It wasn’t exactly a re-enactment of the War of Independence, but when Triumph’s Product Manager Simon Warburton asked several journalists last spring for their opinion on a new paint scheme for the Thunderbird, a palpable tension filled the room.
“It looks like you’re pandering to Americans just to increase sales in the States”, quipped an American scribe looking at the bike’s red, white and blue theme. “Actually” replied Warburton, “those are British colours”.
Before a debate over the rights to the three-colour combination could erupt, another journalist added that the paint scheme reminded him of Evil Knievel, who as an American had used a Triumph during his career as stunt artist. As the only Canadian in the room I suggested replacing the blue with a lot more red. The silence indicated that no one was interested in the opinion of a colonialist.
While it wasn’t apparent then that Triumph would proceed with the proposed colour scheme, it did recently surface as an option on their Canadian website. A quick call to Chris Ellis at Triumph Canada confirmed that the new tri-colour Thunderbirds will be available in Canada starting January 2011 in “very limited quantities”. Whether you’re British, American and or just an Evil Knievel fan, now is the time to visit your local Triumph dealer if you’ve been considering a new Thunderbird.