A clas­sic facelift

There’s some­thing for purists and mod­ern rid­ers in Tri­umph’s new Bon­neville, writes CRAIG DUFF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

AS­MALLER front wheel has trans­formed Tri­umph’s Bon­neville, with cruiser-like han­dling dropped in favour of a nim­bler, more mod­ern ride.

It’s a huge dif­fer­ence for the 1960s-styled bike and one bound to up­set tra­di­tion­al­ists who pre­ferred the spoked rims.

Tri­umph is en­sur­ing it doesn’t alien­ate purists by of­fer­ing its top-ofthe-range T100 model with spokes and a 19-inch front rim. Those looking for a more up-to-date ex­pe­ri­ence will opt for the ‘‘mod­ern’’ Bon­neville with 17-inch front rim.

The other ob­vi­ous dif­fer­ence on the cut-down Bon­neville is the shorter front and rear guards and the scal­loped seat, which low­ers the seat height from 775mm to 751mm. That change will ap­peal to smaller rid­ers and those who pre­fer to put both feet flat on the ground when stop­ping.

All bikes in the range are pow­ered by Tri­umph’s 865cc air-cooled par­al­lel twin en­gine with 49kW and 69Nm.

In keep­ing with the phi­los­o­phy of a mod­ern bike in a retro pack­age the en­gine is fuel in­jected, the in­jec­tors housed in­side what ap­pears to be the car­bu­ret­tor body. Sim­i­larly the ‘‘choke’’ is a fast-idle fea­ture.

It’s the torque that’s the key to the Bon­neville’s per­for­mance and makes rid­ing it such fuss-free fun.

There’s enough power at launch to jump the traf­fic without hav­ing to worry about lift­ing the front wheel. The en­gine quickly climbs into the mid-range, which is where it works best and it will then keep pace with most mid-sized sports tour­ers.

The only down­side to the drop in di­am­e­ter is the ride: the 17-inch front doesn’t han­dle bumps and cor­ru­ga­tions as smoothly as the T100.

The range starts with the $12,490 Bon­neville and climbs $1000 for the SE, which brings a tachome­ter, chunky tank de­cals, chrome en­gine cov­ers and the op­tion of two-tone paint­work. The T100 has the same fea­tures as the SE (plus the spoked wheels) and costs $13,990.

The ex­hausts are one of the few items on the Bon­neville that need at­ten­tion if you re­ally want to hear that flat-blat ex­haust note. Tri­umph has two Ar­rows sys­tems for the bike and, though op­tional, they’re re­com- mended if you’re a fan of the twin. The typ­i­cally ex­ten­sive range of ac­ces­sories in­cludes quick-release sum­mer and win­ter wind­screens, pan­niers and a chrome lug­gage rack.

On the Tri­umph web­site you can add and re­move ac­ces­sories from the bikes and see how much vis­ual (and fi­nan­cial) im­pact it has.

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