There have been two different Triumph motorcycles that have used the “900” name, including the Thunderbird and the Thruxton. The Thunderbird 900 is a British-made motorcycle that was built between 1995 and 2004 by Triumph Motorcycles at its Hinckley factory. This motorcycle was first launched in 1995 and it was styled to create the image of an air-cooled triple, though the radiator it uses clearly shows that it is indeed a liquid-cooled bike. This bike is fed by three 36 mm flat slide carburetors but drivers sometimes experienced problems with stopping because of its single front and back discs. The swinging arm on this bike was eventually upgraded to an oval section in 1996 and there were also chrome radiator covers added in 1997.
A few different variants of the Triumph 900 were produced, including the Triumph Legend TT as well as the Triumph Adventurer 900 and the Triumph Thunderbird Sport. Each of these bikes were rated for 82 bhp and came equipped with a second front disc for easier stopping as well as a 6-speed gearbox. The Thunderbird was produced until 2003 and production of the Thunderbird Sport lasted until 2004.
The Thunderbird Sport was first introduced in 1997 and it was designed to be a sportier version of the Thunderbird 900 with a significant power increase to 82 bhp at 8,500 rpm with a 6-speed gearbox. This bike also came with an uprated suspension as well as revised styling and wider rims. The Sport version of this bike included a 3:3 exhaust as well as a ‘cheese grater’ air filter and twin disc front brakes. The overall styling of this bike was meant to resemble some of the earlier 1970s Triumph bikes, including the X-75 Hurricane.
The 6-speed gearbox was used on some of the later version of the Thunderbird as well as the Keihn carburetors. There were numerous problems with the earlier carburetors, including the fact that they had issues with premature needle and jet wear. When the Triumph Thunderbird was first introduced onto the market, it received a significant amount of coverage in the press because of the fact that actress Pamela Anderson drove one in the film Barb Wire. There have been other appearances of this bike with famous celebrities, including Hugh Laurie in the British Film Maybe Baby.
The Triumph Thruxton 900 is another motorcycle made by Triumph Motorcycles and was first launched in 2004. This bike was named after Thruxton racing circuit where it won the first three places in the Thruxton 500 mile endurance race in 1969. The engine of this bike was eventually upgraded with brand new cams as well as pistons, which were increased to 90 mm and a capacity of 865 cc as well as a power rating of 70 bhp. The new version of the Thruxton wasn’t quite as fast as its 140 mph predecessor, with a top speed of just 120 mph.
The frame that the Thruxton 900 uses consists of a tubular steel cradle with a twin-sided swing arm and traditional spoked wheels. The front suspension on this bike has 41 mm forks with adjustable pre-loading and its rear has chrome spring twin shock absorbers with adjustable pre-load. The front brakes on this bike are a single 320 mm floating disc and in the rear there is a slightly smaller 255 mm disc, both of which have twin piston calipers. With a 5-speed chain drive and an 865 cc DOHC four stroke twin engine that is rated for 68 bhp and 53 pound-feet of torque, the Thruxton 900 is definitely a powerful bike and was extremely popular at the time.