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All new Triumph Bonneville Launch

Posted on October 31, 2015 by Scott in Brat, Café Racer, Classic, Event. 27 comments


It’s safe to say this is the biggest launch in Triumph’s illustrious 100 year history. Never before has this British born marque ever released so many new motorcycles on one day. It’s been a four-year project and from the looks of these bikes, they have spent that time getting the detail and performance just right. The bikes have been cloaked in more secrecy than a plot from a spy film – which is fitting, as the new Bond film ‘Spectre’ was also launched this week in London. Shaken and stirred? We were…


The new Bonneville T120 next to the original 1959 Bonneville

There’s been a lot of speculation about what Triumph were going to release. A few leaked spy shots show the so-called ‘1100cc Bonneville’, but the truth of the matter is Triumph have gone one better and created a whole new range of bikes. We were lucky enough to be invited to the London launch by Triumph Australia and we weren’t disappointed by what we have seen. Not even close. The event was held in the newly finished Bike Shed HQ in Shoreditch. Just like their new range of bikes, Triumph didn’t hold back creating a memorable launch party, including many celebrities, motorbikes and liberal amounts of alcohol. But one of the highlights was seeing Carl Fogarty doing a burnt out on the new Thruxton R – leaving a lot of rubber on the freshly polished floor. But enough about that, let’s get to the bikes…

<> at The Bike Shed on October 28, 2015 in London, England.

Pretty sure that ain’t dry ice…

So what have Triumph been doing for the last four years? Let’s start with the classic T120 Bonneville range. The new Bonneville has been styled on the iconic 1959 Bonneville – essentially Triumph wanted to keep the soul of the bike while increasing its performance and rideability. It now has an impressive and all-new 1200cc ‘high torque’ 8 valve, parallel twin-engine that was ‘built to deliver more torque lower down and right across the rev range.’ The other big change is the new 1200 engines have a well-hidden liquid cooling system – integrated to reduce its visual impact whilst achieving cleaner emissions and enhancing fuel efficiency. Triumph haven’t released the full list of specs yet but they have told us it produces a peak torque figure of 105Nm at a low 3100 rpm – which equates to 54% more than previous models. Just a little more, then…

T120 Black Jet Black Right

The new Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black is the go-to duo for the traditionalist who loves the original T120 that took the world by storm all those years ago. It perfectly balances the iconic looks and elegance of the 1959 classic and adds modern touches like ABS, integrated heated grips, traction control, ride by wire and a slip assist clutch so smooth you can operate it with one finger. It’s an incredible achievement for Triumph to have maintained all of the authenticity of the original while adding features like dual rider modes and USB charging that only top shelf modern bikes have offered previously.

Bonneville_T120_Black_Details_Engine_Timing _side

Next, the entry-level Triumph Street Twin. It’s powered by the all-new 900cc ‘high torque’ Bonneville engine and delivers a massive peak torque figure of 80Nm at a low 3200 rpm, which Triumph claims is 18% more than the previous model, ‘delivered where you want it – low down and across the whole rev range.’ It may be a more basic entry-level bike but the Street Twin is the bike we see as having the most potential for customisation. Being nicknamed ‘the scrapper’ by some, it is a blank canvas and we look forward to seeing what builders turn them into – we may even be doing our own Pipeburn build (!) using the Street Twin as a donor, but more on that later…

Street Twin Aluminium Silver Right

Customiser’s delight? Let’s hope so…

Just how you customise your new Bonnie now has a whole new dimension with the addition of “Inspiration Kits” for each new motorcycle allowing you to ride off the factory floor in a style all of your own. Of course, this won’t limit the thousands of workshops and builders around the world creating their own unique Bonneville’s, but what it will do is provide a huge parts list that will make that task easier and with Triumph’s own customs raising the bar you can expect builders around the world to take up the challenge of going one better.


The Street Twin offers three inspiration kits and Triumph have done an exceptional job at tailoring these packages to the latest trends which just happen to be some old school favourites. The Scrambler inspiration kit creates an off-road, go anywhere style and with a parts list including a brushed high-level Vance & Hines exhaust system, rear fender removal kit with compact rear light, brown ribbed bench seat, brown ‘Barrel style’ handlebar grips, compact LED indicators and brushed aluminium sump guard.


