Question about Triumph Thunderbird Sport Motorcycles

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Am seeing some small, gold-colored metallic chips in the bottom of the catch-pan when I change the oil in my 1998 Triumph Thunderbird Sport. Am the original owner, have been careful to do the oil changes on schedule, using only the full-synthetic motorcycle oil of specified viscosity. Bike has only 12,600 mi. on it. Is this a not-unknown problem w/this model and engine? Local Triumph factory mechanic told me this is a sign of engine main- and/or rod-bearing failure. This seems like a self-destructing engine, given the care I have taken to maintain it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Jim McLaughlin

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  • soitainly Nov 18, 2009

    Thank you VERY MUCH for your reply. I don't notice rod-bearing knocking sounds at start-up or other times. Will continue to use & monitor carefully. Your post has been very helpful.

    Jim McLaughlin

  • soitainly Nov 18, 2009

    Thanks much for this input. Will continue to monitor situation, with a little more peace-of-mind now.
    Jim McLaughlin


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These particles u see are from the clutch plates, they use brass in the disks to give better wear properties and better clutch grip, as the clutch plates (there are multiple plates) wear in the clutch disk stack the brass sluffs off and goes into the oil, how much u see has allot to do with how hard you are on the clutch, the more wear the more particles u see, the good news is this is normal and unless the clutch is slipping nothing to be concerned about. If u had bearing problems the engine would knock on start for sure, does it? there is no unusual problems with this engine that I have heard of.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009

  • yadayada
    yadayada Nov 18, 2009

    rest easy, the tech u talked to was giving u the worst case is my guess


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