Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles Reviews (24)
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2006-10-07 1999 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought mine new in 1998 after test riding a standard Thunderbird then the Sport. I liked the bike for what it does. It cranks, runs good, handles ok and is a Triumph. I have owned older Triumphs with Big Bore kits that are faster than this bike but they were not as reliable. The biggest problem is the air box is not user friendly.
- Jim, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

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2006-08-13 1999 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my bike used in '05 from a Honda dealer out of state. '99 model with only 2200 miles on it. This is my second bike; I held out for a long time until I could afford a Triumph, and I am glad I did. The bike handles well, very agile, quick off the line and fairly comfortable on long rides. Maintenance has been minimal with oil change, coolant change, and a set of new tires in '06, and keeping the chain oiled and adjusted. Whoever owned the bike before me removed the factory air box and put on UNI Filters, also put on a set of Supertrapp Exhaust pipes, which makes the in-line 3 sound great and gets the attention of everyone around, and it seems lower than stock. I love this bike and plan to keep it forever. If anyone is looking for quality and fun in a used bike, you can't go wrong with the T'bird Sport.
- grinningbear, Greensboro, North Carolina

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2004-12-31 2004 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I really like this bike. I saw it first at a Cycle World show last year, and it was love at first sight. I am an older guy (58)and had several Ducatis lately, but spent years on Britbikes (Nortons, Triumphs, BSA) and this one captures the look of that era better than even the new Bonneville series. It handles like a sportbike should, and the brakes are up to the task. I would recommend this to anyone, it is a shame that they are out of production now. The stock seat is pretty bad, but the solo is very comfortable, and the off-road pipes are a must. K&N filters and rejetting the carbs transformed the engine, and I still get 40MPG.
- Harry Culbreath, Simpsonville , South Carolina

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2004-12-26 1999 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I have a '98, actually, but they're the same bike. I've had this bike for 3 months. I love the bike because it takes a certain involvement to ride it. It always starts, but it doesn't always sound like it will. It's not the fastest bike, but it's fast enough. It's not the quickest through the twisties, but it's quick enough for me. Not many folks own these and I like that, too. My CB1000 Honda vibrates worse. Overall, I like the T-Bird a lot.
- odoggs, Las Vegas, Nevada

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2004-03-30 2004 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Having written a review some time ago, titled the retro ride of your life. Now I have done 9000ks on the T-bird sports. I can confirm this bike is a keeper. It handles like a dream now that I have the bikes handling tuned up by a road racer pal. Always the head turner and draws a crowd when parked up. Much to the disgust of my mate who has the latest Harley Sporster!! This bike is a winner all round. And well worth the dollars. Also the Triumph holds their value!! Unlike the rice burners. Do yourself a favor and test ride the Thunderbird Sports before buying another bike!! You like myself will be surprised at the performance and handling of it. Only a couple or three improvements Triumph should consider in my personal view. The petrol tank should hold at least 20 liters (15 at present) Fuel gauge or low fuel warning light required. (Neither at present) Side stand is to upright. Right angle Valves to pump up the tires. Impossible the way they are. But having said a few thoughtful upgrades are required you can betcha Triumph Hinckley will be reading this review and will!! Take what I have said aboard. The Thunderbird Sports is a truly great performer!!!
- Keith Phillips, Wanganui, New Zealand (Aotearoa)

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2004-02-28 2004 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I owned a 1995 T-Bird for 8 yrs. and put on 50,000 trouble-free miles. Only had to replace the tachometer on warranty. Just got the '04 Sport and it does everything better! Brakes, handling, and performance are MUCH improved. Looks just as gorgeous and draws heads everywhere, even non-bikers. This is the bike that us middle-aged codgers wish we had in the 70's. It actually looks like a bike, and not something out of a sci-fi flick, but handles and performs like a modern motorcycle. And that legendary snarl from the "off-road" pipes is magnificent! While it may not keep up with the top sport bikes, it is plenty capable. I had to put on the standard T-Bird handlebars, to improve the ergonomics, and have made minor adjustments to the stock seat. You'll have to play with the ergonomics to make it really fit you. This bike does everything very well, and looks great doing it! Triumph was really only out of production for 5 yrs. out of the last 102 yrs., yet so many folks are still surprised when they see one. They are very reliable, have a great shop network, and are different enough to make you feel special riding one. It's a hard combo to beat. Be prepared that if you test drive one, if you can find one, be ready to buy it. ENJOY!
- alan podsadowski, coquitlam, British Columbia

