TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 (2016 - on) Review
- Balanced mix of traditional charm and modernity
- Easy going, luxurious and classy
- The most grown-up Bonnie they’ve ever made
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£190|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Our continued appetite for retro machinery means an ever-expanding market with choices to suit any preference. From diddy-capacity commuter to grunting high-tech café racer, there’s a throwback bike to suit.
- Latest news: Triumph unveil Gold Line Bonneville editions
- Related: 2021 Triumph Bonneville family unveiled
The 1200cc parallel-twin Triumph Bonneville T120 sits midway between simple, authentic retros like Royal Enfield’s best-selling Interceptor, and modern bikes in period getup like the BMW R nineT and Yamaha XSR900. It has plenty of traditional style, a rumbling touchy-feely engine and lashings of easy-going charm, balanced with up-to-date technology, rideability and accessible performance. It’s an easy-to-ride roadster, perhaps closest to Honda’s CB1100 in terms of feel, positioning and dynamic.
Purists in their Union Flag underpants might grumble about the fact that the T120 is made in Thailand, rather than Hinckley. They’ll probably tut at the discreet radiator nestled in front of the engine and roll their eyes at traction control, too.
However, the Bonnie is made to the same standards as bikes screwed together in the UK (better, in fact – Triumph actually use tighter quality control in Thailand) but for a cheaper price, meaning a classy device with pleasing affordability. Modern-day touches make it functional and reassuring, and it’s easier to live with than any air-cooled forebear.
It’s perhaps the most rounded Bonnie yet.
It's the sister bike to the smaller-engined T100, but harks back to Triumph heritage as the Bonneville T120 name has been around for a very long time indeed - it was the firm's first bike, back in 1959.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community to speak to likeminded folk. We'd recommend the Triumph Owner's Motor Cycle Club.
For 2021, the beloved Bonnie was updated with the rest of the extended model family to meet the stricter Euro5 emissions regulations. MCN contributor Phil West rode the new version to find out what effect the update had had.
There wasn’t much wrong with the old T120 but Triumph has seized the opportunity of Euro5 to make it’s class-leading retro better than ever. The engine, chassis, tech and styling improvements are all noticeable – if subtle – and cement the Bonnie’s status as ‘best of breed’.
Instead, the new T120’s biggest problem is the retro sector is now more competitive than ever – not least from other Triumphs.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Triumph have come a long way since their rebirth with modular models in the early 1990s. This doesn’t mean they no longer use common parts, though – the T120 features the tubular steel cradle frame used across the Bonneville line-up, from Street Twin to trackday-ready Thruxton RS.
Suspension is by Kayaba, with 41mm unadjustable cartridge forks at the front and twin shocks out back with five-way preload. Brakes are basic two-pot sliders. To ensure a hint of classic to the looks and handling there’s an 18-inch front wheel, with Pirelli’s retro-look Phantom Sportscomp tyres; front is 100/90-18, rear is 150/70 R17.
It’s an upright riding position, with a low 785mm seat, easy-reach handlebars, and a far more substantial feel than previous-generation 865cc Bonnevilles. No surprise, given the T120 is physically larger and weighs the same as a large adventure bike. Tooling around a low speed is blissfully simple thanks to a low centre of gravity and easy control, and the Triumph makes a pleasing bend-swinger on open roads. Stable, secure, relaxed. Suspension damping isn’t the greatest, but it’s better than older Bonnies and gives a convincing ‘modern classic’ feel.
Push on down a twisty route and limitations are felt. With the 18in front wheel and weight carried low the T120 can be a little reluctant to nip into corners. Increasing rear preload (it’s set on minimum out the box) makes the steering a tad crisper and the footpegs less likely to meet the road. The basic brake set-up is fine for Sunday thrumming, but the weighty T120 needs a good handful if you’re tramping along.
Chassis-wise, the big change for 2021 was cutting weight. There was a 7kg reduction overall, from both engine and natty new alloy wheel rims which, being unsprung, have the added benefit of reducing gyro effect, lightening steering and helping make the whole plot more agile and manouvrable.
