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My Tbird And I

Discussion in 'Newbies Hangout' started by Erling, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Erling

    Erling Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2017
    45
    63
    Norway
    I have a couple of questions for the technical forum, just an introduction first. Long, sorry.

    I got my ’97 Thunderbird 900 nearly a year ago. To my aging eyes it’s truly a great bike, every time I see it I feel proud to own it. The not-so-great part is that before the buy, I hadn’t been on a bike for 44 years. It gets worse – what I rode back then, was a Vespa 125. Yup, I know. To try to avoid to immediately join the organ donors’ club I did take ten “refreshment lessons” at a driving school. Let’s just say that they were more like pure beginner’s lessons than refreshment anything. They were very useful, but boy, did 1973 feel like a long time ago.

    So why this madness? A number of reasons. Through my adult life I have always longed for a proper bike, a longing I have spent decades supressing. But last year I took early retirement and got time on my hands. We also moved away from the city – wherever I need to go now, I drive on country roads with little traffic. The cancer examinations I had to undergo a year ago also had an effect. I don’t want to postpone the things I want in my life anymore.

    I was ten in 1965. On the rare occasions I was lucky enough to spot A Really Great Bike, it invariably said Triumph or BSA on the tank. So those have always been glued to my mind as the ultimate choices – never underestimate the power of the formative years. I should of course have started out with something lighter, a 350 perhaps, no argument there. But lighter mostly means smaller, and I’m 6’2”. Even on the driving school’s Honda 650 I noticed by my reflection in the shop window’s that I looked like I was on my way to perform at a circus. A too big guy on a too small bike. Anyway, I didn't want the lighter bike. I wanted the Triumph.

    I try to convince myself that the fact that I’m quite fit and am involved in activities that demand good body control will give me some advantage. I hope it does, but I may be naive. I am a sea kayaking coach on club level and I train for roadracing on bicycle a lot – hey, I come over to the UK for vintage bicycle racing; the 100 miles Eroica event in The Peak District, which is great fun.

    The twentyone year old Tbird is in great shape at 14.300 miles, all I have needed to do is cleaning the carbs, adjusting the valves, replacing the brake light switch for the front brake, replace a sheared bolt/axle in the alternator and some other minor stuff.

    I have no intention to go to the North Cape or Italy with it. I use it more or less like I would have used a moped, for shorter, half-day trips in my neighbourhood. Before I laid it up for the winter I started to feel quite confident (which is dangerous, I suppose!). It’s just in low speed curves, like small roundabouts, that I’m still really on my toes. Outside there is a white winter wonder land right now, but I can’t wait for spring to come. Wish me luck, I sure can need it!

    Tbird VEnde Okt17.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Dozers Dad

    Dozers Dad Bushmills Chief Quality Controller
    Subscriber

    Hi Mate,

    Fantastic introduction.

    A very warm welcome to the best vehicle forum on the net! :)
     
  3. Sprinter

    Sprinter Elite Member
    Subscriber

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,375
    800
    Grampian.
  4. TEZ 217

    TEZ 217 Elite Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    1,516
    700
    south shields
    Welcome to the mad house Erling Beautiful looking T bird you've got there enjoy it and the very best of luck to ya (though sure you dont need it )
     
  5. dilligaf

    dilligaf Loudest member
    Subscriber

    Mar 30, 2017
    2,626
    800
    Washington Tyne & Wear
    Hi mate and welcome
    Nice introduction and a lovely BLACK :cool: bike
     
  6. Tucker 1963

    Tucker 1963 Elite Member

    Sep 7, 2017
    926
    750
    Newmarket
    Welcome in you have a lovely looking bike you should fit right in with the inmates we are just padding your cell for you now.

    Ops sorry Padding your Room out

    Tucker :mask:
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  7. chiari1

    chiari1 Senior Member

    Mar 19, 2016
    568
    243
    wrexham , north wales
    Welcome In , wow a black thunderbird , obviously impeccable taste
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. MrOrange

    MrOrange The Lunatics have definitely taken over !!!!
    Staff Member Subscriber

    Oct 28, 2015
    4,095
    1,000
    the Heart of Darkness
    Hi & welcome to the forum.

    Chuck your question in technical help, sure someone will be along soon to help.
     
  9. Tigcraft

    Tigcraft Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Mar 29, 2014
    1,087
    250
    Holmfirth West Yorkshire
    Welcome to the best forum!! Looks like you’ve just opened another chapter in your life. Hope it becomes one of the best!!
     
  10. Bikerman

    Bikerman Elite Member
    Subscriber

    Oct 29, 2014
    1,506
    700
    Lincolnshire
    y151.gif Erling and welcome2a.gif to the forum from Lincolnshire.
    I must commend your choice of bike, I've had my 900 Thunderbird 23 years in May, and it's the best bike I've ever had.
    I can't think of a better bike to ride in Norway than the Thunderbird, sitting upright and looking at that stunning scenery that Norway's blessed with. Enjoy it and the forum too.
     
