2010 Triumph Thunderbird 1600 justified to dealers

Dailies -


2010_Triumph_thunderbird_1600.jpgTo say we were a bit disappointed when the Triumph Thunderbird 1600 was revealed would be an understatement. Now, it seems that Thunderbird’s depressingly mediocre nature is all part of Triumph’s plan; they want customers to be lured by the potential of a 1600cc bike that’s neither Japanese nor a Harley, but necessitate the purchase of expensive aftermarket accessories in order to get it to look and perform like it should. Taking a page directly from Harley’s playbook, Triumph will offer in excess of 100 add-ons for the Thunderbird, available directly from dealers or a website specifically created for the purpose that will launch next month. In addition to the usual selection of handlebars and exhausts, there will also be a kit to take the engine out to 1700cc, or as Triumph would like us to call it, 104ci.
>t-bird access 2.jpg (1000x750).jpgThe range of accessories, the most extensive for any Triumph bike yet, will compliment its new “Triumph, engineered by Alpinestars” range of clothing, further diversifying their offerings into the motorcycle-related lifestyle and aftermarket accessory market.

t-bird access 3.jpg (1000x750).jpgIt also appears that the Thunderbird will use a Scrambler-like 270˚ firing order to give it that v-twin-like feel.

via MC24

  • Grady

    Disappointment is an understatement…..
    Where is the Tiger 675.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    All of the HD hacks, who whine about Star Motorcycles copying the “genuine” package, probably will hypocritically approve of this copy.

  • EMedina

    Triumph Thunderbird 1600, be welcome to Brazil, appreciate this design, so I hope this motorcycle sells a lot around here.

  • skooter

    RE: “bike that’s neither Japanese nor a Harley”

    You mean like Victory, or Big Dog, or OCC, or all the boutique assemblers building cruisers and choppers with S&S engines in every town across America?

  • Rob

    I can’t wait to get one….perfect base to personalize to your own taste….perfect alternative to HD.

  • Ron

    Brits fight side by side with US Troops. I’d buy a Triumph as a way to say Thanks any day. As for the after market goods. Good business. If they didn’t offer it, someone would contract a Chinese company for profit. Thanks for the ABS option. Wish Harley offered it on more of their bikes.

    • Melon Head

      Aussies fight side by side with Yanks as well! We owe you big time from 2WW.
      Bought my first Bonny in 83 and still love the suckers. Love Harleys too as most mates own em.
      New bike looks the goods but will have to stack up against the American iron to get my cash.
      Either way it’s all good!


  • Pete Agriostathes

    3 years ago i said if they make the “Speedmaster” a 1500 i’d buy one and now they basically did it in a 1574cc version,wow!
    How they keep a “Verticle twin” this size from shaking your teeth out is a mystery to me?
    Can’t wait to see the HP/Trq numbers?
    So far so good!
    Pete the Greek
    Pahrump, Nevada

  • http://topostal@bigpond.com toad

    i was reading comments of depressing medicore. some riders came up with some great ideas!! get rid of the speedo on the tank . put a nice set of instruments. on the handlebars. that gives the tank a streamline look. different mufflers. what the heck !!! make into a sports looking criuser . that will still go past any h.d. anytime . eat your heart out !!! i will still buy a triumph any day before i even think about any thing else. still cannot wait for it to arrive downunder!!!! i own a speedmaster 07 still gets around hds.which i will keep . toad from downunder

  • Jason R Gibbs

    Glad to see that Triumph is offering more in the way of accessories. Nothing beats pulling up on my Speedmaster and having a crowd of HD riders gather each with the I wish i had or I wish I had’nt gotten rid of story. Even at 865cc the Speedmaster is a great bike. Looking fowdard to the great ride that Triumph is Known for in 1574cc.

  • http://none jameister

    I know what I want for my next birthday!


  • SoonToBeFreeAgain

    Finally! Much like Pete the Greek, i love the speedmaster but wanted it in a larger engine and not chain drive. I’m very anxious to see how it rides and feels.

