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I can remember watching Steve McQueen flying round the German countryside escaping from the Nazis, and thinking “that’s cool”. And as much as I love throwing my leg over the latest and greatest sportsbike, nothing pulls on my heartstrings the way a classic British bike does. But I wouldn’t fancy owning one. I don’t want an oily mess on my garage floor and I don’t want to have to call for recovery every time I feel like riding further than the chip shop. Well these days, you don’t have to worry about that. With a Triumph Bonneville, you can just pretend. Whether it’s a classic café racer, scrambler or custom Bobber you’re after, Triumph have got you covered with their modern classic range.
Twenty years ago when the ‘new’ Triumph Bonneville was released, I don’t think many people would have expected 367,000 of them to be sold. But they were. Fair play, Triumph. Now after various tweaks and updates over the years, the entire Bonneville and Street Twin range has, once again, evolved.
Triumph have put a lot of work into the 1,200cc twin engine that powers the big Bonnevilles; that’s the T120, T120 Black, Speedmaster and Bobber. They’ve used a lighter crank so the mass of the engine as a whole is less. A new clutch and balancer shafts have reduced inertia, so the motor spins up a bit quicker now, too. The Motor in the T120 and T120 Black delivers 105Nm of torque at 3,500rpm and 79bhp at 6,550rpm. And all that with even lower emissions than the last one.
The lighter engine, new aluminium wheel rims and a few other bits equate to 7kg of weight loss. You also get new spec Brembo brakes (at the front). That’s maybe why Triumph are calling this the best handling Bonneville T120 ever.
Just to remind you that it is in fact 2021, you get cruise control. You also get Rain and Road riding modes, LED daytime running lights and a USB charging socket under the seat.
The T120 comes in black, red and silver or blue and silver, both with a hand painted gold lining. The T120 Black comes in either jet black or matt jet black with a hand painted silver lining. Every cloud and all that.
Prices for the T120 start at £10,800
The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster has the same 1,200cc engine as the rest of the big Bonneville range, but has been specifically tuned for low down torque. Peak torque is 106Nm at 3,850rpm and peak power is 77bhp at 6,100rpm. You get the LED lights, rider modes, Brembo brakes etc. but you also get 47mm Showa cartridge forks on the Speedmaster.
The Speedmaster is the Bonneville for the perfect, laid back, long distance ride… or that’s what Triumph are telling us, anyway. But they would say that.
There are three different colours to choose from, and if you’ve got £11,850, you can take your pick.
The Bobber also gets the 1,200cc motor, this time with 106Nm at 4,000rpm and 77bhp at 6,100rpm. It’s a more stripped back version of the Triumph Bonneville, with a chunky 16 inch front wheel and 47mm forks giving it a real muscular look. The big flat bars, ‘floating’ seat and black engine covers set the Bobber out from the crowd.
To me, it’s the most striking of the Bonneville bunch, so if you want to get noticed and you’ve got £11,850, the Bobber is the Bonny for you.
The 900cc twin cylinder T100 Bonneville has had a bloody good going over too. Starting with the engine which now makes another 10bhp. Peak power is now at 64bhp at 7,400rpm and peak torque is 80Nm at 3,750rpm. It’s not just more power though, the lighter crank, balancer shafts, thin-walled clutch cover and magnesium cam covers all contribute to the 4kg weight saving on the new T100.
The new model comes with higher spec Brembo brakes, higher spec forks and the latest gen ABS and TC. They’ve stuck a USB charger under the seat, given it LED lights and a new dash. You get chrome mirrors, chrome handlebars, chrome headlight surrounds and a chrome filler cap. And If that isn’t bling enough for you, there are 117 genuine accessories for the T100.
They come in blue and white, red and white or plain black, and if you want one, it’ll set you back £9,100.
Street Twin owners will enjoy the same 900cc, 64bhp, 80Nm engine as the T100 but in a slightly more modern looking, stripped back style. The new ‘Twin comes with a pair of new cast wheels, a more comfortable bench seat and some new bodywork with ‘improved detailing’. But it still has a very Bonneville look about it.
It’s got the new Brembo brakes, the ABS and switchable TC, Road and Rain rider modes and the USB charger. The Street twin also comes with an immobiliser incorporated into the key fob, for those living on the dodgy side of town.
The Standard Street Twin can be yours for £8,200 but it also comes in a limited edition model. The ‘Gold Line’ is another £600 (£8,800) and there will only be 1,000 of them, worldwide. For the extra money, you get some hand painted gold lines and a Triumph heritage logo (the old-fashioned logo) on the tank.
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