Parallel Twin Cruiser
Triumph’s Thunderbird first landed on North American shores in 1946 and received rave reviews from motorcyclists for its styling, agility and speed. The Thunderbird quickly found its way into homes and movies as motorcyclists enthusiastically flocked to the roadways and the machine appeared in major motion pictures including "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando.
Now, a new generation is preparing to take flight on a brand new Thunderbird that embodies state-of-the-art technology and European styling with a distinctive American twist. The machine makes its first North American appearance at Daytona (Fla.) Bike Week from Feb. 27 to March 8, but some Triumph dealers have already taken deposits amidst anticipation of the bike’s arrival.
"The Thunderbird fits perfectly between Triumph’s 863cc Bonneville and the 2,300cc Rocket III motorcycles," said Tony Lewis, owner of Triumph dealer Eurosport in Fort Worth, Texas. "It’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for and several of our customers have already placed deposits. If you want to be one of the first to get a Thunderbird, you better hurry because they’ll go fast."
The new Thunderbird, offered as a 2010 model, features a 1600cc (96 cubic inch) parallel twin engine that produces more than 80 bhp and more than 100 ft.lbs. of torque. Power will be transferred to the ground through a six-speed transmission designed for city and highway cruising, a belt final drive and a meaty 200mm rear tire. Dual front disc brakes with braided stainless steel brake lines are standard while Triumph’s anti-lock braking system is an available option.
North American riders will appreciate the relaxed riding position, forward mounted controls, pull back handlebars and agile suspension that are designed especially for day-long rides on long and winding roads. An elegant instrument cluster with integrated speedometer, tachometer and odometer is mounted on a shapely 5.5 gallon gas tank that promises many miles of riding between fill-ups.
"Triumph has been methodically expanding its model line to suit the various riding styles around the globe, and the Thunderbird is a great addition for American riders who want a large displacement twin-cylinder cruiser," said Mark Kennedy, CEO of Triumph North America. "Triumph employees are passionate about motorcycling.
It’s truly a labor of love to deliver great looking and performing motorcycles. So for us, developing the specifications sheet was easy. The fun and challenging part was creating a completely new motorcycle that delivers an exceptional riding experience. I can proudly say that the Triumph team has accomplished just that."
The Thunderbird will be easily customized to meet each rider’s own styling tastes and riding preferences with a long list of Genuine Triumph Accessories that include a long haul touring seat, windshield, passenger back rest, luggage rack and leather saddle bags.
"The Thunderbird was designed to take on the best of the big twin cruiser motorcycles, and it stands apart from the crowd with exceptional performance and Triumph’s distinctive style," said Kennedy. "We’re very excited about the opportunities that the Thunderbird represents in America for riders who favor big twin cruisers and know Triumph for its heritage and quality of modern motorcycles."
North America has always had a special relationship with Triumph because of the spirit that Triumph represents. Like the motorcycles themselves, people who ride a Triumph tend to be quietly confident and have a distinctive sense of style that never goes out of fashion. Triumph survived bankruptcy in the early 1980s and a devastating fire that destroyed its factory in 2002. Unfazed by the challenges, the company continues to recapture peoples’ hearts and minds as they take to the streets to discover the thrill and enjoyment that only a Triumph motorcycle can provide. Triumph is now one of the fastest growing motorcycle manufacturers in the world.