The tubular steel frame never loses its cool, whether you’re cruising down a straight stretch or hitting the brakes before a sharp corner. The same can be said for the Showa suspension, which includes 47-mm forks and twin pre-load-adjustable shocks. It reacts remarkably well on beat-up roads and when leaning into corners. The two discs and the four-piston callipers prove powerful, compliant and tough, and the ABS works discretely and efficiently.
A very competent package
|The tubular steel frame never loses its cool, whether you’re cruising down a straight stretch or hitting the brakes before a sharp corner. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)
When you first hop on, the first source of satisfaction is the riding position. Sure it’s a cruiser, but it’s a comfortable one. The low seat, forward-set handlebars and not-too-distant foot pegs create a great triangle that encourages long outings. The Thunderbird Storm sets its own standards in terms of comfort, both for rider and passenger. Often neglected on this type of machine, the latter finds him or herself in a decent position here, perched on a thick, well-rounded seat.
That’s especially important given the Thunderbird’s rigorous frame and propensity to gobble up the miles. It’s great fun on winding roads, something that can’t be said for very many of its competitors.
All that’s left to do is twist the grip and hang on. The engine’s response is so buttery smooth that it’ll take off at 1,500 rpm in the last gear without batting an eyelash. Such machismo, lacking in the outgoing 1,600-cc model, is very much appreciated in town. Thankfully, the frame-fork-front brake combo is able to curb the beast’s fiery enthusiasm on demand, and the Storm is capable of aggressive breaking manoeuvres that very few cruisers can manage without the front wheel locking.
The beefy, 200-mm tire doesn’t hinder the beast too much in corners, either, and despite its considerable girth, the Thunderbird proves precise and neutral. On a winding country road you can open up the Storm in a decidedly un-cruiser-like way. You can even gain a little speed by throwing your shoulder and hip out, putting standard riders to shame.
|The Thunderbird Storm is one stylish cruiser, and a real blast too. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Moto123.com)
Nimble and easy to manoeuvre, the British cruiser will be the envy of American and Japanese models. If you like this type of ride but are afraid of winding up with a ponderous bike that’s hard to handle, then Triumph has got just the thing. The Thunderbird Storm is one stylish cruiser, and a real blast too.
Powerful, responsive brakes