Thunderbird Nightstorm Wanted (I Think)

streaminfreedom

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So after a ton of research, I'm narrowing my next bike purchase.

I want a cruiser style bike, that would look amazing, and be fun on winding canyon roads here in the mountains of Utah, and could be comfortable enough for my wife on a 2-3 hour ride and enjoyable to take a trip with my son to Vegas or even California (5-12 hour ride).

I've considered all the following.
Honda Rebel 1100 (feature rich, but it's a Honda)
Victory - Judge, Gunner, Vegas, Hammer, Octane (nervous about future parts availability though these bikes look amazing)
Indian Scout (looks amazing, but heard it lacks some on comfort)
and
Triumph Thunderbird Storm but wanted a blacked out look so just found out about the Nightstorm today.

I'm curious about ya'lls feed back on the 16 Thunderbird Nightstorm, its currently the one I'm most leaning toward.

Were there any changes from the 2014 storms to the 2015 that you are aware of.

Is this as great a bike as I hear others say, and can anyone provide any comparisons to the above bikes, especially the victory judge and gunner and/or rebel.

And is this bike a decent longer distance bike (I get its no goldwing or BMW, but mostly will use it for Sunday strolls, occasional commutes and date nights, just would love for it to work in both situations.)

Are there consistent issues to be aware of in a purchase of the TBirds.

Beyond that, anyone know of a Nightstorm for sale with decently low mileage, only have seen one in phx and its loaded, but pricey for a 2015.

I included some images of the Nightstorm, Judge, Gunner, Rebel, Hammer, Scout, Octane, Vegas, which is my current order of interest for you viewing considerations, and feedback is completely welcome.

IMG_6898.jpegIMG_6900.jpegIMG_6901.jpegIMG_6896.jpegIMG_6903.jpegIMG_6897.jpegIMG_6902.jpegIMG_6899.jpeg
 

Vector

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I was riding in St G, Washington and Hurricane and back to Mesquite today. Perfect riding weather today. Stopped at Zion HD, only had 5 new bikes. Good luck finding what you want.
 

Vector

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The new HD Lowrider ST is a great bike. If I had more toy money that's what I'd get.
 

streaminfreedom

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The new HD Lowrider ST is a great bike. If I had more toy money that's what I'd get.
Those are great looking just a bit more than I'm hoping to spend. But maybe I ought to go test ride.
 

streaminfreedom

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I was riding in St G, Washington and Hurricane and back to Mesquite today. Perfect riding weather today. Stopped at Zion HD, only had 5 new bikes. Good luck finding what you want.
There is a Triumph Thunderbird storm that is real tempting here locally, but its a 2014 and not the night storm.
 

Qship

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Don't rule out the T'bird LT(14-17), or Commander. Better seats stock and 1700 cc engines same as Night Storm. Be same parts issues as regular T'birds.
 

dazco

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Had my Tbird since mid 2009 and still love it to this day 13 years later. But be aware they were discontinued in 2017 and there were very few made relative to other bikes. So parts will become hard to find as time goes on. They already are to some degree. Also be aware they eat rear tires. Mine have never gotten more then about 6k. Mileage isn't great eaither. Some report decent mileage but i rarely get more then 40 highway, 35-37 city. Finally, some have what people call a clacking or knocking noise to various degrees. Mine had it the whole time i owned it till about a year ago when i changes some things. Its random, happens mostly on acceleration no matter how slight between 2-3k RPMs, and can be slight or really loud. People have reported it as always there, some say only occasional, some say it's really loud some not so much. Mine would come and go and be there about 1/2 the time. I hated it...drove me nuts. It has been said that it;s piston slap due to the placement of the wrist pin and because of that owners of the 1600 version due to having different bore geometry have only rarely reported it. I wish i'd left mine as a 1600 but i have the 1700 kit installed early one and it started soon after that. It's not s reliability issue, but it can drive you nuts if you are the type this bothers. As reliability goes by the way, they have been exceptionaly reliable with only a few very minor issues with the first couple model years. Great bike, my fav ever and been riding since 69' so i've had a few bikes. But i just think these are the things should be aware of b4 u buy. When a bike sells so few there are not going to be a lot of used parts available and new parts will be gone before long i believe. Already been out of production 5 years.
 

