Triumph’s new Thunderbird cruiser is just as good as the reviews, according to the first people to ride it.
Scores of riders flocked to Jack Lilley Triumph in Ashford, Middlesex, to ride the 1600cc parallel twin cruiser on its launch weekend.
None of them had a bad word to say about the new bike, which costs £9,499 for the standard version and £10,099 for the ABS equipped model.
Dave Lilley, owner of Jack Lilley Triumph, said: “Every bike Triumph has brought out in recent years has been a success and this looks like it will follow that trend.
“We sold two bikes on the first day, and expect more to follow as we can work out part exchange deals on Monday.”
Lilley, who has been selling Triumph’s since 1991, believes the new T-bird will get even more attention as word filters through just how good it is.
“This is hopefully going to draw people away from Harley-Davidson.”
What the riders said:
John Doyle, (PIC) from London bought the T-bird on display in Jack Lilley’s showroom. He currently rides Triumph Bonnieville.
“I had a go on a Rocket III, and there was just something not right about it, but with the T-Bird when I got off that bike I had a huge grin on my face. It was just a really smooth ride. The acceleration was lovely and it is nicely balanced. It stops when you want it to, and it just sounds lovely with those sports pipes on.”
John Beck, 39, a scientist from Sheperton in London, owns a Moto Guzzi V11 and has had 16 bikes in 15 years riding.
“I absolutely loved this bike. It was so easy to ride. It looks big and heavy, but it is so well balanced, that you instantly forget that. There is nothing there to stop the wind from buffeting you, but I quite liked that.
"It is what the bike is all about. The only one negative thing I would say is that the suspension felt a little unsettled when I went over a lot of bumps together.
"It didn’t feel like it was reacting quickly enough, but that was incidental. I just loved it.”
Colin Green, 50, a HGV driver from London, currently rides a Yamaha XJR 1300
“That bike is absolutely awesome. I had thought it would be sluggish and slow seeing as it is such a big bike. But it was far from it.
"My XJR has got a lot of torque and my son has a Yamaha R6 and you can really thrash that, and so I was surprised that with this when you want to get going, it really does.
"It doesn’t have the same acceleration as mine, but I am very impressed.”
Len Kelly, 62, retired from Derbyshire. He currently rides a Harley-Davidson Dynoglide and a Triumph Tiger 1050
“Gimme, gimme, gimme. This bike is brilliant and I have to have one. The brakes are awesome, especially compared to those on my Harley. It is a lot better than my Harley. It has much more get up and go and was really smooth. It really put a smile on my face.”
Roger Hatch, 64, retired from Slough, currently rides a Triumph Tiger.
“It was really impressive. I had some reservations about the style and riding position. But I was surprised at how easy it was to get used to the riding position and the handling was just brilliant.
"It has certainly made me rethink everything. I have ridden a Harley cruiser before – I borrowed it from a friend – and I couldn’t take to it. But this was tremendous.”