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Old 09-14-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
bdonley OP
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Location: Central California coast
Oddometer: 354
Talk me out of a Bonneville

Hi all-
Always had mainly vintage kinda bikes. Airheads, Guzzi, Ducs, Sportster. A few deviances into an early Connie, and a Drifter. Having hand problems, and sold the sporty. The vibes and heavy controls were just making things worse. On a Multistrada 620 currently. Incredible bike. But, it just feels bored at my kinda pace. It's just so very competent. The Sporty was actually more fun because of that. Plus, i miss the *real bike* feeling. Looking at Bonnevilles. Seems a good compromise. There's one near here, an '04. *Really* clean. Nice mods, seems well set up. TOR pipes and dyno'd to suit. Also, a BUB 2/1. Lower, narrower bars. Dart screen. Hagon shocks. Factory tank bag. Racy seat cover. Little things, too. Pingel petcock, oil pressure gauge, etc. But, it does have 38,000 miles on it. The guy's asking $4200. Comments, please! Oh, and my uncle owned Triumph of Bellflower back in the '60's, so I have an inherited interest in these......
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:01 PM   #2
mfrankpdx
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I've always liked this review. Just ignore the stuff about the fuel injection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsKFsce5phw

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Old 09-14-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
bdonley OP
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I think my main concerns are the mileage, and is that an ok price? Not many around here, hard to gauge.....
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
B02S4
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No worries on the mileage if it was properly maintained; they are pretty bullet proof & will generally run 100k no problem. They can be had for less, however that looks like a nice one.

I suggest that you take a look a Triumph Twin Power for the idler boss issue for the earlier bikes, as that can be an expensive repair: http://www.triumphtwinpower.com/ttp-safe-start.php
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
Rotoride
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that's a good price, you might be able to talk him down to 4k.

Here in the seattle area every goddamn hipster wants a bonneville so they're like $5500 for an old beat up POS, because the more beat up and "used" the more value it has to a hipster...
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
bdonley OP
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We're a university town. Pretty much the same here. Plus, it's a small town, so there's not much availability. Luckily, he's an hour away in Lompoc, a fieldworker/military base town....
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:20 PM   #7
Threewheelbonnie
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I sold my 2004 with 40-odd thousand miles on the clock. Check:

1. The coil isn't the OEM POS, should be a Nology. If not you want 100-quid off to fit one before it gets wet.

2. Have a good look at the wheels. They are made of cheese, so any dings or new spokes walk away. The shiny classic crowd have now got over their "Thai copy / Beijing Bonnie" snobbery and buy broken bikes for stupid money, so no more cheap spares. Make sure is has TT tyres while you are at it, TL with tubes means no puncture repair without seriously heavy kit.

3. The valves will need adjustment every 20000 miles and it's a cams-off / shims-in-the-post mess. If a dealer has done them in the last 10000 miles the bike is worth more.

4. The main earth rots. Check for any hesitation on the starter, flickering headlight or bodged on extras.

5. The range is crap. With those exhausts and retuned not to run lean you'll be on reserve at 100 miles and walking at 150.

These Bonnevilles are not as good as the W800 or Guzzi V7 or Sportster, they are just cheap training bikes to get people into the brand, but if you know that and get a good deal go for it.

Possible useful stuff here https://sites.google.com/site/threewheelbonnie/Home

Scary stuff here
https://sites.google.com/site/threew...10/the-repairs

Comparisons here:
https://sites.google.com/site/threew...zzi/home/intro

Enjoy it if you go for it, they do have that great naked bike feel and are easier to live with than a Bullet, but don't get all misty eyed and think it'll all be days of playing Steve McQueen, that's just Triumphs advertising.

Andy

Threewheelbonnie screwed with this post 09-14-2014 at 11:28 PM
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:44 PM   #8
Gootch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
I sold my 2004 with 40-odd thousand miles on the clock. Check:

5. The range is crap. With those exhausts and retuned not to run lean you'll be on reserve at 100 miles and walking at 150.

These Bonnevilles are not as good as the W800 or Guzzi V7 or Sportster, they are just cheap training bikes to get people into the brand, but if you know that and get a good deal go for it.

Andy
The old carbed Bonnies get a lot better mileage than that. On the other hand, the old carbed Thruxtons (of which I have the 2004) get that sort of lousy mileage except I'd never make it anywhere near 150.

As an experienced rider who also has a CBR and does track days, I don't feel these bikes are "cheap training bikes." A good rider can wring the neck on these twins and they just keep plugging. I don't know a Bonnie or Thurxton rider who has had engine problems. It doesn't mean that lights won't fail or that you can't beat down the suspension (you can) but these bikes are basically solid and reliable (and good looking).

Just prepared for old guys coming up and asking you what year it is and telling you about what they used to have.

Ah $4200. Might be too much for that with that mileage. He's trying to get back the costs of his add-ons.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:21 AM   #9
plodalong
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Have a Thruxton and a Bonneville, apart from minor oil leaks, some corrosion on the lacqured alloy and carb boots that rotted they have been totaly reliable.

As has been said they are a reliable unit. Would upgrade the forks with springs and emulators as the suspension is probably the worst point.

Range is around 125miles to reserve cruising at 65-70mph on a trip so not too bad, Had no problems with HT coils or the pick up coil but it's fairly common for these to fail.

Don't know about the pricing but in Australia it's rare to less them under $6500.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:14 AM   #10
Murphy Slaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gootch View Post

Ah $4200. Might be too much for that with that mileage. He's trying to get back the costs of his add-ons.
Yep.

I saw a New Old Stock leftover 2012 SE on cycletrader for $6250.00. Evansville Indiana maybe?
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:26 AM   #11
Speedo66
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Have you considered a Kaw W650? Reviewers liked them better than the Bonnevilles.

They're in the same price range, and they're like having a Bonneville without the problems. So far, no reported weak spots, just typical Japanese reliability.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:37 AM   #12
KingOfFleece
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We've sold over 200 Bonnies since they came out. Great bikes and VERY few issues. Plenty are completely happy with the stock bike-others enjoy "hopping them up" as desired. Have fun!
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:48 AM   #13
bdonley OP
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The owner decided to keep it. Dilemma solved, for now. I get it. When you've got that much setup in a bike. I've tried multiple times to buy back my Moto Guzzi........
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:57 AM   #14
Rotoride
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Oh you must be in SLO, that's a good price for that town. Lived there 9 years
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:53 AM   #15
GoonerYoda
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Look for a W650.

Kick starter adds street cred.




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