TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 (2016 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£180|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
If you look at the Triumph Bonneville T120 and think ‘that’s a bit of me’ then you will love it, especially if you are stepping up from one of the older air-cooled models.
As well as a refined ride, it’s comfortable, beautifully styled, has as smooth motor and overall is a very practical retro for the modern world. It’s a grown up Bonneville aimed at riders who will appreciate and exploit this new found level of maturity.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Its chassis is more than capable of carving through the bends, but it has far more limitations imposed on it than the sportier Thruxton when it comes to cornering. Ground clearance is quite limited and the 18-inch front wheel can give a slightly lazy feeling to the front end and odd feedback if you are more used to a 17-inch item. The suspension is soft but perfectly suited to the bike’s relaxed outlook on life.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The new parallel twin motor may be 1200cc, but in the Bonnie it has been tuned for maximum ease of use. You don’t need to go hunting for an elusive bit of torque, as long as the rev counter is showing above 2000rpm the T120 is ready to waft you forward with minimal fuss and revs. It’s silky smooth in its throttle response and has virtually no vibrations, certainly not enough to make the mirrors do anything as ungainly as vibrate.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Triumph has lavished huge amounts of time and effort on the T120 and the level of detail and finish is excellent. It is a beautiful bike to just stand and admire and MCN can’t forsee any reliability woes. The motor’s service intervals have been extended to 10,000 miles, which is also good news.
In March 2019 a recall was issued for some versions of this bike. Find out how to get yours sorted here.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Bonnie offers a lot of technology and style for a very reasonable price. The optional two-tone paint is worth the extra cash as the hand painted pin stripe does really set the bike apart. The T120 Black replaces the T120’s chrome for matt black should you want a more subtle style at no extra cost.
The only adjustment on the suspension is the rear preload, however the Bonnie has two-level heated grips as standard, ABS and traction control. The dash is loaded with useful information such as fuel range and a gear position indicator. A pillion grab rail is standard fitment.
In May 2019 Triumph revealed the T120 Ace and Diamond special editions - regular T120s that were dressed slightly differently to seperate them from the crowds.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||14.5 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm conventional fork, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin shocks, spring preload adjustment only|
|Front brake||2x310mm two-piston sliding calipers, ABS|
|Rear brake||255mm disc, two piston. ABS|
|Front tyre size||100/90 R18|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 R17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||50 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£180|
|Used price||£6,800 - £9,500|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||79 bhp|
|Max torque||77.5 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
T120 Black, also for £9600, available in black or grey
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 (2016 - on)
19 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 (2016 - 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:||£180|
Annual servicing cost: £200
Looks, sound and feel good factor I can’t stop grinning when I’m riding. Always gets admiring looks and positive comments.
Brakes not as powerful as more sports oriented bikes but more than adequate for the laid back torque and style of riding the triumph encourages. No issues with comfort solo not had a pillion on yet but nothing to think there will be an issue there.
Very torquey but a little more shove top end would be nice. Very good economy and easy to ride
No issues whatever
Reasonable costs and loan bikes included which is very helpful.
OEM tyres a bit lacking in grip and confidence in the wet and tramlines a bit.
Buying experience: Bought new from a main dealer and was treated very well. Got a few extras included which I wanted within the list price.
Annual servicing cost: £150
The torquey engine & excellent handling make the Bonneville T120 a great ride. I would recommend this bike to anyone, especially those like me who are fed up with crouching over a super sports bike with power you want to use but can't except on a track. The Bonnie brings the fun back to road riding!
This is a perfect all rounder. I can ride for 2 hours without a break at motorway speeds. Pillion comfort is good.
Loads of torque.
3 years old & in perfect condition. 100% reliability.
Running costs are fairly low.
Buying experience: My dealer, J S Gedge, offers excellent service with quality work & a friendly greeting.
Annual servicing cost: £350
I love this bike. I have 5 bikes and no longer ride any of the others. I enjoy this bike today as much as the day I bought it. Worst - nothing really, maybe a slightly wider seat but I can still ride it all day when touring in Europe. Pegs touch down a bit early too. I would recommend this bike to a friend - in fact he's buying a scrambler!
Just a great all-rounder - much greater than the sum of its parts. Toured Spain and Portugal twice, once two-up which was great as we travel light.
Lovely motor, doesn't pull your arms off but just so entertaining to use.