streaminfreedom

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Had my Tbird since mid 2009 and still love it to this day 13 years later. But be aware they were discontinued in 2017 and there were very few made relative to other bikes. So parts will become hard to find as time goes on. They already are to some degree. Also be aware they eat rear tires. Mine have never gotten more then about 6k. Mileage isn't great eaither. Some report decent mileage but i rarely get more then 40 highway, 35-37 city. Finally, some have what people call a clacking or knocking noise to various degrees. Mine had it the whole time i owned it till about a year ago when i changes some things. Its random, happens mostly on acceleration no matter how slight between 2-3k RPMs, and can be slight or really loud. People have reported it as always there, some say only occasional, some say it's really loud some not so much. Mine would come and go and be there about 1/2 the time. I hated it...drove me nuts. It has been said that it;s piston slap due to the placement of the wrist pin and because of that owners of the 1600 version due to having different bore geometry have only rarely reported it. I wish i'd left mine as a 1600 but i have the 1700 kit installed early one and it started soon after that. It's not s reliability issue, but it can drive you nuts if you are the type this bothers. As reliability goes by the way, they have been exceptionaly reliable with only a few very minor issues with the first couple model years. Great bike, my fav ever and been riding since 69' so i've had a few bikes. But i just think these are the things should be aware of b4 u buy. When a bike sells so few there are not going to be a lot of used parts available and new parts will be gone before long i believe. Already been out of production 5 years.
Thanks @dazco really helpful info. The hard to find parts thing is a concern, but since I'm looking at victory as well, both seem to have that issue of a lack of parts. Curious what you'll go to after this if you haven't already bought a new one, seems like an ideal bike if I could find what I needed in parts.
 

dazco

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Thanks @dazco really helpful info. The hard to find parts thing is a concern, but since I'm looking at victory as well, both seem to have that issue of a lack of parts. Curious what you'll go to after this if you haven't already bought a new one, seems like an ideal bike if I could find what I needed in parts.
Victory likely w0on't be near as bad because they probably sold 100 victorys of each model for every tbird. In the 13 years i have had mine living in one of the biggest metro areas in the USA, i have literally seen 3 i can remember on the street. Think about that ! Not trying to talk you out of what to me is the greatest cruiser ever made, but you should be aware.
 

bucketlist

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So after a ton of research, I'm narrowing my next bike purchase.

I want a cruiser style bike, that would look amazing, and be fun on winding canyon roads here in the mountains of Utah, and could be comfortable enough for my wife on a 2-3 hour ride and enjoyable to take a trip with my son to Vegas or even California (5-12 hour ride).

I've considered all the following.
Honda Rebel 1100 (feature rich, but it's a Honda)
Victory - Judge, Gunner, Vegas, Hammer, Octane (nervous about future parts availability though these bikes look amazing)
Indian Scout (looks amazing, but heard it lacks some on comfort)
and
Triumph Thunderbird Storm but wanted a blacked out look so just found out about the Nightstorm today.

I'm curious about ya'lls feed back on the 16 Thunderbird Nightstorm, its currently the one I'm most leaning toward.

Were there any changes from the 2014 storms to the 2015 that you are aware of.

Is this as great a bike as I hear others say, and can anyone provide any comparisons to the above bikes, especially the victory judge and gunner and/or rebel.

And is this bike a decent longer distance bike (I get its no goldwing or BMW, but mostly will use it for Sunday strolls, occasional commutes and date nights, just would love for it to work in both situations.)

Are there consistent issues to be aware of in a purchase of the TBirds.

Beyond that, anyone know of a Nightstorm for sale with decently low mileage, only have seen one in phx and its loaded, but pricey for a 2015.

I included some images of the Nightstorm, Judge, Gunner, Rebel, Hammer, Scout, Octane, Vegas, which is my current order of interest for you viewing considerations, and feedback is completely welcome.