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2003-11-29 2004 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Bought new in April '03. Too bad it's the last year for this machine. Fun to ride, fast and smooth. Lotsa compliments on the sound and the looks. Definitely a keeper.
- Frank rice, Bristol, Indiana

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2003-08-27 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I own a thunderbird sport 1998 on. A reliable bike it is, and never the slightest trouble. The only thing I don't like is the exhaust system. Two cylinders on one pipe, and one cylinder on one pipe makes a shit sound. It likes if the engine is running well on all cylinders. The one on one pipe sounds louder. I'm working on an extra balance pipe, maybe that will improve the sound. Further NO COMPLAINTS!
- Bart Meulema, Renswoude, Netherlands

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2003-05-06 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Well it was bought new in fall y2k- I had the summer screen and off road pipes and Chase-Harper saddlebags. breaking in was quick as i ride around 4 of the buroughs of NYC and parkway runs in L.I. the first complaint is the seat SUX BIG TIME, as it slides me foward into tank causing temporary scrotal scrunch that I remedied at a local auto reupholsterer. the second problem was the fuel petcock had leakage replaxed by dealer as ut was new. I had the dealer add the 1 tooth larger sprocket for improved hiway running and had the handel bars replced with the S3 bars due to a minor back problem I have for improved comfort and even improved cruising the streets and malls. At ;ow speeds the bike feels top heavy and its long wheelbase and wide turning radius makes for dancing around in rush hour traffic not as gracefully nimble as the sportbikes can. But on open streets and on the Hiway its even comfortable for 2 up riding (since the seat mods anyway) is good for both my wife amd myself. tho she wants a backrest for longer rides for 65 to the recommended 80mph (as/per manual) is easy-even passing w 2 up is a no problem--even up hills, if more go is needed a downshift is all thats required. Solo hiway blasting is een better . Speaking of Hiway blasting cruising at 110 is a tank after tank comfort-tuck behind the summershield and run tank after tank 80-115 mph no problem ecxept for the hiway patrol.-the cruiser crowd just fades away in the mirrors very fast. Sportbikes and racer clones on the hiway aren't hard to run with until speeds get over 120mph but I believe if my heart beats faster than the speed-I'm going way too fast. It starts everytime--really great gas milrage @40 in city-50+ open road cruise mode. great hi way top gear sprinting past everybody.-the suspension is very good with almost infinite adjustments-for me at 200+ and my wife of 30 yrs since women tend to grow bigger then men do I'll leave the weight alone nut we do meet the max weight when we ride. What I like the most is it looks like a real motorcycle not a plactic toy, old timers bringing them a smile and fond memories os their youth and moderatatly knowledgeable riders like the retro look, The sportbikers are impressed by the performance. especially the torque curve. Brakes are great 2 up and solo. The tires are good on dry but the back reaks in the rain. serivicing os ok but the no centerstand is not what i call good product packaging. I love the triple sound at all speeds-to bad the off raods rusted at the mounting bolt holes-but the dealer kept my original mufflers and i happened to have a 7/8 inch concrete drill bit and hammer drill available. (those mufflers are heavy). Accesspriries are hard to comeuy other than the factory stuff which is a little conservative or hard to come by as well as pricey as most Triumph parts. my minor peve is the 3000-4000 rpm buzz which i believe is from the center carb having a different jet size from the outboards. The orange and cream looks good as well--too bad i'm not into cleaning my rides often--who wants to clean when the road becons?? Would I buy another? Most definately-just with better tires for foul weather riding. When will they make a black knight version?? Guy
- Guy Nichols, Queens, New York

