TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 900 (2000 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
In 2000 the Triumph Bonneville was aimed like an arrow straight at the heart of Harley Davidson's 883 Sportster. With a heritage to rival the Harley and excellent build quality, the Triumph Bonneville is unquestionably the better performing motorcycle.
The early 790cc engined models are lethargic, the later 865cc models aren't much better but there's just enough grunt on tap to keep you excited.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With its low seat, easy-to-reach bars and well placed footpegs the Triumph Bonneville makes a pleasant motorcycle to ride for an hour or three. The handling's sweet with the 19-inch front wheel swinging nicely under your control. The single front disc brake needs a good pull to bring the bike to a stop, later models have improved power and feel.
EngineNext up: Reliability
For a smooth, no hurries, no worries motorcycle the 900 Bonneville is hard to beat. The twin cylinder DOHC motor pulls nicely enough, though it’d be a crime not to fit slightly noisier aftermarket pipes as this nicely embellishes the whole Bonneville experience as well as giving a healthy boost to the mid-range. The 865cc fuel injected versions (2008 on) have a little more grunt and are the ones to go for. It's also a motorcycle that is easy on oil and easy to service at home. Nice.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The finish of the Triumph Bonneville can go off quickly if a rigorous cleaning schedule isn’t adhered to, especially with all that lovely brightwork. This is one motorcycle that benefits from cossetting.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The 900cc Bonneville's low state of tune means chains go unstretched, oil goes unburned, tyres go unworn and insurance costs are low. Bonnevilles tend to depreciate slower than similar machines from rival manufacturers too.
The original model 790cc Bonneville was equipped with traditional wire wheels and twin carburettors. From 2008 the fuel injection was introduced and the engine was increased in capacity to 865cc. Cast alloy wheels (on some models) made an appearance in 2009.
Triumph introduced it's own line of aftermarket Bonnie accessories in 2006 including seats, engine covers and panniers but there are now hundreds of companies worldwide producing Bonnie parts.
|Engine type||8v parallel twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||16.5 litres|
|Front brake||Single 310mm discs|
|Rear brake||255mm disc|
|Front tyre size||100/90 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||130/80 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||48 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£150|
|Used price||£3,800 - £7,800|
9 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||61 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||112 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||13.4 secs|
|Tank range||170 miles|
Model history & versions
2000: Triumph resurrect Bonneville name for its 790cc parallel twin.
2002: Bonneville T100 launched.
2003: Bonneville SE (for special edition) launched.
2006: Some varients now get bigger 865cc engine.
2007: Bonneville T100 and T100 Black introduced
2009: Bonneville SE introduced
2008: All models fitted with 865cc, 360° crank engine
2010: Bonneville T100 1960 anniversary editon introduced
2012: Bonneville T100 110th anniversary edition introduced
2015: Bonneville Newchurch and T214 special editions introduced
2016: 1200cc Bonneville T120 and T120 Black introduced
T100: As per Bonnie but with two separate clocks, rubber knee pads, chrome engine covers and two-tone paint.
SE: A Bonnie with a black finish to the engine and a twin-carb set-up.
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 900 (2000 - on)
31 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 900 (2000 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
I'm new to motorcycles, entering only my third year of riding. My 2013 Bonneville is my first big boy bike and I love it. Easy to ride, reliable, comfortable. Low seat height inspires confidence and although the bike is heavy, it is very nimble and maneuverable in London traffic. There may be faster bikes out there, but for what I need (a daily ride in London during the week with enough grunt in the tank for weekend rides outside of the city) I cannot have picked a better option for my first bike.
I think it's well publicised how bad the OEM shocks are on these bikes. The front is bouncy over bumps and seeps when you brake, the rear is solid as a rock and will launch you out of your seat if you go over a pothole too quickly. Both are easy fixes though; progressive springs and preload adjuster on the front has transformed the front end making it easier to ride and control. I've yet to upgrade the rear suspension, but I can already tell the potential this bike has to be even more fun once I do.
Starts every time, lots of low down torque making it perfect for town riding and enough grunt to over take and cruise along at 70mph+ once you hit A-roads/motorways.
It starts all the time, every time. Although, you do need to bring the choke out halfway before you hit the starter. That way it will start first time. If not, if may fail on the first try. Apparently a common issue that comes up with this model year. After 7 years, some of the bolts are showing signs of rust, but were easily upgraded with some stainless steel replacements. I don't have a garage so know I will not be able to keep the bike pristine. However, it is daily ride and works for a living. Therefore I am not expecting it to stay showroom quality. The chrome has started to pit a little especially the exhaust. But I am planning to change it for a 2 into 1, so I'm not worried about that. All in all, I have had no problems with the bike and couldn't be happier.
