flat black. IMHO in gloss black it just looks budget. While the Storm does have pretty good get up and go, if you're thinking Storm I recomend considering the Rocket Roadster. More power, not that much more $$$, neutral seating, good brakes and handling, and what people don't realize is the weight is virtually identical. (MCN has the Rocket at 798, TBird at 801). The Rocket has a lot of "presence".
    Yes, I own a Roadster. Sorry for the hijack, but just sayin'...
    #2
  3. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    I do like the concept behind the Rocket. It's styling needs some work for my taste. I haven't seen too many around but I bet there are few if any complaints from the owners. How are they for long legged riders?
    #3
  4. Jason Hutchins

    Jason Hutchins Monarch 71

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    Love my Thunderbird, highly recommend.

    You can get the 1700 option on the standard colour bikes too.

    Checkout thunderbird1600.com

    Cheers

    Jase
    #4
  5. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

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    Plenty of miles on a T-Bird 1700. Great machine. A total blast to ride. Great for a cruiser. Still prefer my Rocket but that does not mean the T-Bird is not good-it is. Complete different look from the R3, but you know that already!
    #5
  6. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    I'm a long legged 6'7" and prefer the Roadster peg position to that of the Standard I originally owned because the Roadster doesn't rock me back onto my tail bone. Plus I have additional pegs mounted on crash bars if I need to stretch my legs. My Roadster can go from a solo seat bar hopper to a two up tourer with shield, bags, and trunk in around 20 minutes. I like twins, they tend to be the only bikes I keep for any length of time, but that huge triple in the Roadster is pretty addictive.
    All I'm saying is if you're at all still up in the air about the Storm, try to get a test ride on a Roadster before buying.
    I see where Triumph is offering a lot of incentives to move some TBirds, don't know if they've had to do that with the Roadster, so you might want to jack up the dealer for info.
    #6
  7. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    I am going out this weekend a do a side by side comparison between the Rocket and the Thunderbird. I do like twins but we will see what happens when I try out the Rocket. I still think the Storm looks better but that's subjective.
    #7
  8. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    I have a Rocket III Roadster, and it's a bit large for my 5'10" frame. Should be right for you, how'd the comparison ride go?
    #8
  9. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    The dealer didn't have the Rocket Roadster available. He did have the Thunderbird Storm though. First impression was even at 750 lbs it didn't feel all that heavy, at least for me. When seated it felt very comfortable. Off I went and within a mile or so I was at home with the beast. It has great low end torque and pulls like a mule with a swarm of bees on it's tail. Handling is very sporty for such a bike like this. I was very impressed.
    #9
  10. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    Great news you were impressed! Late in the TBird's development Triumph gave up trying to make it fuel right at low rev's and added 20# to the flywheel. Bad news is it's 20# heavier, good news it makes for a low center of gravity. The Storm has the 1700 motor and cam in it, right? I've read that really wakes it up.
    Another nice thing about the Storm is their relative rarity on the road. I live on a popular biking road here in Wa and I've only ever seen one on the road.
    We want pictures when you pick it up.

    If you don't mind my asking, since I'm a huge Victory fan I was wondering what made you go to Triumph instead.
    #10
  11. Glenngineer

    Glenngineer Scooty Puff Sr.

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    I think one of the nicest things about the Thunderbirds is their riding position - easy reach to the bars, and a 'natural' forward control setup - lots of other cruisers through your feet way ahead of you. I'm 6' tall, and generally can't ride your average forward control Dyna with any bend in my leg, depending on the seat. The Thunderbird lets you stretch out, but keep your knees bent a bit so you don't feel like you're at the limit of your leg's extension all the time. For me, thats a good thing. Yamaha's Raider is similarly comfortable, if brutally over styled.
    #11
  12. MikeJansen

    MikeJansen Lost

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    I was a chassis design engineer on the T-Bird (chassis designation BA) and did most of my work on the foot controls and sidestand but was there when the engine decision was made for the larger flywheel. From what I remember it was because the high compression was slowing the crank speed too dramatically with each stroke. One of my friends was the one who did the research into the phenomenon during the testing. Made the bike 6 months late as the crank case needed a full redesign.

