Triumph America?? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Triumph America??

As the saying goes, "nostalgia is a thing of the past". Having re-acquainted myself with the joys of riding after a 35 year hiatus, and logged 1600 miles since the end of Sept on the VN 750, I've just started looking at the Triumph America. I was always a fan of the Brit bikes in the 60's & early 70's, and since the Beezers, Nortons, and Royal Enfields are gone, and I understand that the "new" Triumphs are a lot more dependable than what was experienced 'back in the day'. Has anyone in here had any experience with the '02 - '06 Triumph America? (not looking at anything newer because of: a. price b. don't like the look of the new tank). I have the specs on both, and know the shaft v. chain and spoked (tubed) v. cast wheels comments. Since I haven't had a chance to test drive the TA, has anyone in here ridden one for any length of time, and if so, how do they compare in handling to the VN 750? Thank you in advance.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 05:52 PM
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Well, you should also know that there are "new" Nortons:
http://www.nortonmotorcycles.com/

I like the Bonnivile more than the America..and the Thruxton more than that...

But that's me...


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 08:37 PM
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Enfield is still around ,just built in India.Try to pick up a copy of Classic Bike for all your British interest.I get my copy at Borders.You might be surprised at how big the interest in bikes are in merry ole'England.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

KM - thank you for the Norton link - very interesting! I'll give them a few years to establish a track record.

James - thank you - I'll get a copy.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 01:13 PM
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I had an old Bonnie thirty years ago - of course it was great and I loved it. But there are Triumphs & Triumphs among the modern bikes. You can get modern versions of the old parallel twin - they are I think 835cc now instead of 650 and naturally look a little beefier - also the cooling fins seem a little squarer than I remember. My old bike seemed positively lithe in comparison, but if you see them through new eyes you would probably like the extra cc's and of course they are altogether more robust and don't drip oil like the old ones did. Never ridden one, but I followed one - around town it was pretty light on its feet. They are not balanced like a Vulcan is so you will notice more vibration.
But they do other bikes which are comparable with modern performance bikes. They are a completely different kettle of fish. I've never ridden one but I know from the old local mechanic that they carry a lot of electrocnics that require specialised diagnostic equipment to fix which he did not have. Its not something you can do yourself and there will be a limit to the amount of home maintenance you can do -and make sure there is someone nearby who can do it.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 03:42 PM
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Remember the Lucas electrical systems on the vintage Brit bikes? That's enough to scare me away!

My brother has a 900 triple (2002 I think) with 25k + miles on it w/no problems. The major issue is service in the Northwest: only two dealers left in Washington and Oregon (to the best of my knowledge).

So if you break down, who ya gonna call?

Sorry to say I also ride a XS650 Yamaha - Triumph's final blow.

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
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'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
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Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 04:00 AM
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The characteristics of the old british parallel twins were neatly wrapped up in the word "character" - which sadly is all too easily abused to cover what is not accpetable. I also have an XS650. Looking back I think they both suffered from flat horizontal seats which completely spoilt their line apart from the fact that a V twin in inherently smoother because of the angle of the cylinders. My XS650 has been chopped gently and the seat has been lowered which gives it a much better outline. But this bike was not the final blow to Triumph which has retained very strong brand loyalty in the home market and were actually outselling the contemporary Kawak 750 and I think it was a Honda. But their survival depended on a loan of 1 million fron the UK government, and in persuading the Jpas to invest in a car factory in the depressed north of the country, Maggie Thatcher had to agree to call in the loan and the company could not raise the money to pay it back - and went into liquidation. The name was bought by someone else - who started all over again
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 01:15 PM
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Good info, thanks Simon. I still enjoy a good flat track race with the vintage triumphs and Yamahas. There's nothing like the sound of the big twins screaming down the straight!

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Triump America update

Simon, thank you for the historical info - very interesting! And dirttrack, I remember well the Lucas electricals, and not just on the Brit bikes. The Jags, MG's, Triumphs, and I think Healeys' all suffered the element of chance known as Lucas.
I went to a Triumph dealer Friday night to check out the TA real time. Long story short, not the bike for me (nor was the Speedmaster or the Bonnevilles, which would have been my other choice). A person once asked me would I rather be lucky or good. My buying the Vulcan was luck. It was the first bike I looked at (although I had been out looking at bikes with my son). Since I bought the VN750, I've sat on at least 20 other bikes. The ergonomics of the Vulcan are perfect for me (6'2" - 220). The bars are really comfortable, the pegs placed just right, and while I've only ridden it 4 - 5 hours, the seat has been fine for my tush. At least I took care of the Brit bike a-hankerin' for now. Maybe in a couple of years after Norton has been on the roads....

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 10:45 PM
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I sure like the Victory's if you got the bucks.

95 VN750 (eBay)31k+
GL1100 front fender
OEM engine guard
OEM high back rest
'V-Twin' HWY pegs
Black 750 Spectre handlebars
SunPro Volt Meter (Amazon)
Maier bug shield (JCW)
Bar Ends anti-vibe (JCW)
Emgo air filters
Tank bag-Eclipse
Tail bag-FroZone Cooler
Back Rest-Igloo 6 pak cooler
WalMart Saddle Bags
R/R Relocate
Dry Splines Lubed
AGM DieHard-Sears
Gutted Goat
Sporster XL Mufflers
LED's-stop,tail,turn,marker
Pickup coil mod to .45mm
Silverstar headlight
Rotella T6
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