2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition – First Look Review

2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special EditionTriumph’s Thunderbird cruiser, powered by a convention-bucking parallel twin displacing 1,597cc, debuted for 2009, slotting between the Bonneville-based America and Speedmaster (both have a 865cc parallel twin) and the super-sized Rocket III (with its 2,294cc in-line triple). The Thunderbird’s accessory 1,699cc big-bore kit became standard equipment on spin-off models, including the blacked-out Thunderbird Storm, the muscle-cruiser Thunderbird Commander and touring-ready Thunderbird LT. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, our 2011 Thunderbird Storm cranked out 83 horsepower and 101 lb-ft of torque.

Read our 2010 Triumph Thunderbird Road Test

Read our 2011 Triumph Thunderbird Storm Road Test

Read our 2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT and Commander Road Test

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For 2015, Triumph is offering the Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition, an even darker and more menacing version of the back-in-black Storm.

Black is the new black on the 2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition.
Black is the new black on the 2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition.

KEY FEATURES

  • ‘Dark’ Special Edition of the Thunderbird Storm featuring a custom paint scheme, all black exhausts and a new deluxe seat
  • Custom ‘ghost flames’ paint (Phantom Black and Silver Frost) with hand sprayed tank logo
  • 1,699cc parallel twin engine developing 94 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque at the crank (claimed)
  • Low 27.6-inch seat height delivers classic looks coupled with easy riding dynamic suitable for all types of riders.
  • Triumph’s core handling values of manageability, agility and stability across the entire range ensure class-leading handling and braking characteristics.

The Nightstorm takes black to a new level. The custom hand painted tank features ‘ghost flames’ in a two tone combination of Phantom Black and Silver Frost that provides an incredible sparkle effect finish. The twin-skinned full exhaust system is coated with our high temperature resistant black paint, and it delivers the Thunderbird’s distinctive thumping soundtrack.

Custom hand painted tank features 'ghost flames' in  Phantom Black and Silver Frost.
Custom hand painted tank features ‘ghost flames’ in Phantom Black and Silver Frost.

The dark character continues with black handlebars, mirrors, control plates, rear brake and gear levers. Contrasting to the black are the specially machined cam bore finishers and the striking Nightstorm emblem. The finishing touch is provided by the new nubbed design seat, which has stitched paneling and is embossed with the Triumph logo.

The centerpiece of the Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition is it 1,699cc parallel-twin engine, which achieves its 115 lb-ft of peak torque at just 2,950 rpm. Power delivery is smooth, refined and always controllable thanks to the twin balancer shafts and a sophisticated sequential fuel injection system. The motor’s 270 degree off-beat firing interval adds a distinctive churning character to its delivery

The Thunderbird Nightstorm utilizes the same chassis as the Thunderbird, with a 47mm Showa fork, preload adjustable twin Showa rear shocks and refined geometry that strike a balance between stability and agility. Dual front discs with 4-piston calipers come standard with ABS. Confidence­ inspiring Metzeler Marathon tires are developed especially for the Thunderbird range and adorn five­spoke cast alloy wheels. The tank-mounted speedo features a comprehensive on-board computer which includes a clock, two tank meters and fuel gauge, plus a fashionably small tachometer.

The 2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition will be available beginning in spring 2015, with an MSRP of $15,499.

 

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