Watch Now to see all the highlights from the global press launch for the all-new 2014 Triumph Thunderbird Commander & LT models in San Diego. With over 60 journalists from around the world getting a first ride on the cruisers.
The Thunderbird's legacy began in 1950 when Triumph became the first foreign OEM to design and produce a motorcycle specifically for the U.S. market. This 650cc motorcycle quickly became Triumph's #1 seller because of its power, handling and styling. The next year, Triumph's land speed racing heritage was born when a Thunderbird set a speed record of 144.32mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Shortly thereafter, Marlon Brando rode his Thunderbird in "The Wild One," and Ford Motor Co. licensed the Thunderbird name for its new sports car. The Thunderbird continued to set land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and powered "The World's Fastest Motorcycle" for much of the next 15 years, inspiring the Triumph Bonneville.
The Thunderbird continues to be an important part of Triumph's modern era success. In 1994, the Thunderbird 900 played a critical role in Triumph's successful return to the U.S. And when the Thunderbird was re-introduced as an American style cruiser in 2009, it won "Cruiser of the Year" two years in a row for its power, handling and style -- just as the Thunderbird of the 1950s was heralded for those same attributes.
For 2014, virtually every major component of the 1700cc Thunderbird LT and Thunderbird Commander was redesigned to provide a fitting tribute to the original 1950s Thunderbirds. With parallel twin power, exceptional handling, classic American cruiser styling, and impeccable attention to detail, these new Thunderbirds deliver Triumph's legacy of providing an incredible riding experience.