Triumph Thunderbird Review — webBikeWorld

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Triumph Thunderbird

Triumph Thunderbird Review

open two-lane highways out into the distance.

Tree roads meandering through towns.

Winding country cutting a scenic path a stream. Main Street USA on a night.

All these places are the of that distinctly American of the cruiser.

But not just any cruiser do, mind you. Only the baddest bikes need here.

Got less than Got more than 2 cylinders? way, brother, you don’t fit in and not wanted so go play in the sandbox.

It that Triumph finally got of having sand kicked in its

When Triumph called and me if I’d like to spend time on their new 2010 I of course said no.

Haha. kidding. I, of course, said Arrangements were made and I off the Daytona 675 and picked up a silver black stripe) Thunderbird.

I got over the 400 pound vs. 700 pound and the sportbike-to-cruiser transition, I was ready to it a good preliminary once Out came the magnifying lens and the comb.

OK, so now that the splinter is out of my and my hair looks good go over the bike shall we?

The thing I noticed was that the looks smaller than it is. not sure how Triumph pulled off optical illusion but, you are either standing right to it or sitting on it, the T-bird seems compact than a 1600cc should.

This was proven my wife, who has never ridden a in her life, took one look at the and said that looks a bike that I could Yeah. no.

The quality of paint is up there with Harley which is really spectacular. The paint had a lot of metallic in it so it really the light nicely while the stripe and pinstripes are laid the clear coat. I saw no evidence of of any kind in any of the paint.

Now normally I’m not that on paint jobs but on a cruiser the (and paint colors) are an part of the experience.

Another important part of the cruiser is fit and finish. A sportbike can get away using cheap plastic in the name of saving weight; a cannot.

Once again has hit the nail on the head and created a that just feels I let a …-hard Harley rider is all he has ever owned) ride the and when he came back (he had to as I had the to his $20k Road Glide) he was ear to ear and his first word was wow!. He that the T-bird was a bike he might actually consider as it felt very well put

Very solid.

As if that enough he then told old Harley riding buddy he should go out and look at the Thunderbird as it was a bike. Now if you can get a dyed-in-the-wool Harley to recommend your bike to one of his you’ve done something

Triumph placed the speedometer and cluster in the now traditional place on top the gas I for one am not a big fan of this placement as it requires you to your eyes completely off the ahead but if Triumph didn’t put it the potential customers would complained.

Triumph did go a couple of beyond the cruiser standard but not only adding a tachometer into the speedometer’s face but an LCD shows a digital fuel plus; clock, 2 trip odometer, and range to empty. All of functions can be accessed through a on the right handlebar beneath the cut-off switch.

Another feature of the T-bird are the. for it. self-canceling turn signals! I — exciting, right? Why bike doesn’t have feature I’ll never as it can’t add that much and it sure does help.

keeping you from looking as you ride down the road a turn signal flashing, also a safety feature.

We all know that the heart and of any motorcycle is the motor and Triumph the whole American super-size me to heart here.

Understanding most cruisers are V-twins and understanding that; A) They nothing about building a and B) Even if they wanted to a bike with a big V-twin is NOT to be looked at as a Triumph.

Keeping two things in mind, Triumph to BE Triumph and built a 1600cc to be exact) parallel twin. Not does this motor fit the size bracket for a big bore it also gets the award for production parallel twin.

of going with the traditional or 360-degree crank, Triumph the T-bird’s with 270 degrees. gives the bike a very sound while internal keep any inherent vibes at

The bike is also liquid-cooled and never feels like it is to cook you no matter how hot out it is or how much you sit in. Those of you who have ridden a big motor understand how impressive feat is.


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The Thunderbird is quite nice and comports in a civilized Would like crumpets with your dear? kind of way.

84.8 hp at 4,850 rpm and 107.7 at 2,750 rpm, the T-bird has punch to smoke a new Stage 1 kit air filter, re-map) equipped Fat Boy by 3 bike lengths from a stop to about 80 mph. that speed the better Harley caught back up and have passed if we had continued the point.

The 1700 cc big-bore kit is to be an entirely different animal so let you know how that changes the demeanor when we get our hands on

One of the most impressive stats on motor isn’t found in the sheet though. That is the MPG figure.

I was very surprised to actually that even though I the bike much, much than most of its intended probably would, I still to get right around 47 MPG. is pretty impressive for a motor in size range and a figure I’m sure is going to be to beat in this class.

A set of a re-map, and a less restrictive air would do the trick nicely as the does start to run out of steam at 5,000rpm; a whole 1,500rpm redline.

