2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Test Ride

Overall Ratings

Ride:
Look:
Value for money:

In a Nutshell

The new Bonnie got bigger and better. Is it still a great all-rounder? Or it was transformed into a show-off bike.

The new Triumph T120 Bonneville is a new-retro version of the 60s superbike that bravely took the Euro 4 regulations. The lines are pretty much the same, but the big difference is the engine displacement. Besides the essential electronic systems, the power unit is now bigger and better. It’s all about the attitude with this new T120. Everything feels right on this bike, even the nostalgic air that comes with it.

What We Liked

When it all started in the 60s, “120” stood for the top speed – the name was inspired by the Bonneville Salt Flats. Now, the Triumph Bonneville represents something different. The engine got bigger – from 865cc to 1200cc – while the casing is the same. You have more torque through the mid-range, and it helps a lot. Now it has 20% more engine power than the older model. The peak power jumped from 66 hp to 80 hp, and the fuel economy is better. The gears seem a bit longer and with the assisted clutch everything is smoother. But this is not all. The new Bonnie has now six gears. Moreover, a radiator was fitted, making it the first Bonneville to be liquid cooled. This new part is pretty small, and you may not spot it from the first glimpse. The frame hides it very nicely

Judging by the looks, by the wide handlebar and lowered foot pegs, you’ll get a close idea about the way the new Triumph T120 Bonneville handles. It has a very relaxing riding position. Everything is in your near reach, and once you get used to the weight, you will feel like you’re one with the bike. From now on, you don’t have to be concerned about the brakes. The new Bonnie has two front discs. A big plus compared to the old model. Some problems may occur when you’re in a hurry, though. When leaning a bit more, you may scratch your boots due to the lowered pegs. Tackling the traffic will be like a walk in the park.

Triumph once again managed to hide in an original manner the fuel injection throttle body underneath a metal carburetor cover that looks amazing. It’s a safe ride. The ABS system and two-step traction control are now standard. The traction control is not very intrusive. The ROAD mode allows the bike to keep the grip without killing the fun. It also comes with heated grips to keep you cozy in any weather condition. The headlight has the same classic shape but is now fitted with LED lights. Every new system is hidden with great care to keep the bike as close to the original as possible. The ride-by-wire acceleration holds the original carburetor response.

Let’s say the Bonneville is perfect for achieving the ultimate low-speed cruising feeling. Due to the relaxed riding position and the exhaust sound, you will start wishing the road will never end. It is like a back in time journey.

Triumph wanted to keep it as authentic as possible, and the only comfort add-ons on this bike are the heated grips. And they worth every cent. The lights are now on the same pace with the modern era: LED tail unit and day lights, smoothly incorporated in between the retro look.

Chrome here, chrome there, everything it’s nicely hidden underneath ornaments or positioned with great care. Is a pleasure to stare at it. Every detail screams retro. The dashboard keeps the classic shape with dial clocks and a small touch of technology. The headlight has the same classic round shape and the spoked wheels emphases the attention and time that Triumph spent to build such an elegant machine. It’s an all-new Bonneville with a higher quality feel.

What We Disliked

The whole bike works like magic on secondary roads and inside the city. It’s not that happy on the highway, at higher speed, you’ll be uncomfortable with the wind.

The typical upright position is perfect for cruising. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to cover long distances without mounting a windshield. The wind protection on this bike is close to none. If you have the guts to do it, another problem will appear, now concerning your ass. After a couple of hours, the pain will be unbearable. But it’s all about the feeling when it comes to this motorcycle.

Raw Data

Base price: €11900/ $9600

Average fuel consumption in test was 4.5litres/ 100km [52.26 mpg]. At a sportier pace 5.5litres/ 100km [42.76 mpg]

There are over 160 stylish accessories for you to create your own Bonnie.

Year introduced2016
Max power (horsepower, KW)80 PS/ 79 Bhp (59 kW)
Max torque (NM, lb-ft)105 Nm
Top speed (km/h, mph)Over 125 mph
Engine (CC, CI)1,200 cc
FrameTubular steel cradle
Weight (KG, Lbs.)224 Kg
Seat Height (CM, IN”)785 mm
Front BrakeTwin 310mm discs, Nissin 2-piston floating calipers
Rear BrakeSingle 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
Front Tire Size100/90-18
Rear Tire Size150/70 R17
Front suspensionKayaba 41mm cartidge forks, 120mm travel
Rear suspensionKayaba twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel
Fuel Tank (L, Gal)14.5 L
Avg. fuel consumption (L/100 KM, MPG)4.5 L / 100 km
SafetyABS, Traction control
Price (EUR, USD)11900 € / 9600 $

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