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2003-03-05 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Having ridden various bikes on and off since I was 16, starting with an LI150 S3, elevating myself finally to a Triumph Trident (96) brand new (my first), I have to state that the Trident was brilliant but getting too heavy for my back to haul in and out of the garage. So looking for another bike, hopefully Triumph I was really taken by the look of the Thunderbird-Sport, particularly in its original "two-pipes one side" form.. but alas with the occasional wife to carry(+baggage?) this was not practical, therefore I settled to look for a later model TSport. 12 months ago I purchased second-hand a 2000 model, just 5000 miles on the clock.... so far in terms of ride it has been excellent (just 2000 miles on admittedly), everything that I could have wanted... starts everytime, easy to move, easy to ride, simple maintenance, great style, my only problem was recently when I had an "oil warning light".... this turned out to be the switch, a quick trip to local Triumph dealer and $11 lighter in the pocket (seems slightly expensive for such a cheap part.. but there you are). To "speak as you find" ... this is my second Hinkley Triumph, my wife also has the "new" Bonnie... I can only recommend them... keep it going Triumph!!!!!
- Bob Leslie, London, United Kingdom

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2003-01-23 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Great all around bike. Great mid-range acceleration and very smooth. Handling is excellent, looks are classic, and the most noticed of all my bikes. Gathers more favorable comments than my Ducati ST2. I have the '98 model with the twin silencers on the right side, which are somewhat limiting for 2-up travel. A 2000 or 2003 model would make an excellent sport-touring bike. Althought the engine lacks the top end rush of the higher powered Triumphs (Speed Triple, Sprint, Daytona), it is more flexible in terms of allways having ready power at hand, which is perfect for sport-touring.
- Chuck, Medford, Oregon

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2002-08-12 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I also have a 2001 Ducati ST2 and a 2000 Suzuki SV650, but the Triumph is rapidly becoming my favorite ride (not for touring, but it could be configured that way). Great powerband from 3000 up to redline, nice sound with the Triumph off-road pipes, and handling is almost as good as the Ducati.
- Chuck, Medford, Oregon

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2002-05-14 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike does everything a standard motorcycle should do and does it impeccably. Great brakes, compliant ride combined with very nicely controlled handling, a classic European riding position, and an engine that will cheerfully pull from 20mph to 120mph in 6th gear. On top of that you can throw 45-50mpg. I defy you to find a bike that rides as good, looks as good, and gets 1/2 of the compliments that this bike gets. There's always a hitch, though, and this bike is no exception. The seat truly does suck, but it's relatively easy for a do-it-yourselfer to pop off the cover and replace key bits of the cheap Triumph foam with some good closed cell foam. Once you've done that, you'll find yourself always taking the longest twistiest way home you can find, even at the end of a long day of riding.
- Peter Holmes, Albany, New York

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2002-05-08 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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In 24 years of riding both on road and track,Ive finally found my ideal bike.Only problem was the lack of noise from the pipes ( a 20mm drill through the diffuser plate sorted that out)This is my third triumph and the best yet.never going to sell it. British bikes are best-YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE IT !
- teff, harlow, Great Britain (UK)

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2001-08-20 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Loved my 1998 Tbird Sport. didn't leak a drop, awesome brakes, dependable, and fun. However, being nearly six-four and frequently riding two up I found space to be a bit cramped and the position gave a good amount of wind blast. Also a bit top-heavy for me. The rearset controls tended to make me feel in need of hip replacement after long rides! A friend of mine is six feet and loved my bike -fit him perfectly. This bike truly made me wish I were smaller! I have since traded my Triumph in on a much bigger ride but still love the bike.
- Robby, Tennessee

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2001-08-07 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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love this Brit bike! I finally traded my 1985 Kawasaki Vulcan 700 in on this Thunderbird Sport, and wow! grreat handling, shhhh(pipes are sooo nice to listen to and what a silky smooth rider, I look forward every day to getting on this awesome bike.....(and I swore I would never buy a chain driven bike, shit, after riding this bad boy I was ready for the chain reaction! (sorry about the stupid pun, I could not resist).....) I would strongly recommend a test drive to anyone.
- Chris, Independence, Missouri