View attachment 52528View attachment 52529View attachment 52530View attachment 52531View attachment 52534View attachment 52532View attachment 52533View attachment 52535
Bought my 2017 storm a couple months ago. Probably the nicest riding cruiser I've ridden. I'm 74 and can ride all day 10 hours last trip. Comfort, Power, Handling, all excellent.
 

Arrowbear rider

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I want to confirm everything dazco said about the Commander, flat out great bike! Yes, there is the piston slap problem and it's become part of the engine sound that only rarely bothers me. However, I started riding with music recently and that helps a lot; more on that later.

But for a cruiser of it's size it flat out handles the mountain roads great! I lived in the mountains for the first 3 years of ownership and I loved pushing it on the mountain roads... Or just cruising.

That kind of riding resulted in the stock rear tire being worn in 5k miles. But it's hard to stay off the throttle the bike handles so well. Again for it's size and class. The new Avon tires should get me 1k to 1.5k more miles, plus I moved, but the throttle off the line is still fun and I know it'll be worn sooner than later; sport bikes are worse though.

The power delivery is such that I skip gears on the street every time off the line, depending on the road speed and traffic I'll skip 2nd and/or 3rd gear when going to 4th. When going to 5th. you can skip two gears easily, sometimes 2nd & 3rd, other times I hit 1, 3 & 5th, skipping the even gears, plenty of power with a very usable power band... AND great to torque. The parallel twin sounds best when it's lumbering along.

There is nothing wrong with the Rebel, it's a great bike, I know someone who chose a Rebel over a Scout, Sportster and a Bonnie and she loves it. Another friend has decided to get one too, he started on a Rebel 300 and loves the new 1100. But it's too small for regular two up riding, and the Thunderbird has one of the best stock seats (non touring bike) I've ever been on.

I stole mine, a 2014 that I bought in 2018 and it had 805 miles and only one year of prior ownership. It was new/old stock when sold to the first owner so when I got it, it was nearly new and it looked and rode like a brand new bike. I got it for $7,000 OTD, with dealer maintenance, break in oil change and such. First owner traded it in on a three wheel Can Am, so it was him, not the bike.

I started riding with a bluetooth speaker and Pandora, there are no wires, it's inexpensive and I can take the music with me when we arrive. It's awesome, for less money than a wired system and with no hassle of wiring and or battery drain. I started out clipping it to the front by the handle bars and by the windscreen but the little speaker is only good to about 60 mph, but when put in a jacket chest pocket I can hear it at 80-85 mph in traffic. It's not loud on the freeway with traffic, but it's loud enough to enjoy music with the ride. The JBL clip3 is what I'm using, there is a more powerful clip4, and other choices, I'd go with the Clip4 or higher if buying again. I didn't get it for the bike, I got it for the hot tub, it just happened to work on the bike too.
 

Vector

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Streaminfreedom, If you come down this way contact me, I am in Mesquite NV.
 

dazco

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I want to confirm everything dazco said about the Commander, flat out great bike! Yes, there is the piston slap problem and it's become part of the engine sound that only rarely bothers me. However, I started riding with music recently and that helps a lot; more on that later.

But for a cruiser of it's size it flat out handles the mountain roads great! I lived in the mountains for the first 3 years of ownership and I loved pushing it on the mountain roads... Or just cruising.

That kind of riding resulted in the stock rear tire being worn in 5k miles. But it's hard to stay off the throttle the bike handles so well. Again for it's size and class. The new Avon tires should get me 1k to 1.5k more miles, plus I moved, but the throttle off the line is still fun and I know it'll be worn sooner than later; sport bikes are worse though.

The power delivery is such that I skip gears on the street every time off the line, depending on the road speed and traffic I'll skip 2nd and/or 3rd gear when going to 4th. When going to 5th. you can skip two gears easily, sometimes 2nd & 3rd, other times I hit 1, 3 & 5th, skipping the even gears, plenty of power with a very usable power band... AND great to torque. The parallel twin sounds best when it's lumbering along.

There is nothing wrong with the Rebel, it's a great bike, I know someone who chose a Rebel over a Scout, Sportster and a Bonnie and she loves it. Another friend has decided to get one too, he started on a Rebel 300 and loves the new 1100. But it's too small for regular two up riding, and the Thunderbird has one of the best stock seats (non touring bike) I've ever been on.

