Featured New Owner 2014 Thunderbird Abs

Discussion in 'Thunderbird' started by Futterman, Apr 3, 2019.

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  1. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Hello everyone,

    New member here! Two years ago I rented a Thunderbird 1600 in Las Vegas, USA and rode it throughout Death Valley. Bike absolutely stole my soul. Well here I am two years later and have just purchased a 2014 Thunderbird ABS with 5,000 miles on the odometer.

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    I bought the bike on Saturday and trailered it home for four hours in a driving rainstorm on a potholed interstate. Harrowing to say the least. Once finally home I gave it a quick wash and dry and snapped these pics. The I had to go out of town the next day, Sunday, for a week. I'll be back home for a day and a half and then I have to go out of town again for another full week. It's killing me to be away and the bike is sitting at home! I haven't had a chance to do anything with it at all.

    Couple of questions:
    1. Apparently the factory heated grips had breakage issues...was that ever resolved with a new part number? I have two part numbers for heated grip kits for the standard Thunderbird but don't know if either of them is a "new and improved" version: A9638123 and A93638068. Apparently these are both discontinued but if there is an updated version I might be able to locate new old stock. By the way, why does the LT/Commander heated grip kit have a different part number A9368089? If it's just an electrical connection difference that may not be a show-stopper.
    2. Looks like the Jack-Be-Quick JBQ-TB-STD is out of production or temporarily unavailable. How critical is this to jacking the bike? Are there other ways to get a tire off the ground in the absence of this aftermarket kit?
    3. I ride solo and love to tour. I'm thinking of the long-haul solo seat and a sissy bar rack that fits where the pillion seat would be. Thoughts?
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    4. I'm not a fan of the looks or function of the OEM bags. After the rainstorm trailer run, they were filled with water. Thinking I may go with Viking leather-covered hard bags. Anyone had experience with these?
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  2. Vulpes

    Vulpes Confused Member
    Subscriber

    Mar 14, 2018
    3,196
    1,000
    Netherlands
    Hi and welcome. Great looking bike!
     
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  3. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Thank you and hello!
     
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  4. TEZ 217

    TEZ 217 Crème de la Crème

    Mar 6, 2016
    2,197
    1,000
    south shields
    welcome to the forum futterman, I have a 1600 Tbird, personally don't use the bags, or heated grips as for the single seat and rack spot on me thinks it changes the look of the bike so much, should also consider the shorter Tors exhaust, sounds awesome and gives you easy access to rear spindle,
     
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  5. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Put on your big boy pants and man up
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    1,316
    450
    Three Counties
    Hi Hank and welcome in again :cool::cool: I have the Nightstorm with single seat and heated grips (added the first, came with the second). Can't really help with your questions I'm afraid but enjoy :p:p
    44031579_257824364919424_9167508763035303936_n.jpg 43828676_569787090107422_4168878588176629760_n.jpg
     
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  6. David Cooper

    David Cooper Triumph Rocketeer.
    Subscriber

    Hello and welcome to the forum Hank.
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  7. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Thanks TEZ, Helmut, and David! Thanks for your replies and perspectives. Cool ride Helmut! Looking forward to hanging around here.
     
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  8. dilligaf

    dilligaf GRRRRRR
    Subscriber

    Mar 30, 2017
    6,550
    1,000
    Washington Tyne & Wear
    Hi mate and welcome
     
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  9. Tucker 1963

    Tucker 1963 Elite Member

    Sep 7, 2017
    5,923
    800
    Newmarket
    Welcome to the madhouse you should fit right in .
    Tucker

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  10. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Thanks!

    :p Yeah, that's about right!

    That's a beauty! :cool:
     
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  11. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
    Subscriber

    Oct 29, 2014
    2,651
    1,000
    Lincolnshire
    y151.gif Futterman and welcome2a.gif to the forum from Lincolnshire.
    Very nice Thunderbird you have there, enjoy it, and the forum too.
     
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  12. Bad Billy

    Bad Billy Baddest Member
    Subscriber

    Jun 1, 2017
    5,128
    1,000
    Southern Softyville
    Hi and Welcome to the forum, can't help with your questions :confused:, but really want a garage like yours! :cool:
     
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  13. mpllineman

    mpllineman Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Feb 12, 2018
    583
    250
    Pearl,Ms.
    Good morning and welcome. Enjoy that good looking Thunderbird and ride safe!
     
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  14. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Thanks for the welcome Billy and mp!
     
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  15. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    I don't know if you saw the welcome thread but here's a post with a some more info about my "barn".
     
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  16. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    #16 Futterman, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    Well I flew back in last night and have to fly out again tomorrow, but at least I got some seat time on the Thunderbird today. It is an incredible machine and I had a blast! Bike ran and handled flawlessly.

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  17. Hamburg

    Hamburg Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2018
    998
    193
    Oxford, UK
    Looking good Hank, the bike looks much better without the screen.
     
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  18. Alatamoc

    Alatamoc Member

    Mar 29, 2019
    50
    18
    Uk
    Hi there....afraid I can't help with some questions...but ....
    a. I think the tbird LT has bigger diameter bars...so needs bigger grips.
    b. I use a set of Held Denver bags....in conjunction with HD softail easy off support brackets ...works for me without cutting intointo removable sissy bar support.
    c. I use a longhaul dual seat as my Beloved, er, beloves it.
    d. I've had 3 tbirds now and prefer the 1600.....slightly less go but not by a lot....no trouble keeping up with my friends Storm.
    e. Personal experience only but both my 1700 LTs developed mechanical problems....the dreaded rattle with the first one whilst I knocked out the big end bearings on the other whilst touring last July. My 1600 engine is lovely...smooth and quiet....though the 12000 mile service was eye wateringly expensive.
    I hope you enjoy your tbird.
    Oh, and welcome.
     
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  19. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    I appreciate the detailed technical feedback, Alatamoc. That's the great thing about these owner forums...the chance to exchange personal experience and advice.

    What makes you prefer the 1600 to the 1700? I've heard of the "dreaded rattle" but haven't delved into the history of it. Does it only afflict 1700s or 1600s are susceptible as well? What is the cause? Did the big end bearings fail due to an oil pressure or low oil viscosity (summer heat in July)?

    What was involved with the 12,000 mile service, valve clearance inspection? As I bought this bike pre-owned @ 5 years old with 5,000 miles and no warranty, I wouldn't be hesitant to do that job myself. With bikes purchased new with warranty it's a different matter.
     
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  20. Futterman

    Futterman Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2019
    94
    68
    Kentucky, USA
    Thanks. I'll probably use it for touring but for day trips it's nice to have the wind in your face and the bike looks meaner without it. Speaking of the screen, the so-called "quick release" mechanism was an absolute bear to use. I ended up lifting the two spring-loaded clips manually and using bits of plastic to hold them open. The screen still held fast. I ended up having to spray some lube on the contact points and loosen the mounting point screws to get it off the bike.
     
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