    On the other hand, with the 1700 the bike is a peach and handles WAAAAAY better than it should.
    #12
  13. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    Ah, thanks for this! I thought the lighter flywheels just made it too responsive at low rev's. Wouldn't it have been easier and cheaper to just lower the compression?
    #13
  14. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    When I first started looking at cruisers I obviously veered towards the Harley. My primary choice was the Fat Bob. I found it a bit too common for me as I see them all the time where I live. Next was the Victory Hammer S. I liked the layout better than the Fat Bob and it's rarity on the road was even more favorable to me. Power was good and it had a very straight forward approach to it.

    One turn off to the Hammer was the ground clearence. I scraped the pegs right from the first corner. I had to learn to move my body more to keep it from doing so. Never the less it was a great bike. Then came the Thunderbird Storm. Now first off I really didn't want a water cooled cruiser but after looking at one up close, I thought it all came together rather nicely. Sitting on it felt like it was made for me and the bars and foot controls just came together. Tank was a bit wide but with my long legs it really isn't an issue. The all black finish really hit me with the sense of being a bad ass but with refinement.

    The road test got me hooked ( at least until I ride the Rocket). It was suprisingly nimble for a cruiser. Power when you need it and a feel for the open road that was soothingly smooth. The seat was better than the Harley and the Victory and the sound of that 270 vertical twin was icing on the cake. All in all a very fun machine as were the others I tested but it had more to offer and at a price that was quite reasonable. Plus the dealer is giving $1500 in accessories until the end if September on a 2011 model.
    #14
  15. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    I hear ya. I rode, and loved, the new Victory Judge, but stock there is no cornering clearance. Don't imagine the Hammer is a lot better.

    If you're looking for a cruiser, it sounds like you've found your fit. The Roadster is more of a huge standard - think Valkyrie on steroids. Have fun!
    #15
  16. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    The Hammer was just slightly worse than the Judge in the cornering department but it was marginable. I really like the looks of the Hammer S and the other riders said I looked good on it. That aside, I am now more focused on the Triumph Thunderbird Storm but you have me curious about the Rocket Roadster. All the write ups I've read were positive and if I were to purchase one, many of it's chrome pieces will find their way to the powder coater, especially the radiator shroud and the air box. I will have to add my artistic touch in the form of a custom 3 into 1 stainless header which I will fab myself to give it that true hot rod look.
    Again, the Victory was and still is a sentmental favorite but I do like a bit more handling.
    #16
  17. drhach

    drhach We can't stop here, this is bat country!!

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    I bought 2010 Thunderbird SE. I know it's not a Storm, but it is a similar model. I like it. How's that for a ringing endorsement? Seriously, though, it's a great bike and I think Triumph did a lpt of things well. The horrible fuel economy was what nudged the Rocket out for me (although shaft drive was attractive). Also the Thunderbird was considered one of the best handling cruisers at the time (I don't know if that's changed). I get around 42 MPG no matter how I ride and generally the bike is a good commuter that handles reasonably well given what it is. I still haven't done any longer distance rides on it. Honestly though, if the Guzzi california had a more powerful charging system, I would have bought one of them instead. Also, consider buying used. They go pretty cheap.
    #17
  18. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    Rocket's horrible fuel mileage??:D:D It's because you can't leave the throttle alone on the damn things! Or at least I can't. Srewin' around, I get around 34 or 35. Ridden like a cruiser or a tourer I get 40 to 42. Won't match the TBird, but that's kind of an apples and oranges thing.

    Victory does have an optional longer shock for their tube frame bikes, as does Penske, etc. but they oughtta have at least one stock model with more clearance. Ironic that their baggers have more cornering clearance.
    #18
  19. Quedok

    Quedok Been here awhile

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    It is true the Victory baggers have greater ground clearance than their cruisers. I have a BMW with bags which I use for that purpose and that's why I want a cruiser, no frills just a comfortable ride with some style and attitude thrown in just because.
    I'm sure the Rocket can manage mid 40 mpg numbers if you can resist having some extra fun. I just want to see one up close but it seems like the show rooms are empty of them right now.
    #19
  20. Tilter

    Tilter Been here awhile

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    I've ridden both the Rocket Roadster and the Storm and I love them both. With all the incentives right now, and the slit preference I have, I'd go with a Storm for sure. If you are buying used though there some great deals on rockets out there.
    #20