Rider on the Storm
It’s black and it’s MEAN! Hear the rumble …
PHOTOS: Lou Martin
Thundering into the market is the 1700cc Triumph Thunderbird that everyone wanted, and it’s called the Storm. It packs a cracking engine, making it one mean bike, and it should be on your shopping list. Here’s why.
Obviously, the first thing you notice is that 95 per cent of the Thunderbird has been blacked out. Starting at the front, the fork stanchions, brake calipers, turn indicators, bar risers, gauge bezel, engine covers, chain guard, shock springs, rear sprocket and both wheels have all received the black treatment. There are just a few small details still finished in chrome but these are mostly minor items. Apart from that it’s just the twin exhausts, tank badge and the tasty “Storm”-embossed clutch cover embellisher that shine.
Adding to the customised stance of the new Storm are the trademark Triumph twin headlights (also blacked out), which I think suit the styling of the Thunderbird and look much better than the single headlight on the normal T’Bird.
Comfort has been slightly improved with the bars a touch higher and with a different bend. This makes the Storm feel like the Speedmaster to ride and it’s easy to handle.
A 1700cc engine is standard on the Storm and as the saying goes, “There’s no replacement for displacement.” So now you get power and looks all in the one package.
The big-bore kit includes larger pistons, revised camshafts, larger piston rings and new cylinder liners, gudgeon pins and gaskets. Uprated clutch springs and ECU map are also included to cope with the increased power.
Apart from this, it’s the same engine layout as the normal Thunderbird and it’s one hell of a nice engine for the ride. It barks and growls when you want it to and it cruises with consummate ease. The long standard pipes detract from the bike’s mean image, but luckily we had a couple of bikes fitted with the short accessory performance pipes on the launch. Of course, they totally change the bike’s presence (not just in sound) by portraying the Storm as a performance machine to treat with respect.
Paintwork is only available in black (gloss or matt) and what you choose will depend on your taste. You will choose glossy if you like a mean-looking bike that still has a “show”-style finish and you’ll opt for matt if you are in tune with the “rat rod” look.
Recommended retail is $21,990(+ORC) and there are around 80 accessories available for it, with 100 for the Thunderbird in general.
The Hinckley boys have gone wild with this model to achieve lots of power and a mean attitude, but underneath you get a bike that’s such a pleasure to ride. I suggest you go down to the local Triumph dealer and get yours now, because if you don’t, a Storm is going to blow you away. SW
You get power and looks all in the one package.