First Ride: 2011 Triumph Thunderbird Storm — Press Launches — 2011 Triumph…

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Triumph Thunderbird Storm

First Ride: 2011 Thunderbird Storm

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Cliches abound at the of triumph’s thunderbird storm. it to Steve Thornton to confuse the with a reference from the Revolution, which surely had to do with the naming of triumph’s heavyweight cruiser.

As journalists around Triumph’s new blacked-out cruiser at the Radisson Fort Resort in Arizona, you could them jostling for headline One called dibs on “Storm and then another suggested Warning.” Someone who might been feeling the blues “Stormy Monday,” which a complaint that it was only

I yelled out “Storm the Bastille!” got me nowhere with that When Triumph execs a name for the dark, brooding they must have at the prospect of motorcycle magazines large-type, two-word headlines pictures of their new heavy- cruiser, which they had to look like a bug-eyed

A name is one thing, a bit of chrome and paint is another, and riding the is something else. I had spent a few months earlier with its a 1,600 cc Thunderbird into a factory 1,700 cc kit was installed, and I had impressed by its power, handling, and Would the $16,299 2011 Storm have anything new to beyond some black and the headlight rack off a Speed

In a word, no. The Storm is the same under a different hat. that’s not a bad thing.

Sometimes in to improve a model from one to the next, the manufacturer will it. It’s easy to add features, add add weight, and in doing so, flatten a dynamic effect.

This Triumph has not been flattened, and in has been given a jolt of with the factory-installed 1,700 cc which pumped about 14 hp and 7 of torque into the engine of the Thunderbird that we subjected to dyno runs (CC January). The wet of this Storm and the 2010 and standard Thunderbirds is 339 kg, and gearing has not altered, so acceleration should be to the 1,700 cc T-bird’s.

The Storm’s a liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel has been changed from the cc Thunderbird’s in appearance only: a cover with the “Storm” is fitted, along with a few small covers, and there is black paint that’s it for the Other changes include handlebar risers that the handgrip positions very a lot of black paint, new tank and those goggle-face headlights, are primarily what the rider when looking out from the

The headlights, looking somewhat eyeballs on short stalks, a thinning aspect to the Storm. it’s a suggestion of skeletal or maybe they just your own eyes away that large (22 litre) tank and solid black of an engine, but the effect is real: beady little things the whole motorcycle look Perhaps there’s a suggestion in for the designers of bluejeans.

In any case, the aesthetic confines of the long-wheelbase, cruiser form, the Storm is a motorcycle.

On the road, the bike up the visual statement of strength solid performance: it accelerates in lower gears; I found gripping the handlebar more as I held open the throttle. which Triumph rates at 115 at 2,950 rpm, is very through the midrange (we measured 102 at 3,000 rpm with the 1,700 cc on the dyno).

For the first hour of our into the rural landscape Scottsdale, Arizona, the air was very and I experienced trouble shifting up second through fourth the way the lever felt on my foot, I have been trying to into seventh (it’s a transmission). At a photo stop, I the bike over to a Triumph rep, who rode it and found no problems.

I was later told that the was poorly adjusted, which have prevented it from returning to a neutral position a shift. In any case, both the and the ambient air had warmed up by then those are factors or not, I say), and I did not experience the problem

With the air temperature high that the mind could normal sensations, it became to me that this is a comfortable I won’t qualify that by “for a cruiser,” and in fact the and its Thunderbird progenitor both to a modern trend of blurring the between cruiser and something … bike, touring maybe even sport-touring it’s all in there, for that in bits and pieces.

Triumph Thunderbird Storm

None of pieces comes wholly for any of those roles, but the entirety of the with sporting brakes mm front rotors and four-piston a sit- up-and-eat-your-pie rider comfort and carrying capacity the addition of a windscreen and saddlebags closer to each of those than you might expect a Triumph cruiser. To be completely it’s an ambulance ride from the lean angle of a Street Triple, so it’s not a for all riders, but the Storm has capacities are not apparent until you ride it.

On the road, the Storm exudes a densely muscled vibration in normal engine ranges and under changing throttle good. Vibration reaches the through the handlebar, pegs, and but was never harsh and only mildly unpleasant at higher somewhere above 3,000 I began to feel a nervous in the fuel tank, which was through my knees. Complementing the is a smooth bass roar, not enough to attract police but solid and masculine.

The Storm’s is the standard Thunderbird seat, and flat-bottomed and long enough to the rider to move back and a few centimetres. After three or hours in the saddle, my … and thighs felt a modicum of but not enough to make me want to riding. You might appreciate the gas after a couple of hours of travel, though.

The footpeg in front of the rider’s knees but not far to stretch the legs, helps to a measure of comfort while and the hand grip positions are about right, with the arms angled down and the arms angled parallel to the and outward a bit. It feels

A high speed run does in wind on the rider’s chest, a tight grip on the handlebar, but has accessory windscreens available for the and hence the Storm, too. the dealership fit a windscreen would the pleasure of any highway ride, but would add the bike’s two-year to the accessory, which would get a one-year warranty.

Suspension of a 47 mm Showa fork with 120 mm of and a pair of Showa rear with preload adjustability and 95 mm of It’s the same as found on the T-bird, and it works well for this kind of motorcycle, the bike’s movement over bumps and soaking up the harshest of the For one photo session, I invited a journalist to share the bike me, and about 10 minutes later she me the passenger seat was comfortable, if a bit

Our riding that day was spent on a of motorcycles, two of which were 865 cc aimed at novices, shorter and women; these bikes more limber and flexible (in of usage, not frame material) the Storm. They also the way I reacted to the 1,700 cc heavyweight: the felt comparatively solid

and though not dull in response. a big bike, and a heavy one, but well-sorted and powerful. After at a red light late in the day, I away on an 865, and a second or two another rider shot me on a Storm, accelerating with a of force that I could envy; it’s quick off the

I also found the Storm to be an motorcycle at parking lot speeds, and turning tight circles it managed to develop a decent before scraping pegs.

But also a very heavy 746 lb with gas and oil and while the suspension and are up to the task of controlling it, a motorcycle these proportions can get out of shape if asked to go beyond its limits. limits are reasonable, especially for a but this is one motorcycle that always be considered with just as a wise sailor treat its namesake when of approaching trouble crimson the morning air.

Triumph Thunderbird Storm


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