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Triumph BONNEVILLE AMERICA Custom Motorbike Review

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Triumph America motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Triumph America is a cruiser with real cred – it harks back to the Thunderbird and other Triumphs modified in the States in the 60s and 70s. This means the Triumph America's not regarded as a Harley clone or copy like so many Japanese cruisers. It’s a competent motorcycle too. It’s not particularly rapid or sporty but the Triumph America is a pleasure to ride and well put together.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Triumph America engine is lifted from Triumph’s Bonneville but with a 270 degree crank rather than a 360 one. This means one of the pistons is a quarter of a cycle in front of the other giving a pleasing V-twin like feel. Claimed power for the Triumph America is a modest 61bhp but the bike’s light (for a cruiser) so it’s more nippy than many competitors. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Triumph America is much longer and lower than the regular Bonneville. It’s surprisingly nimble round town and competent at modest to quite rapid speeds on back roads – the Triumph America certainly capable of more pace than most rival cruisers. Rear shocks are a little bouncy and can transfer big bumps to the rider more than some cruisers.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 2.5

The Triumph America's bars are wide and swept back enough for comfort but not a ridiculous amount. Seat is low and suits most backsides well. Clocks and warning lights are minimal. Front mounted foot pegs, so you can stand up to absorb shocks when hitting bumps. Triumph offer quite a few extras for the Triumph America and aftermarket companies add loads more choice.

Triumph America (2002-current)

Detail Value
New price £7,199
Dealer used prices
£3,750 (2006) - £7,250 (2014)
Private used prices
£3,410 (2006) - £6,530 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 790 cc
Power 61 bhp
Top speed 110 mph
Insurance group 10 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 2.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Triumph America's 790cc twin cylinder engine’s very under stressed and has no recurring reliability problems. Build quality is well above average. Triumph understands the British winter and road salt better than most manufacturers so the Triumph America is quite durable. It still won’t run through winter untreated and clean up like new come spring – but no motorcycle will.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Not cheap when new but more reasonable on the used market. You can buy a new entry level 883cc Harley for the same money as a Triumph America or a Japanese copy for less. The Harley’s a wise choice as it handles well like the Triumph and depreciates less but the Triumph America's still an ok buy – if you can find one. They’re designed for the American market and rare in the UK. Find a Triumph America for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 10 of 17

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Model History

2002: Triumph America launched.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 15.7 secs
Max power 61 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Weight 226 kg
Seat height 720 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 49 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 10 of 17
Engine size 790 cc
Engine specification 8v parallel twin, 5 gears
Frame Steel spine
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 310mm disc
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 110/90 x 18
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 18

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(4 reviews)

  • Easy Rider

    BritishSteel

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What a relaxed ride! Having had bigger and much more powerful bikes (CB1000, CB1300 etc) i have to say that returning to a smaller twin is an absolute delight. No longer do i feel the need to travel everywhere at balistic breakneck speeds. Just sit back and enjoy the ride ;-) Sounds great with an adictive burble and a definate pop pop pop on the over run. All day comfortable and good miles to the gallon. No more wing wing wing bikes for me.... it's wap pap pop from now on :-)

    22 March 2009

  • A beautiful bike but ...

    censuwine

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    If you're into cruisers then this is the bike to have. There simply is no better looking cruiser around. This is obviously a plus for those who like attracting the looks at traffic lights. I bought mine in Pacific Blue and New England White. Aesthetically, it is perfect. Having said that, I made the mistake of buying a cruiser without really making sure that I could live with the reduced manoeuverability of the bike and the sparse instrumentation. Mine did not even come with a fuel warning lamp and the rev counter was an optional extra. I can't help thinking that Triumph seem to fall between two stools with their products. They cannot match the reliability of the Japanese and are miles behind the continental Europeans in terms of ride quality. All they seem to produce are adequate motorcycles. Okay, maybe I'm being too cruel and I can almost hear those amongst you saying that I should have stuck to road bikes. The message I'm trying to convey is that a road bike (e.g. Guzzi's Breva range and BMW's R1200R) offer versatility that a cruiser can never provide and I miss that enormously. Oh, and another thing - if you really want to feel what it's like to get an epidural, ride on one for about 30 minutes!

    04 January 2009

  • My America,

    GinaS

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The perfect bike for me....so much so that when some tw@t got in the way and wrote it off...I got another one!

    25 August 2007

  • Lovely Bike

    yamahabulldog

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A lovely little number! Real laid back ride, could do with louder std exhaust note, but still burbles well. Over 50 to gall two up, lazy power, and goooood looks, admired by all.

    06 June 2007

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charlesq_70

User's Badge

charlesq_70says

Decent ride, but a sheep in wolf's clothing

The America is a fun bike to ride, it handles nicely, suspension and (especially) brakes are a cut above most cruisers and the engine performs well enough once you get it spinning. But no matter how many times people bang on about the firing order, it ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT AND NEVER WILL sound or feel anything like a V-twin. Whether that matters to you, only you know. The America really feels like what it is, a standard dressed up as a cruiser. It doesn't have the low-rev grunt of even a midsize Japanese cruiser and feels flimsy in comparison to something like a Vulcan 900. If you insist on British or just don't like V-twins then go for it, but if you really want a cruiser, look elsewhere.

25 June 2011 09:33

dawntreader

dawntreadersays

BonnevilleAmerica or BMW R1200RT

Please help me Guy's........I am day's from buying a Bonneville America but now seem confused as a 2009 R1200RThas entered the frame....should I buy the brand new Bonneville or the 10,000km's used BMW ??

21 November 2010 17:35

kidhaf

kidhafsays

Bonneville america

11 April 2008 13:57

Ondarun

Ondarunsays

Triumph America

Seems there isnt much chat on the "America", well as much as I would have liked. I've been searching for feed back on them,the EFI model has just arrived here in Australia and I'm about a week away from buying one, so If there is positive or negative comment how about posting so I can get a few opinions, cheers

23 February 2008 08:00

Marttheharp

Marttheharpsays

triumph america

I bought this bike after 2 harleys that I found stable only when on their stands!They were overweight unlike the rider (which is probably relevant when trying to handle a big Harley) and I just found myself looking at them in the shed and finding an excuse not to ride them. The trumpet was a revelation. It handles, is a sensible weight and is a machine I get jarred about only when I can't ride it!I took mine to the south of France 2 up when it was only a week old and apart from wind blast it was a joy (I never even had a sore rump whether I was in charge or pillion). The room on the back seat is far more generous than the Harleys.The only things I have felt the need to do to modify this bike is put on loud exhausts as the factory ones strangle the engine and I have added some seriuos luggage for long journeys. I would not hesitate to recommend one of these. Buy and enjoy.

24 September 2007 23:07

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