I stole mine, a 2014 that I bought in 2018 and it had 805 miles and only one year of prior ownership. It was new/old stock when sold to the first owner so when I got it, it was nearly new and it looked and rode like a brand new bike. I got it for $7,000 OTD, with dealer maintenance, break in oil change and such. First owner traded it in on a three wheel Can Am, so it was him, not the bike.

I started riding with a bluetooth speaker and Pandora, there are no wires, it's inexpensive and I can take the music with me when we arrive. It's awesome, for less money than a wired system and with no hassle of wiring and or battery drain. I started out clipping it to the front by the handle bars and by the windscreen but the little speaker is only good to about 60 mph, but when put in a jacket chest pocket I can hear it at 80-85 mph in traffic. It's not loud on the freeway with traffic, but it's loud enough to enjoy music with the ride. The JBL clip3 is what I'm using, there is a more powerful clip4, and other choices, I'd go with the Clip4 or higher if buying again. I didn't get it for the bike, I got it for the hot tub, it just happened to work on the bike too.
I'll tell you this, and i think it speaks volumes. I'm near 70 and to date i have never owned anything, bike or otherwise that after 13 years i still often feel like i just got it ! The excitement of the ride, the looks, everything about it never wears off. You never get jaded with this bike. I can stand there and stare at if 13 years later like you do when u get a new bike ! Nothing i have ever owned remained so new to to me for so long. Thats how good it is.

That said, it has a lot of miles and it's at a mileage/age where thing are going to start giving and with parts becoming hard to find, gas at $6+ (and unlikely to ever go down to where it was) and truth is at my age i'm not longer as concerned with performance or long distance. So looking at a bonnie or such, possibly in the next month. I just want to be able to get out of the road with the wind in my face and enjoy the views without putting a new tire on it constantly or paying $30 in gas to go 5 miles. I may well keep the Tbird, not sure yet. But even if i do the new smaller bike will get 95% of the riding. But IMHO the Tbird is THE best motorcycle ever produced to my way of thinking and my preferences. But all things must come to an end and at this point the bird will be at least semi retired if not sold. It will be a very sad day if i do get rid of it.
 

Vector

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I'll tell you this, and i think it speaks volumes. I'm near 70 and to date i have never owned anything, bike or otherwise that after 13 years i still often feel like i just got it ! The excitement of the ride, the looks, everything about it never wears off. You never get jaded with this bike. I can stand there and stare at if 13 years later like you do when u get a new bike ! Nothing i have ever owned remained so new to to me for so long. Thats how good it is.

That said, it has a lot of miles and it's at a mileage/age where thing are going to start giving and with parts becoming hard to find, gas at $6+ (and unlikely to ever go down to where it was) and truth is at my age i'm not longer as concerned with performance or long distance. So looking at a bonnie or such, possibly in the next month. I just want to be able to get out of the road with the wind in my face and enjoy the views without putting a new tire on it constantly or paying $30 in gas to go 5 miles. I may well keep the Tbird, not sure yet. But even if i do the new smaller bike will get 95% of the riding. But IMHO the Tbird is THE best motorcycle ever produced to my way of thinking and my preferences. But all things must come to an end and at this point the bird will be at least semi retired if not sold. It will be a very sad day if i do get rid of it.
Street Twin 62 MPG
 

Arrowbear rider

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I understand your thinking dazco, but then I figure the $5,000 plus difference on a Speedmaster, the bike I really want (to ride & check out) and very close to the same power to weight as the Thunderbird would by a lot of gas and a few tires. But if yours is getting to the point of maintenance being the issue I understand, I plan on riding mine until I can't reasonably keep it going, then I might just part it out since there aren't a lot of parts available.

Also that $5k doesn't give me all the goodies, saddlebags, windshield, floorboards, the 2 headlights on the Commander and that nice seat. My last two bikes have had floorboards, three bikes in total and I love them. I figure by the time I load it up, I'm looking at $7k more on a used Speedmaster than my bike would sell for, and I do love riding it.

