Launched in 2000, the ‘new’ Triumph Bonneville was styled to capture the iconic lines of the original T120 Bonneville, produced from 1959-1983.
It was an instant hit. Solidly built, with a reliable, under-stressed 790cc engine and decent quality brakes and suspension, the Bonnie appealed to riders of all ages, equally suited to a lazy Sunday enjoying local roads or touring further afield.
Over the following 20 years, Triumph steadily increased capacity to 900cc, added a 1200cc version, and introduced an array of variants, from cafe racers to cruisers.
Which one is the best used buy? We’ve bought and sold dozens of Bonnevilles and you really can’t go wrong with any of them, so your choice boils down to the type of riding you enjoy and the style that suits you. Here are some general guidelines, based on our experience helping customers find their perfect partner.
Bike to Basics
In 2008 Triumph bored out the motor to 865cc and introduced fuel-injection, which significantly increased the fun-factor, and from 2016 liquid cooling was added, with a very discreet radiator that isn’t at all obvious. If you’re after a ‘basic’ Bonneville, these are the ones to go for and they’re an ideal machine to customise, with a wide array of after market accessories available.
The factory realised they were onto a good thing with the Bonneville and decided to produce a beefier, 1200cc version in 2015. The T120 puts out 79hp, making it an excellent all-rounder, with grin factor built in.
With its drop handlebars and upswept exhaust, the Thruxton 865 exudes cafe racer cool, and it has more go, with 69hp on tap. As above, go for the later fuel injected models. For those chasing performance, the Thruxton 1200 pumps out 96hp, with exceptional brakes and handling to match. Unlike its easy-going smaller sibling, this is a machine that can give modern sports bikes a run for their money on twisty A-roads.
A longer, lower version of the Bonneville, the America is a highly capable cruiser, distinct from the many Harley-Davidson clones on the market. Well suited to touring or two-up rides, it isn’t an obvious choice, but it is an outstanding bike.
Most people associate bobbers with urban cool – more show than go. Triumph gave theirs a 1200cc 76hp motor and packed it with quality parts, creating something that really rocks.
Blending Sixties off-road style with modern components, the Scrambler can hold its own on both on and off road. It’s a striking looking motorcycle – there’s nothing quite like it on the market – and is actually a highly capable adventure sport bike, but wearing classic clothes.
Whichever Bonneville takes your fancy, you won’t be disappointed. We’ve plenty of clean low mileage examples in stock and we’re always looking to buy more, if yours is for sale.