Triumph Thunderbird Storm 2017 – OTR Price: £13,100
Less chrome, more power and more attitude. The Thunderbird Storm comes with an 1700cc engine and hard-edged style.
Based on our original Thunderbird, the Storm keeps the pure Triumph twinned headlights but adds a low, blacked out look that’s mean and minimalist for massive street presence backed up by huge torque and confident handling.
We squeezed 102cc more from the muscle-bound parallel twin engine so that it packs an even bigger punch. Still laid-back but underpinned by serious power and the best handling in the class. This is a cruiser with a dark side.
Lava Red (+£220)
We took the 1597cc parallel twin from the Thunderbird and boosted its capacity to 1699cc with 3.3mm bigger pistons in huge, 107.1mm bores. So the Thunderbird Storm does have a classic-looking engine that packs a mighty punch, but that power is delivered smoothly thanks to twin balance shafts.
The result of the Thunderbird Storm’s bigger engine is more power at 98PS. And an even higher peak torque at 115lb.ft right down at 2,950rpm with more torque across the rev range. So it delivers instant thrust when you twist the throttle, even at very low rpm.
Despite the air-cooled appearance, the Thunderbird Storm engine is liquid-cooled. We placed its radiator unobtrusively between the frame downtubes and the fat, twin exhaust headers.
And there’s plenty more 21st century technology tucked away too, like our highly accurate sequential fuel injection system with its progressive throttle linkage so you get power predictably and smoothly.
We added double overhead camshafts and a crankshaft with 270 degree firing intervals, to give you an engine with authentic cruiser character. Whilst the fuelling is looked after by a sequential fuel injection system and progressive throttle linkage so your engine delivers its torque exactly the way you expect.
The Thunderbird Storm has a big black engine with upright cylinders and machined cooling fin edges to help define its imposing shape.
Many other parts of the Thunderbird Storm are black. Including the rear springs and headlight bowls.
The final drive is an inverted tooth belt with carbon fibre strands to give it a higher tensile strength than steel. While the pulleys have a patented ultra-hard coating that minimises wear so that the whole belt drive system needs very little attention. It’s really quiet and clean too.
6 Speed Gear Box
The transmission uses a six-speed gearbox with a tall top ratio for relaxed highway cruising and exceptional fuel efficiency.
We gave the Thunderbird Storm double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, along with a very tall top ratio in the six-speed transmission for a great ride and to help the fuel economy. Even at 75mph you get almost 50mpg, as good as some commuter bikes.
We gave the Thunderbird Storm fat 47mm diameter forks with plenty of travel at 120mm. And the rear shocks are adjustable for spring preload so you can set the bike up to suit your load or riding style.
We used all of our engineering expertise in making the geometry just right, so the Thunderbird Storm steers as great as it looks. Even at low speeds. And it has to be extremely stable when going faster, yet amazingly agile when you ask it to change direction rapidly. So you get a bike that’s responsive, even in the tight, low speed manoeuvres that some cruisers make hard work of.
We wanted plenty of stopping power to match the engine on the Thunderbird Storm. So you get a pair of four-piston callipers at the front to scrub off speed in an instant and give great feedback, backed up by ABS as standard.
You get a feeling of control on the Thunderbird Storm, with forward-sited footrests and controls and wide, pulled-back bars for a spacious, comfortable riding position. Comfortable enough for much more than a quick trip into town or a Sunday spin.
And, even though the passenger seat detaches to enhance the lean looks of the bike when riding solo, it’s still comfortable and relaxed enough for a pillion. The high quality suspension being more than enough to keep the ride plush and stable even when there are two people on board.
We built the twin spine, steel tube frame of the Thunderbird Storm to be exceptionally stiff. Then we reinforced it with the engine itself, making it a stressed component of the chassis for even more agility.
Wheels and Tyres
We’ve fitted Metzeler tyres to five-spoke cast aluminium wheels that, not only look the part in their black finish, but are light for sharper handling.
Tyres are fat with a wide 200 section dominating the rear view and are mounted on modern five-spoke alloy wheels – black finished, of course.
With a seat just 700mm from the ground, you’ll find the Thunderbird Storm very accessible for such a big bike.
We fit ABS to the Thunderbird Storm as standard. So it never loses it’s cool.
Instruments and Computer
It looks lean and mean but the Thunderbird Storm has loads of equipment.
You get an on-board computer with a clock, twin trip meters and a fuel gauge, along with a neat, compact rev counter and electronic self cancelling indicators.
Typical Triumph fuel efficiency and a 22 litre tank means you can cover more than 200 miles between refills. Not bad for any bike, let alone a cruiser.
Warranty & Service
Our confidence provides you with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty on your new Triumph and Genuine Accessories. Alongside the knowledge that we give you a 12 month unlimited mileage warranty on replacement parts.
The Thunderbird Storm carries 6,000 mile (10,000km) service intervals.
Engine and Transmission
|Type||Liquid-cooled, DOHC, Parallel-twin, 270º firing interval|
Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection, progressive linkage on throttle
|Exhaust||Chromed twin-skin stainless steel 2 into 1 into 2, tandem large-volume catalysts in centralised catbox, chrome-plated silencers|
|Final Drive||Toothed Belt|
|Gearbox||6-speed constant mesh, helical type 2nd – 6th|
Chassis, Running Gear and Displays
|Frame||Tubular steel twin spine|
|Front Wheels||Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 19 x 3.5in|
|Rear Wheels||Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 6in|
|Front Tyres||120/70 R 19|
|Rear Tyres||200/50 R 17|
Showa 47mm forks. 120mm travel
Showa chromed spring twin shocks with 5 position adjustable preload. 95mm rear wheel travel
|Brakes Front||Twin 310mm floating discs. Nissin 4-piston fixed calipers|
|Brakes Rear||Single 310mm fixed disc. Brembo 2-piston floating caliper|
Dimensions and Capacities
|Height without mirror||1120mm|
|Wet weight||339 kilo|
|Max Power EC||98PS @ 5200|
|Max Torque EC||156NM @ 2950|