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Triumph THUNDERBIRD 1700 Custom Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Commander is aimed more at European riders while the LT is for the American market. Essentially a naked version of the Thunderbird LT, the Commander is a hoot to ride. Thumping along, booting the heel-toe between third or fourth, merely stroking the reassuring brakes, it doesn’t get much better. The lack of screen, panniers etc make the Commander lighter and although it’s no sportsbike, it handles predictably and is also engaging and entertaining.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

The parallel twin engine holds no surprises or quirks. It thumps along and sounds, feels and rides like a roadster should and even comes with a heel-toe gearchange. With 111lbft of torque, it has more than enough grunt to see off the miles and once the speed increases is a hoot to ride. The gearchange is click, the throttle response excellent and the engine has enough vibrations to feel characterful without being annoying.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Commander shares most of the LT platform but with mag alloy wheels, a tweaked bar position and shorter travel shocks. That said, the riding experience is more different to the LT than you would expect. The lack of screen gives a less laid-back feel and a touch more urgency to the ride. On the go it is as steady and secure as can be and will happily scrape is footboards when the pace increases.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

ABS comes as standard.

Triumph Thunderbird Commander (2014-current)

Detail Value
New price £12,999
Dealer used prices
£11,850 (2014) - £13,110 (2014)
Private used prices
£10,670 (2014) - £11,800 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1299 cc
Power 93 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Owners report few issues with the Storm, so there is unlikely to be any with the Commander.wners report few issues with the Storm, so there is unlikely to be any with the Thunderbird.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The £12,999 price is quite high for a roadster, but still cheaper than the equivalent Harley.


Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2014: Model introduced

Other Versions

The £13,999 LT is a full-dress cruiser.


Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 93 bhp
Max torque 111 ft-lb
Weight 348 kg
Seat height 700 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 1299 cc
Engine specification Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v parallel twin
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension adjustment Showa 47mm inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Twin Showa rear shocks, 5-way adjustable preload
Front brakes 2x310mm discs. four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x310mm disc, two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 140/75ZR17
Rear tyre size 200/50ZR17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 5(1 review)

  • Commander


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Just picked up the new commander, it has classic looks and sound and handles perfectly as a triumph should. I've owned a few bikes and the build quality on this is second to none a real premium cruiser in my opinion. I think the price was good and worth every cent.

    21 May 2014


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