Friendly. That’s probably not the first word that Triumph would use to describe its low-slung, 1,200cc Bonneville Speedmaster, but let me explain.
There are some motorcycles that you ride that take a long time to get to know. They have quirks or idiosyncrasies to which one must adjust.
The Speedmaster, on the other hand, is the antithesis of that concept. Within 5-minutes of leaving our hotel in Carlsbad, California the Speedmaster felt completely familiar and intuitive.
It was a maneuverable and fun partner in urban riding, smooth and comfortable on the highway, and dare I say nimble and easy to ride in the twisties.
It is much closer to a standard motorcycle in function than a typical cruiser.
If you own a Triumph Bonneville T120, and have heated grips, this recall from Triumph Motorcycles America should be on your radar.
The British marque is recalling 1,390 units from the 2016 and 2017 model years because the heated grips might expand, which can then cause the throttle to stick open.
Obviously, being unable to close the throttle can create a serious safety issue, so it is not surprising to see the motorcycles recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
It’s been no big secret that Triumph is about to add liquid-cooling to the venerable Bonneville and its ilk. The cult classic hasn’t changed much in its long and storied past; and don’t worry, beyond the liquid-cooling, it hasn’t changed much for the 2016 model year either.
Thankfully, Triumph has kept the Bonneville aesthetic well inline with what discerning retro-riders and hipsters are looking for in their motorcycles, discretely hiding the machine’s blacked-out radiator.
While the 865cc Triumph Bonneville T100 will still come to the USA for the 2016 model year (free of the EU’s new stricter emission standards), the 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 will travel worldwide, with its 1,200cc parallel-twin engine.
That headline is a bit of a misnomer, since the new liquid-cooled Triumph Bonneville has been “spied” for some time now in the media.
Triumph is at least capable of admitting that its hipster machine is getting an update now, releasing this teaser video that hints at “something big” coming our way – if liquid-cooling an engine is something big, then we couldn’t agree more.
Triumph is recalling a number of its models for faulty engine control units (ECUs), which may improperly activate the bikes’ fuel injectors.
The recall affects the 2014 and 2015 model year Triumph Thunderbird, Thunderbird ABS, Tiger 800,Tiger 800 ABS, Thruxton, and Bonneville motorcycles manufactured between February 6, 2014 and August 7, 2014.
It’s not clear how many total motorcycles this recall affects, as Triumph lists the number currently as “0” with NHTSA, but given the number of models involved and the wide timeframe given on the production dates, we would expect a massive number of motorcycles to be involved.
Is there truth in motorcycle reviews? That seems to be a debate that crops up time and time again, as it is hard to believe the journalistic veracity of publications that are entirely dependent on the dollars that flow forth from the major motorcycle OEMs. The conflicts of interest are high, the deadlines are tight, and there is of course the small matter of people having a difference of opinions, which all leads to public mistrust.
So it is refreshing when we see a frank motorcycle review that is free from the entanglements of typical motorcycle assessments — you know, a real honest impression of how a motorcycle is built in the factory and rides on the open road.
With a review as honest as this about the Triumph Bonneville, our protagonist has almost assured himself of a short career in motorcycle journalism. Still, it certainly provides some worthwhile entertainment, as long as you are not easily offended. It is possibly not safe for work as well — not that you read A&R from the confines of your office chair of course.
For the 2013 model year, the Hinckley brand is bringing out some more special edition model goodness, and first up is the 2013 Triumph Bonneville SE. The equation is simple, take one Triumph Bonneville, add a new red frame, new paint, a new headlight, a black pillion grab rail, and presto, you have the Triumph Bonneville SE.
A unique twist to Triumph’s 865cc retro-classic, the design gives us the same feeling as the Moto Guzzi V7 Clubman Racer, with its black, chrome, and candy-apple red tricolor paint scheme. If the headlight looks familiar to you, that’s because it comes from the Triumph Thruxton. Triumph has also added a unique black vinyl seat with red stitching. Available May 1st, the 2013 Triumph Bonneville SE will sell for $7,999 in the USA.
While this might look like a modified Triumph Bonneville T100, in reality it is the new Triumph Steve McQueen Edition. That’s right, Triumph has seemingly teamed up with Steve McQueen’s estate, and is making 1,100 Steve McQueen Edition motorcycles. Inspired by McQueen’s Triumph Trophy TR6, which was featured in the movie The Great Escape, the Triumph Steve McQueen Edition features what the British brand calls “a military-style matte khaki green livery” and sports a stencil-styled Triumph decal on the tank with a Steve McQueen signature on the bike’s side covers.
The idea that less is more is often a theme usually devoid from the agenda of motorcycle designers use these days, but this Triumph Bonneville bobber concept, aptly named the Triumph Bobbeville, by Australian industrial designer Dan Anderson is a fresh take on the classic Triumph lines found on the Bonneville, with a cue back to the 1950’s that isn’t over the top.