Great build, still looks like new after 13,000 miles and nothing gone wrong
great fuel economy if you need it
I have not cluttered it up with accessories - simple is good. Standard tyres are fine - as the ends of the pegs will confirm.
Buying experience: Excellent dealer - let me try the whole model range for as long as I wanted. £9900
Annual servicing cost: £200
I've been up on 2 wheels since 1972 and always had a thing for Brit bikes. From my old BSA thumper to a 78 Silver Jubilee then a 2015 T100 and now the T120. The T120 is not a souless poser disguised as a vintage bike but rather a robust modern bike taking its roots to heart. The bike does everything well but not perfect and after the first 50 miles I knew I had to make changes. In stock form (other than the mirrors - more on that soon), the bike is super good. The motor sings although a bigger stretch between gears 1 and 2, and 2 and 3 would be welcome. The exhaust system is way too restrictive - the bike bogs a bit below 2500 rpm when you twist the wick. I installed the British Customs Sleeper Pros and x-pipe and the bike woke up big time. The seat, it sucks - I installed a Dunstall styled cafe solo seat. The mirrors are completely useless, I installed OEM bar end units. My only other gripe is the dials while nicely laid out suffer from sun glare and with the neutral light so small you cant see it. A Dart screen fixed this. The bike has MAJOR niceties in the heated grips, center stand, traction control, etc all stock. My T100 was a really good bike, after these mods the bike is a great one. I've gotten thumbs up and 'hey what is that' on at lest 10 occasions. This is my second bike to a Harley Heritage. I was debating about a Sportster but his bike is the winner hands down.
The ride quality is fine, but this is not a sustained barn stormer. The rear shocks just are not up to task BUT thats not the purpose here. Country cruising at under 65mph, the bike is a charm. Also as stated the stock seat is awful.
The motor on this is sweet BUT IMO, the mufflers and cat need to go. They are overly restrictive. Since I changed (see above) the mill gets a 5.
So far, so good!
The bike has a 500 mile service then a 10000 mile service - sweet! MPGs are about 50 and insurance costs are low
Heated grips, center stand, traction control all standard- nice! Also as stated the mirrors just suck, they peer into your shoulders.
Buying experience: I bought my bike at Metuchen Triumph in NJ USA. No nonsence, negotiate like gentlemen and leave with the keys.
i had my 2016 1200 black given a new wiring loom supplied and fitted by the Triumph dealership at their expense after a total electrical failure. my t120 looks sounds and performs like the 2019 model, i beat them too it 3 years ago....with performance parts. i love riding it. smile factor 10
fited sports brake pads. i set the riding specs for my country road hacks.
used to lag a bit but the decat helped that breathe a bit better.
New electrical loom fitted after 3 years
i throw money at it. i value my bike big time.
I fitted loads ….. exhaust; Remus slips ons Fox rear shocks … graduated front springs... tail tidy …
Buying experience: Great team at my Dealership I bought from new and have stayed with them just had my 10.000 service and MOT.
If looks were a measure of a motorcycle this would be a 100% machine. It perfectly sums up the development of the original 1959 Bonneville.in the modern 2016 and on world. It looks well and it looks like it 'means business'. To many non motorcyclists it could be an early Bonneville with its faux Amal carbs and chrome exhausts. It looks a fine machine especially when the sun shines.
The rear springs needed adjustment from soft to middle pre-load settings. The forks are built to a budget but for normal riding ar eadequate; if you ride ''with the boys'' you may wish to upgrade or buy a Thruxton. The front brakes are fine and couldn't be improved for the type of bike it is.The rear brake is adequate.
The 1200 engine is unhurried and relaxed; it's best on a run but can work well on a morning commute. It carries all it's weight low down and the engine is a masterpiece of design, despite being water cooled it appears to be an air cooled engine and the styling is sublime with , so far, a high quality and reliable build.
I'm too early into my ownership to comment; my machine is a 2016 model with 24,000 miles on it from the 1st owner. So I shall be ensuring it's well serviced and the 10,000 mile intervals seem attractive but I may have an oil change rather sooner.
On a run the bike can exceed 70 mpg. It will be normal to get into the high 60s mpg. So as a new owner I will monitor the the economy and make sure it gets maintained.
