The 885 engine was used in the Daytona 900, the Trident, Sprint , Sprint Executive, Thunderbird, Adventurer, Thunderbird Sport, Legend,Trophy 900, and early Speed Triples. The only current model is the Thunderbird Sport. It was imported to the US market beginning in 1995 and will be discontinued after 2004. Probably because of emmisions issues. I may have left some out but this engine has been used extensively by Triumph in the US for nearly 10 years.
The 885 engine was also used in the '95-'98 Tiger. The Trophy also still uses the carbureted engine. The Trophy is being discontinued for '04, however. (please, Triumph, use the stillborn superbike engine in a new version of the Trophy, please!?)
It was discontinued for a couple of reasons. The steel-spine frame and engine, although very strong, were also quite porky and top heavy. The new frame(s) carrry their weight lower, and the FI engine and displacement bump produce more power that's smoother, too.
I have 50K+ mi. on my '96 Trophy 9 and it's still going strong. A gently used Tiger wouldn't be a bad addition to the stable, tho.
If you like the Legend, I would look into buying a new Thunderbird. Largely the same bike, but not stripped down. Since it's discontinued, I bet you could find a new one at an excellent price. Also, since the T-bird sport won't get the ax until 2004, you're bound to get decent support for a while to come. Triumph sort of screwed the pooch on this one. They should have made a Thunderbird America five years ago instead of waiting until 2002 to offer the anemic Bonneville America.
Triumph discontinued the 900 Trophy a few years ago. The only Trophy you can buy now is the 4cyl. 1200, which for a touring bike is light weight, powerfull and well balanced. Maybe not as fast as an FJR but lighter, faster and better handling than an ST1300 or R1150RT.
If anything happened to mine I'd be looking for another one, even if my federally mandated geezer-glide showed up.
i owned a 2000 tbird sport. while it wasn't my cup of tea, it is a solid bike. i would get it, were i in your shoes, not the legend. they are also a good value used. i am a sport bike guy who thought a standard/cruiser would be fun. i was wrong. i have owned several hinckley triumphs. the motors are very friendly and fun. the tbird i had developed a brake judder at 3000 miles. hope this helps.
There was also an Adventurer model (which used the same engine) slotted somewhere between the T-bird and Legend TT. I believe the T-bird Sport (with improved/sportier suspension over the basic T-bird) is still in Triumph's line-up for '04. How hard is it to take the T-bird engine up to the same spec. as the original Speed Triple?
The Legend was essentially the same bike as the Thunderbird. Same engine, but with a 5-speed transmission instead of the T-Bird's 6-speed. It also lacked the T-Bird's chrome engine cases and two-tone paint. The seat was a bit thinner and lower to accomodate shorter riders. Otherwise, it's a fine bike.
I recently bought an '01 T-Bird and found that I could find the upgraded model for the same price as the Legend (I was looking in classifieds and on eBay... ended up finding my bike on eBay).
It's a great bike so far. I've put about 1000 miles on it in the past two months.
From what I've seen, they've never sold very many of the T-bird/Legend models. The dealers I visited still had new ones in inventory and they are relatively rare on the used bike market.
The Legend was the price leader for Triumph for a few years. It was a plain Thunderbird, with a lower seat. The engine was black, but in the same state of tune as the Thunderbird and the Adventurer. The Legend and the Adventurer were killed after 2001, the Thunderbird after 2003, and the Thunderbird after 2004. The modular triple (and four) were the only engines Triumph produced until the T595/T509 in 1997.
I still have and love my '99 Thunderbird even though I just bought an '04 BMW R1150R (Shhhhh! don't tell the wife, maybe she'll forget the Triumph is out in the garage) It's a great bike but could use just a little more oomph, maybe some intake manifolds from the speed trip and some aftermarket exhuast........
I still get more comments on the Triumph than on the beemer.