Triumph Bonneville (2000-current): Between two eras.Engine: The air cooled parallel twin engine of 865 c.c. provides a boost of torque, from 2000 rpm upwards. Below 2000 rpm some surging occurs. ItĘs a very linear engine, riderĘs right hand turns on the taps without a hint of bursts or hiccups. Between 2000 and 6000 rpm is the best working range where there is adequate power since 90% of the torque produced is provided from 2500 rpm and the operation of the engine is really smooth.
Above 6000 rpm engine vibrations are noticeable, providing a retro feeling from one hand. From the other hand these vibrations spoil the smooth engine operation, warning the rider that this engine isnĘt designed for sheer power delivery at the top. The meaty throttle response continues up to 7000 rpm, rev limiter takes charge at 8000 rpm. Between 7000 and 8000 rpm a decrease in power output is noticed, there are a lot of vivid vibrations, its obvious that this is not the preferred powerband .
Maximum nominal horsepower 67 bhp at 7500 rpm, maximum torque 68 Nm at 5800 rpm, top speed 180 Km/h. These numbers are not really impressive, practically the way that power output and torque are produced is adequate, amplifying the retro character of the Bonneville. By todayĘs standards though, this engine feels old.
The clutch is very light indeed, making pleasant the few gear changes that are needed due to the torque produced.
Riding position: The low seat is narrow in the front and wider at the rear, thus every rider will step firm feet on the ground. Bonneville feels relatively heavy and center of gravity feels relatively high. The width of the bike is little, rider is positioned rather in and on top of the bike. Riding position is neutral and comfortable. The handlebar is high, riderĘs back is upright, almost a cruiser riding position which is really effortless for short rides, leisure and town rides.
On the road : On town rides, steering radius is fair, rider will be puzzled sometimes in traffic. However the handlebar - mirrors which are higher than car mirrors and the thin shape of the bike, make filtering an easy procedure. Suspension is firm, which is a surprise for anyone who would expect retro-comfortable suspension. However the suspension makes Bonneville feel tight, providing superb feedback to the rider, wherever the ride is, absorbing potholes neutrally. There is a slight exception though, at large transversal imperfections on the road, the rear wheel may in some rare cases lose contact with the ground only for a millisecond, nothing to worry the rider. Of course this cannot spoil the superb suspension operation. Riding the Bonneville is a really easy and straight forward procedure, thus this bike addresses also to born again bikers. Consequently in town rider will enjoy leisure rides on a bike which handles as a modern European bike should do. Making a compromise for the average steering radius the Bonneville will serve for commuting as well.
Out of urban areas the combination of the frame stiffness together with the suspension, will manage easily the engine power output. The bike is very stable , featuring slow, touring steering geometry: Agility is good, handling is greatly neutral, inspiring confidence to the rider, superb feedback for the category standards.
Its only in the very fast pace that the slow steering geometry together with the bikeĘs weight that will not allow rider to make rapid direction changes. However rider may take advantage of the bikeĘs cornering steadiness in order to keep high cornering speed.
Ōn low friction roads the slow steering geometry which makes the handling neutral, together with the nice feedback that is provided to the rider, result in slow and nicely controlled rear wheel oversteer.
However that fast pace is not predicted by the design of the bike, rider is not perfectly positioned on the bike then, to apply his weight wherever is necessary.
On the highway riding position will be intimidating for traveling, as air protection is really none, if increased travel speed is asked, a screen is optional.
Braking is good, one disc rotor for the front and for the rear brake, which are both powerful, nice feedback as well.
Comments: An interesting detail is that the ignition key should be inserted at the left headlamp bracket and the fuel injection which really resembles to a carburetor.
Eventually Bonneville is between two worlds: The operation of engine and the design refer to that of the original bike, 50 years ago, while handling is that of a modern European bike.
Price SE : 9390 §
+Original retro style
-Moderate steering radius in town rides
-Engine output performance- operation