Driving report Triumph Thunderbird Sport

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Driving report Triumph Thunderbird Sport

A weird bird

The Triumph Thunderbird as an athlete? Do a more powerful engine and firmer landing gear really give the T-Bird wings? First driving impressions from Central England.

No sports ”, that is said to have been the philosophy of life of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The Triumph Thunderbird, which was introduced three years ago, was committed to this motto. Criticisms of the MOTORRAD testers at the time: the brakes in the front wheel, which seemed slack compared to the competition, and a much too slack strut in the rear. So something to glide comfortably along. Nothing for hot-blooded 20 year olds. Rather something for the middle-aged women and men who might then sit in the street cafe, look at their T-Bird and ponder the wild 60s. And now of all things a Thunderbird with the addition of Sport on the side cover? A bright yellow paint job and a thick three-in-two exhaust system should totally change the character of the T-Bird? “No way,” some might think at first.
Well, the Triumph people practiced British understatement at the presentation in Hinkley. The news was basically a cafe racer. With a little more strength. The Thunderbird Sport’s 900 three-cylinder engine, which is only supplied with an uncontrolled catalytic converter in Germany and Austria, is now expected to generate 78 hp: ten hp more than the basic version. And in all other countries in the world where the U-Kat is withheld, it’s even 83 hp. Anything else that has changed can be better seen on a small test drive around the Hinkley plant, the Triumph people said. The crowd of journalists was then able to find out what a seasoned Triumph test driver understands by a “leisurely ride“. Just this much: It was unfortunately not possible to adhere to the running-in guidelines for the almost virgin engines, which were stuck on the tank. The three-cylinder, which is considered to be robust, will hopefully forgive it. In any case, the promised extra performance doesn’t just exist on paper. MOTORCYCLE drove a nominally 83 hp British Sport ?? without U-Kat. Your engine was extremely busy, it took on gas without hiccups and revved up willingly: constant steam over the entire speed range. The best conditions for fun on the country road. A fine thing, without a doubt. How it is, however, with the well-known rustic drinking habits of the three-cylinder, about that will only give an extensive test in Germany.
Then it will also become clear how well the revised chassis actually works. In any case, the first impression, gained during the cheerful, but unfortunately far too short, country road chase in Central England, was consistently positive. The Sport drove amazingly handy and accurate, its suspension set-up tends to be “tight and tight.” The test model, it comes from the first series, did not disturb when driving quickly over bumpy country roads. In addition, the front fork of the new Thunderbird offers multiple adjustment options in contrast to the basic model. The technicians also didn’t seem to want to take any risks with the hindquarters and donated the sport a new shock absorber with 20 millimeters more suspension travel ?? also fully adjustable. Fans of the diverse chassis setup will also get their money’s worth with a neo-classic like the T-Bird Sport. And sport fans will not be disappointed with the new brake system: Instead of the simple 320 mm brake disc of the basic version, the Sport decelerates a new 310 mm double disc system, brand Nissin, with double piston brake calipers in the front wheel. It has an even pressure point and also works with the two-finger system.
Another good news for all those who fear for the comfort with so much sportiness: The sitting position turned out to be surprisingly comfortable, the knee joint on the narrow 15-liter tank can be described as successful. And even with the footrests, which are true to style in the 1960s look, there is nothing to criticize: neither too high nor too low. Also trimmed for the sixties: the radial tires developed especially for the sport by the British manufacturer Avon. The guys at Avon are very proud of it. They can be too, because their new development called AV 27 / AV 281, in the dynamically optimal dimensions of 120/70 at the front and 160/70 at the rear, surprised with an astonishing amount of grip.
D.ate sport is not only known to the English from their tabloids, they proved it with the T 500 series. The T-Bird Sport now seems to offer an alternative for those for whom the undisguised Speed ​​Triple T 509 was too futuristic and the top model T 595 Daytona too expensive. The classic sports model costs 16,990 marks and will be available for test drives at Triumph dealerships as early as October.

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