They warned us. Triumph CEO Tue Mantoni told us that Triumph would be taking advantage of the current economic downturn by putting their motorcycle development program into overdrive while other manufacturers were preoccupied with licking their financial wounds. To prove it, Triumph bolstered their design team to include 165 engineers, a staff that is claimed to be the largest in the motorcycle industry outside of Japan. During a worldwide recession, Triumph somehow got the idea that it was better to reinvest their profits in new model development than it would be to sit back on past laurels.
The brazen move was typical of Triumph: since its rebirth the company has shown time and again that it marches to the beat of a different drummer, and now that the flood of new models has begun, Canadian motorcycle buyers are about to reap the biggest Triumph harvest to ever reach our shores. Joining their new Tiger 800 and 800 XC models that we’ve already reported on (see the news section here at motorcyclemojo.com) are three new and exciting cruisers.
We already had a soft spot for the Triumph Thunderbird, but the new Storm has admittedly made us weak-kneed. Described by Triumph as the Thunderbird’s “punky cousin”, we think the Storm rolled straight off the set of Mad Max and into the nearest Triumph showroom. Stripped down, blackened and given a straight bar, the new cruiser uses the same platform as the Thunderbird but apparently comes standard with more power. Yes please!
Now considered to be Triumph’s entry-level cruiser, the America will return in 2011 with a new look that reinstates its role as the classic cruiser of the model range. With lots of chrome, a swept-back handlebar and high-wall tires, the America will appeal to those looking for a more traditional design. New cruiser riders will also be interested in its lowered seat (690 mm) and relatively light curb weight, which at 250 kg (551 lbs) is said to be the lightest of its class.
The Speedmaster will also return in 2011 after receiving an attitude adjustment from Triumph’s designers. Slash-cut pipes, black engine cases, shortened fenders and bigger wheels all add up to an old-school, rocker persona. Like the America, the Speedmaster uses an air-cooled 865 cc parallel-twin which is Triumph’s way of flipping the bird at a genre dominated by V-twin engines.