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Bike Review - Posted 22nd April 2016
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Triumph T100 Bonneville - Owner Review

Hinckley Triumph's classic roadster twin is a proper motorcycle says AndrewT, not a pretty pastiche of the past...

I was delighted to read Richard Jones’ recent owner review of his Hinckley T100 Bonnie. My feeling is that these bikes are at best tolerated and, at worst, dismissed as a pastiche of the ‘real’ Bonnie. I had a test ride on the local dealer’s basic Bonneville; not just a trundle up and down the road but the option to take it away for an hour or so and see if it was what I wanted. The two overriding memories are that it felt very small on its 17 inch wheels and quiet; or as they say in the films, ‘it’s quiet, too damn quiet!’ The dealer skilfully navigated me toward their one and only allocated 110th Anniversary T100. The finish was spectacular in silver and olive green as per the early years of the 20th century. It took all of a day to make up my mind.

Triumph T100 Bonneville - Owner Review

The T100s have a 19 inch front coupled to the standard 17 inch rear. It alters the feel of the bike giving a little presence on the road. Richard is right in his comment about the exhaust note and the optional (‘do not use on the road’) silencers, whether Triumph or Arrow certainly add a certain je ne sais quoi.

I was surprised to read that the carburettor equipped Bonnies develop peak torque at 3750rpm*. The 2012-onwards 865cc fuel injected engines develop, according to the handbook, a peak torque of 68Nm at 5800rpm.

Triumph T100 Bonneville - Owner Review
Bonnevilles on Now...

The range on a tank of fuel remains nothing to write home about. Even though the tank is bigger, it now holds the immersed fuel injection pump so that the fuel capacity is still 16 litres. A range of 130 to 140 miles is all that can be expected (at around 46/47mpg) after which the ‘friendly’ low fuel warning light comes on. I have an intuitive sensation that once that light glows, it is expedient to find a filling station. It is worth saying that the Bonnie runs happily enough on a diet of regular unleaded.

Richard’s comment about the seat is still relevant; truly numbing for the backside. Helpfully, FrankW – RealClassic’s editor – mentioned Viking seats near Sevenoaks. They removed the cover from my saddle, shaved off a few mm of seat foam and replaced it with a gel. It was £100 very well spent, so much so that my wife and I forgot to complain about the lack of comfort!

The T100 is, in my terms, decently quick, stops and handles well and the finish has yet to show signs of deterioration. One really irritating feature is that the headlight constantly wants to point upwards. I think that the wiring loom pulls the rear of the chrome bowl downwards against the two securing bolts. I picked up a ‘fix’ from an online forum but to no avail. I have not as yet invested in a pair of Hagon rear units. At circa £240 per pair, it is a sizeable spend and I have to get my timing right.

Triumph T100 Bonneville - Owner Review

The modern Bonneville is a lovely bike and will be even better once folk stop trying to make a comparison with the Meriden Bonnies of yore. Different bike aimed at a different audience in a different era.

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*We double-checked and all reference suggest that the early, carb-equipped T100s output max torque of 44ft/lb at 3500rpm. So that’s either true, or an extremely persistent typo...


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