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Triumph Bonneville T120

Updated on October 20, 2017
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Gaurav Verma is a creative an Automobile Engineer also a creative Technical writer.

Triumph motorcycles

The Triumph Street twin it's the new Bonneville and it's taken quite a long time to develop and sort hard to see why because it has a nice balance between retro styling and new edge technology. Now the bike that it replaces also achieve that balance but this one takes it to a whole new level. The new bike looks smaller and lacks all the shine of its predecessor the fact of the matter is with a new range of Bonneville. Triumphs have broadened the gap that existed between the base bonny and the t100 bike you see.

Triumph Bonneville T120
Triumph Bonneville T120

Triumph Bonneville Review

Here is more about inviting new customers to the brand than to build upon a heritage, therefore needs to cater to a wider and a newer audience and hence it isn't as retro as a purist would expect. In fact, there are plenty of classic paths to mimic the effect of metal while also minimizing maintenance costs. Even its lean form and low ride height are designed to accommodate riders of most sizes. Swing the key and you'll get the first taste of modern engineering for the Bonneville you get a slight squeak of the fuel pump and a self-check on the minimalist clock now.

You still don't get a rev counter but now you do get a digital fuel gauge and a gear position indicator, the handlebar is set fairly low for a slight lean forward riding stance. The switches here are also predictive and easy to use - and the new I switch cycles to various modes on the digital panel.

Triumph Bonneville Engine
Triumph Bonneville Engine

You get a lovely exhaust note, now compared to the earlier Bonnie which got a 360-degree crank, this one gets a 270-degree crank. It's much like the earlier Bonneville scrambler which wasn't sold to us that gives us the throbbing 90 degrees V twin kind of a sound. Thankfully it still doesn't sound like a Holley.

It's still quite Britt the pipes you see here are the louder ones and Hinds option but the stock canisters are quite twenty as well the exhausts emit a rumble low down the rev range and it smoothens out into a throbbing node as the revs climb up the engine is all-new and significantly more refined for a British twin and the vibrations are only felt when it's about to hit the limiter it's cubic capacity is up from 865 CC to 900 CC.

In a bit to give the bike a more linear and meaty power band triumph has dropped the output from 68 PS to 55 PS. However, has gone up by 12-newton meters and most of it is available in a more linear manner from low revs result is that the bike can happily cruise at 60 in fifth gear of 40 in third there is enough low-end torque. In fact, you get those occasional tail wags when you suddenly open the throttle but that is also down to the tyres.

Even these Pirelli phantom tires are custom designed to go with the retro theme of this motorcycle. Now these are soft compound tires so the rubber comes up to heat quite quickly, so on tarmac the grip is excellent but on concrete, they do tend to feel a little skittish and I'm not very happy with the wet weather performance.

Either don't get too worried about hitting your favorite riding routes though new emission norms have necessitated the inclusion of ride by wire technology and that has also blessed the Bonnie with a new traction control system.

Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Bonneville

It isn't too intrusive but always alert to keep things in check the chassis itself is well sorted and since it has now made it to a stiffer suspension setup.

The street win is a sweet Ella to downside is plenty of jewels to your shoulders when you hit deep potholes or sharp bumps but then hitting the twisties of gunning down high rays isn't what this motorcycle is made for it's more about a laid-back right to work or slapping your touring luggage and going long distances or simply just right into a cafe at the top of a mountain and that's not all look at this Reitman long enough and you know it's like a blank canvas that lures custom builders and that's the idea of this motorcycle. Triumph itself offers inspiration kits customization options and hundreds of accessories.

So imagine what will happen when the custom bike builders get their hands on it but if even this is not your idea of the Bonneville lifestyle then it's elder sibling could appeal more to you this is the Bonneville t120. Think of it as an exclusive package for the Barneveld patrons a comprehensive motorcycle under the skin of a timeless design and this is my ride for the day the t120 of today borrows heavily from the t120 of 1969.

