TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE AMERICA LT (2014 - 2016) Review

Highlights

  • Authentic bagger feel
  • Tried and tested Triumph engine
  • Smaller and more manageable than the competition

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 60 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.2 in / 690 mm)
Weight: High (595 lbs / 270 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £5,700 - £7,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Triumph Bonneville America LT is by definition a ‘smaller bagger’, but it’s not really a small bike. It’s manageable, yes, but is sufficiently full sized to carry two and luggage and tour hundreds of miles with ease. The LT also has enough style, comfort, performance and practicality and yet is still a doddle to get on with as well.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

This low and reasonably light (for a Bagger) middleweight is easy to manouevre and is a joy to ride smoothly and sensibly. Push on and it all gets a bit wobbly but this is a bike you want to sit back on and enjoy the scenery.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The familiar Bonneville twin is a reliable puppy of a motor, pulling away easily, revving freely and consistently, bounding happily enough up to 80-or-so and always being soft, pliant yet useful. There’s no shocks or scares here.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In some areas the LT comes over as a little cheap or ‘budget’. The single dial speedo carried over from the base model looks crudely ‘tacked on’, like the aftermarket clocks you’d find on s streetfighter; there’s only one colour choice; and, perhaps inevitably, it also lacks the extra riding lights and chrome, white walls and more that help make the Thunderbird version so desireable.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The LT (with LT standing for ‘Light Touring’) is essentially the first of a new breed of ‘baby baggers’ – mini Road King-style touring cruisers defined by their plexiglass screens and (usually soft) panniers.

Based on the America its timing looks set to capitalise on the introduction of its big brother, the 1600cc Thunderbird LT, earlier this year. But how much of the ‘big bagger’ experience do you get with the smaller, cheaper version? And who’s it for?

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you like the style, you’re getting a temptingly decent amount of bike with the new America LT. These are all the extras you get with the LT...

Screen - Tall, plexiglass affair is similar to that on its recently-introduced Thunderbird LT big brother in being easily detachable via a pair of spring-loaded levers at each side of the screen.

Panniers - Leather, retro-styled panniers are claimed to be showerproof and cleverly fasten with quick release plastic clips underneath the cosmetic metal buckles.

Back rest - Or ‘sissy bar’, to use the correct, US vernacular, is again similar to that on its Thunderbird LT big brother and adds comfort and security for any pillion passenger.

Footboards - To complete the ‘bagger’ style the LT gets full-sized footboards, complete with a heel-toe gearchange on the left, in place of the bog America’s footpegs. Ground clearance is reduced a tad, but on the whole they improve comfort.

Specs

Engine size 865cc
Engine type Air-cooled 865cc DOHC parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 19.3 litres
Seat height 690mm
Bike weight 270kg
Front suspension 41mm KYB forks with no adjustment
Rear suspension Twin KYB shocks with preload adjustment
Front brake 310mm disc with four-piston Nissin calipers
Rear brake 285mm disc with four-piston Nissin calipers
Front tyre size 130/90 x 16
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £100
New price -
Used price £5,700 - £7,000
Insurance group 10 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2 year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 60 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 200 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Bonneville engine used.

Other versions

There is a basic America which uses the same engine but has none of the 'Bagger' accessories.

Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE AMERICA (2014 - 2016)

1 owner has reviewed their TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE AMERICA (2014 - 2016) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE AMERICA (2014 - 2016)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
4 out of 5 Suprisingly stable and low revving at highway speed.
10 April 2016 by Bob

Version: LT America

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £100

Best features: handling and high speed stability, Passenger comfort. worst feature: rear shocks are stiff, low quality.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes are acceptable for a cruiser. Ride quality is generally smooth, however it is harsh at the rear when subjected to poor road conditions. Recommend upgraded rear shocks.

Engine 5 out of 5

Best horsepower in its class.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Stone reliable bike.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I do my own oil changes, etc.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Replace the original rear shocks.

Buying experience: Triumph dealer was fast, and no bull at time of sale.

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