All Duels – Face to Face GT 1000 vs Bonneville: a retro look – Bonneville, the aptly named!

Head-to-head GT 1000 vs Bonneville: a retro look

All Duels - Head to Head GT 1000 vs Bonneville: a retro look - Bonneville, the aptly named!

Against the tide of current roadsters ever more sharp and efficient, the Ducati GT1000 Touring and the Triumph Bonneville, our heroines of the day, offer an offbeat approach to motorcycles by drawing on the past to make us dream today !

Bonneville, the aptly named !

After having turned around our two retro motorcycles at will, it is time to discover them in dynamics. And there, the gap is great between the fine English and the imposing Italian !

As its compact size suggests, the Bonneville is very easy to handle. You only feel its 200 kg when maneuvering with the engine off: despite the fairly low center of gravity, it is difficult to move it easily. However, as soon as you start the twin, the Triumph is smooth. and disconcertingly easy! The position is less typical than in the past thanks in particular to the adoption of a new less curved handlebar. The more than 1.85m may be a bit cramped, but the vast majority of pilots will be perfectly comfortable.

GT 1000: user manual

Unlike the English, the Ducati does not seek to be consensual: it will not please – nor will it suit – everyone. Its fairly high seat of 810 mm is all the more disabling as its very wide saddle spreads the legs excessively. Those under 1.80 m must be vigilant…

Second surprise: to catch the handlebars, you have to lean forward quite a bit, which causes pressure on the wrists. We did not expect that on a retro machine, more dedicated to the ride than to the outrageous attack.

Even if it is lighter by about fifteen kilos, the Italian seems heavier than the English, due to a higher center of gravity but also to a much more substantial pneumatic rise..

The GT 1000 is indeed based on a 120 mm at the front and a 180 at the rear, while the Bonneville is content with a 110 (AV) and a small 130 mm (AR).

Contrast in town

Clutch, engine, gearbox … everything is smooth on the Bonneville! Add to that maneuverability and ease at all times, and you enjoy a very friendly and efficient city car. Only the turning radius of the English is a little insufficient for saturated city centers.

It’s pretty much the opposite on the Italian, one of the few Ducatis to benefit from a decent turning radius. However, for everything else, it’s brutal! If the twin of the Triumph shows remarkable docility and flexibility, that of the GT 1000 never stops bumping to show its desire to get out of the city. !

The desmodromic twin does not really like to go below 4,000 rpm and requires accompanying it to the clutch to have an almost smooth ride. But as the clutch handle is particularly hard, we tend to tire quickly … It’s a real muscle-building exercise, despite the hydraulic control. !

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