Triumph Thunderbird Storm – Road Test Review
Snapshot: The name itself reveals that the motorcycle is herculean enough to start a storm but is it as longing as its American counterparts? You are just about to find everything you need to know about this British icon!
Indians have a thing for muscle bikes, isn’t it! We have always loved riding buffed up motorcycles with fat tyres and heavy sounding exhausts. We need that huskiness in everything we ride or drive and may be that’s the only reason why only in India one can find a 100cc motorcycle wearing tractor tyres and custom seats. That shows our love for muscle bikes and the desire to make our ride larger than life. In keeping with the theme, we are riding a motorcycle which looks colossal and prodigious in every aspect, the Triumph Thunder Storm. The name itself reveals that the motorcycle is herculean enough to start a storm but is it as longing as its American counterparts? You are just about to find everything you need to know about this British icon!
Triumph Thunderbird Storm is a modern day cruiser that is like a mix of old and new emotions. It does have a traditional touch to it and yet looks contemporary at the same time. It has all the right amount of chrome at all the right places, and unlike many other cruisers it’s not over loaded with it and we like that. Like the Rocket III, its twin-headlights upfront makes it one mean looking machine. One can easily mistake the engine to be an air-cooled unit because of chrome painted air-fins it is designed with but it’s not, it’s a liquid-cooled unit. The air-fins delineates the old-school classic look of the engine and we give it full stars. The silhouette of the bike is appealing, it’s bold and perfect for someone who need a bike that makes them centre of everything. Be it in the moving traffic, busy market crowd or anywhere else, the Thunderbird Storm is going to get you a million eye balls. Its strapping personality is impossible to resist and trust me when I say this, world around you will stop just to stare at it.
Like all typical cruisers, Thunderbird Storm gets its instrumental cluster at its tank. The setup looks great and has everything you will expect from a cruiser. It has an analogue speedometer and tachometer, while other information like distance to empty, time, fuel gauge and trip meter metre is displayed digitally.
Rating – 4.3/5
Engine and Performance –
One of the strongest factors about the Thunderbird Storm is the engine it houses. It is propelled by the world’s biggest parallel twin engine and yes this power house is enough to pull down an entire tree off the ground, just kidding! Or maybe not!! This 1699cc Liquid-cooled engine churns out ground shaking 156Nm of torque at 2,950rpm and being a parallel twin it also has an impressive power figure which is 96.6bhp at 5,200rpm. The bike sprints from standstill in no time and with the amount of torque it lunges forward is actually scary. Its highly reactive power delivery is a major advantage over its V-twin counter parts. If you think cruisers are lazy, you’ll have your perception changed after riding the Storm. It’s explosive! On the other hand, you might feel a slight shudder at low end as fuelling is minutely jerky when the bike just starts rolling but this fades away as soon as throttle is twisted when the bike gets going.
The power is delivered to the rear wheel via a belt drive system which translates the power into motion in such a silky manner that you’ll have to experience it yourself to understand it.
Rating – 4.4/5
Ride and Handling –
I haven’t ridden any Triumph till date that doesn’t handles well and Thunderbird Storm is no exception. Though I’m not a pro cruiser motorcyclist and so like everyone else I too had a preconception that cruisers are lazy to ride and lazy to turn but no, I was wrong. Thunderbird Storm is a revelation in cruisers when it comes to handling. You can actually cut through traffic like you do on a much smaller bike. It does feel hefty when taking a U-turn but that’s natural to it, it’s a 335kgs bike. What really should be noted is how eager it feels to take turns, to manoeuvre and lean into a corner.
It comes loaded with Showa 47 mm forks. 120 mm travel upfront and Showa twin shocks with 5 position adjustable preload, 95mm travel at the rear. This suspension system makes the bike highly confident while taking turns plus helps this 335kgs brute to glide over all the undulations without transferring anything to body, so a big thumbs to this setup!
The seat is well shaped and padded to accommodate much bigger riders than me, also the handlebar is designed to be in full reach for all kinds of riders. It has been one of the most comfortable bikes I have ridden till date and yes, it does throws a blast of scorching air once struck in city traffic but one has to understand it’s a 1700cc engine, big engine - big heat is the nature!
It has ABS which is linked to both rear and front brakes, it comes with Twin 310 mm floating discs Nissin 4-piston fixed calipers at the front and single 310mm fixed discs Brembo 2-piston floating calipers at the rear. Both the brakes are responsive enough not to give you a heart attack every time your reflexes hit the brakes. They have all the progression needed to bring the brute to halt from high speeds.
Rating – 4.6/5
Triumph Thunderbird Storm is a mean looking monster that delivers blistering performance and goes by its name. It is not only as comfortable as your favourite sofa but is also quick enough to shame a lot supersports as well. It may be dramatic to say but it sounds thunderous and announces its entry way before it’s in view. At a price point of Rs 14.10 Lakh, the Thunderbird Storm makes one super strong proposition and is an intelligent buy.
Grand Total – 13.3/15
Photography- Mohd. Nasir
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