All Tests – Triumph Bonneville T120 Test: Bonnie to do it all! – Dynamic: cool attitude

Triumph Bonneville T120 test: Bonnie to do it all !

All Tests - Triumph Bonneville T120 Test: Bonnie to do it all! - Dynamic: cool attitude

A true icon of British motorcycle production, the Triumph Bonneville is still evolving … for our greatest pleasure! Chassis, suspension, engine, equipment … Everything is revisited while taking care to preserve the essential: the pleasure of driving. Test.

Dynamic: cool attitude

By getting on the handlebars of the T120 Black, the rider immediately feels at ease. The seat is relatively low (785 mm) and comfortable, the wide handlebars offering a natural and obvious grip. On the right, a button allows you to change engine mode (Rain or Road, remember), but you have to disengage and cut the throttle to validate the change.

On the left, an "info" button allows you to alternate the display of information offered by the on-board computer. The small size of these dials and indications makes them difficult to read while driving, especially when the aging owner begins to need glasses! The gear indicator engaged or that of the average remaining range are for example difficult to perceive.

Contact, starter: the characteristic whistle of the English twin echoes discreetly in the courtyard of our hotel near Lisbon (Portugal), where this European presentation of the Bonneville T120 is taking place, but also of the new Thruxton which derives from it (test to come on MNC: stay tuned!).

By raising the T120 from its stand, you quickly realize the still substantial weight of the Bonnie (224 kg dry), especially when maneuvering at a standstill. First engaged, MNC adopts the "Road" mode for a short ride on the neighboring roads. The clutch control requires little effort and the gear ratios lock correctly, despite a somewhat long selector stroke.

The throttle offers a fairly fine dosage but a little brutal, causing a small jerk of transmission with each go-around following the change of report. The observation remains in Rain mode, however softer. Annoying, even if we end up bypassing.

In town, the T120’s engine shows good flexibility and easily accepts cruising on torque from 2000 rpm. Firmly seated on its 18- and 17-inch wheels, the T120 demonstrates excellent in-line stability. The agility is correct, nothing more, the bike requiring a slight effort on the handlebars to the inscription on the angle.

The fairly large turning radius requires you to take it twice to make a U-turn in a narrow street. The impression of comfort is however very satisfactory, both in terms of the seat and that of the suspensions which filter out small imperfections in this city context..

Nose in the wind, we are surprised to observe the reaction of passers-by to the passage of the Bonnie, just to see if they too appreciate the beautiful English. A priori, this is the case and we must admit that this little pleasure is also part of the charms of the new Triumph !

Healthy and reassuring behavior

Leaving the city, the twin begins to give voice as it revs up, with a very nice and flattering backfire to the ear. Power is delivered evenly from 2,500 to 6,500 rpm, with an omnipresent impression of torque and frank acceleration past 3,000 rpm, regardless of the driving mode chosen.

The modes only act on the opening speed of the throttle valves, not on the power. On the small winding roads that we take, we pass alternately from 3rd to 4th gear, the tachometer needle moving for its part between 3500 and 5000 rpm depending on the report..

When decelerating, you benefit from good engine braking which allows you not to brake constantly when approaching a bend … at least when winding quietly. Looking legal, the T120 cruise at 90 km / h on a trickle of gas, around 2500 rpm in 6th and 4000 rpm in 4th at 110 km / h when you open a little. The English twin can obviously climb beyond and easily reach 120 mph (hence its name: T120), or more than 190 km / h.

When the pace increases, the footrests are not very long to rub on the road, which encourages to take care of its trajectories. The Pirelli Phantom tires fitted as standard on the T120 offer excellent grip and easily accept a slightly sporty ride in the dry. This is obviously not the purpose of the Bonneville, but hey, difficult to resist the ardor of the British twin which only asks to be expressed !

On the other hand, you have to be a little more directive on the handlebars and press more on the outside of the footrests to move the T120 from one angle to another more quickly. The handling on the angle remains however very correct in this context and the suspension easily accepts this new rhythm, despite more important and faster mass transfers..

Especially since the weight distribution has been changed on this new chassis, with nearly 48% of the weight on the front as on the. It is therefore better to avoid a bleeding or too protruding connection at this speed, at the risk of feeling the return of the shock absorber unit sharply in the back, despite an increased rear travel value (120 mm against 106 before).

Braking is for its part pleasant to use and powerful enough to calmly stop the T120 in normal use. The feeling at the lever is a bit rough and not very sharp, but power and progressiveness in the dosage are there.

We also appreciate the smoothness of the brake pedal, which has a small range of use allowing the bike to sit better on a curve without triggering the ABS prematurely. The saddle is however slippery for the pilot (and his possible passenger) when braking suddenly.

Of course, in the absence of a windshield, wind protection is quite limited. Small gusts of wind are available as an option, but you can easily do without them when riding at legal speeds.

On the consumption side, for lack of a real measurement we have to rely on the on-board computer to estimate the average consumption of our short test at nearly 5.27 l / 100 km. A value that suggests a range of around 265 km under the same conditions.

Verdict: a classic revisited with Triumph !

With this magnificent T120, Triumph perpetuates the history and the myth of the Bonneville in a beautiful way. Displayed at 11,900 €, rather contained price in view of its improvements, it claims a technology and performance superior to those of some rivals.

The evolution compared to the previous one – and placid – is also quite relevant, especially in terms of mechanical pleasure and temperament. The twin has undoubtedly more trunk and flavor: very good !

More than 160 accessories are already planned to personalize "your" Bonnie, as well as a "Prestige" inspiration kit at 1620 € including in particular pretty chrome "sausage" silencer Vance & Hines and other accessories.

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