Well, my new Triumph Thunderbird 1600 arrived last August and I have already sold it after only 531 miles. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the bike, but first impressions left me under whelmed. I was expecting more torque than was readily available on tap and I was never impressed with the initial colours available. It’s not all bad – well, apart from the after market handlebars playing havoc with my wrists – the riding position is great, it’s a lot more fun accelerating off the lights and over taking than using the Triumph America. Although cornering is smooth, the footpegs scrape the ground a lot sooner than on the America, but for such a big bike with such wide tyres, cornering was effortless. Compare cornering on the Rocket III Tourer which has a smaller 180/70 rear wheel and you’ll see what I mean.
The only reason I sold the bike is because Triumph are releasing a special edition of the Thunderbird with a factory fitted big bore kit taking it up to 1700cc. They are also releasing two new colours; Phantom Red Haze and Phantom Blue Haze. I have already put my name down for one of the limited SE’s in Phantom Red, so watch this spac
A poor design of the early Hinckley Triumph engines is that the sprocket cover is part of the engine casing, usually requiring the engine oil to be drained to change the engine sprocket or fit a new chain. To compound this, on the Tiger models, you have to remove the rider’s left foot rest as well. This takes time and is a real pain in the ass, something I have done before and didn’t want to do again just to fix a broken chain that had slid off.
As I could reach – and turn – the top of the engine sprocket, I tried to feed the chain in from the top, which wasn’t very successful because I couldn’t get any access to the lower part of the sprocket. I then decided that if I could feed the chain in from the lower part it would be easier to pull the chain around by spinning the top of the front sprocket. This worked a treat. I used a thin, curved, metal bar from a Triumph America screen as a support for the chain. By placing the chain on the metal bar and feeding them both under the swing arm until the chain pushed up against the sprocket I was able to hook the chain onto the sprocket after only four or five attempts of spinning the top of the sprocket with my hand. Once the chain was sufficiently far enough around the top of the sprocket I was able to start pulling it through with ease.