This 380kg bike will intimidate the moment you see it. The intimidation will hit another level when you sit on the saddle and take it off the side-stand. And that’s where the intimidation ends. Because once you start riding this motorcycle, you’ll figure out how manageable this bike is at regular and high speeds. However, at low speed, especially in the city traffic, you might take some time to get used to the overall weight of the bike. But once you have, things become easy. Accessible saddle height, swept back handlebar and the large footboards is what makes this motorcycle a pleasure to ride on the highway. Riding it on the long straights and twisties is an incredible experience because the amount of torque and comfort I had.
I was quite disappointed with the way the massive windscreen performed. I’m 6’2” and I had to experience quite a bit of wind buffeting and it was the same case with my colleague, Omkar. Also, riding in wet conditions sprays dirt on the windscreen and that hampers your vision. The Showa suspension setup performs efficiently, taking the overall ride quality to the comfort side. The ride is plush, and thanks to the weight, the bike feels planted at high speeds. The tyres on the Thunderbird LT are special as they’re the world’s first white-walled radial tyres developed by Avon exclusively for the British manufacturer. It looks absolutely fantastic and gladly, the same thing can be said about the tyre performance. These tyres offer plenty of grip. And there’s the braking system which gets ABS as standard. It is effective, has good bite and doesn’t feel wooden.
The 1700cc engine, which is the biggest parallel twin engine in the world is all about torque – especially in the mid-range, where the power delivery gets flat. This liquid-cooled engine produces 93bhp at 5400rpm and develops peak torque of 151Nm at 3550rpm. The power is delivered to the rear wheel via a belt drive using a light clutch. This engine is refined, vibe free (almost) and had the ability to put a smile on my face each time I twisted that throttle. I didn’t really had to plan my overtaking maneuver on this cruiser. The mid-range took care of this experience pretty well. The gearbox is six speed and quite friendly. Unlike other big cruisers, the gearshifts on the Thunderbird LT is fairly less noisy and smoother than most of them.