  • richard


    • Lloyd Wayne Murphy

      An e-mail I received from Triumph Motorcycles (America) on 12-19-2008 stated the bare bones price to me would be $12,999 (USA) or with ABS $13,799.

  • ray stolworthy

    just read some negative remarks about the new 1600 tbird. My opinion is just the opposite. I love big twins with a retro look, especially if they have respectable power.This thing resembles an overgrown America/Speedmaster and promises to have power. I’ll buy one as soon as they’re available and so will LOTS OF OTHERS who love the american cruiser look.


    Have a 2008 speedmaster(fuel injected)im rapped with the handling and have 7000kms without any probs.Another gear and more torque would make it sweet as.
    Im keen 4 a 1600 Thunderbird bring it on.

    New Zealand

  • romere duval

    i thought i would want this bike when i first saw pics of it in sept. but the more that i look at it the more gay it looks. it is not even unique. what are those two big screws on the cylinder heads that look like cat eyes. triumph has time to modernize this look and fill in those empty spaces between the engine before they release the bike for public consumption.

  • big c

    just put deposit down on new thunderbird cant wait to blow harleys away sick of there domination around perth have two otjer old triumphs and this new one will be sweet bring it on i say good job triumph

  • Brad in Montana

    I’m with you other guys on being jazzed about the new Thunderbird! I rode Triumphs for years back in the 70s..before they worked out the kinks, as they have now. This bike proved to be everything I liked about my Harley Lowrider, but with better brakes, more power, probably much smoother, and without the stupid “I’m a bad-ass because I ride a Harley” image! I WANT one!!!

  • Rocketman

    I saw the bike in person at in July and this bike looks alot better in the flesh, especially in blue/white. for those of you that want something really different Triumph still makes the Rocket III and that is one of the wildest bikes out there for sure.

  • Jim Kubitza

    I have always liked the better handling of the HD Dyna Lowrider, but have been bitching for years at HD for not offering it with dual front brakes, ABS, bigger tank, a bigger headlight, and bags for a Dyna that look decent and hold more than a quart of wine. Hello Triumph Thunderbird! Handling like a Dyna, dual front brakes, more powerful engine, cooler-running engine, much more durably built engine (one-piece crank instead of HD’s multi-piece pressed-together crank), nice big tank, ABS, a headlight and running lights that actually look like they belong together, and nice-looking functional saddlebags. Consider one SOLD!

  • LowGear

    I like the speedmaster. I like the American. Both are a fun and comfortable ride. I like the look of the Thunderbird. I just wish they hadn’t changed the style of the tank. I liked the 2007 and before. It was original. It was different. It was Triumph. I like motorcycles. I don’t care if its a HD, Honda (which I currenly own), Kawasaki, Norton, Indian, Triumph (my next Purchase)…, I can go on forever. Each bike has it own personality. I just want to ride the Thunderbird before I make my final decision. If I don’t like it. I will buy the Speedmaster. Prefer 2007 or before. I LIKE THE TANK STYLE.

  • Eric Struch

    Jesus, what an ugly hunk of junk… I think what bothers me the most about this rolling tumor is the willingness of Triumph to cater to the ignorance of the cruiser rider market. Triumph Meriden never ever built a paralell twin with a 270 degree firing order. Engineering priorities have been re-arranged to satisfy the HD-wannabee crowd’s desire for the HD “potato-potato” sound. Can we have real Triumphs instead of a VTX with an overgrown paralell twin with fake air cooling fins?

  • Lightning Bug

    I never thought about getting a cruiser, until I saw this awesome beast….

  • Richard Smith

    What do you mean by HD wannabee crowd? If I wanted a Harley I’d buy one. I want a Triumph and I have my own particular taste in what I like. If it happens that HD or Kawasaki or whoever have managed to build bikes that satisfy some of my requirements, good on them. If Triumph manage to produce a bike I truly want then it will of course have similarities with those other bikes I also like.

    I’m totally bored with all these comments about copying this and imitating that. Wow, they’ve all copied the idea of having two wheels (round ones at that!) Jeez, they’re trying to make a bike that people will buy.

