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.
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.