Motorcycle Mojo was in London last week to get a glimpse of five new Bonnevilles, officially released to the public today. This is the first major upgrade to the modern Bonneville since it was introduced 15 years ago. The new Bonnies began life four years ago, and required twice the development team of the previous model.
There are five new Bonneville models, and they are liquid cooled. They are entirely new motorcycles, with no interchangeable parts with the air-cooled models. The new bikes include the Street Twin, the T120 and T120 Black, the Thruxton and the Thruxton R. Returning with the air-cooled engine are the America, the Speedmaster, and the Scrambler.
2016 Bonneville Street Twin
The Street Twin becomes the entry-level Bonneville, and it uses a 900 cc liquid-cooled “high-torque” twin. The engine uses a 270-degree crankpin layout, and it claims 18 percent more torque, now peaking at 59 lb-ft (80 Nm) at 3,200 rpm. As on the other new twins, the radiator is neatly located between the front downtubes, and because of more careful routing of hoses, it is actually less conspicuous than the oil cooler on the air-cooled bike. Coolant flows through the heads and cylinders, and the fins also provide engine cooling, though an air-to-liquid cooling ratio was not available at the static launch in London. Throttle control is now fully electronic, and switchable traction control and ABS are standard. The new engine is mated to a five-speed transmission through a slip-assist clutch that lightens lever effort. Some modern touches include an USB port mounted by the steering head, and engine immobiliser that uses a transponder key, an LED taillight, and a trip computer. Ten-spoke wheels are 18-inch at the front and 17-inch at the rear, and the bikes we were shown were equipped with Pirelli Phantom rubber. A single front disc cuts costs. According to Triumph, the Street Twin is designed to be the most customisable and easily disassembled to swap out components, like the Vance & Hines accessory exhaust, spoke wheels, and hundreds of other accessories. It will be available in five colours: red, silver, and three black finishes.
2016 Bonneville T120
The T120 is a step up from the Street Twin, and features more chrome trim (except for the Black version), spoke wheels, twin front discs, and a larger engine, which displaces 1,200 cc. It, too, is a “high-torque” engine using 270-degree crankpins, and it produces its peak torque of 77 lb-ft (105 Nm) at just 3,100 rpm. Unlike the Street Twin, the T120 has a six-speed gearbox, though it also uses a lighter-effort slip-assist clutch. It, too, comes standard with switchable traction control and ABS, though it also has two ride modes—Road and Rain—selectable via a handlebar-mounted switch. A neat styling touch is the throttle bodies, which are designed to resemble old Amals. Our hosts fired up the engines, giving credence to the claim that the exhaust has been tuned for improved sound—the new bikes do sound considerably throatier than the outgoing models. Standard are an engine immobiliser, LED taillight, possibly an LED daytime running light (depending on TC approval), USB port, and heated grips. Yes, heated grips. The T120 will come in four colour schemes: red and silver, black and white, black, and red. The T120 Black will come in black or graphite, with blacked out engine cases, exhaust and wheels.
2016 Bonneville Thruxton
The Thruxton gets a different variant of the 1200 cc liquid-cooled twin that powers the T120. Triumph has tagged it the “high-power Thruxton spec” engine, and although horsepower numbers are not available, it produces almost 83 lb-ft 9112 Nm) of torque, at 4,950 rpm. As with Triumph’s other new liquid-cooled twins, the Thruxton engine is a single-cam design, with eight valves operated via rockers. It has a lighter crankshaft to allow it to spin up quicker, has a higher compression ratio, a hotter cam, and a freer-flowing airbox. It also has three ride modes, as opposed to the T120’s two. The Thruxton rolls on wide, 17-inch wheels and has a conventional, non-adjustable fork. The higher-spec Thruxton R uses fully adjustable suspension, with a Showa USD fork and Ohlins piggyback shocks. It also rolls on sportier Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires (Phantoms on the standard Thruxton), and uses radial monobloc Brembo front calipers. Pricing and full specs will be released closer to the bikes’ worldwide launch later this year.