  • John Poynter

    Hmmmm… a Honda 450 on steroids…A fella could do worse….

  • Bob

    Been waiting for a large vertical twin from Triumph for a while. About damn time they figured it out. Will be the first new Triumph I purchase. I have a speedmaster with a 904 big bore kit. Great bike but the torque down low with that short stroke motor is less than stellar. Will never get rid of it but this bike will be a great addition.

  • Robert Grand

    I have a 2001 Thunderbird and love it would be great to have more power. The 2010 model with a Triple would have been better to give that unique Triumph sound. Great that they will be fitting a belt drive, a must for a cruiser. I love the tank shape remind me of the Mean Streak gives it a sport cruiser look. But most important its British. I cannot wait to get a test ride might even buy one?

  • Mike K

    Just back from my dealer in Daytona. Price is set, for now, at $12,990 and about $700 more for ABS. They’re not saying anything about horsepower but, 100 pounds of torque should get any Harley’s attention, as well as some of the more reliable brands. If they had one in stock it would have followed me home.

    • Brad Wonnacott

      Thanks for the price info, Mike! Sounds very reasonable to me. I can’t wait to ride one! If it has the brakes, power and handling I think it will, there is definitely a spot in my garage for one! As for the nay sayers…come on guys! Everyonoe has a differnt idea about what they want in a bike. If all motorcycles were exactly the same, it would be a pretty boring world. I’ve owned more than 30 different motorcycles in my 40 years of riding, and I loved them all!

      • Mike K

        Back on December 30th I reported that my dealer in Daytona gave me the latest price (see previous comment.) I was there again yesterday to see what the latest scoop is and got some good news. Triumph has reduced the price $500 from what I reported previously. Please expedite Triumph. I want to give some Hardlies a tail light demonstration.

        • Mxxxxxxxx Triumph

          “Triumph has reduced the price $500…”

          The ‘pre-order’ period was extended as well. Did not get as many orders as planned, but we blame that on the economy rather than the Thunderbird’s obvious appeal.

          We have two here on the showroom floor right now, so come on in and I’ll make you a real deal!


  • Ray Cole

    After owning a ’96 Thunderbird and then a ’02 Bonnie America, I can’t wait to see this bike !

    I said many times while riding my Bonnie America, I love the bike, but the power (or, lack of) is my only disapointment. I tried pipes, jets, K&N . . but, still under-powered.

    Now, I see the answer I have been waiting on.

    But, does this mean I sell my Bonnie ???

    Can’t wait to ride up and see the faces on my HD friend’s faces.


    I wonder how much is plastic? I am glad to see them get rid of that ugly seem on the bottom of their gas tanks. I’d buy another Bonnie if they did that on them.

  • http://Woodinville,Wa Bryant

    I think its awsome,cant wait,i own a 2007 Seedmaster,ive been tricken it out,will love big power.

  • y2k TBS Guy

    I jest hope it doesn’t weigh 600lbs or more, I hate hevay motorcycles, gives me somthing about 550 or less with an empty gas tank.
    I also prefer the gauges on the fork like a real motorcycle is supposed to have….And where is the passenger seat—us real men need a place on his bike for his lady to be comfortable for a few gas tanks worth of riding.—maybe they have a Thunderbird Sport model in the works too.

  • Lone-Rider

    If I wanted big, stupid and ugly, I would buy a Harley !

  • Alan M.

    I cannot imagine anything more daft and unnatural than squeezing 1600cc into two adjacent vertical cylinders,then employing both a 270 degree (sounds like crap)crank and a shipyard’s worth of balancer shafts to control the monster.Neither Steve McQueen nor Marlon Brando would have touched this sucker,and Edward Turner must be doing 5000 rpm in his grave.

  • Troy N.

    Well, my dad (71 going on 50) and myself just purchased identical Thunderbirds and went on a 1400 mile jaunt around the US Midwest over the 4th of July, Rapid City to Devil’s Tower to Cody Wyoming, Yellowstone to Cooke City to the Bear Tooth & Red Lodge to name a few, we had quite a ride and not an issue at all, both bikes performed flawlessly and I passed my brother more than a few times on his new Harley Street Glide!!
    I have picts at the top of the Shoshone National Forest West Summit at 10,947′ if you want to see them. just e-mail me at tdnaber@telus.net
    Power to spare!!