There’s also improved Brembo front calipers. The upshot of all that is effortless, joyful handling and steering plus impressively sharp and powerful braking which is right up with, if not better than, any in the class.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Like the frame, Triumph’s twin-cylinder engine is used across the Bonneville line-up, from the 800cc Street Triple (smaller bore diameter) to the wheel-lifting Thruxton RS. In 1200cc T120 format there’s just shy of 80 horsepower, with a heavier crank and taller gearing than in freer-revving Thruxton spec.
The Bonneville name might come from Triumph’s land speed record antics in the 1950s, but this bike’s designed for relaxed rumbling. Drive is delivered in a controlled manner with a purring bass-rich thrum. Peak torque arrives at a barely awake 3100rpm and then falls away quite rapidly, encouraging short-shifted progress and rolling on-and-off the throttle in a tall gear. There’s ample grunt though, and the motor’s low-rev tune is a good match for the chassis dynamic and riding position.
Fuelling is pleasingly smooth, the clutch is nice and light, and you get to choose between Road and Rain riding modes. Which is nice, but the T120 is such a big softie that a gentler Rain setting is a little superfluous.
Like the rest of Triumph’s 2021 Bonneville family, the parallel twin engine was revised to meet the Euro5 emissions regs that came into force that year. In the T120’s case, the 1200cc HT (High Torque) version gained tweaks including a lighter crank for reduced inertia and a more immediate throttle response.
Peak power and torque was unchanged but that’s no bad thing: the bigger Bonnie’s still flexible, easy, characterful yet with an invigorating wallop if you’re in the mood. It feels a good 25-30% punchier than the 900cc T100 but is also immediate and free-revving. Job done.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Triumph have done a nice job with the current Bonneville range. The engine is a handsome unit and does a convincing job of masking its modern technology, the finish is generally excellent, and the detailing is top notch. There’s garage appeal aplenty.
Reliability is good. Triumph’s parallel twin is solid and dependable, low stressed in T120 guise, and has pleasing 10,000-mile service intervals. Some of the bare and polished finishes can suffer from post-wet ride neglect, though, and really don’t like road salt. There was also a recall in early 2019, so if you’re buying used double-check with a dealer to see if the bike was one of the ones affected and whether it was looked at.
Our Triumph Bonneville T120 owners' reviews are very positive, the only downsides being bits people often change anyway - OEM tyres and suspension.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Ten grand might seem quite steep for a straightforward retro, especially when rivals like the Moto Guzzi V7 and Kawasaki W800 are noticeably cheaper – and Royal Enfield’s best-selling Interceptor is half the price.
However, the T120 is in a different quality league to the bargain Enfield, offers greater tech and luxury than the Guzzi and more easy-going performance than the charming Kawasaki, and has stronger residuals than any of them. Honda’s direct rival CB1100 is perhaps even classier than the T120, though for most people the inline four hasn’t the character of Triumph’s twin.
But if you want, specifically, a modern recreation of the 1959 Bonneville, this remains the best – by some way.
There are versions to suit traditionalists and trendy types. The straight T120 features classic bright finishes and an ample covering of chrome, while the T120 Black has a dark finish to its engine, exhaust and wheels. Apparently, all the rage with urban types. Both cost £10,600 (at the start of £2021; they were £9600 when released in 2016). There’s also a ‘Bud Ekins’ version (named after the American racer and stuntman who was a close friend of a certain Mr McQueen) with two-tone paint and specific details for an extra 300 quid.
It might not be obvious on the surface but there’s a decent amount of equipment on the Bonnie. It has standard-fit heated grips, traction control, ABS and two riding modes, plus LED daytime running lights, a USB charger hidden under the seat and an ignition key immobiliser. And all the tasty detailing and fine finishes are included, of course…
In May 2019 Triumph revealed the Bonneville T120 Ace and Diamond special editions - regular T120s that were dressed slightly differently to seperate them from the crowds.
