There’s a good reason bikes have mostly stayed true to their nascent design; there is just something timeless about a standard motorcycle’s profile. The new Bonneville builds on that profile and tweaks it a little to get a whole range out of the update:
The line consists of the Bonneville T120, T100, Street Twin, Speedmaster and Bobber, with a couple of special editions thrown in for good measure. The Scramblers are missing for now, but at least some of the Bonnies have fork gaiters. If you visualize them standing a little taller and imagine the signature high-mounted exhaust, you’ll get a good preview of the upcoming Scramblers.
Of course, underneath the (minor) styling updates and tweaks there is something a little more modern. The engines in these new models are updated to comply with the Euro 5 spec, which means they’re cleaner running and more efficient. The twin-cylinder engines start at 900cc displacement and go up to 1200cc for the T100 and T120, respectively. The Street Twin gets the 900cc and the Speedmaster gets the 1200cc engine. The Bobber comes with the bigger engine, too.
All of the bikes have minor bumps in power and some weight reduction. Overall, it’s not a revolutionary new range, and you could even say Triumph deliberately avoided radical updates. The bikes lean hard into their heritage, taking inspiration from the 1959 Triumph T120. So much so, that the Speedmaster even has a rear brake hub inspired by drum brakes, of all things. Fine, Triumph, as long as you still provide ABS on these new bikes you can style them how you like.
There’s more to come as the rest of Triumph’s lineup catches up to Euro 5, and Triumph has two Scramblers coming down the pike, set for a reveal in April. And I’ll note that Triumph is one of those consistent bike makers that quietly plugs away. You could say Triumph is almost like the Honda or Yamaha of the west. It keeps plugging along, making great bikes with little fanfare. No splashy reinvention, no trouble with investors, no need to fix what ain’t broke. Take note, Harley.
Sure, these new Bonnies are not very different from their predecessors, but that doesn’t make them any less cool.