TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 1700 COMMANDER (2014 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
Power: 93 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.6 in / 700 mm)
Weight: High (767 lbs / 348 kg)

Prices

New £13,700
Used £8,500 - £10,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The new price is quite high for a roadster, but still cheaper than the equivalent Harley. Used prices hold up well.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

ABS comes as standard.

Specs

Engine size 1299cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 700mm
Bike weight 348kg
Front suspension Showa 47mm inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin Showa rear shocks, 5-way adjustable preload
Front brake 2x310mm discs. four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x310mm disc, two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 140/75ZR17
Rear tyre size 200/50ZR17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £250
New price £13,700
Used price £8,500 - £10,000
Insurance group 14 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 93 bhp
Max torque 111 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 200 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2014: Model introduced

Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 1700 (2014 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 1700 (2014 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD 1700 (2014 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
4 out of 5 A great Storm
25 April 2020 by JohnD

Version: Storm

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £250

Fantastic bike with an annoying tweeting drive belt

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Can ride for 2-3 hours before needing a breK

Engine 5 out of 5

Power delivery smooth throughout the range

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Drive belt tweeting at slow speeds

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Greater range of saddles and better range of luggage accessories fit for a cruiser would have been good

Buying experience: Dealer JS Gedges Hastings. Really good service

5 out of 5 For the love of long rides.
17 April 2020 by Steven Jary

Version: Nightstorm

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £250

As a solo rider it has loads of luggage scope. It cruises at 60mph forever and on the autobahns gives me 300mls per tank. A one off "batwing fairing" offers even more comfort.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The drivers solo seat with a well padded sissy bar helps the miles disappear. Including fuel stops, 5-6hours is no problem. Commuting from Lancashire to Westminster weekly, was a doddle. Lancashire to Folkstone in one go, Calais to Geneva in one go.

Engine 5 out of 5

It sounds marvellous. Although I'm no longer a speed freak, if I do need a bit extra, wow, drop a gear and hold on.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The only problem I had was a squeaking drive belt. This was resolved and has never come back. Because of my daily use and aftercare, I've managed to keep on top of the paint work.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I've maintained a Triumph service throughout. The dealers cost is more or less what I expected.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The only thing I changed was the handlebar. For long rides, it was just too far forward so I changed it for "beach bars". What a difference for long rides.

Buying experience: I did a part ex at my local Triumph dealer. Px a Speedmaster and paid £7k. The Nightstorm is all mine.

5 out of 5 Commander
21 May 2014 by Justinelliott

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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