I'm currently averaging about 60-70mpg inside of London due to turn stop/start nature of the traffic. However, when I leave the city, I can get at least 80-85 mpg. Haven't had to take her in for a service yet, but I've heard it's pretty reasonable.
Stock tyres are good if you are a new rider. They handle well in wet and dry conditions and let you focus on just enjoying the ride. For those wishing to go faster and scrape pegs a change of tyre may be in order, but that's not what these bikes are for. My bike only has the one dial (no tachometer) which I like. Very no frills. The idiot lights are ok until sunlight hits them, then you cannot tell if they are on are not. The stock headlight is ok, but not amazing. But upgrading to an H4 led bulb is easy and takes about 10 mins. The seat is comfortable for long rides. After about an hour or so, a little shifting around may be needed, but I think that will change once I upgrade the rear suspension and improve the overall ride quality. The footpegs are big ugly gurty rubber things that catch on your jeans or trousers, but are easily replaced. Basically l, any minor problems you may find are easily remedied with the hundreds of aftermarket parts available, meaning you can improve the bike and make it 100% to your taste.
Buying experience: I bought my bike from a dealer up North, sight unseen. It had 1397 miles on it and only cost £4780. Total bargain due to it being Janaury. The low mileage means it has basically just been broken in but rarely ridden. Only negative was the dealer forgot to do the MOT beforeitt was delivered to me (but they reimbursed me once I had it done). Also, the photos cleverly hid the fact there a two minor scratches on the tank. But, I was planning on repainting it anyway, so no biggie.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Best ---The options available, suspension to screens. Worst --- original shocks!!
After modifications, all of which and within the capabilities of the owner, I have had a total hip replacement which went very wrong (28 days in hospital), so I have gained experience in modifying bikes. I have had 26 bikes and really love them!! from BMW and Triumph Trophy 1200 tourers to a Honda Chelly 70cc!!
Does what it says in the can!!!
The bike has ben on many European trips to the med etc and the reverse (north) up the the IOM TT! Last year the Bonnie took me to Corsica, via my brother (on the way down) and back in a day from the Med to the English channel in a day.
High quality oil, etc
The clocks, clear and well positioned
Buying experience: Bridge garage in Exeter
Annual servicing cost: £250
Overall the air-cooled but later EFI Bonneville is an amazing balance between looks and practicality. They are beautifully styled to the point where even non-bikers can't resist a look or a quick chat. Personally I don't think the same can be said of the newer liquid colled variety. They are certianly more efficient and probably better overall, but they're plastic and more modern than classic. Triumph hit the note with the EFI air-cooled line and regardless of sale figures the new bikes are objectively worse.
The ride qaulity is subjective. A few changes to the suspension a d looks goes a long way for me, but others love the stock equipment. Some detest it. A tail tidy and new pipes take a lot of weight off which has to be said is more about looks/sound and weight saving. The bike is heavy. If it's weight saving the better money would be spent on lighter wheels. The chromed up stock ones are a pain anyway. The brakes are fine. It's not a speed machine and the two pot single disk config upfront does what it's supposed to.
The engine is what makes the bike. It's beautiful anyway you wrap it up, whether it be a Thruxton, Scrambler, Tracker or stock Bonnie. The air injection is a nonsense little emmissions cheat and looks out of place. Quick and cheap to blank off.
These are simple bikes, as they should be; engine, frame, seat, tank, wheels. To keep the look Triumph stuck to the basics and did them well. No ABS, riding modes, fuel gauge etc. Just good old fashioned metal and rubber. The (865) engine is bullet proof, easy to service and has more than enough power to pull any sized hipster and his coffee machine around.
As basic as the machine is and the trove of aftermarket bolt-ons there isn't much that can't be looked after in the average shed with the obligatory Hayne's manual, a few tools and a working knowledge of Youtube. I spend a lot on oil and change it far too frequently. The oil works hard in these machines serving the job of lubricant and coolant all whilst being battered around in a wet clutch. Good oil, often. Also buy shares in ACF50 and GT85. The few chrome bits are best sswapped out for aftermarket, especially the rear suspension but the rest of the bike lives ina pool of ACF anyway.
The standard equipment is very basic and thats the way it should be.
what can I say about this bike, it has its faults it really does, but that is not the point, this bike is made for people who owned Bonnervilles in the mod and rocker eras up to people who weren't born then but love that image and bike. I bought it for the latter, the Bonnerville comes with heritage and does what it was built for in a good way, some bad.
The ride is part of the nostalgia, it reminds me of the bikes I rode when I first started riding, but not in a bad way. The brakes.....absolute crap, the front couldn't stop a cold and the rear?...It has a rear brake?.
Not a sports bike, but does the job. Sounds nice as well. Just appreciate it for what it is a nice little bike that does what it does well, and isn't built for hooligan speeds, if you wan't speed buy a Speed triple.
