Triumph Thunderbird's toughest test

Published: 30 December 2009

MCN's tests have proved that Triumph's new 1600cc Thunderbird is one of the best cruisers out there – its mixture of lazy parallel twin power and surprisingly sharp handling more than matches rivals such as the Harley-Davidson Super Glide and Kawasaki VN1700 Classic.

But how will it cope doing 500 miles in one day across frozen Britain?

It’s not a standard test of a cruiser, we’ll admit, but MCN columnist Kevin Ash was intrigued to know how a great cruiser would cope racking up the kind of winter mileage you’d normally only attempt on a big tourer complete with heated grips and a colossal fairing.

Would the lack of weather protection cause frostbite? Is the tank range annoyingly small? Would he end up riding at 50mph to save his neck muscles?

To find answers to these crucial questions, Ash sets off up the A1 to ride the A66 across the north of England, in a misguided attempt to recreate the epic rides down Route 66 in America.

Read the full story of his unhinged day’s riding MCN, out December 30.