I ordered a new 2 door manual Bronco (expecting delivery this fall), so a lot of my money is going there for a while, while I build it out the way I want. I'd love me a Speedmaster, that's for sure. And better parts availability. But with the new toy, that's a hard top convertible too, I'll be just fine with the Bird, oh well :love: the bike; looking forward to the Bronco.

But OP, have you looked at the 1200 Bonnies, especially the Speedmaster, or were you considering one of the the 900?
 

dazco

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I understand your thinking dazco, but then I figure the $5,000 plus difference on a Speedmaster, the bike I really want (to ride & check out) and very close to the same power to weight as the Thunderbird would by a lot of gas and a few tires. But if yours is getting to the point of maintenance being the issue I understand, I plan on riding mine until I can't reasonably keep it going, then I might just part it out since there aren't a lot of parts available.

Also that $5k doesn't give me all the goodies, saddlebags, windshield, floorboards, the 2 headlights on the Commander and that nice seat. My last two bikes have had floorboards, three bikes in total and I love them. I figure by the time I load it up, I'm looking at $7k more on a used Speedmaster than my bike would sell for, and I do love riding it.

I ordered a new 2 door manual Bronco (expecting delivery this fall), so a lot of my money is going there for a while, while I build it out the way I want. I'd love me a Speedmaster, that's for sure. And better parts availability. But with the new toy, that's a hard top convertible too, I'll be just fine with the Bird, oh well :love: the bike; looking forward to the Bronco.

But OP, have you looked at the 1200 Bonnies, especially the Speedmaster, or were you considering one of the the 900?
Sure, horses for courses i think is how the saying goes. But the SM has no where near the torque and you will know it The Tbird is geared much higher because it has so much torque, 115 Flbs at 2400 RPMs where as the speedy i think has around 70 or 80 not nearly as low. The result is i can be at 90 Mph and a roll on will take me to 120 very quickly. The top speed theoretically is around 170 if the engine could pull that. Of course it won't but he point is it will cruise all day at 100 or more with plenty of roll on power if needed. The speedmaster won't come close to that i assure you. Not saying thats important, but thats where the speedmaster can't match it at all. For me it used to be a big reason for this bike because i did a fair amount of long distance on freeways and i would rarely go under 90 in rural areas and the power was amazing. I loved that feeling and i could visit my family 450 miles away and make great time while having a blast. Thats where the bike really excels. You can make smaller bikes do some things as well or even better. Remember the old RD350's and 400's? They would eat bikes twice thier size 0-60 but after that there was very little left. But if you geared the Tbird the same as the speedmaster even 0-60 would leave the speedy in the dust. It's like the old saying....theres no replacement for displacement.

As for what i am looking for, i really want the T120 and theres a couple 2020's (don't like the new '22) in a color i love going cheap at a dealer near me. But i decided against it i think because of the spoked wheels.I like the street twin but for the lack of chrome and low power 5 speed engine. So i'm just not sure what to do. I may wait and see whats in stor for '23.
 
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Arrowbear rider

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100% dazco, I love and mentioned the torque in a earlier post. I guess we are two old dinosaurs, that love our Birds, but due to their limited numbers are worried about future parts and maintenance. We could both write so much about the yen and yang of the different bikes, sometimes I wish I could have a few bikes.

But my main point of $7k (diff in cost of newer bike with accessories) will pay for the difference in tire wear and cost (prorated, since all bikes need tires) and the extra gas cost of the bigger bike for more than a few years.

I forgot to mention is the fact that, I've never seen another Bird at the local motorcycle hangs, events or car shows and only once, while in my car did I see a Storm. Triumphs are always cool at the motorcycle hangs, no matter what brand dominates the crowd, cough, cough, HD at one local place, and they are always are cool with the Triumph. Some HD guys (just a few) at this one place even look at Indians as competition, but Triumphs are cool.

AND due to their rarity I've never seen a Thunderbird let alone a Commander at any hang or show, so it's rarity often gets some attention and conversation.

For all of that I hope to put another 60k miles on the bike, which at my current rate of riding, moved off the mountain and can ride year around, will take just under or around 8 more years.
 
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