Modern Triumph Bonnevilles - opinions?

#41
A test ride cost a potential customer nigh on £1000 some years back.

I was having a mooch, when this guy turned up for a pre booked test ride on a Fireblade demonstrator.

He filled in the paperwork, had his licence photocopied and off he went - for all of 10 minutes, when he limped back into the showroom carrying some bits of plastic and wing mirror.

Apparently he gave it a glove full and it spat him straight off and creamed in just outside the shop.

"Well Sir, how would you like to pay for this insurance excess?"

"Credit card? That'll do nicely, Sir".
I enjoy test rides. Some years back, my wife and I went to the 'Foundry' in Canterbury, Harley/Suzuki agents. They were doing test rides and ride outs. We went to sign up for a test ride of the 'new' Fat Boy, got to the desk and the guy asked me to fill in the form, I explained it was for my wife, oo'er, "well sir its quite a powerful bike" and "we got a lot of booking for test rides" etc.

I should explain, my wife stands about 5' 3" in her socks, learnt to ride on an M20 back in the 60's (WRAC) and has ridden ever since, her bike at the time was a Ducati Monster (cos she could just touch the ground) but, she never believed me when I told her how bad Harleys were.

We decided to go and see the manager, who made the mistake of 'parroting' the twat outside and, asking the wife how much experience she had with bikes, I by this time had retreated behind the H-D upgrades section.

When she came out of the shop, made me drive her back to Ashford, where she got her 'togs' on, wheeled her bike out, waited for me to do the same and, get my bike out (a sedate Honda NX650 Trail bike) and, back to Canterbury.

On arrival, she rode onto the forecourt and, proceeded to do a doughnut, lots of stinky rubber, when the manager came out, she suggested he got on the fastest bike they had and, she would race him to Ramsgate and back, he disappeared into his office never to be seen again.

When they opened a Triumph franchise about 3 years ago, 10 minutes away from where we live, we went for a visit and, they couldn't have been nicer.
Took her around to look at the models, she mentioned that she had "had a clutch" on an RMP TRW and, that was it, I got ignored by all and sundry but, was offered a test of any bike in the shop.

Make of that what you will, by the by, we sold her last bike about 2 years ago, she said that at 68, she couldn't ride the bikes she likes anymore, so that's it!
 
#42
Been out on it for an hour this evening. Need to get better at hill starts. Almost dropped the damned thing 200 yards from home, there is a 150 degree turn to get into our street, on a blind bend, uphill, on a camber. About the worst junction one could imagine. Maybe use my brain tomorrow and go past the turn & turn round elsewhere and take a 30 degree turn coming the other way.

Still, quite like doing my best Steve McQueen impression on it :)
 
#43
I enjoy test rides. Some years back, my wife and I went to the 'Foundry' in Canterbury, Harley/Suzuki agents. They were doing test rides and ride outs. We went to sign up for a test ride of the 'new' Fat Boy, got to the desk and the guy asked me to fill in the form, I explained it was for my wife, oo'er, "well sir its quite a powerful bike" and "we got a lot of booking for test rides" etc.

I should explain, my wife stands about 5' 3" in her socks, learnt to ride on an M20 back in the 60's (WRAC) and has ridden ever since, her bike at the time was a Ducati Monster (cos she could just touch the ground) but, she never believed me when I told her how bad Harleys were.

We decided to go and see the manager, who made the mistake of 'parroting' the twat outside and, asking the wife how much experience she had with bikes, I by this time had retreated behind the H-D upgrades section.

When she came out of the shop, made me drive her back to Ashford, where she got her 'togs' on, wheeled her bike out, waited for me to do the same and, get my bike out (a sedate Honda NX650 Trail bike) and, back to Canterbury.

On arrival, she rode onto the forecourt and, proceeded to do a doughnut, lots of stinky rubber, when the manager came out, she suggested he got on the fastest bike they had and, she would race him to Ramsgate and back, he disappeared into his office never to be seen again.

When they opened a Triumph franchise about 3 years ago, 10 minutes away from where we live, we went for a visit and, they couldn't have been nicer.
Took her around to look at the models, she mentioned that she had "had a clutch" on an RMP TRW and, that was it, I got ignored by all and sundry but, was offered a test of any bike in the shop.

Make of that what you will, by the by, we sold her last bike about 2 years ago, she said that at 68, she couldn't ride the bikes she likes anymore, so that's it!
Great story,. Bloody well good on her!
 
