Triumph Commander and T-Bird LT expand 2014 Lineup

Triumph's New Cruisers for 2014

Thunderbird LT and Thunderbird Commander Has New Chassis With 1700cc Engine

Looks like Triumph is going for a bigger slice of the cruiser pie in 2014. The addition of three new cruisers (two of them touring oriented) to the Brit bike manufacturer’s 2014 lineup was announced earlier at the EICMA show in Milan this week.

The new Thunderbirds take the current Thunderbird Storm’s big-bore 1700cc parallel twin engine and pack it into an all-new frame with refined ergonomics and updated suspension, which is claimed to boost all-around comfort and performance. The smaller America LT is also new for 2014; it adds a host of touring accessories onto the base model America as standard running equipment.

New Chassis

The 2014 Thunderbird LT and Thunderbird Commander’s all-new chassis features a redesigned frame that pushes the steering neck forward and lowers the seat pan one inch, thus making way for a reshaped seat with deeper, dual density foam padding and lumbar support for better comfort while maintaining a low 27.5 inch seat height.

Pushing the steering neck forward makes room for pull-back handle bars that offer a more relaxed riding position for longer trips. Steering geometry has also been updated, Triumph says, to optimize rider input and handling with the new bars and wider front wheel and tire combination. Both models roll with a new 140/75 17-inch front tire to accompany the existing 200/50 17-inch rear tire. (About those tires -- Triumph partnered with Avon Tyres to develop the world’s first radial white wall motorcycle tires for the Thunderbird LT.)

Triumph went for suspension upgrades by adding shrouded 47mm Showa forks and twin 5-way preload adjustable Showa rear shocks with optimized dual-rate springs. Braking is handled by Triumph’s anti-lock brake system with four-pot Nissin calipers on 310mm floating discs up front, and a single Brembo caliper and 310mm disc at the rear.

Commander Engine Both new models receive the Thunderbird Storm’s big 1700cc water-cooled parallel twin engine. Powered by a pair of massive forged pistons, the eight-valve, DOHC engine’s uneven 270° firing interval and long-stroke design produce a potent 93bhp (claimed) at 5400rpm and a grunty 111lbs.ft. of torque at a low 3550rpm. All this power is harnessed by a progressive throttle, accurate fuel mapping, sequential fuel injectors, with a positive six-speed gearbox and belt-drive to put it all down to the ground.

2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT

The new 2014 Thunderbird LT (Light Touring) is positioned as a premium classic touring cruiser. Long haul amenities include a quick-release windshield for copious wind protection, as well as redesigned and removable leather saddlebags that now offer more capacity and durability than previous units. Auxiliary spotlamps, high quality chrome footboards with replaceable skid plates, an adjustable chrome heel/toe gear lever and wide wire-spoke rims complete the touring package.

And yes, there are also those whitewall radial motorcycle tires, blending classic styling and modern performance, and a host of other details to enhance the classic touring cruiser tradition. The premium bits include chrome embellishers on the deep, two-piece front and rear fenders, chrome highlights around the windshield and auxiliary spotlamps, wire-spoke wheels, one-off Triumph tank badges, white piping around the seat, 1930s Art Deco-style rear indicator and LED tail light assemblies, and hand-painted coach-lines decorating the two-tone tank and fenders.

Available in Spring of 2014, the Thunderbird LT will be available in Caspian Blue / Crystal White or Lava Red / Phantom Black.

Thunderbird Commander

Triumph’s new 2014 Thunderbird Commander is said to bring all-day comfort, accessibility, and that uniquely Triumph look. That comes via Triumph’s signature twin headlamps placed under the Commander’s polished top yoke and stainless steel fork shrouds. The custom cruiser look follows through with internal handlebar wiring, bespoke Commander badges, and Art Deco LED tail light and rear indicator assembly. Low and fat is the key here.

Two striking two-tone paint options complete the picture: Lava Red / Crimson Sunset or Phantom Black / Storm Grey. The Thunderbird Commander will also be available in Spring 2014.

Both the Thunderbird LT and Thunderbird Commander include a coded key immobilizer, self-cancelling indicators and a large 5.8 gallon fuel tank. Both have tank-mounted dash consoles with a classic, analog-style speedometer, and an LCD display with fuel gauge (including range-to-empty), twin trips, odometer and clock functions that are all navigated with a handlebar-mounted button.

2014 Triumph America LT

Based on the existing Triumph America, the new America LT (Light Touring) adds a layer of factory-fitted extras designed to optimize long distance riding while maintaining the traditional detailing fitting of a classic cruiser.

The tall windshield is quickly and easily detached, and the high, wide bars drop back toward the rider for a comfortable handlebar position. The America LT’s compact center of gravity provides excellent low-speed handling and, coupled with a low seat height, makes for easy low-speed maneuvers. High-quality aluminum footboards with removable skid plates come with a classic heel/toe gear shift. The leather saddlebags offer metal buckles secured over easy-to-use plastic clips, while the passenger backrest adds all-day comfort.

Power is said to be 60bhp at 6800rpm, with 53lbs.ft. of torque at a low 3300rpm, delivered via an uneven 270° firing interval (as with the other parallel twin cruisers). The America LT will be available in two-tone Pacific Blue/Sapphire Blue in December 2013 with an MSRP of $9,499 (USD).