Modern Triumph Bonnevilles - opinions?

#1
Fresh from taking the lad through his bike license course, stupid me did the same course. And loved being on the bike. My training bike (supplied by the course) was a little Suzuki 250 twin, styled as a cruiser. I liked it, but it was patently too small for me. In the words of the instructor, "a full size guy on a half size bike".

In fact, I liked it so much I'm going to get a bike myself. Been looking at the style of bike and what I'll use it for. Purely for pleasure. I work from home, and our nearest office is 200 miles away, so I will absolutely not be commuting on it. Just evening and weekend pleasure rides. I live out in the sticks with mountains nearby, so I can get a decent route, but I'm only thinking 50 miles out and same back.

Bearing in mind the training bike I had was like a toy on me, I want a physically bigger bike, but not ludicrously powerful, as although I'm a "mature" rider at 49, I'm still a novice.\

A Harley would do me fine, but I'm not that much of a sheep. And the softail has a 1600cc motor. Hence looking elsewhere, which lead me to the Triumph Bonneville range. As a kid, I'd heard of these mythical beasts as being the superbikes of the day (and yesteryear). Modern Bonnevilles seem to come in different forms. I quite like the Speedmaster, but they're a bit pricey at $12K, and have a 1200CC 4-pot.

I found a used Bonneville America, 2014 model with 20K on it. It's just a twin, albeit a big one, but I think this is in my future, unless I get seriously negative feedback. The price is definitely right, from a Triumph dealer.

Here's the bike:

https://www.indianmotorcycleknoxvil...make=triumph&s=Year&d=D&fr=xPreOwnedInventory



Grateful for any feedback on these bikes. Appreciate the "America" is not common in the UK.
 
#2
And here it is....... I kinda had the feeling the whole m/c thing would grab you.
The Trumpy America has a great rep here. It's what, an 860cc? Seems about right for a newcomer to riding,
as I reckon the sheer physics of the >1000cc jobs would add a whole dimension of hassle/risk to low-speed
manoeuvring, like getting it out of the garage. And 860cc is a pretty grunty unit which you'll never grow out
of. And it has loads of panache.
 
#4
Dunno about the Bobber. I prefer the chrome look, but those Bobbers seem to the same basic bike as the Speedmaster, which although I like (a lot!), I'm not sure I'm ready for. Might be wrong, but a 1200 4-pot for a novice seems like putting a novice car driver in a V8.

At $5K for a 2014 used America, I'm not going to lose my shirt if I don't get on with it. But don't want to lose my life. Shirt would be fine, under the circumstances...
 
#6
My coworker just bought a Thruxton - he wishes he had splashed on the street cup now as it’s a bit sedate. He is pushing 50 and not looking for full on sport bike... he just thinks his is a bit asthmatic.
 
#7
Go for a 1200 Bonneville. I´m not sure what the BHP is but it´s not huge and even as a novice, the bigger engine will give you more confidence and comfort but the horse power won´t scare you. You´ll soon master the 50 mile run out and that will quickly turn into 75 miles, then 100 miles and before you know it, you´ll be off for the weekend or more. You´ll outgrow the America in a heartbeat.
 
#8
I've had a T100 for nine years or so. Only complaint is the chrome, pure crap, I suppose it's OK if you clean and stuff after every ride. Can't fault the reliability, I use it daily, used to do a 200 mile door to door, only drag was fuel stops. It's quite happy sitting at an indicated ton plus for long stretches, no front No plate helps camera wise. My problem now, being ever so old, is the bikes weight, getting it on the centre stand, which I've got to do in a day or two, new brake pads. In short, I'd get one again, you'll soon be going more than 50 mile trips. Good luck with it. And look out, remember, every bugger's out to kill you!
 
#9
MOTO-GUZZI-California-1100-EV-8168_2.jpg

Try this: Moto Guzzi 1100
Or.........if you want something a little bigger:
 
#10
[QUOTE="BratMedic, post: 8582967, member: 601
Or.........if you want something a little bigger:
[/QUOTE]All I can say is, WTF!
 
#12
Buy it, you'll like it.

Had a HD Sportster (albeit years ago) - can't believe how bad it was - design, build quality, rideability - although I still like the look.
Closer I've looked at new Triumphs, more I like them and I always notice them. They've got presence. And they work.
 
#13
Some interesting points here, thanks guys. I take the point about the fact that I might/will grow out of it, but if I get into it for not a lot of cash, I can get out of it not too painfully in a year or two's time. The Speedmaster with 1200 motor is new this year, the older ones had the same 865 as the America, it seems. I'm not ready to drop $12K on a bike, certainly not while the house is under construction.

Main thing for me is no-one's saying "don't buy one, they're shite", which I would fully expect if I'd had my eye on a Harley Sportster or Street.

I'm tempted to take the afternoon off and pull the trigger :)
 
#14
FWIW I know two guys who have bought new Triumphs in the last 18 months, and both were very poorly put together. Neither a Bonneville, to be fair, but perhaps indicative of build quality across the marque? Dunno.

The guy who bought the Street Triple eventually rejected the bike. Among other things (barmy instruments, poor paint, bit of an oil leak) it had a dreadful vibration in the front end from about 40/45 MPH and it got worse the faster you went. The dealer never figured it out either, and a deal was done for a Kawasaki Z1000 instead.
 
#15
The guy who bought the Street Triple eventually rejected the bike. Among other things (barmy instruments, poor paint, bit of an oil leak) it had a dreadful vibration in the front end from about 40/45 MPH and it got worse the faster you went. The dealer never figured it out either, and a deal was done for a Kawasaki Z1000 instead.
I loved my street triple; it was fantastic. I’m tempted by a Street Twin though.
 
#16
Well, it is a done deal. She sits in our garage this evening. Just went out for a quick ride, and came back with a big cheesy shit-eating grin on my face :)

Don't know why I was worried about the power of it, it's quite smooth in its delivery. Very comfortable too.

Next (rhetorical) question - why on earth did I wait until I was 49 to get a bike?

Need to get some saddlebags for it now, and maybe the luggage rack/sissy bar thing.

Me likey. Thanks to all for your help/encouragement!
 
#17
Whatever you look at, get a decent test ride. I don't know if the old adage still stands, "no one ever keeps their first bike".

You sound like you are buying with your heart rather than your brain.
 
#19
I had a T140 750 Bonnie years ago. Kick start and everything, FFBNW electric start. I loved it to bits! They always say don't look back, but I REALLY wish I hadn't sold it - I'd kill to have it now.
 
#20
Well, it is a done deal. She sits in our garage this evening. Just went out for a quick ride, and came back with a big cheesy shit-eating grin on my face :)

Don't know why I was worried about the power of it, it's quite smooth in its delivery. Very comfortable too.

Next (rhetorical) question - why on earth did I wait until I was 49 to get a bike?

Need to get some saddlebags for it now, and maybe the luggage rack/sissy bar thing.

Me likey. Thanks to all for your help/encouragement!
Don't get cringe making bags with studs and fringes, go for Kriega.
 
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