The Street Twin ‘Brat Tracker’ Inspiration Kit

The Brat Tracker kit is the aggressive version for the urban warrior taking many of parts from the Scrambler kit but adding a Black ribbed bench seat and black ‘Barrel style’ handlebar grips for that murdered out look. While the Urban kit is all about the café look and doing it in style – ‘Ace’ style handlebars, brushed Vance & Hines slip-on silencers, compact LED indicators, short tinted flyscreen, signature single pannier, in waxed cotton and leather.


The T120 ‘Prestige’ Inspiration Kit

The Bonneville T120 have not been forgotten with an Inspiration kit of their own, known as the Prestige that delivers an authentic chrome ‘4 bar’ tank badge, ribbed and stitched black seat, compact LED indicators, chrome Vance & Hines peashooter slip on silencers, black ‘Barrel style’ handlebar grips, chrome clutch cover, alternator cover and throttle body embellishers.

Thruxton Competition Green Right

Completing the range is the Thruxton and Thruxton R models and it’s safe to say Triumph have delivered the best performing classically styled motorcycle of all time. The heart of the beast is the all new 1200cc ‘high power’ 8 valve, parallel twin Bonneville engine. Lighter crank, higher compression, low inertia 6 speed gearbox, state of the art airbox and an array of rider assist modes help to deliver a thumping 112nm of torque, they’re Superbike numbers! To get an idea of just how far the Triumph engineers have developed the all new engine that’s Honda CBR1000RR torque figures at half the rpm. The R also benefits from brakes by Brembo, Suspension by Showa and Ohlins and sticky Pirelli rubber, imagine turning up at the Ace Café in the ‘60s on this bad boy!


The Thruxton R ‘Track Racer’ inspiration kit

Both models also have the option of two inspiration kits of their own, the first is the sure-to-be-wildly-popular ‘Café Racer Kit’. Featuring a rear fender removal kit with compact light, Vance & Hines exhausts, lower clip-on handlebars, short tinted fly screen, compact LED Indicators, single painted seat cowl (only for the Thruxton as standard already on Thruxton), signature Triumph rubber knee pads, knurled handlebar grips and a leather tank strap. For the boy racer or the old TT warriors there is the ‘The Track Racer’ inspiration kit with sculpted cockpit fairing with lower clip-on handlebars, single painted seat cowl, rear fender removal kit with compact light, compact LED Indicators, Vance & Hines slip-on silencers, knurled handlebar grips, leather tank strap. And just when you think there couldn’t be any more, Triumph have announced a Performance Race Kit for the Thruxton R that has been specifically designed for competition use on closed circuits, more power, less weight and ready to take on the world in 2016. Damn.


Thruxton R Cockpit Fairing

We were lucky enough to speak to some of the lead Triumph designers and engineers at the London launch. These guys have been working tirelessly at the Hinkley factory on these bikes from inception. They are so passionate about what they have created – and so they should be. Triumph have definitely put their money where they see the next phase of the motorcycle scene as going and I guess only time will tell to see how well they nailed it. They still haven’t let everything out of the bag just yet though – with some exciting new projects to be revealed very soon. Watch this space…


The fine print: In an effort to keep things as legit as possible, we feel it’s probably best to mention that Triumph Australia paid for our trip to London to see their new bikes. Rest assured that if the bikes weren’t up to scratch, we’d have no problems in saying just that, and that we will always endeavour to give you guys the best reviews possible without fear or favour; sponsors bearing gifts included.

  • Andy Barlow

    I don’t know about you guys… but I like them.

    • guvnor67

      I want that Thruxton R NOW!!!!! Oh, and a Street Twin to have a bit of a play with!!

  • noonsight2001

    Triumph was originally German and had a plant in the UK which transferred to British hands with the advent of WW1.

    • John_Tangeraas

      Siegfried Bettmann of Germany, moved to England in 1885 aged 22, becoming British national . He founded Triumph, making bicycles in 1886 and in 1896 a subsidiary company; Triumph Werke Nuremberg was opened. In 1902, in Coventry, the first motorcycle was produced. In 1927 Bettman developed a car, the Triumph Super 7. In 1936 Bettman sold both bicycle and motorcycle businesses to Jack Sangster of Ariel Motorcyles becoming Triumph Engineering Co. LTD. Bettmann had control of Triumph to 1936 and was in charge of WW1 production of army motorcycles.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    All I’ll say is seeing this post here makes me very sad as yet another infotainment website de-evolves from focusing on custom/classic bikes ( or cars ) into yet another market place forum for the manufactures using their text verbatim under the guise of an ‘article ‘ And I truly hope I’m not the only one holding this opinion

    ( Ads on the header and sides I can abide . But advertising pretending to be articles I cannot )

    • Blake Proudfoot

      At least the bikes look the part. If your disappointment runs that deep, maybe start your own site where you work for free.

