Driving report Triumph Bonneville America

Driving report Triumph Bonneville America

Light show

Low-calorie cola, beer with reduced alcohol content and yogurt without fat, America has shown the way. This light culture is now also serving Triumph. With a cruiser called Bonneville America.

Right from the start, those in charge from Hinckley didn’t bother.

“The Bonneville America was specially developed for the American market and was one of the most important models in our range even before it went on sale due to the great demand from dealers and customers in the USA,” says Uli Bonselts from the German Triumph importer. The importer does not mind that Europe only played a subordinate role in the development. Finally, the result can also be seen from a German point of view.
And listen. Because the well-known two-cylinder of the classic Triumph Bonneville has been converted almost perfectly for its new role as a cruiser drive due to a crank pin offset and thus a changed firing order. From idle speed to the middle range, the parallel twin, equipped with a lot of flywheel, actually feels and feels like a V2 unit. Dull throbbing and light, but pleasantly vibrating, it pushes the dry middleweight, which weighs only 226 kilograms, in a rather unspectacular manner. Especially in the upper gears, the nominally 61 hp engine looks really tired, almost phlegmatic. In addition, when the wind noise rises, your own exhaust sound is drowned out by the fine twittering and buzzing of the valve train.
Since MOTORRAD was allowed to complete its maiden voyage in America, which is heavily regulated in terms of traffic, where even the thickest V8 cars don’t seem to know the word acceleration when they start at traffic lights, this performance deficit is hardly significant there. It is much more the ease, refreshing for cruiser standards, with which the Bonneville America can be maneuvered over the sometimes quite bumpy country roads in the south of Atlanta, which defines the image of the Englishwoman. Changes in direction only require the slightest force on the wide, flat handlebars, and maneuvering is made easier by the low seat height of 720 millimeters. Only the side stand is screwed a little way forward on the frame, which sometimes gets into trouble, especially for short-legged contemporaries.
Otherwise there is comfort on board the first real Triumph cruiser. And thanks to the wide, lavishly padded bench, even hours of tours through the unspectacular road-building surroundings of Atlanta can be mastered without any problems. The footpegs mounted far to the front do another thing to bring the idea of ​​speed into the background and the feeling of easy gliding into the foreground.
The suspension tuning of the American Bonni was also chosen with a focus on comfort. Especially at the front, the telescopic fork, which is clad with thick sleeves, seems to float over bumps. The rear is not quite as comfortable. The two conventionally articulated suspension struts can still defend themselves reasonably well against smaller bumps in the road, but with harder edges or strong waves they leave most of the work to the thickly padded bench.
The Bonneville’s braking system appears to be quite spartan. With only one brake disc and a fairly simple double-piston caliper, it may still be among the lower mediocre in the cruiser segment, but even the most deliberate loiter should be prepared for an emergency. And when fully loaded, a good eight hundredweight must be brought to a standstill as quickly as possible. An exercise that the Bonneville can only master with a brutal pull on the hand lever and with the massive help of the easy-to-dose rear brake. The fact that the fork is already on the block in solo operation is a negative side effect of the soft tuning.
Negative side effects of a completely different kind are revealed on closer inspection of the very nicely arranged interplay of chrome, aluminum and painted parts. Because not everything is what it seems. The stylish instrument console on the tank, like the speedometer housing, turns out to be a plain, chrome-plated injection-molded plastic part. The same applies to the fenders and side covers. Saving was the motto in England – money and weight. The fact that the indicator lights for the turn signals and idle display work on the back burner and hardly glow brighter than a stomach-sick firefly is of course a bit exaggerated. And at least for adjustable hand levers or a lockable tank cap, the budget should have been strained a little.
I.After all, the Triumph dealer wants 16,520 marks as the equivalent for this Americanized version of the Bonneville, which will be available for sale in German shop windows as early as October. And if the American is not American enough, there is a wide range of accessories available ex works. Whether sissy bar (369 marks), windshield (around 500 marks), panniers (549 marks), leather tank protection (99 marks) or the analog clock for the tank console (289 marks), Triumph has thought of everything. Even the level driving license. A 34 hp version is also available. Which would make the Bonnevile America a real light cruiser on the engine side.

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