The fact that the bike is 17 years old and still looks pretty good tells me that the bikes finish is good, I would still cover it in ACF50 during the worst parts of winter though as I have heard some complaints. Older Bonnervilles suffer from a start kick back gear problem, its a cheap and easy fix so don't delay doing it.
Not serviced the bike, but to be fair its pretty easy to get to everything, very basic, I'm pretty sure a full service on this bike would not break the bank. loads of aftermarket parts about for these.
Loads of ole crap for you to buy, cheap or expensive bolt on poo to your hearts desire, Just DO NOT buy cheap shocks, no matter tempted you are I cannot name the company but they sell very cheap shock's, and a set I had actually fell apart I nearly crashed my Bonnerville and they didn't give a flying sack about it. look this up on google for clues as mine weren't the only ones to fall apart. You can discover the thrills of having something else in common with a Harley Davidson owner and purchase things that should have come with the bike like a locking fuel tank cover. (Yes I also own and have owned Harley's)
Version: T100 black
Only picked it up last week but compared with the 865cc I can already feel the differences. Its light and nimble and has a lovely sound. The finish is superb
Brakes aren't bad but a bit of room for improvement.
Still running in but the engine feels lively and smooth.
No problems so far. The build and finish seem great.
The black's looks are very nice. Love the twin clocks and the right place for the ignition. Added bar end mirrors which complete the "retro" look. Ride by wire is smooth and the clocks and features are really nice.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer. Still can't understand why when you spec a new bile they hand you a box of all the old bits and then charge again for fitting the new bits. Basicalyl I've paid for 2 sets on wing mirrors and to have them both fitted. Its not like that when you order a new car.
Version: Bonneville 790
I've had 25 bikes of all kinds mostly big 1 litre bikes, so the Bonnie was a bit of a departure, but it's the best bike I've ever owned. The Bonnie is so easy to live with, fun to ride and incredibly reliable. There's a real pride in owning this bike. You ride a piece of British history & every time you start it up or open that throttle and the pipes let out that rasping, blat-blat twin sound, the Triumph legend is alive and well. It's s joy! Sports bike? No. Big tourer? No. Adventure bike? No. It's a Bonnie, pure and simple and enjoy it for what it is. A 60hp British cruiser, which sounds great, looks great and is a joy to own.
This is not a sports bike, nor a modern piece of techno wonder which stops on a sixpence, but it's the best all-rounder I have every owned. It's perfect on A roads at legal speeds. It wallows a bit in wind on the motorway, needs a firm hand on the brakes (I'm a 6ft+ former marine and rugby player so can be firm) and bounces on poor roads at speed, but it's a Bonnie, not a GSXR, so I ride it accordingly and it's just fine. Two up with the Mrs the suspension needs winding up, but that's all. I am partially disabled and have to be careful but can ride the Bonnie all afternoon without any real problems.
The 790cc parallel twin with proper carbs is the best bit of this bike. It's an absolute gem. It's smooth, sounds great, pulls from nothing and will run all day at anything up to 80-90mph without missing a beat. I ride at 50-70 and it is perhaps the most perfect motorcycle engine I have ever ridden - and I've owned 25 bikes and ridden many more. It's not a stonking 1400cc, nor a screaming 600cc - it's a Bonnie & it sounds and goes like one - perfect!
In 8 years of ownership all I've done is change the tyres, the oil, plugs and filters. I think that say's it all. It does require some WD40, polish & elbow grease to keep on top of the winter stuff, but I ride it year round and it's still in excellent condition. Never let me down - top marks.
It costs bugger all, as I service it myself, parts are not expensive as were my previous BMWs. It does 50-55 mpg, unless I cane it then maybe 45mpg. All up with insurance, servicing & parts and road tax it comes in at under £300 a year to own and run this bike - pretty damn good! My BM RT would cost that for one service alone!
It's a basic Bonnie - so you get somewhere to sit, something to hang on to, an engine, some lights and that's about it. Basic is best. There's nothing to go wrong...and in 8 years of ownership and daily riding nothing has gone wrong. I have added Metzler Tourance tyres 'cos I live in the country and the roads are crap & a rack and topbox, but that's it. I'll probably ugrade the shocks next year, the OEs are not brilliant, but adequate at normal speeds. I buy high quality brake pads and may add braided hoses - I did that on a GPX 750 years ago and it did improve the braking. Other than that she's fine.
Buying experience: I bought it privately from a poor chap who had broken his back and obviously could not ride it anymore. It cost me £3.5k, the least I have spent on a main bike (I own several) and have shed all my other bikes bar one (and that is up for sale) because this Bonnie does everything I want and does it beautfully.
Annual servicing cost: £100
Best features - engine and looks. Worst features - rear suspension.
