Update: Motorcycle USA tested the all-new Triumph Thunderbird at the May 2009 press launch. Read our first ride evaluation in the 2010 Triumph Thunderbird Review and see the new bird in action in the Triumph Thunderbird Video – MCUSA Ed
At the INTERMOT Cologne show, Triumph unveiled its new Thunderbird cruiser to take on the Big Twins in America. Powered by a 1599 DOHC Parallel Twin, the Thunderbird bridges the gap between Triumph’s smaller displacement cruisers and the mammoth Rocket III.
The new Twin gets its displacement via a big 103.8 x 94.3mm bore and stroke. Power claims on the new Thunderbird’s spec sheet claims “in excess of” 80 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. Driving that power to the rear wheel is a belt drive and six-speed transmission. The all-new powerplant is liquid-cooled with fuel injection.
The chassis includes cast aluminum five-spoke wheels mated to a tubular steel frame and swingarm. Showa suspension components are sourced, 47mm fork up front and chromed spring shocks out back (shocks are five-position preload adjustable.)
Dual 310mm front rotors are pinched by 4-piston Nissin calipers, with rear braking a single 310mm rotor teamed with a 2-piston Brembo caliper. ABS will be available as an option for potential customers.
A 5.5-gallon fuel tank also houses the instrument cluster, with speedo, tach and LCD display. The Thunderbird will also utilize self-cancelling turn signals.
Built to compete directly with the Twin Cam Harley-Davidson, the new Triumph Thunderbird will be an important piece of the American Triumph strategy.
“It’s been obvious for many years to people that from the American Speedmaster, there’s a big gap between those bikes and the Rocket III,” said Simon Warburton, Triumph Head Product Manager. “We see the future of the Thunderbird being a big part of our range.”
The base model will feature numerous accessories for customization, including touring and two-up extras, as well as cosmetic upgrades. American Trumpet fans will have to wait, however, as the new Thunderbird is not slated for US shores until September of 2009, making it a 2010 model. Pricing for the US market is yet to be determined.
2010 Triumph Thunderbird Specs:
Engine: 1599cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, Parallel Twin, 270 degree firing interval
Bore/Stroke: 103.8 x 94.3mm
Maximum Power In excess of 80 bhp
Maximum Torque In excess of 100 lb-ft
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI , progressive linkage on throttle
Final Drive: Toothed belt
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox: 6-speed constant mesh, helical type
Frame: Tubular steel, twin spine
Swingarm: Twin sided, steel
Front Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 19 x 3.5 inch
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 6 inch
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 200/50 R17
Front Suspension: Showa 47mm forks
Rear Suspension: Showa chromed spring twin shocks with 5-position-adjustable preload
Front Brakes: Twin 310mm fixed discs. Nissin 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 310mm fixed disc. Brembo 2-piston floating caliper
Instrument display/functions: Tank mounted instrumentation with large speedo, integrated tacho and LCD display with odometer, twin trip counters, range-to-empty and clock. Auto-cancelling indicators
Length: 2350mm (92.5 in)
Width: (Handlebars) 947mm (37.2 in) (TBC)
Height: 1216mm (47.9 in) (TBC)
Seat Height: 702mm (27.6 in) (TBC)
Wheelbase: 1641mm (64.6in)
Dry Weight TBC
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21 litres (5.5 gal US)