There comes a point where too much tech dilutes the retro experience while too little annoys. The 2021 T120 plays it about right. The two riding modes, Rain and Road are enhanced for 2021, easily navigated and sufficient (Rain, incidentally, knocks it down to about T100 performance).
Cruise control is a new addition and easily operated via a dedicated button on the left switch block and the switchable traction control and necessary ABS are retained from before. Meanwhile, heated grips, alarm, tracker and more are available as accessories.
Looks-wise for 2021 there's nothing dramatically new – after 21 years of evolution, the best inspiration and name in motorcycling (the ’59 Triumph Bonneville) and class-leading status, that’s simply not necessary.
Even so, 2021’s T120 updates are welcome. There are refreshed clock faces (as on the new T100), three new colours (silver/red, silver/blue or black) and, smartest of all, a new ‘three-bar’ tank badge specific the T120.
Add lots of quality chrome, those alloy rims, gaiters, ribbed seat, smart LED lights, ‘Lucas-alike’ taillight etc and the latest Bonnie wants for nothing. And, if you decide it does, there’s 116 genuine accessories ranging from CNC parts to waxed cotton panniers to performance shocks to choose from via Triumph’s slick online configurator.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||14.7 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm conventional fork, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin shocks, spring preload adjustment only|
|Front brake||Twin 310mm discs, two piston Brembo calipers, ABS|
|Rear brake||255mm disc, two piston Nissin caliper, ABS|
|Front tyre size||100/90 R18|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 R17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||50 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£190|
|Used price||£7,000 - £10,300|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||2 years unlimited mileage|
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
- 2016: New 1200cc, 79bhp, parallel-twin T120 launched as part of an all-new Bonneville range. Shares frame and engine with the Street Twin (smaller bore to give 800cc) and café racer-style Thruxton (higher state of tune and more revs to explore, with 96bhp). There’s a regular T120 in four colour options, the blacked-out T120 Black, plus a metallic red and two-tone options for a few quid more.
Colours have been tweaked over the following years, with ‘Ace’ and ‘Diamond’ versions released in 2019. There was also a two-tone Bud Ekins T120 with model-specific details which is still available. Otherwise the model has continued unchanged.
All the Bonnevilles in Triumph’s line up share the same basic architecture, though each has a distinct flavour.
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE T120 (2016 - on)
35 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:||£190|
This is a fantastic bike in every aspect with two small exceptions: The brown seat is really uncomfortable and the tyres fitted as standard are horrible. Apart from this, I love my bike. First job was to ditch the silencers for some tasty Predator Pro cans - they look and sound perfect.
For a 1200cc bike it needs a few more hp’s
Must admit I was surprised too. Seems a lot
Never had heated grips - love them.
Buying experience: Bought from a Triumph dealer - formerly Jack Lillies
Version: T120 Bud Ekins
Annual servicing cost: £200
Drop dead gorgeous but the most unreliable bike I have owned.
Handles OK and I really like the way that it rides.
You feel the restrictive exhaust and first gear is too tall. Both issues that could be easily sorted.
Looks reasonably well built and polishes up well but has issues. The radiator was pebble-dashed the first time it was ridden in the rain as there is zero protection from the (perfectly aimed) road muck that flies off the front wheel. Bought new in September 2020, it was returned to the dealer in April 21 when it would not start. A dead ECU was diagnosed and this was replaced under warranty. Fast forward to April 22 and, again, the bike will not start. RAC technician indicated that the ECU may be the cause of the issue - again. (Due to V=COVID and other issues the bike had only covered around 100 miles between failures) No confirmation as to the cause of the problem this time as the dear cannot pick it up for ten days.
Cheap to run as it doesn't :-)
It is not the sport of bike you buy if you want something gadget-laden. The equipment is adequate and perfectly suited to the machine.
Buying experience: The dealer informed me that they were closing that branch on the day that I picked the bike up. Not a great start considering the issues with the bike dictate that I am in touch with the dealer much more often than I should be and that relationship is important.