Only let down by rear suspension. After fitting some YSS rear shocks, it's much better. Standard shocks aren't too bad solo but overwhelmed with a pillion. Don't go for Hagon Nitros or Progressive 440s, they're way too hard. I sent mine back and bought cheaper YSS which are fine. I rode across Route 66 on a brand new Bonnie and it performed brilliantly, on and off road. Temperature of 49 degrees C didn't bother it, and it's so light and nimble it was a real joy. Just as good on crappy British roads too. I've used it for commuting, where it's excellent. 55mpg. Toured on it, both solo and pillion, abroad and in UK. Thrash round on a weekend, occasionally with a group and it doesn't get left behind, unless you regularly ride with knee down idiots. If that's the case, you'll probably prefer a GSZRCBRRRRRZX 2000 RR or something like that.
Emission and noise laws strangle the engine. Free it up with a TTP ECU tune, remove the air filter baffle, air injectors, O2 sensors and fit some breathing exhausts and release the potential. It's much more punchy and the torque is excellent. Easily powerful enough for two people touring in France with a standard engine though, if you don't like messing around with the setup.
Only problem was from the previous owner commuting through winter and not keeping it clean enough and the wheel lacquer deteriorated. No other corrosion though.
Easily serviceable by competent home mechanic. Oil & genuine Triumph oil filter. Hi flow aftermarket air filter for life. Tyres every 8-9000 miles. Brake pads every 16000 miles.
I don't like too many gadgets on a bike, it spoils the riding experience. Avons work fine on the SE rims, Triumph throwover saddlebags are good, and a rear rack is very useful. I don't like the look of the screen, but the Triumph one is detachable in seconds without tools. The K&Q seat is very comfy but spoils the looks. A pity that the centre stand isn't standard, but it's a must-have.
Buying experience: Bought private, advertised at £3400, paid £3200.
Love it's character & it attracts attention on most rides whether it's leg pulling or genuine admiration? Had it for 3 years now & covered many miles + 10 days in France last year & 3 outings round Wales , 120 mile range unless you're really careful then maybe 140, rear suspension & brakes adequate, but it has never missed a beat, love it though she's a keeper !
100 mile max before I need to stop to ease butt ache, I'm 5ft 9 but struggle to get comfortable after 50 miles sometimes, changed to king & queen seat, slightly better. maybe it's peg to seat distance as I feel scrunched up ....... Brakes ok, could be better .
Pulls well enough, torquey & very linear. Fast enough for brakes & suspension to just about cope with !
Very reliable , hardly ever touched it other than general safety checks ,not even chain tensioning required! No expensive repairs yet, wheel rims & spokes corrode if left outside uncovered, but plenty of cleaning/polishing would help & needs to be garaged...
Home serviced as main dealer's way too dear, major service inc valve clearance check quoted £475 !!!!! Easy to work on.
It's a classic retro bike so don't expect any fancy modern ideas !!! Loud pipes a must , originals way to quiet!
Buying experience: Bought locally from Hedgehog motorcycles in Barnstaple Devon, small & very friendly non franchise dealer, got a great deal .
Please completely disregard my previous rose tinted I've just been converted to Triumph review. I'd remove it if I could. So after 12 months owning the engine is run in & sweet as a nut. It's surprisingly nippy considering the hp & will do ton up easily (not that I have of course). You get admiring glances & comments from white van man, road workers etc etc. That's the good bits over with. No locking fuel cap means you can't leave it anywhere & return in confidence your tank's not going to have been syphoned. Yeah I can buy a locking one for £50 but shouldn't have to, it should be standard. Seat removal is via 2 awkward alun bolts which are hard to line up & easy to drop. I have luggage panniers which means anyone with an alun key could undo the seat & remove the £350 bags. If they don't have an alun key there is one stored under the side panel which can easily be undone with a coin. Separate key for steering lock means it's easy to leave key in ignition & again fiddley to use. I have brushed aluminium engine casings which have started to corrode terribly. Nothing would work cleaning wise so I took it to Triumph to enquire about warranty claim. I'm advised that these are bare metal & there is nothing to protect them from the elements. Triumph say it's the owners responsibility & not covered under warranty (they apparently used to put laquer on but it cracked & resulted in warranty claims so their solution is not to protect it at all & as it's corrosion it's not covered under warranty). Having read the problems people have with the spoked wheels on here too Triumphs warranty doesn't sound worth diddly squat. I thought I was buying into a brand & getting a quality product but 12 months later my advice unless you want to clean it more than ride it & only want to take it out on nice days where your not going to park & leave it anywhere don't touch the bonneville with a long smelly stick!
