Triumph Thunderbird 2017 – OTR Price: £11,800
Laid back and relaxed, the Thunderbird is exactly the way a cruiser should be.
But, on top of that, Triumph engineering has added superior performance and handling without ever diluting what the Thunderbird is all about.
The engine itself is unique in its class, a classic Triumph parallel twin. And the styling is pure cruiser with sweeping lines, low seat and high bars.
But like any Triumph it’s highly practical too, and perfectly feasible as an everyday commuter. A long, low, fat-tyred, chromed up, everyday commuter.
Lava Red / Silver Frost
We made sure that the Thunderbird’s authentic classic style lives on. With a long, low stance, fat rear tyre, teardrop tank and high bars. By keeping it pure, uncluttered, clean and elegant, with plenty of chrome, it still looks exactly how a cruiser should look.
The Thunderbird’s handsome engine is large enough to dominate the bikes appearance, with a sophisticated black finish contrasting with its chromed covers. Fat exhaust pipes and machined cooling fin edges add to the style, which continues even on the fuel injection throttle bodies.
The instruments are set into a tank-mounted chromed pod, leaving the top yoke area lean to show off the array of polished aluminium and chrome, so it looks as great to you as it does to the people watching it pass by.
The Thunderbird’s 1597cc parallel twin engine kicks out a muscular 86PS and a thumping 146Nm of torque at just 2750rpm.
Full of modern engineering, 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 which ensures the engine delivers its torque exactly the way you expect.
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’ve incorporated high tech materials in the belt and pulleys so you get a drive with an exceptionally long life even compared with other modern bikes. And almost zero maintenance requirements.
It’s also smooth, quiet and helps keep the rear of the bike clean.
We gave the Thunderbird a twin spine steel frame that’s exceptionally stiff. Coupled with well-dampened suspension this gives you a plush ride and exceptionally stable, easy handling for a bike in this class.
With their 47mm diameter and 120mm of travel, the forks are carefully matched by our suspension specialists to the pair of chromed rear shocks. And, their 5-position adjustable spring preload allows you to adjust them to suit the way you want to ride.
We made sure that the brakes are well up to the Thunderbird’s wide range of capabilities. A pair of four-piston callipers up front provide sufficient power to cope with a fully loaded bike, high speeds and mountainous terrain. You’ll find they offer loads of feedback too.
Wheels and Tyres
The Thunderbird gets handsome, five spoke cast alloy wheels, fitted with Metzeler tyres.
We built the Thunderbird to give cruiser riders a bike that handles as well as it looks.
That’s why it steers so well, especially at low speeds despite the forks being raked out at a cool-looking 32 degrees.
The Thunderbird is surprisingly agile too with enough ground clearance for decent lean angles and an engaging ride when the road gets interesting.
The seat is very low at just 700mm and the cruising position is relaxed and spacious, with the footrests positioned forward to keep you comfortable without being too much of a stretch.
The low seat also means that it’s easy to plant both feet firmly on the ground. So no matter what your height is, you can confidently manoeuvre even at low speeds.
As you’d expect, the bars are pulled back and wide, so the grips are exactly where you want them. Giving you a relaxed stance and the high levels of control you want on a bike of this size.
Just in case your Thunderbird attracts the wrong kind of attention, we’ve added a high technology security system. It detects a microchip in the key body and if it’s not present the ignition system is disabled.
This prevents a copy of the correct key being used to switch the bike on.
Instruments and Computer
We know you might spend a lot of time on your Thunderbird so we’ve included high levels of equipment. An on-board computer in the tank-mounted instrument pod which includes a clock, range to empty, twin trip meters and a fuel gauge. As well as a neat, compact rev counter and electronic self cancelling indicators. Everything’s right where you need it.
On a big bike like this we were able to fit a 22 litre tank. So, along with the high efficiency engine, the Thunderbird has an exceptional fuel range, at 56mph the Thunderbird will give you more than 67mpg. In fact, it’s easily capable of more than 200 miles between refuelling stops.
We fit ABS to the Thunderbird as standard. So it never loses it’s cool.
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 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||86PS @ 4850|
|Max Torque EC||146NM @ 2750|