#44
Been out on it for an hour this evening. Need to get better at hill starts. Almost dropped the damned thing 200 yards from home, there is a 150 degree turn to get into our street, on a blind bend, uphill, on a camber. About the worst junction one could imagine. Maybe use my brain tomorrow and go past the turn & turn round elsewhere and take a 30 degree turn coming the other way.

Still, quite like doing my best Steve McQueen impression on it :)
It's gonna be a pretty heavy beast, mate. it's boring, but practising low speed riding is a good skill, balancing body weight, angles, throttle, clutch & brakes. You probably did a lot of it on your course.
things aren't so bad when you're moving, even a little bit, trying to sideways leg press a whole bike isn't funny :)

Looks like a real nice bike & a good deal. Ride safe, I wisdh you plenty of curves and bugs in yer teeth coz you're grinning so much!
 
#46
It's gonna be a pretty heavy beast, mate. it's boring, but practising low speed riding is a good skill, balancing body weight, angles, throttle, clutch & brakes. You probably did a lot of it on your course.
things aren't so bad when you're moving, even a little bit, trying to sideways leg press a whole bike isn't funny :)

Looks like a real nice bike & a good deal. Ride safe, I wisdh you plenty of curves and bugs in yer teeth coz you're grinning so much!
Cheers mate!

Yes, we did a lot of slow speed stuff, but my training bike was half the size of this one, so it's much harder. You're right, I need to spend a couple hours in an empty parking lot on a weekend.

I'm a bit reluctant to ride any great distance right now. I had no intention of buying a bike, so when we got the lad's, we got decent riding gear for him, but not me - just helmet and cheap gloves. I'm using ordinary long sleeved clothing until the jackets I've ordered turn up. I just feel a bit naked with an ordinary short coat on. And it's hot as hell. Got a thick winter jacket on order and a light mesh one too. Not that I think I'll be on the bike in the winter, but if I get three seasons, I will be happy. The shitty gloves are leaching black dye with the sweat, so it looks like I've drawn on my hands with a Sharpie :)
 
#47
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.
Did you do the course as a total novice? My lad is coming up to 18 and been talking about it and I've never ridden a bike before, only holiday mopeds, so thinking of doing it with him. In my 50s something like the above, HD Roadster or similar would be my sort of thing
 
#48
So you managed to jump the border fence already? Good work, that man! :)
I figured out why I thought the stock pipes sounded good. They're not stock!

Saves me a few shekels, they sound like a tank engine, and pop & burble when I roll back on a downhill. Lovely :)
 
#49
Been out on it for an hour this evening. Need to get better at hill starts. Almost dropped the damned thing 200 yards from home, there is a 150 degree turn to get into our street, on a blind bend, uphill, on a camber. About the worst junction one could imagine. Maybe use my brain tomorrow and go past the turn & turn round elsewhere and take a 30 degree turn coming the other way.

Still, quite like doing my best Steve McQueen impression on it :)
Low speed riding is where the skill is, apart from racing or avoiding idiot car drivers!
Loads of practice, if you have space try a slalom course or just two things to ride round. Say a couple of garden chairs, start with them a fair way apart and bring them closer together as your low speed control improves.
I may be teaching granny to suck eggs, but at manoeuvring speed just use the back brake and clutch with a sniff of throttle .
 
#50
Did you do the course as a total novice? My lad is coming up to 18 and been talking about it and I've never ridden a bike before, only holiday mopeds, so thinking of doing it with him. In my 50s something like the above, HD Roadster or similar would be my sort of thing
Pretty much, yes. I had a little 125 in my 20s for a few months. Never did the test, and didn't really like the bike. It was way too small for me (I am 6'2"). But that was 25 years ago.

Bear in mind I live in Spamland, so the courses might not be the same, but the basic controls of a motorcycle are the same the world over.

The course took complete novices, and turned out basic riders. I do mean complete novices too. My lad is 15, so obviously never been on a bike, and there was a 60 year old woman who had never been on a bike either. There was another guy, who had bought an R1 and had no eye/hand co-ordination at all to begin with. But they start off with simple exercises like use the clutch only to move the bike the length of the parking lot. The entire course was done in a parking lot, and never got out of second gear. Everyone passed, and dramatically improved over the weekend. Less the old guy. He was approaching 70, and had let his motorcycle endorsement lapse, so had to do the course again. He'd been riding for 50 years, so not much improvement from him! He still fluffed a couple of exercises on the test, and put his foot down. That's just a reduced score, not a fail.