A proper authentic retro with real comfort and surprising acceleration when wound open in the upper revs. It looks like a "proper" bike and I love the attitude the Black version brings over the standard.
The stock seat remains comfortable from fill-up to fill-up. Suspension is just about right, but works better with an extra click of preload. The big heavy spoked wheels mean steering needs a little more effort, and it goes round corners rather than flicks. But why are Triumph still persisting with the Sportscomp tyres? Their rut-tracking nature makes them the bane of the modern classics. Although not having the instant grab of some, the brakes are easily up to the job - and grabbing a handful will pull the bike up very sharply. Clutch is light, and gears easily located.
The engine is characterful yet smooth; gutsy yet relaxed. The 270deg. twin has a pleasing rumble as it accelerates out of the lower revs, but is almost unnoticeable while cruising. 70mph is reached at just over 3000rpm in top. It can be a bit snatchy around town, but I found removing the intake snorkel made a massive difference. Opening the throttle to the full brings a surge of acceleration... as well as giving a completely different and addictive exhaust note.
I've had the bike about a year, and have had no issues in that time. The paint finish is right up there, as is the way it's put together. No complaints at all - other than the exhausts cover the rear spindle making it a real faff to adjust the chain - an oversight on the design rather than a quality issue...
It's not the cheapest retro to buy, but then you're getting a more premium product. With normal riding, I have easily achieved 70mpg - have fun and this will sink to 50mpg, and that is really good for an unfaired 1200cc motorcycle. Similarly, the style of machine means it attracts a low insurance premium.
It doesn't have all the latest lean-sensitive fripperies that we've been managing without for decades - what it does have stuff we'll actually use... like heated grips and centre stand (both of which are missing on the 2021 model.!) There are 2 subtle LCD panels in the clocks that give: fuel level and range; gear position; time or 2 sets of trip readings. A USB charge point is included under the seat (there's no room for anything else under there.!)
Buying experience: Bought brand new from a local Triumph dealer - usual stand-out customer service from them.
Annual servicing cost: £176
Fantastic looking bike and lovely to ride; smooth gearing and comfortable. Dreadful handling... the worst bike over 60 mph I've ever ridden.
Brakes are fine but the ride quality is terrible. The original Pirelli tyres would track every lump, bump and white line and it was impossible to ride in a straight line. In the wet they were scary... rear end stepped out even at very slow speeds. I changed to Avon Roadmaster and things have improved but anything over 60 mph still worries me (except for major A roads).
Now we talk about something smooth and lovely. This is a great engine and gearbox in my opinion. I also own a BMW 1250GS and the T120 is much smoother.
All good so far but needs lots of TLC. Use a good chrome/metal cleaner and corrosion protection and all OK.
Good mph (about 62) and servicing is not outrageous.
Heated grips extras; fantastic.
Buying experience: I bought 2nd hand privately and it was a fantastic experience... what a gent.
Great bike, with good performance and handling. Let down by unreliable electrics.
My bike has had major electrical problems, including needing a new wiring harness at less than 10k miles. The indicators stopped working, the check engine light threw random errors and the heated handgrips stopped working.
Heated handgrips are nice when they work
Beautiful and easy going, easy to manoever through country lanes, twisties, or pushing it into a shed, awesome exhaust note and definitely pride of ownership. The longer you look at it, the more details you discover. Paintwork is excellent, the chrome is not so good: clean and dry after every wet drive or rust will settle, even though I find it a joy to polish the machine. It may be less of a choice for the daily commuter and winter driver
The ride is notably more harsh than a modern day swingarm equipped motorcycle. The narrow front wheel in combination with the stock Pirelli Sports Comp have an unsettling tendency to follow grooves and tar snakes in the road (even though you get used to it quickly) , but are otherwise grippy enough on dry smooth road surfaces. Stock seat is not my friend, currently looking for alternatives, yet I regularly do four to five hour tour trips with it with little problem. Perhaps it is a safety feature to take a break more often? The brakes are ... okay, not the best in the market but okay. For my style of riding more than adequate.