Further to my previous review, I have indeed put my money where my mouth is. Having ridden a 2013 T100 Bonnie across Route 66 I came home to UK and looked for one. I bought a very low mileage 2009 SE 865. What a brilliant bike. It had been used for all year commuting in London, and the weather had taken a toll on the finish on the alloy wheels, but everything else was ok. I rode it standard for a bit, went 2-up touring in France, came home and decided that Bonnies should be messed with. So off came the Air Injection System, out came the airbox baffle, off came the airbox intake snorkel (replaced with a Triumph Twin Power TTP bellmouth), off came the exhaust and O2 sensors (replaced with an Arrow replica from ebay), out went the standard air filter (replaced with a Pipercross filter.) I also used the TuneECU program to re-map the ECU. What an amazing difference! It now sounds brilliant. Not in a mid-life crisis Harley kinda way, just sounds like a British twin should. The performance is so much better now that the EU emissions rubbish is ditched. Dyno shows it's kicking out just over 80hp at the wheel. Much more torque too. Vast improvement over the standard 65hp, for only a cost of £200 after I sold all the standard bits I took off. Highly recommended. I can't praise this bike enough. 7000 miles in 4 months, and I'm getting to know it better. If you've got one and want to improve it, speak to Triumph Twin Power. (Google it) They really know their stuff. Easy riding!
About time the MCN review was updated as these bikes have been sporting a 865 engine for quite some time. Anyway, this bike gets 10 out of 10 for character, it just oozes it. Personally I'm unable to sit on it without the opening notes of Summertime Blues or C'mon Everybody going through my head. Okay so it's pretty basic on the equipment front. Fuel cap doesn't lock, allen bolts instead of a simple lock to remove the seat to name just a couple of things. The build quality seems top notch, the engine grumbles away quite happily & it's a dawdle to ride but fun at the same time. It looks so retro & oozes character & prestige. I had looked at some other manufacturers bikes but boy am I glad I went for the triumph. Fuel consumption seems to be getting better now that I've run her in. I'm just sorry it's approaching salt on the road time so she's not going to be out much for the next few months. Anyway have I mentioned she just oozes character........
I just sold my spare bike, a Harley Sportster, to hire a Bonnie and ride Route 66. What a decision. The only thing I regret is buying the HD instead of buying a Bonnie in the first place. What was I thinking? On Route 66 the Triumph outperformed the HD Fatboy my pal hired, it was more comfortable, easier to ride, more economical and attracted far more interest. Reliability was 100%, fuel economy was around 50mpg, and the fun (remember that before the BMW go-around-the-world and Jap crotch rockets?) factor was 100%. It was so easy to ride, I just jumped on it and felt straight at home. The Bonnie I hired was a 2013 T100 (USA) and completely standard. It left the HD for dead every time. The handling was brilliant, and on Highway 2 in north L.A. it was amazing. So nimble. Route 66 has lots of dead ends and the Bonnie was so easy to U-turn. Parts of the Mother Road turn to gravel and dirt tracks and the Bonnie was so easy to ride on these sections. After some gruelling days riding across the desert states, the temp reached 47.8 degrees celsius and the Triumph didn't miss a beat. Never a worry, and always a joy. If it can handle that it can cope with anything. Also had to deal with torrential rainstorms in Illinois and it felt surefooted and sweet then too. From one extreme to another. If I was being extremely fussy the only negative point I can think of was the exhaust note, it's way too quiet. Easily sorted though. I loved it so much I'm looking for one to buy now I'm back home in UK. I rode it for two weeks and 3068 miles and I think that's a pretty good test ride. I absolutely loved it.
Bought my new T100 last year after writing off my Royal Enfield Bullet...feck that hurt. The Bonnie (or Trumpet as I call her) is a brilliant bike. All the joys of a Brit twin with no need to be a grease monkey. Not so much a fanny magnet as an old geeza magnet, Trumpet always has a group of mutterers around her when I park up. The Triumph rack is a worthy accessory as there is nowhere to tie anything to. If you fancy a bike for lazy days in the countryside that looks the business and performs well enough get a Bonnie, you will not regret it. The Bonnie has a lot more soul in my opinion to the W800. End of line colours are a good bet when buying new, I wanted a British racing green (Forest Green) one and managed to haggle £650 off the price as Hinkley weren't making any more (work that out if you can) AND I got £500 worth of useful accessories thrown in too. My Trumpet is my dream bike I totally love her! Come on MCN, update your review and for God's sake remove the pic of the original Bonnie, it's only 50 years + out of bloody date!
First 100 miles on brand new Bonnie - simply brilliant
Come on MCN, this review is ancient. Please update for the EFI bikes. I have a 2011 Bonneville SE and it is simply an amazing motorcycle. Really deserves a test ride.
