Any thoughts on a new Triumph Bonneville?

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mark bennett
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Any thoughts on a new Triumph Bonneville?

#1 Unread post by mark bennett » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:36 pm

Now that Triumph has bumped the plain jane black Bonneville to 865cc motor, I'm thinking on getting one as a 2nd bike.
I demo'd a new T100 Bonnie at Americade 2005 and loved it, had ( what I think ) really good power for an 865cc twin.
I ride a 1998 Honda ACE Tourer 1100cc V-twin that I bought new May of 1998.
It's a great bike for me and the wife but I would like to get a bike that weighs less.
My Honda with the tour pack on weighs in at 730lbs on truck scales.
The Bonnie weighs in under 500lbs.
Anyone here have one or had experience with one? :)
Last edited by mark bennett on Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Unread post by tex1230 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:15 pm

I love my '06 Bonneville (I have the 790cc twin) - doesn't the current T-100 have the 865cc?
The Bonneville has more power than I need..plenty of accelleration...great brakes...cruises comfortably around 65-70mph
My only complaints (and they are very minor) are the absence of a tachometer and center stand (you can get them as options but I really think those should be standard on all bikes), and I would like a little more power/response in 5th gear.
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#3 Unread post by jstark47 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:41 pm

I have a 2005 790cc (standard) Bonneville. From what I've heard, the difference in performance between stock 790 and 865 engines is minimal. What will make more effect is changing out the rather restrictive stock pipes and rejetting the carbs to match.

I'll have to disagree with tex, I find the brakes a tad weak. The bike is built to a price point, the engines are great, but the suspension and brakes are kinda generic. It's no big problem, as upgrades to both are readily available.

The engine has a very smooth torque curve right up to the top. It likes to pull at any speed, and doesn't mind revving. It's got a lot of grunt for a twin its size. Handling is docile and predictable - I can't imagine an easier handling bike for a newb.

I bought a standard Bonneville because the T100's were sold out when I was buying. I thought the lack of a tach was going to bother me, but it actually hasn't. It's very easy to tell by sound and feel when to shift. Standard Bonnevilles come with a 17 tooth front sprocket. That makes them pretty zippy off the line, at the expense of high revs on the slab. Some people change out for a 19 tooth sprocket, something to think about if you're going to spend a lot of time on the highway.
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#4 Unread post by RUDE-MKM » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:03 pm

I ride an '06 Bonneville America & I love it. I get tons of looks & complements on it. I looked at a Black Bonneville first but when I saw the America it was all over. Good luck with it if you do decide to get it.
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#5 Unread post by xsyamahadg » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:47 am

Have you guys that already own the new Triumphs experienced any oil leaks ? When I was shopping for a new bike in 03, the dealer had 4 of the Triumph twins on the floor, two of those had oil leaks. One was leaking front fork oil and the other was leaking engine oil. That was alarming to me as you seldom see bikes these days leaking fluids while still on the showroom floor. XS
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#6 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:51 am

xsyamahadg wrote:Have you guys that already own the new Triumphs experienced any oil leaks ?
Nope, not that would leak on the floor. I replaced the cam cover gasket on my Bonneville at 9200 miles because of slow oil seepage that was annoying me... it was basically just messy on the outside of the engine.

The Bonnevilles seem to use no oil at all. Every time I check the level, it's exactly the same. I've heard similar things from other Bonnie owners.
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#7 Unread post by MotoF150 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:05 pm

I think its a P.O.S. plus it costs more than most bikes in its class. Buy a Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha you can't go wrong!
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#8 Unread post by Sev » Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:14 pm

I thought Kawaski made PoS's as well as Suzuki?
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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#9 Unread post by rapidblue » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:27 pm

Ahhh, I missed moto's trolling ways.

Triumph's have a style all their own, modern retro. I think they are georgeous bikes. The bonnieville is a great bike from what I hear, plus there is a huge following and tons of aftermarket part to customizes the bike however you want.

I lust for the thruxton my self but samething. :D
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#10 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:23 pm

Mark Bennett, just be aware that MotoF150 is the forum klown. He may have never seen a Bonneville, let alone owned one. Filter his opinions accordingly.

