Manco Thunderbird - Looking for some info on it

Greetings! I stumbled upon a curbside freebie recently right around the corner from my house. A Manco thunderbird. Only had to spend about $25 bucks to get it going. ($20 for a new carburetor on Amazon and 4+ bucks for a spark plug) Runs like a champ. Just had to dump out bad gas and get some fresh stuff with stabilizer added, replace fuel filter (got a bunch in a drawer in garage) change oil, replace the carb, and take the rear wheel off to re-bead and inflate using a tie down. (prob coulda done it without removing) What a blast. It really goes! Was pleasantly surprised at how fast this thing is for only 4 hp Robin/Suburu engine, and it gets up a grass hill no problem! So anyway, I'm curious what year this thing is from?

Model # is 594B-0
Serial # is 1049118

I believe this is 126cc?

Obviously I hit the jackpot with this as it is in super good condition and I saw one listed for like $850 somewhere. (saw a video of two guys that paid like $250 for an older one with a 3.5hp Tucumseh that was not running and obviously needed a lot more work to get it there.) So I'm thrilled with this lucky find. literally was on way back home walking from park and there she was with a free sign on it. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming. lol

It's missing the chain guard/cover. Any way to get that part anywhere? Does anyone carry any parts for this model? Not finding much out there and cannot find any source for the chain guard.
Lastly, it would appear there should be some sorta rod that connects between the rear suspension springs as there is a hole on both sides but nothing in them and it sorta wobbles a bit in the back since it seems the only thing holding the seat in place in the rear are the suspension springs. So I ran a large zip tie on both sides then another one connecting those two ties together and this significantly improved, if not removed the wobble while riding. That was driving me nuts. lol. (see 2nd pick) May have to do more mod on this as I can see the ties stretching overtime and getting loose. Looks like there was some sorta plastic thingy that connected that likely woulda prevented the wobble.(per another pic I found of one)


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Hey @bpjacobsen ...welcome to the forum.

Nice find, at the best price.

It's not missing anything, that's just how they ride...squirrelly huh ?

I like your idea towards stability, and wonder about a more permanent solution.
Hey @bpjacobsen ...welcome to the forum.

Nice find, at the best price.

It's not missing anything, that's just how they ride...squirrelly huh ?

I like your idea towards stability, and wonder about a more permanent solution.
Actually, I was finding that the zip ties slide on the metal bar so I cut them off and I'm going to try again but with some sort of no slip rubber material wrapped around the bar where the ties would go. then it should work better. But basically you have to make sure the springs can still do their job. I shall report back the outcome tomorrow.

I was just thinking another option might be to install a couple of eye hooks but that would require drilling holes in the bar so I will likely stick with my current plan. The crap we spend time on. lol


Well-Known Member
A lot of the parts for minibikes and go karts are generic like the fasteners and things like tires, wheels, sprockets, but you are unlikely to find Thunderbird specific things like the frame, seat, fork, etc.

No way of knowing exactly how old it is unless you have the receipt, but from these parts manuals I'm seeing the most recent date of January 2003. The second manual has an interesting technical service bulletin about faulty front shocks --
bpjacobsen, Nice find! As far as the seat wobbles, I would try the rear shock absorber settings that are mentioned on the 3rd page of the manual that Harquebus posted above. Who knows, you might find a better combination of shock mounting holes that is more stable.
Good luck and ride safe.
OK, so I figured out how to make the zip tie thing work such that there is literally no sideway sliding on the seat. See attached. Works Perfectly. Key is using the larger really strong zip ties. As you can see in the pic, they are mounted on an angle in that little section where the rear fender is bolted on so between the bolts and the fact that they are on an angle, these ties are not going to slide at all. Soooo much better riding now without the sliding in the rear. I cut a piece of schedule 40 PVC and painted it red. Going to slip it over the right foot peg to make more foot room on that side since the stock peg is too short due to the engine taking up room on that side. I will probably fill the tube with PL construction adhesive to give it strength. Also planning to wrap some sorta rubber material around it for non-slip surface. Oh the silly crap I get myself into for a little (but otherwise awesome) mini bike. lol


Thanks, but I don't think any amount of adjusting of spring will fix this issue. See my last post though. I figured out best way to stop it using large zip ties mounted between the rear fender bolts and the available holes under the seat next to where the shocks are mounted. Works perfectly and does not restrict spring in any way. It's a bummer I can't seem to get parts for this. I need the chain guard. I mean don't really need it but would be nice to have it for some safety and aesthetics.