Got this bike new end of May and have done 2500 enjoyable miles so far. I added a Tacho and a chrome rack. I put a Scottoiler on to take care of the chain. The injected engine is a peach redlines at 7000 and pulls well from 2500. Handling is better than the T100 probably because of the smaller front wheel. Suspension is a little on the hard side but not enough to spend money on until it needs replacing. The seat is another story I am sending it off to get 25mm added to the height and a new cover with better quality material. I love this bike for what it is basically a fun fair weather bike that you can take in the scenery with and a hint of it's ancestor without the hassle of constant maintenance. I fancied trying a Sportster but this is more fun has heritage and is British.
This bike is all about no worries / hassle-free FUN! Yes; compared to many its basic but this is actually a good thing - you don't get bogged down / overwhelmed by the tech. No; its not a rocketship, but unless you spend most of your time eating up miles on a motorway or dual carriageway, it has plenty enough grunt to wisk you around. On minor roads its a joy. Where my Sprint struggles for grip on bumpy country lanes covered in muck and slime the Bonnie just fills the rider with confidence; the grip is excellent, the suspension just right and the riding position a revelation (I'm 6ft 4)- its comfortable, big feet fit between the pegs and the gearchange (without having twist your foot and ankle into strange angles) and for about the first time in 12 bikes, I can see the road behind in my mirrors... Want some fun on country lanes? Get a Bonnie! Want confident handling in winter? Get a Bonnie. Low speed manoeuverability? Yes
Bought my Bonnie T100 in March 2007. It has performed faultlessly for almost three years now. Easy to handle,good acceleration cheap to run & easy to service. The seat is a bit hard but you get used to it. Brakes are superb. People will come and chat as you fill it up and also whilst waiting at traffic lights! One person thought I had made a super job of restoring a 60s bike! Fitted a Scottoiler from day one and have never had to adjust the chain in three years. Original Metzeler tyres suit the bike well. The finish is superb but you must clean and polish weekly. Keep an eye open over the winter for wheel chrome pitting. I have been offered almost what I paid for it so you wont loose a packet when you change.
The reasons for buying a Bonneville have to be the right ones. I bought one because it doesn't look like all the virtually identical Japanese sports bikes. It's more pillion friendly - for bikers who do have friends. It's quite fast enough; I don't want to go over the ton - even though it will - I'd like to keep my licence. It accelerates smartly to overtake at legal speeds It's better finished than most Jap bikes. It's British, English if you prefer - made about 12 miles from where I was born. There's less around than Harley's - at this years Bristol bike show, over 80% of bikes were HDs. I actually like the idea of a Harley, but they are overpriced, underpowered and, sadly, American. They may sound good, but that can be emulated with the right pipes. Yes, you have to hang on over 60 mph; it's a 'naked' bike - so get a screen if it bothers you. I chose the 2007 variant, cus' it looks better with spokes and has the metal tank badges. I'm enormously happy with it. It ticks all the boxes for me. It isn't going to please the average Valentino Rossi wannabe but that's not it's purpose. So, if you want to stand out from the herd, enjoy a proper bike, ride for the fun of it, I'd say it's got to be considered.
I had a test ride on a Bonnie scrambler for a day while my Sprint was being serviced. My first thought was that it was firing on one! The power characterisics of a 500 AJS single. It did pick up between 40 - 80 but I could not get it over 98? This bike is far too heavy for its power output. The horsepower must be in Fellabellas.
I own a 2009 Bonneville that was customised by 3X motorcycles in the colours of the speed triple r! it has Tripple r bars and bar end mirrors and arrow 2-1 exhuast. Runing it in at the moment and it gives me serious smiles. definitley become a sports bike convert as well as hopefully a clean licence holder! great fun bike comfy and does what it says on the tin with no surprises.