The silhouette has been deliberately designed to look the same dank shape is similar and it is only offered with smoke breeders one of the most important designs features for the Barnwell's have always been their engines.

This holds true for the t120 as well with deliberate intent triumph has managed to make the engine look no bigger than it was before despite the increased capacity. This was so that they could keep the traditional look going and it does look every bit like a Bonneville should right for the fee 120 well it takes all the lovely attributes of the street twin adds in a bit of capacity more horsepower, even more, technology into the mix and well this is the product.

So the T 120 gets triumphs new 1200 cc barrel to an engine that makes about 80 PS of Max bar and about 105 Newton-meters of max stall. It is made with the same 6-speed manual gearbox now just like with the street winds engine all the focus with the new 1200 cc engine. S is to make everything more tractable and more friendly. So despite the added power that actually makes this motorcycle even more usable where most motorcycles would cry and protest the t120 just rise that wave of talk and builds momentum without even a hint of hesitation.

There is absolutely no knocking or protest from the engine. It's almost diesel like - the clatter and the noise of course that 105 Newton meters is made around about the 3000 RPM mark, that's fair. It's the most comfortable but anything between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm is the optimal Rev band for this engine. Now very very fascinating you can actually ride this bike in either 3rd or 4th gear without having to change a single gear you know what else it can do.

It can go up a slope in 3rd gear at less than a thousand rpm and that's incredible this thing in actually spoiler triumph aims of the t120 with the new 1200 cc model is 13 to send more efficient than the previous T100 and can do 22.2 km/h in the test cycle. But for me, the personal highlight of this engine has to be the refinement now bites are the engine transfers very little vibrations from the foot pegs and from the handlebars.

Is Triumph Bonneville T120 a good motorcycle?

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In fact if not for the meaty throaty exhaust hump you can barely tell that the engine is running. I think it's safe to say that this is perhaps one of the most refined modern retro classics out there when compared to the older body. The rake angle has been made sharper and the trail and the wheelbase too has been reduced as a result the motorcycle has become a lot sharper too right much like the street twin the suspension though is set up rather soft. In fact, it is softer than the street twin - this does make it a tiny bit wallowing in the corners but on the plus side it doesn't oneness for the ride quality the ride on the t120 is super plush on cobblestone roads over manual covers.

Even on our broken stretches of tarmac, you cannot feel a thing motorcycle just soaks up everything that's thrown its way apart from the ABS on the single stage traction control that you get on the street win as well. What you get on the T 120 is preset riding modes so you have the road mode and the rain mode which you can select with the buttons. The rain mode essentially is a full power mode just like the road mode but it gets a different throttle map it's essentially a gentler throttle response when it's raining thing is though with this motorcycle you don't really need a gentler throttle response.


The t120 brakes are the same as the street twin 310 mm duel disks up front and 255 mm singles at the back and they are set up perfectly to handle the added momentum from the bigger by two bite is progressive and throws in the anchor.

Things I don't like about the t120

well, first of all, it's got too much stock load down which can get a little troublesome when you're at rolling speeds in the city.
secondly, it's a little heavier to turn in that's probably done with the fact that it's got an 18-inch wheel in the front and the 17-inch at the back.
But these are things that you can get around what you can't get around is the fact that this engine generates so much heat despite being completely liquid cool, if are trolling speeds and the engine doesn't get enough cooling then it can be very hot around your legs. And finally, I think the footpegs could have been a little higher because at this height they do manage to scrape in corners especially when you're cornering hard. So the T120 might feel at home on the open motorways and at speeds exceeding 50 kilometers an hour.

These motorcycles as modern classic and that sort of justify the price tag. But if you really look at it apart from the styling there's nothing really classic or retro about these motorcycles that come for the technology the performance. It's all what you will expect from a modern-day motorcycle and I think in that sense the modern classics it's not a marketing gimmick but actually a true evolution of the Bonneville.

© 2017 Gaurav Verma

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