Phantom Menace: Thunderbird Storm

Triumph's t-bird gets tough

Triumph has given its Thunderbird mega-cruiser a streetfighter-inspired makeover to create a new variation called the Thunderbird Storm. A flat drag bar and the iconic dual bug-eye headlamps from the Speed Triple and Rocket III impart a more aggressive attitude, while a 1700cc overbore (the accessory Thunderbird big-bore kit is standard equipment here) produces more power to back up the intimidating new look. Two shades of black-matte or Phantom gloss (shown)-are available, and pricing is expected to be just under $15K.

Triumph's 865cc America and Speedmaster entry-level cruisers also get minor updates for 2011. Seat height on both is now 1.1 inches lower, while new handlebars deliver a shorter reach. The Speedmaster also benefits from a mild chopper treatment with a taller, skinnier 19-inch front wheel, bobbed fenders and a single front brake replacing last year's dual-disc set-up. Pricing remains unchanged for both models at $7999.