Cafe racer Bonnie spied

Published: 09 September 2003

TRIUMPH’S new line-up doesn’t end with the Daytona 1300 revealed on page two – as this spy shot of the new cafe racer version of the Bonneville proves.

MCN’s snappers caught it in action at Bruntingthorpe proving ground in Leicestershire.

The cafe racer is expected to be called the Bonneville Thruxton, sharing its name with the original 1960s Triumph cafe racer.

The new machine is clearly heavily based on the stock Bonneville. It shares the same chassis but the parallel twin-cylinder engine is bored out from 790cc to 865cc. That, and a freer-breathing new upswept megaphone exhaust, add up to an increase in power over the base Bonnie from 61bhp to 70bhp. Torque is up from 44ftlb to 53ftlb.

The new bike weighs 205kg, the same as the stock bike.

Other changes include a humped seat to give the classic cafe-racer look and a shortened rear mudguard.

The bike’s handling should be more responsive than the basic Bonnie’s thanks to new rear twin shocks, which are longer than the current ones.

They increase the bike’s ground clearance and sharpen the steering by effectively giving the bike a steeper fork angle.

The brakes and front suspension are straight from the base-model Bonneville.

Like the standard bike, the Thruxton is aimed squarely at the American market, where retro Triumphs are massively popular – even this prototype is American-spec, with extra reflectors mounted on the chassis downtubes.

To add to the sporty feel of the bike, it gets the twin clocks from the Bonneville T100, including a rev-counter, but otherwise it’s an unadorned Bonnie – with unpolished engine cases and no extra chrome.

That suggests the price should be close to the base bike’s £4999 when it goes on sale next year.