    • Sean

      So Jealous I pre-ordered last November and have to wait until Sepember till I get mine. Looks like our US cousins are going to be able to enjoy a bit of a summer on theirs.

      Enjoy – may your road ahead be clear



  • Rene Beland

    Just got mine last week, this is my best ride ever. The torque is what they say it is and then some. It feel like a cruiser, but, it has an attitude. The suspension is firm and gives me the confidence a sports bike normally gives me on the back roads around here. We have a lot of twisty scenic roads and one must always be ready for deers and anything else. Unlike the HD where you have to upgrade the fuel management system along with the exhaust right from the get go to get a decent running engine for 1500$. The Thunderbird is all it can be out of the box, there are no hesitation no pinging and the sound is just right. This is the first time i get a cruiser where I feel like adding nothing to it, there is enough chrome already and the finish is superb. I just ordered a windshield and that’s all so i can ride it in the fall like I would have done with any other bike.
    For the price, this is much better value then I would have normally expected. To get an HD to this level of quality would have cost me at least 3K$.

    I can only say, see and try one before you pass too much judgment, the marketing material can only go so far in making the case for the real thing.

    Racine, Wisconsin

    P.S. I got caught in a rain storm this week while riding, the bike got dirty like an old rag. The beautiful thing, It took me about 30 minutes at the most to take it back to showroom quality. There is nothing in the way of cleaning, I lost no skin in the process.

  • M.lee wachs

    I cannot find any redeeming qualities in this Harley look alike.It is not graceful in appearance; it certainly does not have visual balance.It appears the company is catering to the plebians who have no appreciation of the art of motorcycle building and are looking for a penis extender.
    The old 500cc air cooled twins were the perfect union between weight/balance,apearance and adequate peformance.

  • Tommy Boy

    A harley clone ? I dont think so! The Thunderbird will out perform and out maneuver anything Harleys got to offer. Talk about clones, All you have to do is look at your average harly davidson “walking Billboard” rider. I’l be getting my T-Bird any day now, and I cant wait !

  • Tommy Boy A.K.A. Tommy Triumph

    Oh yea, And Mr wachs, you really need to go ride a new bonneville !

  • curtis41

    Let’s see. More cube displacement, much better brakes, great acceleration, wide torque band to redline, better gas mileage on regular gas, a lower price, NO MORE oil on the floor of the garage. Wooohooo! What more could a man ask for in life? Triumph has placed a very important entry into the twin category. You can go ahead and bugger it up with all kinds of chrome and bags. The fit and form are there, and a very well-placed price point puts another alternative on the cruiser page. My son, a long time Harley owner is getting him a new Thunderbird. Many Harley riders will not switch, but then some very well will. This bike DOES have a lot more juice than the 1960s Thunderbird, but it looks simple, powerful and characteristic of British design. Count me IN.

  • Brian

    I can afford to ride anything I want to ride, I prefer to ride a Triumph. I have 2 Bonnevilles (1971, 2008) and a 2009 Rocket III. I will seriously consider adding a Thunderbird too.

    It’s not that I dislike Harleys, I’ve ridden them but it seems like everyone has one. Hell, yer mom has one. No thank you.

  • Andrew

    Well if nothing else its stirred up some interest, well i’ve ridden this and a host of Harleys and this wins and bonus some bogun gang banger won’t steal it because it has HD all over it.

    I will tart it up with Triumph and add whatever takes my fancy
    About Time a British bike returned to the Cruiser market with style

    Of Course its aimed at the HD Market, its a big one and HDs had its day,

    Bring on the Thunderbird & rule Brittania. PS (i’m not a brit!)

  • Davo

    I live in Australia and the Thunderbird has just been released here. I had the pleasure of taking one for a 40 minute test ride last week and I could not wipe the smile off my face. Triumph has got it right this time. the speedmaster and America are great bikes but grossly underpowered!!! if Triumph are smart and if they really want to steal some harley business. they should produce 3 diffrent models of the Thunderbird the standard, a fatboy style and meybe a rocker style and with all the extras availible custermers will truly have an alturnative to HD.