Excellent engine with ample torque and more than enough oomph to try rip your arms off if you dare twist it too entousiastically. I get a comfy 56mpg or 4.2 liters per 100km out of it which is not bad for a 1199cc engine. The sweet spot is definitely between 2000 and 3000 rpm. No vibrations there, and a super awesome exhaust note. Mine has an x-pipe fitted. Awesome. Very smooth running engine, super light and comfy clutch and the gearbox is okay. In my country are plenty of fun and twisty 40mph country lanes and the Bonnie blubbers and brambles along in fourth gear at a relaxed 2000 rpm at those speeds. Drop a cog or two for safe overtaking and enjoy the big hearted roar coming out of the pea shooters.
As mentioned, the paintwork is excellent. I have the cinder red version, a metallic red finish and loads of chrome. The red has a mesmerizing depth to it and is perfect. The chrome however? The chrome exhaust jackets from the headers down are prone to become damaged by small dirt and pebbles thrown up by the front wheel and is hard to keep in good condition. Dry and clean after each wet ride is a must to prevent rust on the chromed parts. That said, my bike is five years old and still looks brand new.
Triumph as a premium brand means premium prices for parts and maintenance. No surprise there
Brilliantly understated modern electronics in retro disguise and metal housing. The dials look pleasently nostalgic yet secretly equipped with just enough info in LCD. Heated grips, what. Traction control, rain/dry driving mode, ABS. Nice.
Riding for 40 years. Best bike by miles.
Standard front folks need upgrading.
Buying experience: Dealer and was fine
Version: Spirit of 59 - T120
Being in my late 60's the Bonneville appealed to my youth days which I can thankfully still remember! ( in my youth a owned a 1962 Bonneville) Only the looks of the new T120 have anything in common with the original Bonneville and the changes make it a very modern and impressive machine. I have recently purchased my second T120 and have managed to secure an extremely low mileage Spirit of 59 model. Despite my enthusiasm for the bike do not purchase without trying, especially if you expect a vertical, 360degree, revvy twin. The new T120 is a 270degree water cooled twin that is low revving with huge amounts of usable torque
If I was assessing my 2016 machine I would have given 3 out of 5 as the brakes squealed and the suspension very disappointing. My recently purchased 2018 T120 however has great silent brakes and the suspension ( and by connection the handling) is much improved. Maybe I have just struck luck with the latest purchase.
The engine is a peach if you like loads of usable torque and enjoy riding a bike whose engine is totally aligned to modern road riding. The throttle can be a little jerky at low speed but this is minor niggle and only obvious when caught is very slow, stop/start traffic. On A roads and motorways the bike is very comfortable and its acceleration capabilities can surprise many other road users.
My first bike was a 2016 model purchase with 4k miles showing I rode it for an additional 6k miles with no issues and perfect reliability. There is lots of chrome and alloy and unless you actually enjoy cleaning your machine then expect the bike to lose its shine over time......but that goes for all bikes that are not covered in black paint.
I conducted all of the servicing on my previous Bonnie and intend to do the same with the new machine. Servicing is easy and I would only consider taking the bike to a dealer for valve clearances and throttle body adjustment if it was required. I prefer to purchase used machines to minimise depreciation so appreciate new machines need dealer servicing for warranty. The T120 is an expensive machine and personally think the new list price is too high but now difficult for Triumph to reduce the list price without upsetting too many customers and dealers. I would be interesting to have seen what the new price might have been back in 2016 if the Royal Enfield Interceptor has been available at the time.
Features are basic, you get two riding modes, Road and Rain but Rain is redundant except in the worst conditions. Traction control is fitted, as is ABS and these work well. Heated grips and centre stand are also useful features. Standard tyres wear well but you could do much better
Buying experience: I purchased my used 2016 Bonnies from a private seller and the used 2018 from a dealer. Both experiences were positive and as the prices were fair for the bikes being purchased I paid the asking price.
