Amid a lot of fanfare and secrecy, Triumph Motorcycles unveiled the latest versions of the much loved Bonneville and Thruxton models. The Bonneville brand dates back to 1959 at which point it was one of the fastest and most sophisticated production bikes available. Over the decades the bonneville saw the patronage of movie stars, royalty and motorcycle racing legends, which allowed it to become a motorcycling cultural icon.
This is the third of the ‘new’ range of Bonnevilles, ever since the brand’s resurrection in the early 2000s. With a new powerplant, a new chassis and a lot of new electronics, the Bonneville and Thruxton range is all new. The bikes are also, for the first time in their manufacturing history, liquid-cooled. In a dramatic unveiling at The Bike Shed in London, Triumph allowed us to get a good look at the new Bonnevilles and Thruxton bikes, revealing all facts except those regarding the bikes’ price and exact power levels.
What must be noted is that the Bonneville range has two powerplants now, with the standard, 900cc unit to be found only in the Bonneville Street Twin – a lighter, more compact variant of the Bonnie. There’s a new 1200cc parallel-twin unit will be found in the Bonneville T120 and T120 Black, which Triumph tells us, contain more power and greater levels of torque, particularly at the bottom end. Ride-by-wire traction control and ABS are now standard across all variants.
The Thruxton gets a greater design overhaul, with a brand new, sculpted tank that’s closer in design to traditional cafe racers than the previous model which was, at least visually, an extension of the Bonnie’s sporty attributes. Between the new Bonneville and the Thruxton lies an accessory catalogue of over 470 parts, and a whole bunch of ‘Inspiration kits’. The ‘Inspiration kits’ allow for factory fitted conversions of the range, letting Triumph customise the Bonnie and the Thruxton (a favourite amongst custom builders) without requiring you to go to builders. This means that you can opt for a Scrambler kit (for the Street Twin – essentially the base version of the Bonnie) or a flat tracker kit if you wish to. With the Thruxton, you also get the option of a gorgeous ‘Track racer’ kit which puts traditional cafe racer fairing across the bike, making it look sensational.
In a world of high-compression, turbocharged and high-powered motorcycles, the relatively simple Bonneville defiantly continues to embody the virtues of a classic British motorcycle. It is as stout of heart, refined and noble in nature as a true gentleman should be and the best traditionally styled motorcycle you will find.