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

Motorcycle Monthly - - Used Bike Guide - Words and Pho­tog­ra­phy: Bob Pick­ett

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.

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