Triumph Thunderbird LT: Staying calm at 120 Kmph

How to find the sweet spot at 120 kmph

Published: Feb 14, 2015
Triumph Thunderbird LT: Staying calm at 120 Kmph
Image: Courtesy Overdrive

Like the Classic Tourer it hopes to better, the beautiful Triumph Thunderbird LT has clean lines with large fenders, cushy seat, tall and wide bars and a sea of chrome. It’s a really large motorcycle that begs for your (and everyone else’s) attention: The tall windscreen, pillion back rest and leather saddle bags clearly state that it is meant for the open road.

Swing a leg over the low seat (700 mm) and your nether regions are cupped in a nice wide comfortable berth. The riding position is generous, though shorter riders might find it a little too stretched out.

Thumb the starter and the 1,699 cc parallel twin engine sparks to life with a burble. The progressive throttle gives a smooth and gentle response at low speeds, making it a very easy motorcycle to control. It does feel a little heavy at low speeds despite the wide handle bars, though nowhere as intimidating as its 380 kg kerb weight sounds.

The engine revs smoothly with just a few vibrations kicking in near the top. Once in the tall sixth gear, things calm down and I found a sweet spot around the 110-120 kmph mark. It can hold faster speeds, but I found that at over 140 kmph, the vibrations and the wind noise are distracting.

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For such a large motorcycle, the Triumph handles really well, but like all cruisers, it grinds its floorboards way too soon. With this long and heavy a motorcycle, it’s no surprise that it’s stable too. In fact, when leaned over it has a slight eagerness to right itself. Another confidence-inspiring trait are the brakes. The 310 mm dual front discs bring things to a stop surprisingly easily; the rear brakes bite nicely too.

The Triumph scores great on comfort: The multiple density cushion seat is one of the most comfortable perches I have experienced (I had no aches and pains after covering 400 km, and just stopping twice); the dual rate springs of the Showa shocks absorb all but the sharpest of bumps.

At Rs 15.75 lakh ex-Delhi, it’s quite a stretch for the Indian cruiser enthusiast, but at that price, you do get a great comfortable long-distance cruiser that will keep you entertained both on the road and parked in your garage.

(This story appears in the 20 February, 2015 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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