The Triumph Bonneville has been the perfect exemplification of the term ‘modern classic’ for over a decade. The 2016 Bonneville T120 has been built on a new liquid-cooled platform specifically developed for the modern classic line-up, and is a major step up from its predecessor rather than a superficial update. A tribute to the Triumph Bonnevilles of late 1960s, the 2016 model offers an ideal blend of nostalgia and performance to keep the enthusiasts happy.
Triumph has left the quintessentially retro silhouette and body shape untouched, and has instead focussed on the detailing and customisation to bump up the Bonneville T120’s appeal. Styling cues like round headlamp and mirrors, orange-tinted indicators, classic-shaped fuel tank and twin-pod gauges enhance the Bonneville T120’s retro appeal. Touches like LED DRLs in the headlamp and the digital display give the Bonneville a dash of modernity. The elongated single-piece seat has been revised with softer materials and a new fabric to offer better comfort during long rides. The rear section gets a clean and retro look, with the LED tail lamp assembly providing the sole bling factor.
The engine in itself is a piece of art thanks to its brushed aluminium engine covers, bronze detailing on the crankcase, faux carburettors and the retro-styled cooling fins. The switch to liquid-cooled engines was a necessity that arose due to strict emission norms, though, Triumph has managed to obscure the view of the radiator by partly hiding it behind the exhaust manifold.
The 2016 Bonneville line-up is powered by a new family of parallel-twin engines. At the heart of the Bonneville T120 is a 1200cc liquid-cooled ‘high torque’ engine, which delivers 105Nm of torque through a six-speed transmission. As the name suggests, the emphasis has been on improving the torque delivery for a more spirited performance, along with better throttle response. This new powertrain churns out 54 per cent more torque at the lower end of the rev range, which should complement the Bonneville T120’s character. The Bonneville T120 doesn’t skimp on technology and comes equipped with ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire throttle and a slip assist clutch.
The new suspension setup has been developed to make the Bonneville T120 comfortable for long rides, without compromising its every day usability. It rides on conventional telescopic forks at the front and twin shocks in the rear. The brake setup is made of twin disc brakes at the front and a single disc in the rear, both of which get twin-piston callipers. The Bonneville T120 is offered with Phantom Sportscomp radials, a tyre specifically designed for classic motorcycles. The twin-pod instrument console get two digital displays, which read out the rider mode setting, gear position, heated grip setting, range to empty and the current setting of ABS and traction control systems, apart from other basic functionalities.
The Triumph Bonneville is available in four paint schemes – jet black, cinder red, pure white and cranberry red aluminium. A high level of personalisation is an important selling point in modern classics, and the Bonneville T120 is available with a host of optional accessories including custom ribbed seats, luggage rack, intake covers rubber bellows for the forks and a Vance & Hines exhaust system among others. Triumph is also offering customised versions of the Bonneville T120 in the form of Bonneville T120 Black and the Bonneville T120 Prestige.