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2001-06-30 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the bike reviewed May 2, 2000 below, and I love it. I have had it for a couple of weeks now and have put a couple hundred miles on it. It is truly a do it all bike. I must admit I am partial to Triumphs ( I also own a '66 Triumph ) I can hang out with my Harley rider buddies, or run with any of the crotch rockets out there.. I have since fit a pair of leather saddlebags to it.. and will probably but a small windshield on it soon.. (instant sport / tourer ?) No matter how you ride, and I pretty much cover the spectrum, this bike fits the bill. I can't believe Triumph doesn't make it anymore. If you're looking for a cruiser/crotch rocket/sports tourer.. This is the bike for you..
- David Arnold, Shreveport, Louisianna

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2001-04-17 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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Just purchased a used '99 (yellow/black) with the high ("off road") pipes and solo seat. The first owner for 7000 miles beautifully maintained bike. I'm hoping to add another 100K or so. (Optimism abounds.) Some pluses and minuses. The '98-'99 models allow fitting a center stand (plus), but severely limit the choices of luggage (minus.) The "off-road" pipes greatly improve the sound (plus) without annoying the neighbors (plus.) Re-jetting with the off-road pipes enriches the mixture, improves power, and limits pipe discoloration (all pluses.) Opinions about the stock seat differ. I don't care for it, but others do. The solo seat sits a bit lower, improving the feel of the bars (a big plus) though I may switch to either the T-Bird bars or those from the Speed Triple. All in all, the TBS combines wonderful retro looks with modern power, handling, and stopping. What more could one ask.
- Steve Hendricks, Seattle, WA USA

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2001-01-22 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought a 2000 model last April and the bike has been great. I didn't care for the original handlebars, so I had the dealer switch them to the bars off the new Speed Triple. They bolt right on without needing to change brake lines or cables. The bike is much more comfortable to ride, as the bars are taller, wider and have an inch or two more pull back. I had a flat tire last summer. It would be nice if the T-bird Sport came with a center stand and tubeless tires. I'm now looking for a small fairing that will fit... The color grows on you, especially if you think of Ann Margaret.
- Rider, Gig Harbor, Washington

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2000-12-05 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I am a 40 year old British biker who had always wanted a Triumph, I do not own a car (don't like them, no fun.) And have wanted a Trump since I was a kid, so after years of Jap bikes 15 at last count, I saw the Thunderbird Sport in Yellow and Black 98 mod and fell in love with it 17 months ago, and what a bad 17 months it has been. Bad Service/and not a reliable bike at all, up to this date 12/4/00 I have had...here we go... 1/ 3x Gas tanks (paint comes off/rot from inside out. 2/1xGas tap within days of getting bike. 3/mirrors x2 4/new gear change ass. 5/New radiator. 6/oil leaked + brake fluid for months. 7/bike jumped so bad when clutch was in and put into gear, Bike hit ground, when I had foot on the curb and lost footing. (Triumph did replace some parts.) 8/Bike had wobble at anything over 80mph,had to take to another shop to get sorted+new tires and balanced, which stopped that problem 9/Chain and Sprocket gone after only 9,000,got told that was ok..."crap" never in all my life have i had to change chain and sprockets at 9000 on any of my other bikes, 1985 quailty better that 2000 ??????And I don't ride as nutty as I did at 25. 10/Service "crap" is being nice, you guys who ride your bike every day know if anything goes wrong with it you feel it etc, but not with the service folks, got told it was me, each time I had problem.... Bike stopped when it wanted to, and got two miles on res. tank. This was because of the rotten tank, which blocked tap and carbs. Plus over $200 for a service that took 20mins(I know, I was there). 11/Missed this one...Bike would slip out of gear all the time, did not get that to stop till I went to SB-Triumph. There is more but I think you will all get my drift! Well 17 months has done it for me, I am just sorting out to get a Suzuki VL1500LC, never had hassle with any of my Suzuki's so that's what I am gettin'...And will never get another Triumph as long as i live and will not recommend Triumph ever. I never have had such bad service in all my life. The only thanks would be to South Bay Triumph here in California who took on my hassles. Helping me in every way, and did sort out some of my problems, and at the last lot of work done on the bike said to me, "I would sell the bike, get another". All you who do read this please don't think I'm a moaning pain in the backside...I am not. In my job I have to be on 24-hour call Mon. to Fri. and cant have a bike that does not run all the time or has to go to the shop all the time. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
- Rider, Garden Grove, California