My first bike was another classic British twin, the Yamaha XS400 ;) but that was back in '84 & 11 bikes ago. My '07 Aluminium Bonnie is my first REAL Triumph, and I flat love it. It's possibly the 2nd slowest bike I've owned, but after removing the AIS and installing D&D pipes I really have no complaints - it sounds great & has a lot of soul in the midrange, all I need in town and the B roads where I do 99% of my riding (15k miles in 13 months so far). Only using the top half of yer motor 5% of the time, like I did with previous bikes, gets old. I've added all sorts of gear to her: Parabellum fairing, Leatherlyke bags, Silverneck caseguards for hiway pegs, backrest, luggage rack, gaiters, centrestand, -1T countershaft sprocket, barclock, and the aforementioned D&D slip-ons with union jack AIS bolts - but the biggest change was switching to ME880 tyres recently - she was held back by the stock Lasertec/MEZ2 combo. Sure the ME880's don't look retro, but they cured the headshake and stick like rubber should. I ride in Arizona with a MC and need make no apologies for my Trumpet, and anyone who asks why I made a tourer out of her gets told 1) I'm inspired by the 1981 Bonneville Executive & 2) I don't have a car. Her name is Celeste in case you want to search for the pix. Cheers, Scorpio Sober Riders MC Tucson
I am the happy beholder of a '02 Bonneville, a bike scarcely equiped as stock. It does however carry the essentials, unless you count a tacho as essential. Most importantly it rides well, pulls nicely through the rev-band, brakes adequately (for this kind of ride anyway), looks the part and feels the part. Ownership is to my experience a walk in the sunshine; no worries regarding durability, no big expences in either maintainence, depreciation or insurance, and servicing is fairly cheap. If you are a bit handy you can do most of the servicing yourself. However, I found my stock Bonneville a bit too stock for my liking, so I have had a few tweaks done, all of which in my opinion makes the bike even better. Although I do not consider the Tachometer an essential on a bike of this kind, it does not mean I do not find it useful. Of course I do. So I fitted the tacho you find on the plusher T100, for both practicality and appearance. I tend to think it looks better with twin clocks rather than a single clock. I also fitted chromed engine, clutch, crankcase and cam covers (again as you find it on the T100). All of these tweaks weren't required if I only took the trouble of getting a T100 to begin with. Which I didn't. Hence the upgrades. The one upgrade I would have had to perform whichever guise my bonnie came in, is the exhaust system. This is by far the most successfull upgrade I made. I felt the stock mufflers made the engine sound feeble and knew right away it would need fixing. It just gave away too much of the lovely parallel twin, and thus sounded disappointingly. I fancy the looks of the original mufflers though, and would not go for anything radically different, like an arrow-system for instance, or Predators, although they all sound nicely as well as enhancing power output. Some, I've learned has opted for the Norman Hyde Peashooters. However, these aren't that differnt looking from the Predators. Rather then I would consider the Togo mufflers from Norman Hyde. They look more like the stock pipes. And sound good too. Which is more than half the point. Finally it all came down to Triumphs own aftermarked (off-road) mufflers. Boy do they sound good! And there is nothing setting them visually apart from the stock pipes, which to me is a good thing. I also had changes made to the airflow filter to allow the engine better breathing. These two tweaks changed the feel of the bike entirely. Now it sounds as it should have sounded in the first place, and as a healthy bonus it performs notably better in the mid-range. Upgrade well done! Not fitting your Bonnie with better breathing pipes is close to crime given the potential of that beautiful parallel twin engine.
I bought a Bonnie on the rebound from owning a Blackbird, which I found to be too threatening to body, soul and licence - and I have already had one hernia. The Bonnie was a disappointment. It looked the part at face value, but doesn't come across as genuine over time - it pretends to be something it is not. The finish I found to be quite good, not too difficult to clean and brushes up quite well. I didn't have any mechanical or reliability problems either - starts first push every time. The engine is positively asthmatic and has no virtues. I am not into speed, but I am into bike competence at speed, and I found the bike to become increasingly incompetent the faster you go. Handling becomes unsure, there is no oommph in reserve, and the brakes lack assurance. Equipment is dull, even for retro, it is dull - and clocks mist up in the damp. They are not expensive to buy, but for the money there are much better bikes around. I have had a lot of bikes over the years, and this is one that I have enjoyed the least. In fact, if you want a bike that puts you off biking, this is probably the one ... and I love biking. It obviously attracts buyers, and has a fan club. But - caveat emptor - if you are looking for something with character and retro - this is not it.
bought a 04 t100 brand new 4 years down the road wheels starting to pit same with the rear shocks paint on back mudgaurd gone slightly crazed engine block coating bubbling black on bottom of cylinder pinged off come on triumph you can do better than this
It's hard to find review of the 865cc model and I'm not entirely sure why. It's comfortable, has classic looks and makes you feel like a true biker! Theres no auto choke, no fuel warning lights, no digital gizmo's, just you, an analogue trip counter, the bike and the road! (I gave the bike 5 stars for equipment, because it has all you need). The Bonnie has superb acceleration, yes it will top out before most other nakeds, but naked bikes can rarely be ridden for any real time over 80-90mph comfortably, with that in mind, the Bonnie is actually a direct competitor! There is an instant feel of solid build quality, when first coming in contact with the bike. It also feels light and easy to ride. The fuel consumption is exellent (as would be expected) and its basic engine design gives supreme confidence in its ability to run forever! The front brake is a bit wooden, and does lack power at pretty much all speeds. The Bonnie I have has not been ridden much however, and the lacking 'feel' could be down to something on the pad/disc surface. Aftermarket upgrades are obtainable should the owner desire improvements in this area. Though ironicaly, most upgrade parts for our British bike, are only available from America! Recommended alterations would be; removal of the air injection system (cost of £25 for parts from Triumph), it makes the engine run cooler and prevents 'blueing' of the downpipes. Triumph's own race silencers are a must! It wakes the Bonnie up and makes it the bike it was always supposed to be. Removal of the air box and the installation of a couple of nice pleated filters should finish it off, freeing up the Bonnies breathing further. The latter must be baught as a kit, as there are replacement jets and brackets to get it right. I have had many bikes, naked and sports. I can honestly say, hand on heart, I have never had such a desire to go riding, as I do with the Bonnie. This bike, is biking!