  11. Erling

    Erling Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2017
    45
    63
    Norway
    A big thanks to everybody for a fantastic welcome, it’s great to be here!

    When looking at the photo I posted I am reminded of the Hepco & Becker crash bar I fitted before taking to the road: I’d hate to scratch up all that shiny stuff if I laid the bike down. One season later I feel I could do without it, but those first few rides were quite hairy, quite frankly. This is what happened: On my first ride the bike behaved well. The second trip, not so good – the motor died occasionally when I got off the throttle. The third trip – what is this?? Whenever I got off the throttle, the motor died. It always started right up again. The really bad thing though, was when entering the roundabouts: I got off the throttle, pulled the clutch, geared down to second and released the clutch in one automated motion the way I do with cars. Only now the motor died in the process, and the rear wheel locked up as I was leaning over in the curve. Two or three times I saw myself on the ground but saved it with a sob. Took it to a shop and it turned out to be the carbs. After a thorough cleaning it has been running perfectly. I think the crash bar stays, though.

    One thing I haven’t installed is the windscreen that came with the bike. I believe Triumph called it Summer Screen. It is in perfect condition, but so far I have preferred the naked look.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Tiglet

    Tiglet Vintage Member
    Subscriber

    Mar 28, 2016
    750
    250
    Cheshire
    Hello Erling and welcome to the forum :)

    Enjoy your new ride :cool:
     
  13. Bikerman

    Bikerman Elite Member
    Subscriber

    Oct 29, 2014
    1,506
    700
    Lincolnshire
    When the summer comes, whatever you do on your ride outs, PLEASE, don't forget your camera, lots of pictures of Norway is a must for us on the forum.
    camera_8b.gif camera_8b.gif
    Hope you don't mind but I've got to ask, what part of Norway are you from I have a very good friend in Bjørkedal near Nordfjordeid.
    Lets keep our fingers crossed for this too.
    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman....routes-from-scotland-to-scandinavia-1-4653097
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. stevethegoolie

    stevethegoolie First Class Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    1,322
    500
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Hi, Erling. Nice intro.
    Thunderbirds can feel a bit top heavy at low speeds - mainly because they are. My Trident is exactly the same.
    To keep the carbs clean use fuel system cleaners in your petrol. Over here Redex and Wynns are a couple of options. You will no doubt have others available in that there Norway. Works well on my bike especially when it has been laid up for winter. Doesn't hurt to use it occasionally when in regular use, either.
    Oh, and make sure your battery is in good condition at all times. Starter sprag clutches can fail if the motor is reluctant to start with a slow turning starter motor - this is not just a Triumph weakness, it is available on other manufacturers bikes but probably not as often.:eek:
    Enjoy your bike and also the lunacy that is thetriumphforum.:confused:
     
  15. R_1000

    R_1000 Noble Member
    Subscriber

    Sep 2, 2016
    858
    400
    UK, London
    A very warm welcome to you buddy.

    Must say.....cool bike ;)

    Over the years I have owned so many different bikes leading me to so many different forums. You have made a good choice in joining this forum. Sound advices, very knowledgeable members, great sense of humour, helpful members and most of all.....decent folks :)

    Be safe and enjoy your ride :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. littleade

    littleade The only sane one here
    Subscriber

    Mar 17, 2015
    3,347
    800
    kidderminster Worcestershire
    Welcome in, that's great story you've posted there. I hope the spring of 2018 is the start of many years of happy biking for you.

    Ride safe and enjoy
     
  17. Angus

    Angus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    256
    63
    South Africa
    Hi Erling, like so many before me welcome to the forum ! What a nice introduction and a beautiful motorcycle!
     
  18. Erling

    Erling Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2017
    45
    63
    Norway
    Last summer I left Stavanger after living there for thirty years. Until the Newcastle - Stavanger - Bergen ferry service stopped in 2008 I facilitated visitis from a number of fellow sea kayakers from the UK, it would be great if it was revived. Before the wife and I retired, we built our new home by the seaside about 60 miles south of Oslo, near the town Tønsberg where I spent a major part of my growing up years. Please get in touch if you're in the neighbourhood!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Gary_P

    Gary_P Active Member
    Subscriber

    May 19, 2016
    178
    43
    North Yorkshire
    Hi Erling and welcome to a great forum, really nice Thunderbird you have there, I am very jealous, this was my Thunderbird that I regretably let go some years ago.
    Lots of great info on here, enjoy your new bike and the world of motorcycling.





    1A011A69-F71C-42AD-AFDC-B4017D75A169.jpeg
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Scott Bishop

    Scott Bishop New Member

    May 30, 2017
    3
    3
    Green Valley, AZ
    Welcome. What a nice, clean looking machine. Enjoy that T-Bird!
     

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