The bike itself seemed to be important for the training. There were 12 people, 12 different bikes of all kinds. Those who had dual-sports with massive thin wheels did the best. Easier to do confined turns on those than the cruisers with small fat wheels.

I can heartily recommend the course, even if you don't get a bike yourself. At least you'll know the extent of the lad's training, and can make an assessment of whether he's ready for the road. My lad is a far better rider than me. He's been riding a week, and has 300 miles under his belt already.
 
#51
@dombo63 - just had another thought. The course we did is run by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which is a non-for-profit organization sponsored by the bike manufacturers. They run the same course all over the US, and that includes US forces overseas. If you go to Google maps, look up RAF Feltwell, and then switch to satellite view, you can see the motorcycle training course outline just north of the comms domes. There are 14 exercises in the course, and you ride round the curves and do tight turns within the boxes etc.
 
#52
I figured out why I thought the stock pipes sounded good. They're not stock!

Saves me a few shekels, they sound like a tank engine, and pop & burble when I roll back on a downhill. Lovely :)
Oh yes, very much so.
I used to be a courier & used a shaft drive (good start) Yamaha Virago (everyone laughed!). It was nice & low, though!
There's a particulat tunnel at London Wall that sort of runs under The Barbican: turn in slow, give it a handful, bounce it off the redzone & let it rumble & pop all the way to the other end :)

mine was silver, 700cc. Being higher up would have been better, as well as not feeling like it had square tyres on corners (because the forks are longer than 'normal' bike styles - that's where low speed practice & being ready to gas it a bit helps)....but I got to really like it!
Yamaha Virago - Wikipedia
 
#53
Great story,. Bloody well good on her!
The joke was, she wouldn't ride on the back of me because I did to much "tippy uppy" and, I wouldn't ride on the back of her for the same reason, she thought the sun shone out of Nicky Hayden arse, really upset when he was killed.

She was a very 'quick' rider but, never realised how close she came to getting her knee down, she loved the minor roads around the SE, so many bends to enjoy.
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#54
I figured out why I thought the stock pipes sounded good. They're not stock!

Saves me a few shekels, they sound like a tank engine, and pop & burble when I roll back on a downhill. Lovely :)
That popping and burbling is usually the "air injectors", those little tubes next to the spark plugs. They are a pain in the ass. A lot of riders get rid.
 
#55
That popping and burbling is usually the "air injectors", those little tubes next to the spark plugs. They are a pain in the ass. A lot of riders get rid.
Cheers, I might look into that if I ever tire of the ear candy. Might be a while yet... :)
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#56
Re the popping, the origional silencers were crap, genuine "mufflers" didn't sound of anything. I got a pair of "pear shaped" silencers from Norman Hyde, they looked like the old Triumph ones, and sounded like them. Result.
 
#57
Re the popping, the origional silencers were crap, genuine "mufflers" didn't sound of anything. I got a pair of "pear shaped" silencers from Norman Hyde, they looked like the old Triumph ones, and sounded like them. Result.
Mine are in the pic in the OP - that is the actual bike. I just didn't notice that the stock pipes are much longer and taper down. These are probably 6" shorter and have a diagonal cut to the ends. They're not obnoxiously loud, but give a deep throaty voice to the motor. Knobhead next door with his crotch rocket revs the tits off it, gets right on my nerves. I now have the antidote :)
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#58
Ooops. Crossed wires. Mine's the T120 Bonnie, slightly different.
 
#59
@dombo63 - just had another thought. The course we did is run by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which is a non-for-profit organization sponsored by the bike manufacturers. They run the same course all over the US, and that includes US forces overseas. If you go to Google maps, look up RAF Feltwell, and then switch to satellite view, you can see the motorcycle training course outline just north of the comms domes. There are 14 exercises in the course, and you ride round the curves and do tight turns within the boxes etc.
Many thanks for the detailed info. Slightly different here with levels of licensing etc but like you I was keen to see what training my son would be doing.
 
#60
Slow speed manouvering sorts the men from the boys, but grace and swan-like dignity at high speeds gives other motorists the opportunity to admire someone who knows what they're doing.

I often get a round of applause from horns and headlights as I pass.
 

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