Thursday, July 24, 2008

First pics: 2009 Triumph Thunderbird 1600

The 2009 Triumph Thunderbird. For those who've always wanted a British-built Harley-Davidson cruiser, with a parallel-twin engine...

Triumph have released the first pics of their new cruiser, the Thunderbird 1600. The bike is fitted with Triumph’s 1594cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin that makes about 100bhp. And like the Harley-Davidson machines it’s supposed to take on, the Thunderbird gets belt final drive, which is supposed to not require any maintenance.

The Thunderbird 1600 rides on 18-inch (rear) and 19-inch (front) wheels, shod with 200/70 and 120/70 rubber. Suspension is a conventional fork and twin shock setup.

A British-built Harley-clone with a parallel twin engine? Er…, we’d much rather have a Speed Triple or a Daytona 675, really, but still…

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Anonymous said...

A HD clone??? Come might want to learn a wee bit more about Triumph's cruiser line - nothing of which is even remotely like a Harley. You might have gotten more traction if you had compared the new Thunderbird with some of the other metrics that it's patterned after and not even hinted that it's 'taking on' the HD market. While the Rocket Touring is a large frame bagger like the HD full dresser, numerous others have already written those comparisons.

Generally, the new Thunderbird looks okay, but I don't like..
1. the shortened rear fender that uses the license plate as a mere extension
2. the new style gas tank that they started using in '07 which is a hugh departure from traditional looks - too Americanized
3. upsweep dual pipes. The straight, horizontal exhaust on the America would suit the overall appearance better although the older Tbird shared this look.

Do like...
1. increased displacement. The smaller (800-900cc) engines labours somewhat
2. liquid-cooling.
3. keeping the vibration free, parallel twin.
4. belt drive.

Think I'll have to ride one when it hits my local dealer.

Anonymous said...

It looks more like the late '70's UJM styled from Honda's Custom, Kawasaki's LTD,'s, Suzuki's "L" line , and Yamaha's
Mid Night series.
All had apehanger/buckhorn handlebars, step styled seats,cast rims/fat rear tire, and too much chrome, but they all handled as well as their standard counterparts, and they handled better than any H-D.
Personally, I like it and would concider a purchase f the weight and price was right.

Anonymous said...

Love the liquid cooling, belt drive, tubeless tires, and larger engine. I've had a couple '05 Bonnies and loved 'em; this looks like a Bonnie on 'roids.

I'm not too fond of the instrument cluster located on the gas tank, but I doubt I'll have any need to watch a tach'. I'm sure I can personalize the rest of the bike to my satisfaction: Ventura Rack System, Bikini fairing, smaller bars, and an upgraded suspension.

And given as how I'm a really short motorcycle enthusiast, I look forward to finding out how narrow the bike is behind that parallel twin and how low the seat height might be....

Put me in the camp of looking forward to seeing the Triumph truck driving up with it's demos!

Anonymous said...

It looks like a VTX, its a clone. They should have just made it like the old Thunderbird if there was no insperation, it was a far better looking bike. Triumph is suppose to be different, I thought that was what they were based on. The largest vertical twin and it looks like a VTX. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for years for someone to build a large displacement vertical twin in a standard/cruiser format and this is a pretty good effort. I would have to change the seat and I'm not crazy about the wheels but overall I really like it. Now if they just price it reasonably......

Anonymous said...

This bike could really come into its own and be something different if Triumph were brave enough. With that tough bottom end (to handle increased compression) why not sleeve it down to an 850cc and stick diesel injectors up top? With common rail electronics this bike could give great fuel economy, great torque and be a true highway star, something I think it was intended to be all along. It would pull a ton no problem I bet.

Anonymous said...

why does everyone bitch about bikes
each to their own. if you dont like it dont buy it. simple really

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