Part of the problem may be that the T-bird is a Butt Yep the air box is located under the rider’s and breathes through two intake molded to the seat bottom and towards the rear (of the bike not the

Now it appears to me that the bottom of the air box is over open air and seeing as how the air is the oval type, a quick to the bottom of the air box and voila!; better air Of course this is just me and this modification is in no way sanctioned, or looked upon kindly by Triumph.

Do you like corners? Do you grinding peg feelers into If you answered yes to both of these the Thunderbird may be the bike for you!

the peg feelers do touch down a bit earlier than I would I only had one time where an hard-part dug in a lifted the bike off the a bit. I actually got used to the peg feelers almost like you a set of knee sliders; plant on the ground and use them to judge lean angle.

The big tubular twin spine frame almost zero torsional while being shoved in corners. I actually started the bike like a big feet standard instead of a cruiser; the bike into corners harder than a sane (or the Thunderbird’s normal buyer) would.

Through it all I never felt the get out of shape or seem like it happy with all the shenanigans. it hard and it just takes it and ask for right up until there is a dip that causes something and unmovable under the bike to into the ground thereby you, the rider, to need a of underwear.

Other than one incident the 2010 Thunderbird everything I could throw at it, wise, like it was a normal day at the The average Thunderbird rider have plenty of room they find themselves into a corner hotter they wanted to.

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Aiding in the Thunderbird’s ability to corners is the fact that didn’t go in for the current trend of a tire on the rear that is big for a top-fuel dragster. Nope, went for the very sensible tire size of 200 mm in width is about as big as you want to go without about sacrificing any handling. For you freaks out there Triumph the 32 degrees of rake with a 151.3 mm of trail.

While the works great when the gets twisty, it has an issue hard-edged bumps if you weigh than, say, 210 pounds.

I had the preload set all the way down on 1 and the bike was one above a rigid over any of bump that required the to compress quickly. Now granted at 180 I may not be the typical size of most riders but I’m no 135 pound either.

To my way of thinking, the rear should be set at 3 for a rider in the 200 pound with the ability to move up and as needed. I spoke with a salesperson who said they a Thunderbird to a guy that weighed 400 and he only needed the preload set at 3 of 5). Too stiff rear shocks are the one kill on the bike and one that could have been by Triumph.

If you look at most cruisers today it seems that the is to get away with as little in the way of as possible. What other could there be for building pound bikes with a single front rotor?

savings? Aerodynamics? Apparently feels that if they are to build a bike that and corners well it should stop well regardless of other manufacturer’s think.

Up on the Thunderbird you’ll find not one but two 310 mm rotors being squeezed by 4-piston fixed calipers.

Now a birdie told me that were pulled from the the old 955i parts bin but this is hearsay and has not been confirmed by they sure do look it though.

You’ll find an sized rotor on the rear squeezed by a Brembo 2-piston Yes — I too think it is strange there are Nissins up front and a in the rear — but that is is said on the spec sheet.

stopping power is better any cruiser I’ve ridden but a right hand is needed to on that power. Initial is somewhat weak and vague for the Thunderbird’s intended purpose work fine. Start the bike though and you’ll for a little more bite and from the Nissin calipers.

a re-valve on the master cylinder see this set straight.


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transmissions fall into two noticeable because they well or noticeable because don’t. Happily the Thunderbird’s is in first category.

First-to-second if attempted under 2,500 will give you the big, flywheel thunk but are smooth as can be 2,500 rpm, as are all other I’m beginning to get bored Triumph’s transmissions as there is anything to really report on.

like their transmissions, fuel injection system plain works great and is one other manufacturers need to Big bike, small bike, designed bike or not, all work almost flawlessly. boring actually. A little surging, or acting goofy in a while would be nice.

I’m beginning to feel the Maytag repairman talking the F.I. system!

One of the most features that cruiser look at is the seating position. Is it and does it have the right

This is an area where the shines. Wide, flat sit exactly where most are going to be comfortable and keep you in an position instead of the cruiser You can adopt the cruiser slouch at any but the bike doesn’t force you it all the time.

The footpegs are in the obligatory position but are not so far forward that riders will need to just to touch them or so far that taller riders like they are kissing knees. Just like Bear’s porridge, the pegs are right for most people.

My spent with the 2010 Thunderbird brought a couple of to light:

1) I still like

2) I really like this

3) Triumph did a bang-up job on their big bore, twin cylinder They have easily a bike that can and will notice to Harley that aren’t the only historical in the big cruiser market any longer though Triumph swears isn’t their intention).

4) like mine in the blue and with the 1700cc kit and short please.

Publication Date: 2010

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