Triumph’s Thunderbird Storm
The Thunderbird Storm is the stripped-back (I refrain from saying “sporting”) version of Triumph’s huge muscle-cruiser and has featured in the range since 2011. The bike we tested was a 2012 model with 10,250 miles on the clock (pre-test) featuring a meta
Give me some spec
A huge 1,699cc parallel twin engine (putting out continent-shifting amounts of torque: 156 Nm/115 lb-ft at just 2,950rpm, with maximum power coming in at 96.9 bhp/72kW @ 5,200rpm) is held in a tubular steel, twin spine frame. Final drive comes via a toothed belt, with stopping provided by two 310mm, four-piston calliper brakes to the front, supported by a single 310mm, two piston calliper at the rear.
So what’s it like to ride?
Make no mistake, this is a big, heavy bike (340kg/746lbs, 2340mm long). But it carries that weight very low and combined with the 702mm/27.6in seat height and wide bars it is easy to paddle around.
For a bike putting out such massive amounts of torque, it was a surprise how gently the power could be applied. Out on the road, the Thunderbird Storm is beautifully balanced. Pegs are in a forward setting, combined with the wide bars and tank you are wrapped round the tank, so steering comes courtesy of rolling from one corner to the next.
Steering is slow – as you’d expect with a bike of this size – but once leant over, the big Triumph inspires confidence. There is a long, constantcurve corner on the B road part of the ride on which I just kept leaning it further, gently increasing the power to the stage I was taking it at similar speeds to more sporting tackle.
The gearbox is silky smooth and precise. Not that you need it. Just pick a gear – any gear – and the Triumph will drive forward on a wave of torque from next to nothing. With a bike this size it needs plenty of stopping power and the three 310mm discs do the job well, though like all cruisers a spot of advance planning is a good idea.
Townwork is easy, thanks to the great balance. Motorways? This engine eats them up and holding on is the main challenge. The big tank lets you cross continents, the firm but supportive saddle lets you cross them in comfort and the plush suspension soaks up everything thrown at it without complaint.
I can’t ignore the sound. This massive engine puts out anything from a chug (it reminded me of a barge) to a rumble to a growl to a roar as you open up... absolutely superb.
What nick is it in?
Pristine. The build quality shines through, with nothing to report.
What’s it worth?
The dealer is looking for £8,999 for a 2012 bike with 10,500 miles on the clock with added Datatool alarm and “Hogslayer” exhaust. The dealer search showed this to be a good price, reflecting the miles on the clock with others available for similar age and miles ranging from £8,499 for a 2011 bike with 6,500 miles to £10,995 for a 2013 bike with just 600 miles recorded.