Triumph Bonneville T120: the retro bike put to the test

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This beauty is a neoclassical dazzler

Triumph Bonneville T120: the retro bike put to the test-bike

The Triumph customer is spoiled for choice: In addition to the black version, there is the metallic painted basic version as well as two truly classic-looking two-tone versions

Source: Triumph

When Triumph unveiled its little Bonneville Street Twin, some were disappointed. Now the Bonnie is also available with a large engine, and it’s a lot of fun – as long as it’s not too curvy.

E.into a beautiful, neoclassical motorcycle that Triumph put on its wheels – that was written across the board in an enthusiastic motorcycle journal when it returned from the first test ride with the thoroughly redesigned Bonneville Street Twin in early 2016.

But experienced testers noticed a catch on the first and smallest representative of the brand new classic series from Triumph: 900 cc, water cooling. And then a downright ridiculous 55 hp? Even less than the previous model, which had a smaller displacement?

The motorcycle is beautiful, the engine is good, we wrote that in the "Welt". Except that the two didn’t go together – on the one hand, a slow, leisurely strolling cruiser engine with nice torque, but too weak for a sprint, peak maximum 170.

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And on the other hand, the design with proud reference to the legendary Bonneville from 1959. The bike that only the really strong guys dared to ride in the 1960s. The Bonneville was the terrifying device of respect that could destroy anything else.

After the Street Twin with 900 cc, Triumph is now offering the next, larger, more powerful Bonneville model, the T120, with a considerably larger displacement. But again Triumph delivers the same catch: It is a mighty 1200 cc machine with a torque customary in its class (105 Nm), but with a yield of a puzzlingly weak 80 hp.

The maximum speed is 180 km / h. This is so surprising because the original, in relation to the cubic capacity, had a lot more horsepower per 1000 cc. And that 60 years ago.

Bonnie consumes an average of 4.8 liters

Even considering the weight of the T120 ready to drive, 80 HP is not an appreciable achievement. Otherwise, the T120 is technically poorly equipped. Triumph only supplies traction control and an anti-hopping clutch as standard, plus an ABS. The engine output can be electronically reduced when it rains or when the road surface is slippery. But that’s about it.

In the rather narrow band between 2000 and 4000 revolutions, the new Bonneville T120 – regardless of the gear – practically always has plenty of power available. But higher speeds bring nothing, despite the existing speed, except more consumption.

It is generally low: Despite the often brisk pace, the first test drive ended with an average consumption of 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers, according to the on-board computer. Given the tank volume of 15 liters, there is a range of around 300 kilometers.

Triumph Bonneville T120: the retro bike put to the test-test

Technically, the Bonneville is up to date: traction control, anti-hopping clutch and ABS, which can be cleanly regulated if necessary, show that the British are customer-oriented with their new bikesdevelop in a well-mannered manner

Source: Triumph

The chassis is more classic than modern: the steel swing arm costs a lot of weight, and the spring and damping elements are not exactly made to want to “throw the Bonneville T120 around the corners”. Anyone who appreciates the dignified, confident drive on pleasantly curved roads is well served.

The Bonnie is not concerned with aggravated cornering: the lean angle is too low for that. The cleanly decelerating three-disc brake system with well-regulating ABS fits the chassis design. The seating position is very low, very relaxed, and the machine is easy to operate, from the indicator switch to the easily switchable gearbox.

LED daytime running lights, classic wire-spoke wheels, polished cooling fins – when it comes to design issues, the T120 is hardly embarrassed. And so that one Bonnie doesn’t look like the other, and that the pride of ownership can also have a very personal reason, Triumph is spreading a bazaar of 160 accessories.

The basic Bonneville T120 costs 12,350 euros

They can be assembled quickly and easily by people with two left hands. Triumph has put together a “Prestige Inspiration Kit”, a selection of features, for everyone who feels they are in danger of overloading their puristic piece with tinnef, jewelry and decor.

It costs 1590 euros and embellishes the two silencers, the tank and the indicators, among other things. The basic Bonneville T120 costs 12,350 euros. Together with the “Prestige” package, it comes to 13,940 euros.

There are motorcycles from Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki which are more elaborately designed and built than the T120 and which have the same horsepower output with half the displacement. Which are also easier for the inexperienced, more fun and faster for the more experienced, but above all: which cost only half the price.

Triumph Bonneville T120: the retro bike put to the test-test

With an optically discreet design, as is part of a modern classic, all of the currently important functions are well integrated

Source: Triumph

Motorways, country roads, swarming curves: for the owner of a T120 it will be exhausting to keep up with these modern, nimble three top budget motorcycles. That looks a lot better with the Bonneville Thruxton and Thruxton R models. The same motorcycle, but with 97 hp, at a significantly higher speed and also at a higher price: the Thruxton from 12,950 euros, the better equipped Thruxton R from 14,950 euros.

Despite some weaknesses: With the Bonneville T120 there is always a moment that clearly wins. With the engine stopped, it comes right after the side stand has pulled out. In quiet, calm beauty, parked and as a feast for the eyes, nobody can fool the neoclassical blender.

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