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2000-08-28 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I have just under 9000 miles on my red and black 1999 model purchased 9 months ago. It has been trouble free and a blast to ride. I have fitted the summer screen, Triumph accessory pipes, sissy bar/rack, front mudgaurd and a few chrome bits. The bars are a bit too low for me. Lower Thunderbird bars are waiting installation to fix this, which is my only complaint. Intended upgrades are Wilcox stage 2 kit which gives 102 HP (not needed but why not?). Handling is very good, brakes are great, and the motor is pure magic with a full midrange and a nice rush on top. Detailing is first rate with NO cheesy parts anywhere. Fast, drop-dead gorgeous, reliable and comfortable. After 30 years riding, I have found my keeper.
- Robert Kondratenko, Warrenton, Virginia

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2000-08-23 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had my 1998 T-bird Sport for about a year and a half now. Thought about buying a mid 60's "real steel" British bike but wanted to ride more than turn a wrench. This bike more than fills the bill. I've been riding for 17 years, and this is my seventh bike. It's a beauty to look at, the lines are right and the attention to detail shows throughout. The ride is equally inspiring. The bike pulls away hard and with the fully adjustable suspension it handles like a dream. The twin rotars up front make for confident stopping. I'm 6'1" and weigh 250. The bike fits me nicely, no odd ergos. I've put as much as 300 miles in a day and not needed a donut cushion for my posterior at the end of the ride:) I've got just under 12k miles on the bike. Only complaint I've had is all the vacuum lines rotted out and needed replaced. A friend, and 30-year veteran of motorcycle sales, said our polluted California air caused it. Scary eh? That aside, the bike is a keeper. I'm buying a Buell X1 in a few months, but it's a second bike...not a replacement.
- Lar, San Diego, California

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2000-07-07 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I recently purchased a 98 T-Bird Sport leftover (yes they are still available from several dealers) in bright red, which is much preferred over the 2000 white. The bike is identical to the 2000 except for the position of the mufflers. I currently have 2770 miles on it. I was surprised at how well the bike handles and how comfortable the ride is. The suspension is fully adjustable. The brakes are terrific. The engine is smooth and powerful. The bike's sweet spot on the highway is 80 MPH - I have to be careful of our friends in blue! There is room for improvement however. The handlebars are not high enough nor is the pullback enough for this rider to find a comfortable riding position. I have to reach too far forward over the tank. The footpegs are positioned rearward approximately 6 inches as compared to the standard T-Bird. This places the riders pant leg alongside a section of open chain so the pant leg gets grease on it from the chain. I made up a small chain guard that looks like it came from the factory to correct this problem. Other than these minor annoyances I would highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for something different to ride.
- Mike Petrilla, Marlton, New Jersey

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2000-05-02 2000 Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had this bike since mid March. Almost 1000 miles on the od and like it very much. This coming from someone who sold a 98 Honda VFR800 to by a bike that I could see the motor on. I can ride this bike longer, and with less fatigue than I could the Honda. I find myself telling my wife I'll ride the bike and meet you there. Then when I'm late and she wants to know why, I tell her I took the long way. Really, with the counter balancer there is almost no vibes to make your hands tingle or your feet. And with the best seat on any bike I've ever sat on. And I've owned thirteen bikes. I don't know why they put in a six speed transmission...you don't really need sixth gear, but it is there if you want an overdrive. Bike is a little on the lean side when it hasn't warmed up so give it extra gas when you take off. After that I'd say carburetion is excellent. As are the brakes. P.S., the color grows on you. Enjoy.
- stephen page, Shreveport, Louisiana

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