Before I say anything, the following opinions are based on what I feel and what I’ve experienced.
I’ve had my bike for a little over a year now and I’ve ridden it on most road conditions. Let’s start off with the look and finish of the bike. The finishing on motorcycle is very big improvement from the earlier models! The attention to details has considerably improved as well. The only problem I witnessed on almost every bike produced was the rear number plate was at a slant, but that’s just a minor fault.
It has a digital display which shows the time, fuel gauge(which has a mind of its own) and odometer. It also has a trip1, trip2 odometer. There is no gear indicator but there is a neutral indicator along with a unorthodox side stand indicator. The speedometer and rpm displays are analog. RE did do something different by giving this bike a hazard light switch, however they positioned it in such a way you can’t access it with your gloves on.
The riding position of the bike is upright. Arms out stretched and legs in front gives it a semi classic-cruiser feel although I’d prefer if the handlebar was a bit lower. The throttle response is surprisingly fast. The single disc brake up front has plenty of bite whereas it’s counter part at the back doesn’t deliver as expected.
The stock silencer isn’t loud or unpleasant but has a nice hum to it, won’t be a bother on long distances. The wet multi-plate clutch has a characteristic clank sound while shifting into first gear, much like it’s bigger V-twin brothers. There’s a reasonable amount of torque while starting off. At about 3500rpm, you get the best of this bike and it’s 28Nm of torque. The bike can cruise upto 90kmph without much vibrations whereas after that the vibrations do get a little unsettling.It can achieve a top speed of about 125kmph but you won’t be one bit comfortable with those earthquake like vibrations raging down your spine (although I don’t see why you’d want to so those speeds on a motorcycle like this).The bike does seem to struggle a bit higher up the rev range as most of its available torque peaks earlier.
The manually adjustable suspensions soak up most of the undulations the bikes maneuver over. Kerb weight of the bike is around 190kgs so don’t bother with those stunts you would do on a sports bike. The bike is rugged and you can put it through its paces on uneven conditions as well. The lack of ABS would have to locking your wheels up when you jam the brakes as expected.There’s easy access to the circuitry and battery which enables quick and easy solutions to break downs. This new model is very refined when compared to the 2006/07 Thunderbird model.
Navigating through traffic will be a bit of a problem due to the sheer bulk of the bike but once you hit the highway or twisties, you’ll forget about all it’s short comings and open that throttle!
Overall the Thunderbird is a simple bike to fix and an even simpler bike to ride.