The new 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT has all the segment's big guns square in its sights, including the Victory Cross Road and Harley-Davidson Road King. The British manufacturer thought everything through, and the result is an impressive combination of styling, comfort, and mechanical thrills.
2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT powertrain: Simply a great match
It all starts with a 1,699cc parallel twin-cylinder which perfectly suits the nature of the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT. Powerful and charismatic, not to mention devoid of unpleasant vibrations, this engine boasts lightning-quick throttle response, and propels the 380kg beast with disconcerting ease.
With is juiced-up twin, the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT
feels so much more aggressive than light-touring cruiser stereotypes would have you believe. Forget about weight and power figures; it's the massive amount of torque that makes the big steed come alive at just 1,500 rpm, and then catapults you from 2,500 to 4,000 rpm.
The 8-valve, DOHC engine is both feisty and flexible, pinning you to the back of your seat at each twist of the throttle. Similar to its 1,600cc predecessor, it uses a 270-degree firing interval to create a dynamic feel. Classic big-twin sounds and thrills add to the excitement of riding the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT, while the smooth operation enhances comfort. There's a price to pay at the pump, however, as fuel economy is below average (at least it was in the case of my tester, which wasn't quite broken in yet).
Attacking the road with the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT
|It all starts with a 1,699cc parallel twin-cylinder which perfectly suits the nature of the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT. (Photo: France Ouellet)
With your arms extended, your butt mistaking the rider's seat for a couch, and your feet resting on large boards, it's easy to sit back and relax as you enjoy miles and miles of open road. The only thing missing here is cruise control. In typical cruiser fashion, the clutch lever is still manly to use, while the very long final gear ratio helps reduce engine revs and fuel consumption at highways speeds.
Built on a rigid, stable frame, and equipped with a nice set of brakes, the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT is designed to let the engine reveal its spirited character. Front nosedive and rear tail-whipping are nil, while ground clearance is generous enough to give you the impression of riding a sporty cruiser. Whereas many competitors are all show and no go, the Thunderbird LT proves quite balanced and relatively agile around town for such a big bike. Sure, the large turning radius makes parking a bit harder, but this British hero is still pretty easygoing at low speeds, and a lot less intimidating to ride than to look at.
2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT is geared for the long haul
|With your arms extended, your butt mistaking the rider's seat for a couch, and your feet resting on large boards, it's easy to sit back and relax as you enjoy miles and miles of open road. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Fancy a long-distance trip? The Thunderbird LT has you covered with decently sized saddlebags, a tall windshield that's easy to remove and just angled enough to limit head buffeting, as well as a perfectly sculpted seat that provides good support.
As for styling, the gorgeous 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT will easily attract fans of touring-oriented cruisers. Fit and finish are impeccable, and the comprehensive array of stylish features makes me wonder how Triumph could possibly envy any other brand.
Summing up the 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT
|As for styling, the gorgeous 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT will easily attract fans of touring-oriented cruisers. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Before you go out and buy your next touring motorcycle, you must take this new Triumph for a spin. Charismatic, comfortable, and capable, the 2014 Thunderbird LT is one of the year's best surprises.
- All the ingredients that customers want
- Very easygoing for such a big bike
- Sweet and spirited engine
- Below-average fuel economy
- Large turning radius makes parking a bit harder