Buying experience: I purchased my three year old machine from a Triumph dealer. It was priced sensibly for a machine that had one owner and 24,000 miles on it. Normally these bikes have very low miles and sit in garages being endlessly polished. Mine has been ridden but I managed to get a part exchange price that I felt was attractive to me. The bike comes with a Triumph local dealer 3 month guarantee too, so overall pleased with the deal. I part exchanged a Kawasaki W 800.
Annual servicing cost: £210
Relaxed engine is perfect match to the relaxed ride.
Easy to ride confidently, Toured Europe covering Poland, Hungary, Croatia + others and back to UK at 72 MPG and 4800 over 7 wks two up with luggage. Not a murmer from the bike and took everything in it's stride. Always draws attention and comments from young and old alike and continually confused with the Original 60's Bonnie.
Original tyres don't inspire much confidence. All day comfort for two with original seat, Royale (K&Q) seat is not worth the money as it's not as comfortable as the standard seat.
Smooth, torquey and economical.
Only thing I was concerned about was the tubes tyres, would have preferred tubeless for ease of temp' repair.
Cheap insurance and 10K service intervals. Service indicator means a visit to a Triumph dealer though. Disappointed about that
USB plug is in a strange place hidden under the seat, could have been put in a more accessible place. Fit an X pipe and remove the cat, improves exhaust tone. Heated grips are super.
A complete and rounded machine. Eveything is so together and refined. Works so well. A real eye opener..........
In real world terms , I really can't fault. If I was to be really picky, perhaps the front forks sometimes can get a little bouncy?
Although a little too soon to say in my case.......but with fuel consumption looking to be around 60mpg and 10000 mile service intervals, and a huge reputation for reliability........
Amazing , easy to access in the instruments, the best heated grips, decent headlight. It's a naked, so obviously no standard fairing luggage.
Buying experience: Excellent, so pleasant and helpful
Version: Matte Black
Beautiful to look at, smooth to ride. Perfect for the rutted roads in Wiltshire.
Longest run was 350miles through south Wales in seven hours with one stop for fuel. Brakes do their job. Never had a problem with Nissin
Sounds gorgeous, pulls away fine. Easy up to 95mph, never gone beyond in open Face helmet. Engine braking is a bit weak
Only complaint would be inner tubes, but guess that comes with spoked wheels
Service every 10,000miles. Averaging about 64mpg despite riding like I stole it for tank range of 190miles
Heated grips are good, not sure you need riding modes
I had a Thruxton R, but it was like a high maintenance girlfriend - great looking, but just too much hard work. Switched to the T120 and instantly loved its comfort, performance and relaxed ride. Probably the best bike I've ever owned.
Brakes are adequate, but could be sharper with floating discs rather than floating calipers. I'm told that changing the pads will produce an improvement.
The engine is great, but the gearing is too high. I fitted a Thruxton R 16 tooth front sprocket and now the bike pulls away sharper, speed limits don't sit between the gears any more and 6th gear is now more useable rather than an overdrive.
The bike has everything I want or need, but I have added a Dart flyscreen (excellent) and the Triumph oval mirrors to replace the standard long stalks.
Buying experience: Got a great trade-in for my Thruxton from Pure Triumph at Woburn, and a great price on the T120.
Version: Black White
Singapore is a humid bloody place. It gets pretty hot when this beaut is in slow traffic (obviously). 15.5k km mileage. Rode it to Malacca, Malaysia and back. No complaints. Blasted it to its max, 210km-ish, wasn't pleasant without flydart screens. Honestly? I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I would state the obvious, and then some. But I wouldn't recommend it. Call me selfish, but I love the exclusivity. I adore its aesthetic appeal, which is only as equivalent to its responsiveness. It's not obnoxiously loud either, which is a real plus when you're more of a gentleman, or at least trying to be one. Give a bike its due maintenance, it should be fine. I'm keen on purchasing essentials like crashguards, outex tapes and tire foam due to it being tubed, but that's it. Caution: Only for people who adore their bikes to rinse, wash, wipe, polish and maintain their bikes.
able to spend a mean rate for a "fanch-ey" bike.
Very hot engine on right side
Acceleration is awesome
Expensive to buy new
Buying experience: Good
Annual servicing cost: £50
Brake noise is bad but the rest of the bike is excellent. Just what I wanted for a modern do all plus look good scoot. Doesn't look like some space alien craft, rather form follows function, always a good design direction. have recommended it to several friends already.
