Both the Thunderbird Commander (top photo) and Thunderbird LT have a new chassis, with the steering neck pushed forward to accommodate swept-back handlebars, providing a more open riding position. The seat has been lowered by an inch and has a reshaped, deeper design. The engine inside the new chassis is still the same 1700cc Thunderbird Storm.
The front tire on both models has been changed to a 140/75/17, while the rear remains the same at 200/50/17. Nissin brake calipers sit up front, while a Brembo caliper and disc stop the rear wheel, all aided by ABS. A five-way preload adjustable Showa rear shock and 47mm Showa front forks soak up the bumps.
The Thunderbird Commander has two-tone paint options: Lava Red/Crimson Sunset and Phantom Black/Storm Grey.
The Thunderbird LT, meanwhile, is the light touring version of the Commander. It comes standard with the first radial white wall motorcycle tires, developed in conjunction with Avon. The touring features include a quick-release windshield, removable leather saddlebags that are larger and more resilient, auxiliary spotlamps and chrome floorboards.
Front and rear mudguards, additional chrome embellishments and hand-painted detailing are some of the other differences that the Thunderbird LT boasts. Its color options are Caspian Blue/Crystal White and Lava Red/Phantom Black.
Both of the Thunderbird models will arrive in dealerships in the spring. MSRPs had not been announced at our deadline.
The America LT ($9,499) is based on the America. Even with its additional light touring features, its pricing is set only $900 more than the standard two-tone America. It will arrive earlier than the Thunderbird options, showing up in dealerships by December of 2013 with a Pacific Blue/Sapphire Blue color option.
Changes to give the America LT its identity include a tall detachable windshield, wide bars that sweep back for rider comfort, low seat height, aluminium floorboards with removable skid plates, leather saddlebags and a passenger backrest.
The special edition comes in Volcanic Black, with a red metallic undertone to match the red frame. The exhaust heat shields, pillion grab rails and handlebars are all black. Otherwise, the special-edition model has many of the same features as the Tiger 800XC, like ABS, a 21-inch front wheel and adjustable handlebars.
Media images courtesy of Triumph.