The T120 Bonnie
The T120 is the largest bike in the expanded Bonneville range, physically similar to the slightly more retro-looking T100, but armed with the 1198cc parallel twin it donates to the Bobber.
An 1198cc parallel twin engine putting out 80bhp @ 6550rpm with 77.4lb-ft at 3100rpm and an estimated top speed of 130mph is housed in the T120’s dual tubular steel cradle frame.
With a 30.9in/785mm seat height it is accessible to most riders. Weighing in at 494lb/224kg, this is carried via non-adjustable 41mm steel forks up front and twin rear shocks with adjustable preload. Stopping all of this are twin 310mm front discs, supported by a single 255mm rear. The T120 comes with two-setting heated grips as standard.
So what’s it like to ride?
The T120 leans you gently forward onto the narrow-ish bars. Pegs are centrally located, making for a relaxed riding position. It puts a little weight onto the base of the spine but it’s comfortable and good for a pillion to settle into.
As long as you’re at 2000 revs and above, that 1198cc engine will haul you smoothly. It wants to pull; I felt like I was holding it back a lot of the time. The throttle response is silky, at no time did vibrations do anything as uncivilised as intrude.
The suspension is soft, but that’s the T120’s modus operandi, a plush ride from A to B. The easy riding position and supremely comfortable saddle lets you ride as far as the 14.5 litre tank allows (59 miles to the gallon, suggests a 140-150 mile range) in comfort. I spent the morning riding, except for the short break to take photos and I felt fresh when I stepped off the bike.
Somewhere during those 150 miles you are going to corner, and that is where I found the T120 to be a curate’s egg. I don’t know if it is the 18-section front, the soft suspension or a combination of the two, but front end feedback was vague, although rock solid once leaning.
Brakes are excellent, allowing gradual braking but will stop you hard with a firm squeeze. The twin clocks provide vast swathes of information at a glance (with a little thumb-operated toggle on the left hand controls). Talking left-hand controls, the heated grip button is so subtle I didn’t spot it until the dealer mentioned it! It’s a two-setting item; I popped it on at the start of the ride (about 7-8°C) on ‘Low’, my hands were nicely warmed.
If you do a lot of touring, especially two-up and like the retro look, the T120 is for you.
What nick is it in?
It’s in great shape, with nothing worth noting that I spotted. With a massive 10,000 miles between services, it isn’t quite half-way to it’s next one.
What’s it worth?
The dealer is looking for £8295 for a 2016 bike with 4984 miles recorded. Our dealer search revealed a decent number available, with prices ranging from a 2016 plate with 4127 miles for £7995 to another 2016 bike with 1085 miles logged for £9695.