The bike feels solid and is pleasant to ride. The engine has good torque and will roll on in any gear. As the revs climb the power is impressive too. Unfortunately a design fault meant that the wiring harness was damaged in the steering head and this has caused issues for the bike.
Had major electrical problems, requiring wiring loom replacement and dashboard replacement, at 5000 miles.
Nice bike to ride but avoid if you want to ride in the winter or wet as alloy parts suffer from bad corrosion (in weeks from new) and Triumphs requirement for warranty that the bike use washed and dried after every use.
Lovely bike to ride
Stunning, if didn't corrode badly.
Avoid due to poor selection of alloys and bad corrosion.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer brand new. Bike has been used twice and done 137 miles. When I cane to use the bike a third time I found all the engine alloy parts badly corroded and very pitted. While the dealer is sorting Triumph has rejected as says in the manual alloy parts must be washed and dried EVERY use. I find this unworkable in the UK. Having had bikes for 40 years never had any problems and in my option the expectation to wash and drive after every use make bike unusable
Annual servicing cost: £300
For a classic style bike with heritage and power you can’t go wrong.
Not race spec but ideal for relaxed riding with a bit of fun when the roads encourage spirited riding
Superb torque and easily accessible performance.
No issues - some minor adjustments made at first service but faultless.
Services a bit pricey but economy is superb
Buying experience: New from a dealer I paid the advertised price but got £500 of extras included
Annual servicing cost: £200
Best features: the ride position, flexibility of power range, exhaust sound- general adaptability to riding style and general use. Worst features: overall weight is a little heavy, but with added hard panniers, touring screen, fender extender, leather tool roll and handguards is easily manageable (I am 74).
Bike is at its best on general riding, including long stints on motorway - break normally comfortable at 2 hours or tank fill-up time. I have ridden across Europe and back in 2019, over Grossglockner Pass, through the Balkan States to North Macedonia, back through Hungary and across the Austrian Alps, which included a 3-mile diversion on a gravelled forest road when the main road was blocked by a landslide - the bike never missed a beat and was sure-footed with careful use of clutch and throttle, the high torque allowing 2nd and 3rd gears in negotiating hairpin bends across the rutted gravel... a touch hairy but doable!
Great flexibility - sufficient power and high torque allow relaxed riding in a variety of weather and road conditions throughout the year.
High quality paintwork - chrome and general finish is superb. No corrosion or part failure to date (68 plate and 7,700 miles).
Dealer servicing and attention to detail is of high quality. Running costs are low: mileage on touring and general use is 65 mile per gallon; one set of tyres at 7,700 miles since new in 2018.
The overall feel, appearance and usability coupled with a great classic bike exhaust sound. Original Pirelli tyres not brilliant - now changed to Metzeler Roadtec 01 for better wet weather riding. If riding long distance, get the large Touring screen. The bike (in black) looks much better with Triumph 4-bar chrome badge. Hepco & Becker Junior panniers are great.
Buying experience: Low mileage 2nd hand from a dealer (A1 Moto in York) - the part-exchange deal was fair with the bike able to be negotiated below the advertised price.
Version: Bonneville Black
Annual servicing cost: £320
Worst feature: probably the rear shocks, but perfectly adequate, and I don't intend to change them soon. Best feature: 270 degree crank means it rides like a V twin. Real low down torque, grunty power, and superb style. Good handling but that really depends on what you are used to, and your own personal preferences. Get a Cafe Racer if you want to really scratch it round bends! Perfect for two up touring and carrying lots of kit. Great riding position, very comfortable. I really like the information it gives on Fuel, The Clock, Heated handlebars, Trips etc. I expect mine to have covered 100k miles in total during the next few years, and do not anticipate any major problems. It is one of the coolest looking bikes available. I recommend it everyday! ( But not for learners, novices)
Brakes are excellent. can't fault them. ( You only need them to stop anyway...) It is a perfect fit for me and my wife. Very comfortable. We rode from the Midlands (UK) to Czech Republic in one day 820 miles and although very happy to arrive, had very little bum or neck ache. However....I had fitted a screen...( Cheap Chinese one) which meant I could ride at high speed through Germany without distress. Without the screen, long distance rides at speed are too uncomfortable.
