a momentary lapse of reason - new to me Triumph Thunderbird!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by bdonley, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    Been shopping for a bike. Have a Vespa GT200, feeling "bikeish" again lately. Couple close calls. R1100RT, '11 Sportster, Triumph America. Came across a nice Drifter last nite. Stopped by the local shop to discuss it with them. They'd just rolled out this Triumph Thunderbird Sport. 10,000 miles on it. Freshly rebuilt carbs and service. Rear shock rebuilt by Racetec. Had to have it. Test rode one at Laguna Seca years ago. Liked it a lot. After a 50 mile loop of favorite roads, I think we're gonna be just fine! Great suspension. That triple just pulls smoothly. Comfortable riding position, even for a banged up old fart like me. First job was floor sweeper/parts washer at my uncle's shop, Bellflower Triumph. It's like going home. Having a Guinness now in it's honor...... Thunderbird.JPG
    #1
  2. Speed Wheeler

    Speed Wheeler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    OH-IO
    Guinness beer is best beer.

    Congratulations, nice looking bike.
    #2
    CbDude likes this.
  3. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    1,919
    Location:
    OH
    I had one of these on a poster in my bedroom when I was younger and had no chance of affording one. 20 years later, there's finally one in the garage. Looks like it'll be a nice weekend too get the old girl out, too
    #3
    ebbanflood, Chillis and bdonley like this.
  4. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    Yep! When I test rode one, I couldn’t afford it, either. I’m on the coast in California. Wife’s working this weekend. Dang! Might have to get some Hwy #1 time in ....
    #4
    Chillis, B02S4 and brgsprint like this.
  5. Tytan

    Tytan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    864
    Location:
    The Wet Left Coast
    Nice find I have a soft spot for the early Hinckley Triumphs looks to be all original nobody in the past tried to make it better :lol3. Don't try starting it with a bad or low battery it's easy to damage the starter sprag clutch which is the achilles heel on these engines other than that they are built like a brick outhouse.
    #5
    JHG67, Chillis, bdonley and 1 other person like this.
  6. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    It’s got a fresh battery. Carbs rebuilt. Rear shock by Racetec. New tires. Otherwise serviced. The wrench at my local shop is a Triumph trained mechanic. It’d sat for too long. He did all the work.
    #6
    msahern5 likes this.
  7. Wa Ho Thuk

    Wa Ho Thuk Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    39,110
    Great motorbike , well done .
    #7
    bdonley likes this.
  8. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    Thanks. I’m liking it!
    #8
    Wa Ho Thuk likes this.
  9. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1,620
    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois
    My nephew had a first-gen T-Bird. The one with the traditional-looking pipes and paint. I took my last M-class test on it. It felt a little top-heavy, but once I started whipping it through he cones, it was just fine. Great motor and a solid machine. I remember seeing a Sport with a Hurricane-clone 3-pipe exhaust at TWO one day.
    #9
  10. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    Yes, it is top heavy to me, too. Don’t feel it when moving. Gonna be fun playing with cornering as I get used to really good suspension and modern sized tires. A long way from my Vespa. Reminds me of my Monster, but with better suspenders!!
    #10
    Chillis likes this.
  11. rick danger

    rick danger The further adventures of

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,773
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    [​IMG]
    #11
    jersey jim and Chillis like this.
  12. jersey jim

    jersey jim Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,301
    Location:
    ...somewhere in the swamps of Jersey...
    My '96 Speed Triple felt a bit top heavy as well, I guess it's just a characteristic of that generation of Triumph. But the engine was a peach, and the handling was good enough. The ergos were a bit much for me, so I went back to a cruiser (Road Star Warrior).
    #12
  13. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,331
    No EFI that I recall on that era TBS...last model year for it was 2004, & they had 3 Keihin CVK36 carbs.
    #13
    Chillis likes this.
  14. optimum_malarky

    optimum_malarky Premium nonsense

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    Northern California.... twisty
    I've ridden a couple of these over the years, but never found the right one to bring home. Yours looks gold! Congrats on one of the fun, classic triple Triumphs!
    #14
    Wa Ho Thuk likes this.
  15. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1,620
    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois
    I think it's due to the large frame tube running over the top of the engine.
    #15
    Wa Ho Thuk likes this.
  16. ebbanflood

    ebbanflood Riff Raff Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    Just north of Mediocrity
    I test rode on of these up at Americade years back, what a fun bike. Congratulations! best of luck with it.
    #16
    Wa Ho Thuk likes this.
  17. JHG67

    JHG67 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    Ohio
    Nice score on the TBS!! I see you've got one of the early (more desirable) models with the aluminum Akront rims. Triumph later switched to chromed steel.
    I bought two TBS' new. My first was a yellow 1998, and later an orange 2003. Loved them both. I do prefer the 1998-1999 with the twin stacked mufflers. BITD I had put a set of D&D slip-ons on my 1998 and the 3 into 3 D&D full system on my 2003. The sound was glorious!!

    I do miss them and would love another. A few years ago I was a day late and a dollar short of picking up a clean yellow 1999.
    As been said, keep a fresh a fresh battery in her. Also the ignition coils are an area to watch.
    There is a gent in the UK that does a superb stick coil conversion that will eliminate this problem area. Also the pick up coil down behind the RH ob-long engine cover can flake out.
    Otherwise these are solid bikes
    Enjoy!!
    #17
    bdonley likes this.
  18. bdonley

    bdonley Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,297
    Location:
    Central California coast
    Thanks! I’ll look into that setup....
    #18