I've owned a Bonneville since July 05 and put 9700 miles on it.
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#11 Unread post by xsyamahadg » Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:18 am

It's good to know that you guys speak highly of the Triumph, because I have been looking at the Triumph Street Scrambler. It's not the Bonnie, but I think it is one of the best looking retros on the market today. It's one of the few bikes that would temp me to stray from the Yamaha line. Check it and tell me what you think of it:
http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/3336.aspx
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#12 Unread post by mark bennett » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:23 am

Thanks for the heads up. :D

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#13 Unread post by jstark47 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:23 pm

xsyamahadg wrote:It's good to know that you guys speak highly of the Triumph, because I have been looking at the Triumph Street Scrambler. It's not the Bonnie, but I think it is one of the best looking retros on the market today. It's one of the few bikes that would temp me to stray from the Yamaha line. Check it and tell me what you think of it:
http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/3336.aspx
I've been hoping someone else would answer, 'cause I'm not personally a big fan of the Scrambler. It seems to me to be more of a styling exercise than anything else. But if you want to do some reading, go to the Triumph Twins forum at Triumphrat.net, and you'll find tons of Scrambler threads, pro and con. (That's a big forum, suggest you use the Advanced Search tool to locate threads about the Scrambler).
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#14 Unread post by tex1230 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:38 pm

I think the scrambler is just a dressed up bonneville anyway - if you like that style, fine...I personally don't like it but to each his own.
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#15 Unread post by xsyamahadg » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:14 am

To me, the scrambler screams 1960s, that's what the retro look is all about. Isn't it ?
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#16 Unread post by rapidblue » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:22 am

tex1230 wrote:I think the scrambler is just a dressed up bonneville anyway - if you like that style, fine...I personally don't like it but to each his own.
The bonny/thruxton/scrambler are all basically the same but each are tweaked to suit different needs.

The Scrambler does have a very retro feel. I've sat on one. The only problem is that the exhaust position feels like a leg burner. It does have heat shields there though, i'd have to sit on a running one to actaully see how hot it gets.
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#17 Unread post by Locopez » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:02 am

I was kinda of gettting an itch to get another bike...and had been seeing this Triumph checker board graphics on it.....

So earlier this year I went down to the local dealer....and saw that it was a Thurxton....man...nice looking bike. But for me the controls were in the wrong place for me and the clip on bars...did seem to be a comfortable postion. But man what a nice looking bike...even the Bonne....

I really like the look of the "old" style Triumphs

Good luck with your choice!!!
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#18 Unread post by jstark47 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:35 am

rapidblue wrote:
tex1230 wrote:I think the scrambler is just a dressed up bonneville anyway - if you like that style, fine...I personally don't like it but to each his own.
The bonny/thruxton/scrambler are all basically the same but each are tweaked to suit different needs.

The Scrambler does have a very retro feel. I've sat on one. The only problem is that the exhaust position feels like a leg burner. It does have heat shields there though, i'd have to sit on a running one to actaully see how hot it gets.
Unlike the Bonneville, the Scrambler has double-walled exhaust, plus the heat shield where it goes under your leg........ but yeah, I know what you mean, I wouldn't want my leg that close to the pipe either.

I did some searching but still can't get a good read on whether they changed the suspension on the Scrambler. The steering head is different, a bit less rake, and it has different bars. It uses the 865cc engine and the 270 degree crank (like a Speedmaster), but the engine has been re-tuned for more low-end torque, so it's not the same. The seat is narrower and two inches higher.
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#19 Unread post by xsyamahadg » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:05 pm

Back in 1970, Triumph had the 650cc Trophy which was sold as an on/off road bike, but lets face it, the bike was for looks only, it was heavy, it had 650cc, upswept pipes, 4 speed gear box, street suspension and a top speed of 105 mph. Not really your typical dirt bike, as is the case of the Triumph 2007 Street Scrambler. Also back in the 60s Honda had their 305cc Street scrambler with the upswept pipes as did Suzuki and BSA with their 441cc Victor Special. I had a 441cc Victor Special with the high pipe which presented no heat problems unless of course if it was lying on top of you. My point is that with the glut of retro cruisers on the market today, the Street Scrambler is a refreshing alternative to what everyone else has.
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#20 Unread post by macdaddy » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:01 pm

I have an '03 Bonnie that I really enjoy - I'm a fairly new rider, but old enough that when I think about motorcycles, the British twins from the 60s are what first comes to my mind. The Bonnie has that look with modern brakes, no oil leaks, and a non-Lucas electrical system (i.e. it still works in the rain). As a straight-up standard, it's got great ergos for just scooting around town, and has enough torque to get out of it's own way. I can carve the corners if I want (though the pegs drag pretty quickly), or I can throw on some saddlebags and tour (though not as comfortable as a Goldwing or big Beemer). A set of aftermarket front brake pads helped a lot with my confidence in the brakes.

You can turn it into a cafe racer, or a mid-sized cruiser if you like with Triumph or aftermarket parts.

It's a great do-everything bike at a decent price and a more than a passing nod to motorcycling heritage.
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