V twin like. Grunty, a bit grabby , I could never describe it as smooth!! But It is what I am used to and prefer. I was told by Dealer that it became more lumpy because I turn the engine off at the kill switch...and this confuses the engine management system. being used to older bikes ( BSA's etc ) but not entirely stupid I still raise my eyebrows at this. But, I love the way the engine has real guts and grunt and powers away! ( I will put a sidecar on it one day, and won't need to alter the gearing at all!)
In extreme wet weather, and extended rides the electrics have played up due to water getting in. That won't affect many people. I now simply keep it well protected now with WD40, and grease etc. I ride everyday, all through the year, it is my main transport. The casings get affected by salt etc, and rust does appear, because I can't start cleaning it every night! But by and large it is good quality, and in the winter I grease the thing up and it keeps it protected. The early model did have a variety of recalls, and wiring loom challenges, but they were all dealt with without fuss. Most reliable bike I ever owned.
Triumph Dealer Servicing is very expensive. Mine is now 4 and a half years old with 25,000 plus on the clock. But as the official servicing is at 10,000 miles it works out very cheap. Per mile it has been cheaper to run than many of my other bikes. Those that say it does only 50 mpg must be hammering the daylights out of it! It does 58mpg when I am heavy handed, 65mpg on average use, and I have often got 74mpg when going very gently. One day, for a laugh I got 81 mpg over a 90 mile run, bit you do have to concentrate to get that! As I intend to keep till I can no longer ride it will be the most I ever paid for a bike, but could well end up over the years being the one that cost the least per mile!
Little things like the petrol gauge, I love the fact that I can start off with it telling me I have 58 miles left, and 58 miles later it tells me I can still go another 45! The heated grips are essential for me, and in the winter give me another 100 miles in a day that I could not manage otherwise! Triumph accessories are overpriced. But I have a sump bash plate, and engine bars which I recommend . The Triumph rear rack is vastly overpriced and far far too small for serious use...so I adapted an old one from an older carb model Bonnie and that looks and works well.
Buying experience: Bought mine from a Dealer. It was my 72nd Motorcycle, and my very first Brand New bike. In 2016 it was around £10k, can't remember the final count. They were very kind and friendly, but the concept of an everyday user seemed to bewilder them very slightly. They were very against my attempting any home based maintenance. ( I still struggle with the idea it only needs oil every 10k miles) It was the bike I always had in my mind as perfect for me..but did not exist till then. I ordered mine in 2015 as soon as I saw the spec advertised.
Annual servicing cost: £200
achingly beautiful bike, breathtaking detail mine has the gold pinstripes on blue and cream. Feel good engine with loads of torque----however its tooooo highly geared! why?. maybe because when you change the rear sprocket up two teeth as i have the speed limits sit about where the bike fuelling is a bit 'grabby'. I did this because riding slowly junctions etc. you need back brake and lots of clutch to maintain smooth controlled progress. Also sixth gear is pretty much unusable. Now its not. The bike is still great to ride whatever, A sunny day on two wheels.
suspension especially rear could do with less bounce and more compliance -----but its not desperate , i can still follow my buds along scottish roads at pace without drama. The initial lean in takes a deliberate push , but it holds lines just fine-----i haven't really challenged the lean angle yet without too much issue, I run out of skill and confidence well before the bike reaches its limits.----I may change to Hagons next year. Its comfy and i can do our usual 100 miles (each way) without noticing any discomfort. Brakes are good , no problems. surprisingly accomplished all round considering its supposed to be a cruiser.