Front brake harmonics are a real problem, brakes are adequate otherwise Have gone 6 hours on rough twisty roads with no problem
Torque is King
Front brakes squeal and have a harmonic just before stopping, drives me nuts!!! Dealer wont even fix it for me, common complaint i hear.
Do my own so far. Oil & filter costs thats all. had dealer do the $300 CDN first service though
heated grips are excellent, plus the standard stand Tires are a good choice so far wish you could easily disable the ABS and Traction control for dirt or gravel riding also have it remember your choices when you start the bike
Buying experience: excellent sales service, great trade in on my old Bonnie Not so hot listening to my brakes complaint
Annual servicing cost: £65
5 out of 5? Well that's me, maybe not you! I wanted a good looking, good sounding, easy to ride, pillion friendly bike. That's exactly what the T120 is, I'm 6ft so its nice a compact for me, step over with no effort, push the button and instance V twin burble (yes its a parallel twin but it has a 270 crank) Easy access power, most of the time I short shift and seldom go over 4000, yes 4000!. its a cruiser not a sports bike - hell if only does around 110mph and is so high geared that's in 4th.
Seat is 90 minutes good, for ride and pillion, tank is 2hours+ so get a taste for coffee. Ride is firm and either getting better or I'm getting used to it. Brakes are okay nothing better, Handling is peg scraping good. super stable and different to 17inch front wheel bikes BUT not a limitation.
Great sound, and torque up to 90 and dead after, but carries a pillion and offers super easy overtakes with high gear low rev roll on's. So so easy to use, light clutch, great gearbox. All gears super high, final drive is 37/17 against 42/16 for a ThruxtonR (normal Thruxton same a T120) so is very much a overdrive gear. Motor is very smooth for a twin below 4000, not bad above but noticeable. Runs down to 1500rpm with small throttle openings.
Great build, hidden cables, cast controls not pressed, easy to clean, however the left had engine cases is scuffed from my boots already - it's posh plastic.
Only first service so far
Brilliant, Pillion Grab rail, no need of a hugger, centre stand, radiator guard, USB charging point and heated grips all standard.
Buying experience: Paid 9600 before options. Bevan's in Cardiff are great to deal with.
The bike is beautiful to look at and when you're on it you will get a big smile on your face, this is the reason to buy this bike, coupled with the fact its English and that it looks like a bike not a Transformer is another, the engine is creamy smooth and full of low end grunt. It has English mixed in the oil and if you are English it will take you back to the 60's when everything was as it should be now! So take yourself back and dream of being there! No other brand can do that.
I am used to a BMW which doesn't dive under front end braking, this bike dips under heavy breaking but not enough to worry about. The comfort seat option has a type of memory foam infill which isn't suitable for long journeys.
Very smooth to 4,000 RPM after which slight vibration does set in but not enough to spoil an enjoyable ride. The BMW I had produced 110 bhp, this Triumph has 78, however because the triumph has so much torque the engine is better than the BMW and has less vibration.
Beautiful finish, could have provided some of the extras as options or included them in the mix, but hey its an extra revenue stream.
Be prepared for long wait times for accessories such as Panniers and the King and Queen seat.
Buying experience: Carl Rosen in Sanderstead Surrey pulled out all the stops to provide the bike, their manner is an example to all.
Looks, motor, brakes, instruments, steering lock, easy of use, SOUND, equipment, (grab rail, centre stand, heating grips, locking fuel cap and radiator guard all standard) comfort. suspension heavily damped. pots holes are jarring (95Kg rider preload minimum)
Super easy bike to operate, low seat, all day riding position, taut suspension (maybe too taut!). You have to plan your corners and don't expect to change your mind - like a old bike. Big wheel and 25 degree steering = slow steering. BUT get it right and it's very rewarding (pegs may suffer)
I've had singles, V twin Buell's, inline fours across and alone the frame, and a V4. This motor is the most satisfyingly to use. Sound with standard pipes is, to me, very pleasing! Torque is the new power? no screaming revs, a hard burble from the pipes and with a high gear roll on over take its like " did that car brake?" Running in was never this much fun
Only done 300miles .......
Don't know cost but intervals are 10K or annual.
it comes with all the stuff you used to have to add = grab rail, centre stand, heating grips, locking fuel cap and radiator guard no hugger needed also.
Buying experience: Bevan Triumph, lovey people! (Cardiff)
Steering very vague, hard work on faster bends