Easy to manage, give it some welly it responds, people love to look at it. A great commute and weekend bike. Strengths: Build, style, sounds a lot better after 2-3000 miles. Weaknesses: Low tank range 100 -110 miles. Not good for commuting. Also needed to fit a small screen to ease windblast, but its a naked bike. what do you expect?
I BOUGHT THIS BIKE IN JULY 2005 AFTER A LONG PERIOD WITHOUT SO I WANTED SOMETHING THAT WOULD NOT KILL ME ! IT IS A LOVELY GREEN AND SILVER MODEL . MY FIRST IMPRESSION WAS OF A VERY NICELY BALANCED AND COMFY RIDE WITH A GOOD LIVELY PERFORMANCE . I ALWAYS LIKE TO CHANGE A FEW ITEMS ON ANY BIKE SO THE FIRST MOD I MADE WAS A MOTOTWIN AIR ELIMINATION KIT TO PREVENT THE EXHAUST POPPING, IT WORKED WELL, THE NEXT WAS TO FIT SOME MOTOTWIN SS SILENCERS, I HAD TO REJET THE CARBS (EASILY DONE BUT FIDDLY) AND ALSO FITTED A UNIFLOW AIR FILTER, I NOW HAVE A BIKE WITH A LOT MORE POWER THROUGHOUT THE REV RANGE BUT ESPECIALLY LOW TO MIDRANGE AND THE SOUND AND LOOKS ARE FANTASTIC . NEXT I FITTED SOME MOTOTWIN LOWER HANDLEBARS TO IMPROVE RIDING COMFORT AND GIVE THE BIKE A MORE SPORTY FEEL . I NOW HAVE A WONDERFUL BIKE THAT LOOKS GREAT AND IS A JOY TO RIDE. Strengths: I FREQUENTLY GET ASKED ABOUT THE BIKE AND IT ATTARCTS ADMIRERS EVERYWHERE IT GOES, THE QUALITY OF BUILD AND FINISH IS FAR SUPERIOR TO JAPANESE BIKES, IT IS A SUPERB TOWN BIKE DUE TO THE LOW CENTRE OF GRAVITY MAKING MANOEUVERABILITY EASY AND THE LOW DOWN PULLING POWER MAKES IT QUICK OFF THE MARK . THE TRIUMPH NAME AND TRADITION ARE STRENGTHS AND THE BIKE ACTUALLY MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE RIDING SOMETHING SOLID AND WITH A QUALITY FEEL. Weaknesses: THE ONLY REAL WEAKNESS IS THE LACK OF OUTRIGHT PERFORMANCE WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER MODERN MACHINERY BUT THIS IS MORE THAN COMPENSATED BY THE STRENGTHS .
After two years on a CB450 anything would seem good, but that does the T100 a severe injustice. It's a treat to ride and makes me look for excuses to go out on it. It may not be right for everyone - you won't be winning many races on one - but if there's a cooler looking bike out there, I haven't seen it. Oh and another thing. I love red traffic lights now. People just stop and stare at the bike, something that never happened with the Honda, and if it did, they were usually sniggering.. Strengths: Great looks, very easy to control. Weaknesses: Not the quickest, but that doesn't bother me. The cost of Triumph add-on's/parts, it's scandalous.
I bought the T100 to complement my 1955 Speed Twin, which is great fun to ride but not to mix it with other traffic. I also own a GS1200 and another Jap classic. The T100 is great fun, looks nice, goes & stops well, lacks a bit of character perhaps. I would imagine it to be a very good novice bike, or as a second bike. Unless you're really set on having one, however, it might prove to be disappointing. A GS650 single has more grunt & sounds better! But that's missing the point - this is a retro Brit twin, more of a lifestyle choice. Strengths: Looks gorgeous, especially in Sapphire Blue. Good VFM. Weaknesses: Standard exhaust far too quiet. Upright riding position on this naked bike means one has to 'hang on', even at modest speeds. The bike lacks the grunt one would expect from a British Twin.
No significant difference in performance except the new one has better pulling power. The bike is easy to ride and handles well. The local area is rife with cameras so performance is irrelative to me. It will cruise all day at the legal max. without effort although the fitting of a small fly screen has helped lessen the wind effect. Running costs are low. Strengths: Its late 50's/early 60's looks. Weaknesses: <br>Could be a little lighter,as I would presume its main market to be fragile old folk, like myself.