    • Fast2Furious

      Then by all means take the high moral ground strike a blow against vulgar, crass capitalism and do what you must to be true to your closely held beliefs. And FYI you may be the only one who gives a damn.

    • H.T.V. Blu

      I agree, before people claim you are the ‘only one’ that cares!

      To me the problem isn’t the rabid capitalism but rather a once independent magazine selling itself to disguise adverts as article content. That is duplicitous. If you don’t care, more power to you but I prefer a clear delineation and honesty. If we are to take a person’s opinion seriously surely it must attempt to be independent.

    • blackbird

      Lol….well sweet baby Jesus, does this mean your gunna fuck off, so we can get back to discussing bikes? Awesome!

    • Guys. Just a few thoughts on the ‘sponsorship’ issue. Firstly, I’ve just added a footnote to the article disclosing the fact that Triumph paid for the trip. While we disagree with Hardley re: the article being infotainment, what we do want to do is be very clear on which articles are done in partnership with a manufacturer and which are simply ‘cool bikes we found’.

      We should be completely transparent in this regard, and I think you’ll find we always have been in the past.

      In this case, we should have made this clear. It has been corrected now, and we will endeavour to make sure we keep it up in the future.

      As for the whole ‘selling out’ issue, it’s hard to stick your head in the sand and refuse an offer like this when all our fellow blogs (EXIF, ROTCRs etc.) are attending. Not only would we miss out on a sweet trip, but we’d also be intentionally ignoring a bunch of new bikes that i’m sure a vast majority of our readers would be interested in, and that most other blogs will be reporting on.

      Hope this clears things up.

      • guvnor67

        Am thinking I can help you out here Sir. If or when you get another invitation from Triumph, or Ducati, or Moto Guzzi, or Indian,or Confederate or …anyway, send me an email. I’d like to come with you, y’know, to help with your luggage, or camera bag, or for support for when you get overcome with emotion at the sight of all those wonderful motorcycles, and you can’t possibly ride them all in one day and do them justice!!! I really feel like I could help. Besides, my day job is really giving me the shits, the misses has her grumpy pants on, and I need a holiday, 🙂

      • Guzzto

        Yep cant see what all the panty twisting is about, good on you guys (and bike exif and ROTCR for getting invited, testament to the fact that your websites are changing and informing the manufacturers.. who can begrudge you guys a paid trip to ride bikes and have fun. keep up the good work!

  • Karl Weigel

    I wish that Triumph hadn’t abandoned the 360 degree crankshaft for these new motors. The 270 degree crank motor just doesn’t sound like a Triumph Bonneville.

    • Lew Terpstra

      Agreed. What’s the point of developing a bike in the tradition of the
      former well loved Bonnevilles without the distinctive sound they made?

      • Tom Dinchuk

        I also agree…..They sound like ducati v twins.

    • Could it be a Euro Emissions issue?

      • guvnor67

        Strong chance! Maybe they could ask Volkswagen for a cheat?! I have a T140e and love It’s sound, but only recently sold my TRX850 Cafe/Fighter (270 degs) n loved It’s sound too, especially as I was running Shorty Reverse cone megas! I’d like to hear these new Trumpys with naughty pipes!!!

      • cagivarider


  • Bultaco Metralla

    Boring, I beginning to think that Triumph have run out of inspiration. I thought they already had a big twin and a gigantic triple so what is the point of making the Bonny Bigger! I would have preferred an approach of making it lighter and more elegant. As it is it looks either dumpy or cliché.

  • Jeff

    Awsome!! Cant wait to see them up close.

  • Mark Stapleton

    Very keen on that T120 Black with a few custom touches

  • rdehoogh


  • Hamish Lamont

    So in the Thruxton R Triumph have delivered the best performing classically styled motorcycle of all time? Would almost have to be a contender for the best looking classically-styled new motorcycle as well. Damn, that’s one good looking bike!

    • guvnor67

      And guessing it’d go like a Gazelle with a lion chasing It’s ass!! Am thinkin a trip to the nearest Trumpy dealer and a re-think of want I need in my garage coming right up!!!!

  • Cafe Sportster

    nice Ducati sport classic