can't really fault it------does what it says on the can . considerable torque -----gobbles gears and hits the limiter quickly if you push on. --interestingly, because of the torque and where it sits-----i can stay with the guys on overtakes despite them having a large power advantage at least on the roads we travel on. If i am to be picky -----another 10 hp would have been ideal.
mine was mint when I got it ---and I look after it , but the finish on the engine cases are a bit dull and mottled. The build quality is impressive and nothing has gone wrong in the 3000 (hard) miles so far.
thats a quote BUT its not due yet!! the service intervals are 10000miles . I will however change oil and filter come winter so thats about £60.
brilliant clocks, with fuel, gear position etc. great. The standard fitted heated grips are almost as good as the leading oxfords i had on previous bike. Its got a centre stand!! . I have the long haul screen which works well (visor up at 50mph) its worthwhile . I have the triumph leather panniers (now discontinued). these are also worthwhile. The original tyres were absolutely shocking! what were triumph thinking? they were actually dangerous----following white lines, and any road imperferctions., wet weather sent shivers up the spine on the few times I have been caught out, I now have Avon spirit s---that's the kit you need. Confidence inspiring in all conditions.
Buying experience: bought mine ---online from Webbs----it was a triumph starred second hand bike so a little more expensive (9500) , but Webbs were a treat to deal with they made you feel like you mattered. It came with the multipoint checklist etc.
Version: Red and silver
Annual servicing cost: £50
Great riding position, smooth torquey engine and great fuel economy. Couple of negatives, brakes could be improved, back brake takes a lot to lock up. Gearbox is good, however, there are rising concerns with failing gear selection sticking in gear, mine is OK at the moment, just makes me wary. Overall its a great step up from the t100 865cc which was a good bike just lacked the stomp of the T120.
Handling is above average for this type of bike, in comparison to its predecessor the T100. The brakes look the business but lack bite they need a good hefty squeeze, the abs is not over intrusive but cuts in at the right moment. Love the heated grips and full stand.
Great torque, but to could do with another 15bhp. The engine is lazy but deceptive and doesn't sound like its working hard for the progress it makes. I have short open megaphones fitted which give off a great sound.
The paintwork has a good finish very deep shine. Could do with a couple of fake cables coming from the dummy carbs. The oil filter is a pain to get at for home servicing.
I do my own servicing which is cost saving I use fully synthetic oil, but as I mentioned the oil filter is not easy to get off because of being recessed. Insurance is low in comparison to other big bikes. Its easy on the tyres and chain.
I have a triumph screen fitted which is about a 100mm to short and buffets your helmet and creates quite a lot of wind noise I'm 5'10" so about average height. I think I'll fit a extender to the screen because when I duck down it makes a big difference.
Buying experience: I purchased mine from a dealer.
Annual servicing cost: £250
for the style of bike the performance is ideal - torquey and smooth. the exhaust note and looks are very eye-catching and even non motorcyclists are very enthusiastic about it. the throttle is sometimes slightly jerky on very small openings but I don't have any issues with it. its a very easy bike to ride and as a machine for a returning rider it is perfect. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone wanting a modern classic.
brakes are ok for the performance and type of riding I do the seat is fine for up to a couple of hours without much shuffling. only ridden solo so far but plenty of room for a pillion - suspension could be a bit marginal for push on riding two up.
torquey and plenty of get up and go. sounds beautiful on the standard pipes which draw attention in a good way. responds well to handful of throttle as long as you use at least 2k.
Absolutely no issues whatever-i have had the bike from new and nothing to report....
servicing seems a bit expensive (main Triumph Dealer) but whilst its in warranty I will stick with it. I will probably do my own servicing once its out of guarantee. ecconomy is excellent high 60's and it has used only a very small amount of oil between services (100millilitres) chain has only needed adjusting once and I do clean and lube it regularly
there is enough in the way of extras as standard without unnecessary complication. the centre stand and heated grips are standout and should be standard on every bike really.
Buying experience: bought from a dealer and got extras I asked for included in the base price rather than a discount as it was a limited edition.
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