Triumph Bonneville Review

The Triumph Bonneville was first introduced in 1959 and quickly became one of the most appealing motorcycles of its era. In 2010, Triumph released a replica of the 1960 Bonneville T120 in its classic blue and grey color scheme, blade style mudguard and integrated headlamp/instrument housing.

Continue reading to get my full impressions of the Triumph Bonneville. I also suggest you watch the videos on this page. I’ve scoured YouTube to find what I think are the most interesting and informative. Enjoy!

Classic Design

The Triumph Bonneville comes in several models, the basic Bonneville, the Bonneville SE, and the Bonneville T100. All of the Bonnevilles still maintain that classic retro look from the 1960s and 1970s. The SE and T100 add some slightly different styling and design to the basic model.


The classic gas tank design, short mudguards and color schemes give it a 70’s look. Triumph has done their best to maintain the retro styling while still updating the bike to the latest technology. For example, the new full injection system is designed to look like the old Triumph carburetors.

If you loved the Bonneville back in the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll love the current Bonnevilles even more. Same look, better motorcycle.

Updated Design

Despite the 1970s look, the new Bonneville is totally updated to the latest technology. For those of you old like me, you probably remember that owning an old British bike was a good way to become a great mechanic. They required a lot of maintenance and repair. Not so for the new Bonneville. It is designed to today’s performance, and best of all, quality levels.

Features and Performance

The Bonneville comes with air-cooled, 865cc, parallel-twin. It has fuel injection for easier starting and running. The fuel injection system is designed for clean running and to meet Euro 3 legislation. The retro styling is maintained, with the fuel injectors designed to look like traditional carbs. As for brakes, the Bonneville has a single front 310mm disc and 255mm rear disc with twin-piston calipers provide good sensitivity, control, and stopping power. The 2010 models lowers the seat height to 29.1 inches, 1.3 inches inches lower than older models. This low seat height provides a low center of gravity, and makes it easier to ride with a more relaxed riding position. Short fenders front and rear, upswept megaphone pipes and cast alloy wheels give the Bonneville SE a retro ’70s look. The 17″ cast alloy wheels also provide improved agility and low speed handling over older models. The SE model adds a matching tachometer and speedometer, polished engine casings and a traditional chrome Triumph tank badge. It also has an optional two-tone color scheme. Polished alloy side covers come as standard on the Bonneville SE. The T100 provides for another variation of styling on the SE model, and even comes in a 1960 Anniversary Edition with the classic blue and grey color scheme.

Riding the Bonneville

The Bonneville is as much fun to ride as I dreamed it was back in my teens. Strangely, and probably by design, even riding a new bike feel like you are riding an old Triumph. Just the right noise, and a little bit of vibration to give you flashbacks to the 70’s.

It has a comfortable, upright riding possition. On bumpy roads, I found the suspension a little tough on my aging compressed spine, but not something that would stop me from buying one. If you are really tall, this bike may seem a little small. The 29.1 inch seat height allows you to easily plant both feet on the ground, even for those who are vertically challenged.

The 865cc motor has decent power and torque. It produces 66 bhp at 7,500 rpm and 50 ft.lbs. of torque at 5,800 rpm. It won’t blow your socks off, but for new riders or someone just looking for a fun bike to ride, it has more than enough. Handling is also very good, realizing that it isn’t a sport bike. It also isn’t a touring bike, so if you plan on doing a lot of touring, you probably want something with more wind protection and power. But, if you are looking for something fun to ride around town and that get lots of complements, the Triumph Bonneville will definitely do that for you. If I were to buy a third motorcycle, this would probably be it. I may even consider it as a replacement to my second motorcycle. Stay tuned one that one.

For more details on the Triumph Bonneville, watch the videos on this page. Some are purely for entertainment value, but others provide some real detail about the Bonneville features and design.

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Comments

  1. ! have a 1971 triumph tiger 750 is it the same as a 1970 model;
    thanks lyle

    • Lyle, I don’t have a specific answer for you. But, I spoke with a friend who suggested you contact Raber’s in San Jose. They are the resource for pre-’92
      Triumphs. They do restoration and OEM parts, repro OEM parts for the vintage Meriden built Triumphs. Post ’92 Triumphs are manufactured at the new Triumph plant in Hinckley.

      http://www.rabers.com/

      Hope this helps.
      Bryan

  2. Nice review! Triumph bikes are very smooth and better handling bikes. They are very elegant and well engineered bikes.

  3. Hi guys, i bought a used 2007 790cc Bonneville about 2 years ago after many years owning other makes and models of bikes. I had previously owned a 1968 T120 Bonneville and later on a 1973 Bonneville. My latest Bonnie is in my estimation well upto the standerds set by the 68 one I had [the 73 one was awful] my Bonnie is red and white livery and I’ve fitted Gold star patern silencers to it so it sounds more like a 60’s Triumph and I love it. I’m 62 years old now and this is more than like my last bike and I’m glad I chose a Triumph.

    • Last bike? At 62 you probably have a another 20 years of riding in you. If I ever feel I’m too old for two wheels, I’ve got my eye on a nice Can Am Spider with three wheels. Its what makes me feel young. Bryan

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