The Internet is abuzz this morning as Triumph has finally, officially revealed their all-new lineup of modern classics. We’ve seen sneak peaks and spy photos trickling by online for the past several months, but now the wraps are off this new set of Bonnevilles and it appears Triumph has not taken this model refresh lightly. They’ve created an entirely new family of bikes from the wheels up with new frames, two new engines (900cc / 1200cc), new suspension and brake components, and a whole world of factory-blessed accessories and customization options. They’ve also changed the lineup breakdown. Where before we had four distinct Bonneville variants, we now have something more like six or seven depending on how you slice it.
Bonneville (mag wheel)
T100 (and T100 Black)
Street Twin scrambled
Street Twin bobbed
T120 (and T120 Black)
The current Scrambler model will continue production as-is through 2016 thanks to surging demand. Makes sense to us, since that bike is rad, and a very different offering from that other Scrambler on the market.
Embracing even more Triumph heritage
Seeing these new Bonnevilles, the first thing that jumps out to me is all the details that harken back to the early Bonnevilles of the ’60s and ’70s. I see this most in the new engine lineup. Just look at the profile shape of the valve covers and the round details on the engine side cases. For what was already one of the most handsome engines on the market, the Triumph family resemblance is now even stronger.
The overall stance and frame layout of these new Bonnevilles also harken back to the vintage Triumphs, as do the side covers, the air box fascia, and what appear to be Mikuni round slide-style throttle bodies. For those who have criticized Triumph in the past for couching their fuel-injection system inside “fake” CV-style carburetors, Triumph has heard your complaints and doubled down against you. I say good for them. If you want a fully modern-styled bike, buy a Street Triple R. They’re fabulous. The Bonneville, meanwhile, is staying grounded in its vintage roots.
Putting the “modern” in Modern Classic
This new generation of Bonneville sees the first comprehensive redesign of the platform since 2001. In 2008, the Bonny went fuel-injected, but the underlying bike changed very little. In this new lineup, the bikes are unmistakably Bonnevilles, yet even as many of the bikes’ details are grounded in their model history, those details are now executed with a much more modern sensibility. Aesthetic details aside, where Triumph has modernized the Bonneville lineup the most comes back again to those two new engines.
At 900cc and 1200cc respectively, these new Bonneville parallel twin engines remain dual overhead cam and fuel injected, but Triumph have mated an all-new fueling setup that includes a ride-by-wire throttle system like what we see on the new Triumph Tiger 800. This makes features such as ride modes and traction control available, and you’ll find both of those features on the new T120 and Thruxton models. Triumph have also added liquid cooling, which is perhaps the biggest change over any Bonneville that came before.
All that is fine and nerdy, but where it gets interesting is when we start talking about power. While official horsepower numbers have not yet been released, Triumph is stating that the 900cc engine in the Bonneville Street Twin will see an 18% increase in output. The new 1200cc version of this engine, found in the T120 and Thruxton, is said to have a 54% increase in bike-motivating grunt. Meanwhile the performance tweaked version of the 1200 found in the Thruxton R reportedly makes 62% more torque than its predecessor. For bikes that already weren’t slow, these non-trivial power bumps are going to make the entire Bonneville lineup that much more fun.
Liquid cooling and updated fuel systems will also mean better fuel economy and lower emissions, so that’s a plus.
Going is great, but turning and stopping are the other two parts of the riding equation, and Triumph has not neglected them. The Bonneville lineup now finally has ABS across all models. Revised frame geometry and upgraded suspension components also mean the new Bonneville should handle better across the board, but especially in its guise as the Thruxton R, which now sports Ohlins rear shocks and Showa upside-down front forks. Mated to a set of Brembo radial brakes and humongous rotors, the Thruxton R will certainly be the performance pinnacle of the Modern Classic lineup.
Custom is now stock
Looking at the new Bonneville’s design cues, besides the nods to Triumph bikes of old, it’s clear that Triumph has been paying attention to what its owners and fans are doing with their bikes after they bring them home. From the drilled out sprocket cover on the Thruxton, to the new fork ears, to the re-styled tail lights and indicators, to the new variety of tank shapes, and defaulting to black rims on the Street Twin; Triumph have taken a number of common aftermarket customizations and made them part of the lineup by default. Yet their embrace of customization doesn’t stop there. Triumph will be offering a “470 page accessories catalog” just for the Bonneville lineup with everything from style packages and fairings, to track-inspired weight reduction and performance components. The already thriving aftermarket will now have to compete directly with Triumph for helping owners make their bike their own. The best part, Triumph has stated that for any of those nearly 500 customization options, if you have us install those for you here at Motoworks, they’re included in your warranty. So now not only can you bundle the custom Bonneville of your dreams into your initial purchase price, but all those extra components are now fully backed by Triumph.
So when will we see the new Bonneville in Chicago?
Stay tuned, because it’s sooner than you think. Chicago will be host a North American debut of the new Bonneville lineup in November, and it’s going to be a hell of a party. Then come spring, these new bikes should be available for customers. Want to reserve your new Bonneville or Thruxton R? We can take deposits today!