Long-Term Bikes: 2010 Triumph Thunderbird

2010 Triumph Thunderbird
MSRP:$12,799

Caretaker: Zimmerman

Measurements: 6'/190 lbs./33-in. inseam

Odometer: 4627.0

Miles This Cycle: 1856.9

As you can see from the photos, my long term Triumph has undergone a serious accessory-ectomy since last issue. In a marathon, 12 hour garage session, I installed a detachable windshield, front and rear crash bars, pilot and passenger floorboards, saddle bags, a luggage rack and backrest (also detachable) and a custom seat. It got a new horn as well. All the accessories were supplied by the factory, so with the exception of a little filing, everything went on without a hitch, and the quality of the accessories is top shelf.

It wasn't that I didn't like the Thunderbird in stock configuration, but leaving it that way would have made for very short updates so something had to be done, and there were only two options. The first would have been to build an all-out hooligan bike, which sounded appealing but really isn't practical for the type of riding I do. The second was to convert the bike into a light tourer, which is really more my style these days. I'd like to think I'm aging gracefully, and installing touring bits was an easier process, in that all the pieces were available through Triumph. Old and lazy, that's me..

Overall, the conversion from hot rod to light tourer has worked out quite nicely. The character of the bike remains much as it was; this is still one fast cruiser, as some smart ass on a Softail discovered a couple of Sundays ago, when I flat-out smoked him on my favorite section of road, loaded saddlebags and all.

The smallish screen isn't the last word in weather protection, but it's decent, and there are taller options if you prefer. It also complements the floorboards and seat, which have made a noticeable improvement in comfort. Ironically, the floorboards also provide more ground clearance than the stock, forward mounted pegs, which is an entirely welcome benefit.

To date the longest day ride has been around 400 miles, which in my book ain't too shabby, especially for something that began as short hop with a few friends to get some lunch. Other than that most of the rides have been the usual runs around town to do some errands, interspersed with the occasional, "I'm losing my mind at this computer I've got to take a break," self-preservation run. To its credit, the Thunderbird has excelled at all I've asked it to do. It continues to run perfectly, and has yet to miss a beat or offer the slightest complaint. Other than checking the tires and oil, I've done nothing in the way of maintenance, nor do I intend to, other than see to its basic needs. Future plans include a top to bottom tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it'll be epic; film at 11.

MODIFICATIONS
TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES ACCESSORIES
WINDSHIELD W/MOUNTING KIT $589.98
CRASH BARS W/HORN $359.98
DRIVER AND PASSENGER FLOORBOARDS $629.97
SADDLE BAGS W/MOUNTING KIT $799.98
LUGGAGE RACK $139.99
SISSY BAR W/MOUNTING KIT $429.99
RIDER'S SEAT $219.99
PASSENGER SEAT $139.99
WWW.TRIUMPH.CO.UK
TOTAL $3329.87