Triumph’s Bonneville first launched in 1959. For 2016, Triumph is to launch no less than five, thoroughly refreshed Bonnevilles.
As confirmed by Managing Director Triumph Motorcycles (India) Pvt. Ltd. you’ll see some of these Bonnevilles launched in India around the upcoming Indian Auto Expo, all available with substantially more potent engines, displacing 900cc or a full-blown 1200cc, in parallel-twin layouts, with liquid-cooling and fuel-injection.
Unsurprisingly, styling for all the new Bonnies shall remain retro, just as stately, a throwback to the ‘days of the Raj’ if you like, with new generation, sturdier tubular steel frames holding them together.
The most affordable Bonnevilles are to be the Street Twin, certain to be the most popular of the lot in India. The Street Twin is easily distinguished by means of its 10-spoke alloy rims, as well as black for much of the lower bike, including a handsomely detailed engine and wheels. Also offered with the Street Twin are a set of smoothly profiled, brush finished exhausts, that we heard sounding exciting and throaty. Expect aggressive pricing for the Street Twin, close to the present day Bonneville, while offering so much more. The Street twin is powered by a four-stroke, 900cc, parallel-twin powerplant, running 4-valves per cylinder, and making 8.16kgm of maximum torque, as Triumph has managed to extract at an amazingly low 3,200rpm.
There’s plenty of punch across the rev range we are told, on the Street Twin, as well as all other new Bonnies. So, expect the Street Twin to live up to its name, to excel with easy rideability in the mess of urban Indian traffic. Torque is 18 percent more than the present day Bonneville.
You also get ride-by-wire throttle management, and a 270 degree firing order between the cylinders, with a 6-speed transmission. Triumph tells us the new Street Twins offer a 36 percent bump-up in fuel-efficiency, despite the promise of more exhilarating performance. There’s also an improved riding saddle, slimmer ‘waist’ line, and longer travel suspension.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Street Twin won’t feel a budget Bonnie, Triumph walking the extra mile to load up their new motorcycle with goodies like a switchable traction control system, a slip assisted, lighter feel clutch, and also switchable ABS brakes. The Street Twin comes with a single disc rotor in front. In terms of features, the Street Twin gives you a gear-indicator, USB socket and engine immobilizer.
Next up is the T 120, a modern day Bonneville that leans more towards retro style, on which attention-to-detail takes a noticeable step-up. The T 120 comes with wire-spoke wheels, and generous splashes of chrome. Then there are also bright and shiny peashooter exhausts with unmistakable old-school shape, and twin disc brakes in front.
The Bonneville T 120 also comes with twin-pod instruments. Triumph has worked to improve ergonomics on all 2016 Bonnevilles.
The T 120 offers a big leap in terms of performance, thanks to a four-stroke, 8-valve, 1,200cc, parallel-twin powerplant, that’s pleasantly gruff and grunty to the ear. The bike makes a hefty 10.7kgm of maximum torque, again at an astonishing 3,100rpm. There’s a 270 degree firing order, with torque output 54 percent up from todays Bonnevilles.
Just like the Street Twin, the T 120 comes with a ride-by-wire throttle and six-speeds, plus slip-assisted clutch. Also twin riding modes of ‘road’ and ‘rain.’ The engine-cooling system has been smartly optimized to leave a minimal impact on retro styling, undoubtedly to be thoroughly put to the test when the bikes are ridden in India.
The T 120 provides the luxury of heated grips for comfortable riding on winter mornings, with three-level heating, apart from a USB charging point. There’s even cruise-control, although optional.
There’s a twist in the T 120 tale, namely the T 120 Black. This variant adds more black, contrasted smartly by a dark brown seat and matte graphite shades.
Expect the Bonnevilles above to offer a comfortable, upright riding position, as you can count on being a big differentiator between these and the sportier Thruxton, up next.
The upgraded Thruxton and Thruxton R models look stunning, styled to thrill for 2016, and generously equipped by Triumph with really top drawer specifications plus all the equipment you could wish for. Beautiful detailing can be seen in a finely crafted Monza style fuel-filler cap, and nifty bar end mirrors. Although held together by spokes, the 17-inch Thruxton wheel rims are alloy constructed, just like the swingarm.
Extras on the up-market Thruxton R include a colour matched seat cowl, buffed steering headstock and clear anodized swingarm.
Triumph has worked to not only make the new, lower and meaner bikes look high performance, but also go like high performance machines.
The Thruxtons come with a specially tuned, four-stroke, 8-valve, 1,200cc, parallel-twin powerplant. Features within include higher compression, a lighter crankshaft and revised airbox. The Thruxton spec engine delivers 11kgm of maximum torque, twisted out at a sportier 5,000rpm. The liquid-cooled engines offer ride-by-wire throttle control, and suitably styled throttle bodies to match the motorcycles retro character. The gearbox is 6-ratio, supported by a torque assisted clutch.
The Thruxton R comes with stainless steel exhausts without catalytic converters for added oomph, a more aggressive hot-cam and washable air-filter. Apart from this, Showa made big-piston upside down front forks, Ohlins fully adjustable suspension at rear and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa Tyres. The floating twin disc brakes in front are chomped on by monobloc construction Brembo calipers.
The 2016 Thruxtons have three riding modes, ‘road, ‘rain’ or ‘sport’, that delivers instant response. Also, you get switchable traction control and ABS for the brakes.
From all this, on paper, its crystal clear Triumph has gone out of their way to ensure each of these new Bonneville bikes are no-compromise engineered to rock their market space. While rides of the new Bonnies will confirm these early impressions, British biking seems like it could be headed right back to its very best. Back to the Bonnevilles that is! While surely but steadily riding straight ahead. Once accomplished, Triumph can rightfully stake claim to having singlehandedly managed this comeback.
Also read: Triumph Bonneville Street Twin first look
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