Thunderbird Lt Abs: Hop On Or Walk Away?

Discussion in 'Thunderbird' started by PretzelDog, Jan 19, 2023.

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  1. PretzelDog

    PretzelDog New Member

    Jan 19, 2023
    0
    1
    Texas Hill Country
    Hi, all-

    I've been wanting a Thunderbird LT ABS since I first saw one in 2014.

    Now I'm looking at buying a 2014 with low miles, but I got some disturbing information from my local dealer today: parts are hard to come by. It can take months to get certain parts (relays were mentioned) and whitewall tires aren't available.

    Is this just an issue in the states? Are there plenty of parts available in the UK?

    Or are these bikes just sliding into obsolescence?

    Cheers,

    Pretzeldog
     
  2. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    6,143
    800
    Three Counties
    Oem parts aren't the easiest to come by either side of the pond mate. The good news is they are one of the most reliable bikes out there, just don't drop it :p
     
  3. PretzelDog

    PretzelDog New Member

    Jan 19, 2023
    0
    1
    Texas Hill Country
    It has crash bars. :)

    I just spent an hour calling a few dealers around the US & it was about 50/50: half of them told me parts are getting hard to find. One dealer told me parts for new bikes can be difficult to find, so I imagine supply chain issues are a factor.

    The other half told me that a) whitewall tires can be sourced, but it might take 6 months; b) Items like relays should be no problem as they typically use off the shelf parts when designing a bike; c) Motor parts should not be a problem (although one person told me transmission parts might be a problem); d) Accessories might be a problem, but this bike is decked out & I have no plans to change or add anything, except maybe cruise control.

    I was surprised to find that some dealers won't work on a bike older than 10 years.

    I was also surprised to find that the 12,000 mile service is going to cost me $2,100. That seems like a lot to replace the spark plugs and adjust the valves.
     
  4. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    6,143
    800
    Three Counties
    The 12k service is a big one as they also do the valve clearances which means a lot of dismantling but hopefully you can find a good independent mechanic that can do it a lot cheaper. I managed to half the cost with mine, you just need to find a competent one that you trust (mine had trained with Triumph).

    As you say, a lot of the standard stuff is fairly generic so you can source them from anywhere. Tyres of any type are in shorter supply at the moment for some reason but am sure in that vast continent of yours you can find some ;)

    Personally I would say go for it, what's the worst that could happen :rolleyes: and if it were to then you've already said parts are hard to come by so breaking for parts will only end in profit :cool:
     
  5. PretzelDog

    PretzelDog New Member

    Jan 19, 2023
    0
    1
    Texas Hill Country
    Yes, I think I am going to hop on this bike. This is a "once in a lifetime deal" & I feel confident I'll get my money's worth & then some.

    I still have a few thousand miles left before the 12K service, so I'll start looking for a mechanic now.,

    And tyres. Or tires. Those round rubber donuts that go on either end. I'll get a set & have them replaced.

    The current tires are 8 years old, but don't have any cracks & haven't reached the wear marks. Is it safe to continue using them, do you think?
     
  6. RJinTX

    RJinTX Member

    Nov 27, 2021
    13
    8
    Giant side of Texas
    I am envious of your possible acquisition of the Thunderbird.

    I have lusted for one for some time, but the logistics of the nearest Triumph dealer 5-6 hours away and local shops refusing to work on my 2002 America finally drove me to another brand. I see you are in the Hill Country so you have access to dealer in Austin & San Antonio, if they will work on older motorcycles.
    I can recommend a Triumph dealer in Plano that, at least in 2021, was happy to perform the 24K service on my America.

    https://www.triumphmotorcyclesdallas.com

    I can not speak to the reliability of the Thunderbird, but my America has been reliable as death and taxes. No unscheduled repairs or maintenance. Oil/ changes, chain/sprocket kit, tires, brake pads, the usual items which consider expendable, wear & tear items.

    I hope the information helps.
     
  7. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    6,143
    800
    Three Counties
    Personally I would get them changed when you get the chance to as they will have degraded and hardened in that time but I wouldn't not ride it in the meantime, just be aware of it and ride conservatively ;)
     
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