Thunderbird 900 Sport vs Ducati GT1000 – Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle…

10 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Thunderbird 900 Sport vs Ducati GT1000 – Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle…
Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport


Other Motorcycle: 2007 BMW R1200R

Extra Motorcycle: 1973 Honda Cb350G

For me, the TBS riding position is more comfortable than the Duc – way too much forward lean and too low bars on the Duc.

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First off, I haven’t ridden a GT1000 or any modern Ducati for that matter, so mine is an armchair opinion.

Have you read webbikeworld’s experiences with the GT1000?

I actually like a lot of what Ducati do before I got my Legend, the only other bike I was considering was a Ducati (Monster). It struck me tho’ that the GT1000 suffers from the same issues, or perhaps it’s fairer to call them quirks, of most Ducatis. It’s hard to sum up in a phrase, but it’s something like lack of owner friendliness. The servicing requirements, which wouldn’t scare me technically, are more frequent trickier. The riding position is usually, well, odd.

It’s a case of you have to fit the bike, good luck getting it the other way round. The same appears true of stock suspension – often too stiff for real world roads (rings alarm bells here, YMMV). I’ve ridden near all the Hinckley Triumph range to me they all share an easy going character. Rarely do Triumph fit suspension that will cut it on a track, but it’s usually plenty good enough for its intended road use.

The handling too, always feels natural and they are all the same.

It seems from what I’ve read that the GT1000 has a fair helping of Ducati quirks. The ‘lumpy’ engine character at lower revs – very common across the range. One of the things I like most on the Triumphs is their flexible torquey engines.

You can ride anywhere in the rev range to suit your mood. Smoothness and power everywhere without constantly gear changing, but still a bit up top when you want it to go.

I find it really interesting in the reviews of the new Panigale superbike that nearly every journo has remarked how pleasantly different and unexpected it is to ride from the 1098 other Ducs. It’s not just the ‘focused’ ergos of the previous bikes they were, well, nearly dreading beforehand, but other aspects like unforgiving suspension, lumpy engines etc. All related to what I call user friendliness in real world riding.

Ducati have finally taken note made a bike that is both blisteringly quick, but rideable too!

On the GT, there’s a number of things that would bother me. In the styling – and I’m not a fussy person to please (see my mods lol) – the rear of the Duc looks awful. Massive gap between mudguard rear wheel is very noticeable doesn’t look right.

Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport

Individual rear shocks look ‘classic’ but aren’t a patch on a monoshock also compromise chassis rigidity – no thanks. USD front forks – very nice, but not adjustable!

Interesting that GT owners swap in forks from an S2. By all accounts the S2/3/4 sport touring range of Ducs are the nicest to ride on real roads live with day to day.

Where Triumph seem to spend a lot of time refining their bikes on real roads (read reviews of the new Exlporer 1200), Ducati (with exceptions already noted) seem to do a couple of laps round Misano sign ’em off. ‘Raw’ can mean ‘character’, but it can also be a (literal) PITA.

There’s also the warp-o-matic polycarb fuel tank that falls off its front mountings. With the ethanol in fuel now more to come, I don’t want anything but a steel tank.

Sure the TBS has a few issues, but not so many – well documented easily sorted imo. As these triples get older, it’s arguable there’s a bit more maintenance likely, but all of it is well within the scope of a home mechanic.

It all depends what you want. Ducati offer something different a bit special I’m glad they do. But so does Triumph, of the two, is most often the easier one to live with imo.


98 Tbird tank/seat, Sprint fairing, ZX7R forks+Racetech Gold Valves, 08 ZX6R shock, short sw/arm, Alcon 6-pot, Ignitech+TPS, T’bike 3-1+Beowulf can, airbox/jet mods, tubeless wheel mod, lots 🙂 per mile, 59mpg ave(imp)

Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport
Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport
Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport
Triumph Thunderbird 900 Sport

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