    Davo Western Australia.

  • si

    I’m 6’9″ tall I ride a HD custom evo I have been looking for this bike for years.Iv’e heard all the jokes and bulldust about HD riders ,some is true, most is crap.this bike is made for one reason. competition and price.every rider will make it theres no matter what anyone say’s. I defy anyone to prove me wrong.if you don’t like it piss off buy something else.Try being tall and heavy and finding a bike other than HD that one can enjoy.Triumph have done it.and yes I will keep my HD.I love to ride for riding’s sake

  • John Cahill

    I own a 2010 T-bird. This article couldn’t be more off the mark. Ride the bike, then we’ll talk. Among other things…it will outpull and outhandle either a HD or Japanese HD…AND…it is simply not a mere cruiser (HD copy or otherwise), so much as a roadster…or maybe a “sport cruiser.” Your article should read, “Triumph has invented a new genre of motorcycle.” Do you love bikes, or do you just love to bash non-HD’s?

  • Paul Perth Western Australia

    I ordered my T Bird in October 09 and will be picking it up next week from Extreme Boys Toys in Bunbury. I sold my modified softail that I have owned for 10 years to get this bike and have no regrets.

    • Iain

      Hi Paul
      I am just 30 miles from Perth is UK Scotland and I ordered mine in Oct and got my lovely new blue Triumph Thunderbird 1600 just before Xmas it handles like a dream and just glides round the corners its a great bike and well worth the wait your going to love it .

  • Robbo

    If you want a bike that looks like a Bonneville, buy a bloody Bonneville, If you want something that looks like a Harley, buy a Harley (or one of the many Jap look alikes) to say that the Thunderbird looks like a Harley is the same as saying a BMW looks like a Honda. Of course there are similarities, you fools, that is what makes a cruiser….get it C R U I S E R (Bonnevilles are NOT Cruisers). The Thunderbird is a bike that some people will love and some won’t, same as any other bike. I am lucky enough to have a 05 Roadking as well as a new Thunderbird, the T’bird is a better bike to ride, but like others have said, I will keep the Harley as well, as it is different to ride and looks different. Back to those that whinge about it not looking like a big Bonneville, it’s not a big Bonneville, get that into your thick skulls, it is a Triumph Thunderbird 1600…wow, some people are just plain dumb…

  • Terry

    Having reached that age where the kids have flown, i was looking at cruisers, HD’s Fatboy nah what with a name like that and here’s me with middle age spread, the look and finish in good and i even liked the studded seat leather finish and smartish paint job, Ah but there will always be that devide HD verses Triumph, Thunderbird, whats in a name, well the name says this will fly,glide and turn heads, while the Ftaboy was rode by Arnie in Terminator (i think)and even in the film it sounded like it would give you a heart murmour strait off the screen,big wheels and all (wonder how much they are to replace).
    Dont ride a Bull to do a horses job, or Hog.
    I am British and will be buying a British built British maintained Motor bike , with accessories no contest.

  • Joe Curtis

    I picked up a brand new 2010 Triumph Thunderbird SE and it seems to have plenty of low end grunt and you can short shift it or wind it out just fine. Sound is great and balance on the bike is a cinch. It came with ABS brakes, touring seat, sissy bar with luggage rack, foot boards for rider and passenger, windscreen and leather saddlebags. I have ridden Harleys often, and can tell you this bike is really nice, very well priced in the current market and should not be overlooked. Was not too pleased with the French hooker red paint job myself, but I consider it a canvas, just waiting to be painted. What Triumph did is set up a package with a basic touring additions. Before trashing the bike, I would suggest you not only sit on one, but take it out for a nice enjoyable ride. My garage has Harley and Triumph, co-existing and thriving together.

  • Joe Curtis

    PS – I paid $15,879 out the door for the 2010 Triumph Thunderbird SE, taxes title and tag included.