Triumph Bonneville T120

Test: Triumph Bonneville T120 (Baujahr 2020)

The Revenant

imagePhotos: Motorradtest.de

The Triumph Bonneville is undeniably one of the most beautiful retro bikes ever. The original was presented in 1959 and was a classic motorcycle with a very sporty touch. Can the current version look more than just good?

Love for details

Just how she stands. Depending on the version in a two-colour paint, but definitely with classic stereo dampers and two no less retro bags. As is customary from Triumph, all this is well and processed with love for the small details. Our model is white-metallic and in addition to the paint also wears the Union Jack of the special model Diamond, is otherwise standard. If you don't have enough bling bling, Triumph provides no less than 160 accessories.

The current version produces 80 hp after the recent revision. This is not a small amount in absolute terms, but not much, given the stately displacement of almost 1200 cubic meters. A glance at the data sheet shows what one suspected: 105 Newton meters at a maximum of only 3,100 rpm are available, so it is a torque motor, which fits a retro bike.

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The character has changed

But not to the original. In the 60s, this was a bad boy's bike for the group of buyers who would be called rockers today. And she was sporty. There is a classic conflict of goals here, because the triumph does not look sporty (and it is not what was already shown after the first test kilometers). The original got the name by the way because she set a new world record on the Bonneville Salt Lake in the USA. Test driver Johnny Allen managed 345.2 km/h on the streamlined disguised machine. Today's Bonnie can do 180 km/h.

The T120 weighs a staggering 243 kilograms ready to drive – where does Triumph install all the material? A look at the chassis with the double dampers as well as the steel swingarm shows the direction: Here everything looks like carved out of the full, filigree art is sought in vain. Overall, the design is coherent and close to the original. My favorite detail: the parts of the twins reminiscent of carburetors.

The equipment with electronic helpers for driving safety is rather narrow, because there is nothing except two driving modes (Rain and Road), the traction control and the ABS.

Then let's go, lead Bonnie into today's world and see how it works.

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Surfing on the torque

The very sight of the instruments warms the heart of the driver. To get speed and speed displayed in analog form, that has something. The engineers integrated the necessary digital information such as the gear display or the filling level of the tank via a small display in the two round instruments.

Down from the main stand (as standard), in view of the single-digit outside temperatures, the equally standard heating handles are switched on and off we go.

What immediately stands out is that there are hardly any engines that sound better. No matter what speed, the triumph sounds pleasantly dull and bass-heavy without scaring the neighbors. The smooth-running anti-hopping clutch allows the first gear of the precise six-speed transmission to come and we drop off. In fact, the T120 pushes off enormously from below. Since it is not only cold for us, but also for the engine, we naturally drive it warm before it goes to higher speeds.

But even if the row twin is warm, little changes in the low-speed driving style. Although the engine is quite willing to turn, a significant increase in the line is hardly to be expected north of 5,000 tours – so one leaves such sparrows.

In addition, it becomes clear in the first corners that the Triumph is more on moderate curves, just as it educates its owner to a calm, balanced driving style. If you want to let it crash, you will be confronted with increased effort, the Bonnie has to be forced into a strong slant, which she acknowledges with quite early footrests. This is also better left, and the curve hatz does not correspond to the character of the machine.

Rather, she encourages the already mentioned, relaxed country road tour. The comfort is fine, the pressure from low speeds ensures a smooth but not low speed over land. The stoppers could do more than that, they can be well dosed and bite violently if necessary.

Not cheap, but stylish

If you are looking for a curve arrow, you have to look elsewhere. But if you want to move forward in a very stylish way and prefer the calm course of things, you're right here. The Triumph Bonneville T120 can look much more than just good – but you have to be able to afford it. It is currently available at the retailer for 12,050 euros. Clearly, for less money, there are motorcycles that do the same in bare numbers as the T120. But do you want that?

The test bike was provided to us by Triumph Hamburg.

Price / Availability / Colours / Years of Construction

  • Price: 12.050€
  • Used (3 years old): 9.500€
  • Years of construction: since 2016
  • Availability: good
  • Colours: black, silver, grey/orange, green/white, white/blue
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Pro & Kontra

  • Powerful, powerful motor
  • Processing
  • Brakes
  • Socian comfort
  • Not cheap
Von unserem Team geprüft:

General

Type
retro
Eia
€12,800

Dimensions

Length
2,170 mm
Height
1,125 mm
Weight
236 kg
Seat
790 mm
Wheelbase
1,450 mm

Driving Performance & Range

Tank contents
14.5 l
Consumption
4.7 l
Range
309 km
Highest-speed
200 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
8V-SOHC in-line motor, 270° lifting pin offset
Number of cylinders
2
Cooling
liquid
Displacement
1,200 cc
Hole
97.6 mm
Hub
80 mm
Performance
80 HP
Torque
105 NM
Number of gears
6
Drive
Chain

Suspension & Brakes

Frame
Steel tube loop frame
Suspension front
41 mm KYB Cartridge fork
Travel:
120 mm
Strut rear
Stereo struts, KYB double shock absorber with adjustable spring preload
Travel:
120 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm steel
Brakes in front
Double brake discs, Nissin double piston floating calipers
310 mm
Tyres at the front
100/90-18
Brakes rear
Single brake disc, Nissin 2Piston floating saddle
255
Rear tyres
150/70 R17
Abs
Abs