Triumph has gone to great length to reinvent the it’s quintessential classic motorcycle, the Bonneville. Not only has the more basic model Street twin been brought in for 2016 with a more powerful 900cc motor, but you also now have the T 120 and a pair of exciting new Thruxtons. These more up-market Bonnies have now been granted a bigger 1200cc heart, but for now let’s talk about only the T 120.
The new Bonneville T 120 marks a very thorough upgrade over the previous T 100. In fact, barely any parts are shared with the outgoing motorcycle. Despite it looking so retro, it actually has oodles of technology hidden under its skin, and overall attention-to-detail has taken a noticeable step forward. Look at the fuel-injection, for example, which on the outside has throttle bodies designed to look like old-school carburettors, keeping the retro appeal of the motorcycle intact. Then there are wire-spoke wheels that always add charm, generous splashes of sparkling chrome, and bright, shiny ‘peashooter’ exhausts that bring their unmistakable old-school shape to the party.
The Bonneville T 120 deploys a classic round headlamp, with an LED powered daytime running lamp included. Above sit twin-pod instruments, with an analogue speedo and tachometer. The fuel-tank and seat are designed in an evergreen shape that harks of a motorcycling era that’s long gone, and adds balance to the T 120’s styling quotient. Triumph has also worked to improve ergonomics for all 2016 Bonnevilles, as we sat on and found evident on this one.
The T 120 offers a big leap in terms of performance, thanks to its four-stroke, 8-valve, 1,200cc parallel-twin powerplant, that sounds pleasantly gruff and grunty to the ear. The latest T makes a hefty 10.7kgm of maximum torque, at an astonishing 3,100rpm. There’s a 270 degree firing order, with torque output a 54 percent plus from today’s Bonnevilles.
The engine-cooling system has also been smartly integrated to show minimal impact on the T 120’s retro style. Its effectiveness can however only be put to the test in hot India after we put the T 120 through its paces here, when it arrives next year.
Just like the Street Twin, the T 120 comes with ride-by-wire throttle control, and a six-speed gearbox, assisted by a slipper assisted clutch. Triumph has also equipped their new motorcycle with two riding modes, ‘road’ and ‘rain.’ Within ‘rain’ mode, the throttle bodies open a touch more gradually, to deliver the relaxed feel of slightly progressive throttle response, as compared to the ‘road’ mode, which ensures brisker power delivery to the rear tyre.
The T 120 provides the luxury of heated grips for comfortable riding on winter mornings, with three-level heating on offer, apart from a USB charging point. There’s even the luxury of cruise-control, although to be offered as an optional.
The Bonnie T 120 comes with a pair of telescopic forks in front, and pre-load adjustable shock absorbers at rear. At front and rear sit disc brakes, with the added safety of an ABS system. Tyres are from Pirelli. Not only does the T 120 fall in line with its classic looks, but Triumph has engineered the bike to also be functionally retro too, with bits such as a centre-stand offered with the Bonneville. Expect the T 120 to reach India in 2016, and to be displayed at the Indian Auto Expo, coming up in early 2016.
There’s also a black edition to the T 120, fittingly named the T 120 Black. This doesn’t carry much change over the standard T 120 though, besides almost all its chrome being replaced with matte black finish, and the seat taking on a beautiful hue of contrasting tan.