Just as he had done back in with the seminal Triumph Speed Twin, Edward Turner had once again created a game-changing motorcycle out of components already on the shelf. This was another Edward Turner invention designed to bring some rear suspension travel however slight to the Triumph rigid frame without investing the money needed to replace it with a proper swing arm rear suspension.
In theory, the springs would absorb the bumps while keeping everything in line. But, it remained in service until the swing arm came out in Introduced with the T-Bird, it remained in service until the conversion to alternator electrics in , which was now mounted in its place on the left end of the crank, inside the primary cover. When the alternator replaced it, Meriden attempted to do the same job with rubber shock absorbers inside the clutch hub, but it never worked nearly as well. The valve train was identical.
Home market s had a compression ratio to cope with the low octane British Pool fuels available at the time. However, export versions read that US had 8. All of this weather protection was also supposed to make the bike easier to clean after riding in the rain.
To capture the American market, the 6T Thunderbird used a variant of the earlier Speed Twin 's parallel twin engine, bored out from cc to cc to give the added horsepower American customers demanded. The 'paper dart' logo was embossed onto the chain case cover on Thunderbirds from to and can be seen upon closer examination on the supplied photograph of the model. Previously, it appeared as a decal on the headlamp nacelle.
All three machines were ridden to the circuit and back to the Meriden factory. Triumph obtained further lasting publicity with Marlon Brando 's motion picture The Wild One , in which he rode a 6T Thunderbird. In the book Triumph Motorcycles In America , there is reproduced a letter from Triumph's importers objecting to the producers as to the use of their machine in this film about rowdy motorcycle gangs.
From , the Thunderbird acquired Turner's rear fairing nicknamed the 'bathtub' on account of its shape. This unpopular feature, dropped quickly in the USA market, remained in ever-abbreviated forms for the home market until disappearing altogether for the final year of production, Before then, in , the Thunderbird, along with Triumph's other cc models, was given the Turner-designed unit engine.
Throughout this time, however, the Thunderbird retained its distinctive nacelle. The Triumph worker's co-operative at the Meriden factory re-introduced the Thunderbird model name to their range in April Moreover, whereas Triumph's cc range had electronic ignition, the TR65 was fitted with contact breaker points. Respecting its lineage, the model retained the Turner-designed 'paper dart' logo on its side panels but with a different, updated 'Thunderbird' script.
The economy finish was upgraded for 'export' models although the contact breaker points and drum rear brake remained. A trail version of the TR65, the TR65T , was also introduced in but, likely as it was priced the same as the cc version, suffered poor sales and was dropped from the range in late Planned for , a custom-styled and further sleeved-down TR60 cc Thunderbird was exhibited but not produced,   the co-operative closing down towards the end of The prototype Thunderbird was converted by the factory into a conventional TR65 to fulfil a Ministry Of Defence order.
From the Meriden Triumph factory production records held by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club , that TR65, made on 1 June , was the last cc motorcycle and the second last motorcycle made at Meriden before the factory's closure that August. This was an enlarged capacity version of the Triumph T , but the T did not reach production. NVT passed on the prototype to the Meriden co-operative which also chose not to proceed to production despite experimenting with installing the engine in their oil-bearing frame.
The new Triumph company based at Hinckley introduced the Triumph Thunderbird in late The 'Thunderbird' name and retro styling recalls the original Triumph company's golden years of the s. It was the first "classic" Triumph to be produced by the resurgent company.
The engine, redesigned to give a period look and de-tuned for more torque at lower rpm , was a variant of the cc triple engine. Peak power was down to 69 bhp 51 kW from 98 bhp 73 kW. The Thunderbird was produced until and the Thunderbird Sport until Hinckley also produced an accompanying clothing range consisting of sew-on patches, leather jacket and ankle boots, all featuring Edward Turner's original 'paper-dart' Thunderbird logo.
In July , Triumph announced the new Thunderbird , a 1, cc The black-finished Thunderbird Storm model with the previously optional 1, cc engine fitted as standard also carries the same Thunderbird 'paper dart' logo as standard embossed above the word 'Storm' on the clutch cover. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Triumph motorcycle. For other Triumph motorcycles that used the same name, see Triumph Thunderbird disambiguation.
Main article: Triumph TR65 Thunderbird. Main article: Triumph Thunderbird Motor Cycle News Daily Telegraph.
I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also? Never miss an update with our subscription service. Your address will not be sold or spammed, and only our updates will be sent to you. Enter your email address:. Delivered by FeedBurner. Join Us on Facebook. Skip to content Triumph. From the seller Very presentable correct Thunderbird that was purchased from the second owner.
May 17, at am.
The Triumph Thunderbird is a British motorcycle that was introduced by Triumph in and produced in many forms until The name was used three more times for new and distinct Triumph models. The 6T Thunderbird was born & was instantly one of the fastest motorcycles on the market! TRIUMPH THUNDERBIRD – OLD IS MADE NEW. Original Triumph: 6T Thunderbird. Replica of Marlon Brando's mildly customised 6T Triumph Thunderbird.