Triumph is turning the oversize cruiser segment on its head with the Thunderbird Storm
. Gorgeous and forbidding with its hefty tank, twin headlamps and torque-engorged twin-cylinder, it’s also astonishingly nimble and user-friendly.
|The overall finish and choice of materials, such as the seat cladding and the chrome exhaust pipes, clearly state that this machine is aiming for high-end status. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)
No plastic or humdrum parts mar its curvaceous body. In fact, the Thunderbird’s wiring and liquid cooling system are remarkably well integrated, and the engine displays its retro cooling fins in all their glory. The overall finish and choice of materials, such as the seat cladding and the chrome exhaust pipes, clearly state that this machine is aiming for high-end status.
With its 98 ponies deployed at 5,200 rpm and 115 lb-ft of torque, the Storm is one muscular bike. Torque is on tap from 1,400 rpm all the way to the little red line. The modern, 1,597-cc parallel-twin delivers stunning results, and its dual overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, two spark plugs per cylinder and dual balance shafts are all controlled by a sophisticated ECU.
Gently twist the grip, and the electronic injection delivers smooth, constant output. But give it a good wrench, and you’ll be surprised at the available grunt from 2,400 to the red zone. Triumph’s multipoint sequential system automatically adjusts itself to the rider’s requests and the conditions. This is one efficient, charismatic engine that will satisfy every rider’s craving for power.
The transmission easily manages output and torque, shifting smoothly and effortlessly via an accommodating lever. With a taut final belt drive, this package is as velvety as can be. You always have to use the clutch when shifting, though, as the inertia of the big bike doesn’t allow for quick gear changes.
|With its 98 ponies deployed at 5,200 rpm and 115 lb-ft of torque, the Storm is one muscular bike. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)