Rode my brothers 05 Triumph Bonneville today

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by elite1, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. elite1

    elite1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Pittsburgh-The Steel City
    What a great bike. Immediately felt at home on it. That classic British riding style was enhanced by a set of lower bars my brother installed a few years ago. Also had pea shooter style mufflers that complimented that parallell twin sound. Great power. Great balnce. Just right by all accounts. I see one in my future someday. Oh well. Just thought I'd share. For now the scoot will have to do.
    #1
  2. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    High Desert - Ephrata Washington
    If it feels rides and handles anything like the 1968 650 Bonneville I owned way back when (1969) then it certainly is worth having. The 68 was the best British bike I've ever owned and I owned quite a few of them. It was very reliable - unlike so many others I owned. Among the ones I'd like to forget about is the 65 Matchless 500cc single. Reminded me of a woman or two I used to know - sometimes things were good and sometimes they weren't. It had a part time magneto. I had a 1962 Triumph that never failed to start - trouble with it was the vibration made it impossible to ride for more than a hour at a time at 50-60mph. I could putt around town all day long.

    I hear good things about the new Triumph models. Nice to see such an old mark doing well and going back to their roots in the process. Not everyone wants a crotch rocket.
    #2
  3. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,732
    Location:
    Beckley wv
    I want a bonnie or a scram in the worst way.


    Of course I also want. 650 maxi and an mp3 :lol3
    #3
  4. sargev55

    sargev55 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    652
    Location:
    charlotte, nc, usa

    i really liked them when i was test ridin' them 7 years ago. a couple of my buddies have some bonnies and thruxtons, i would really like to have a scrambler and beef it up a little bit for some offroading fun :)
    #4
  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,681
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    It does not.
    I have had a number of Old Triumphs, and the new ones are nothing like them.

    Jumping from one to the other (I had a 1979 and a 2005 Bonneville at the same time, as well as a1969 Daytona), you notice the extra 100+ pounds of the new one, the crappy seat, the not quite right ergonomics, and if you go faster, you notice the high speed wobbles in turns.

    The old 750's had enough vibration to let you know you were getting on it, but it was not bad, they were faster because of the lighter weight I suppose. More interesting to ride.

    The Daytona's had issues, but the 650's seem to have been good, and by the 1979 bikes, all the bugs were worked out and you had electronic ignition, modern carbs mounted on rubber, not bolted directly to the engine.
    That made them last a lot longer and not get so hot. Lots of oil in the oil in frame which kept it cooler.

    The new bikes are smooth, and have electric start, and seem very trouble free.




    #5
  6. welder

    welder Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,530
    Location:
    paradise
    I rode an 11 bonnie se last summer and loved it. perfect ergonomics, smooth, looks like a motorcycle should look. My brain tells me to buy a vstrom 650 my heart says get the bonneville.
    #6
  7. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,461
    Location:
    The Trans-Mississippi
    I've ridden some vintage Bonnies and the new ones are in a different class. A better class.

    On the old ones, I love the light weight and narrow feel.

    Otherwise they're crap. Crap suspension. Crap brakes.

    The engine has character, but not a lot of power.

    The New Bonneville is a nice, useable motorcycle.
    #7
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,681
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    All the old Triumph's are very old now, so there might be issues with things being worn out or worked on over the years.
    I read a recent review of my old T140D I bought new in 1979 and much of the flaws the review pointed out were not an issue with the one I had.

    I have drag raced a new Bonneville, and a vulcan 800 with carb and exhaust work and was faster then both, and the new Bonneville was not even close.
    Having both at the same time, and having tor's and a dynojet in the new one made it better, but the 79 was still faster.
    The new Bonneville had a bad wobble around high speed sweepers, the old one did not.
    The old Bonneville had more ground clearance, about 120 less pounds, more suspension travel, a center stand, a great seat.

    Like any bike, it needs to be set up, and not have 30 year old fork oil and worn out shocks.
    The new Bonneville did not handle 2 up very well, with the shocks bottoming out, the old one did fine.






    #8
  9. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,461
    Location:
    The Trans-Mississippi
    I used to be involved with a Triumph/Ducati/Moto Guzzi dealership.

    We had a regular stream of vintage Daytonas/Tigers/Bonnevilles come through our shop. Nice bikes. Some for service. Some on consignment.

    Everyone who owned one back in the day speaks highly of them. I always wanted one as a kid. I like the bikes.

    However, in reality, the vintage Bonnevilles just don't compare well against the modern bikes. Sure, there may be the occasional thouroughly massaged vintage Bonneville that outshines the rest, but on the whole, the New Bonneville is much more bike, and is much more useable in the modern world.

    I live in the mountains and no one drag races around here, so I can't really speak to that. It's all about handling and braking around here...
    #9
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,681
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I will say the new ones are less work, after all, the old ones are at least 30 years old....
    Brakes, the 79 had lockheed double piston calipers that worked great, as the bike has a lot less weight to slow down.
    Even the TLS brakes on the old bikes worked great if they were working right.

    The new ones have electric start, which is nice, and the latest ones have fuel injection, wonder how well that works...
    #10
  11. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,962
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    I like the new Bonnevilles a lot. Have had a couple long test rides, just can't bring myself to buy (yet).

    I think I'd get the SE because I can't see choosing tubes when I can have tubeless with no downside. Otherwise I would prefer the T100 for looks and size. The SE seat is awfully thin. Nothing aftermarket won't cure.

    I like the looks of the Scrambler too, but I'd never ride it off-road (V-Strom cured me of wanting to ride a 500 lb street bike offroad), and that high pipe makes luggage a challenge.

    I wonder about these "high speed wobbles". Are these common? All on spoked wheels, or all on alloys? Or same issue regardless of wheels?

    Is the issue present in Scramblers and Thruxtons too, or just Bonnies?

    Do they need a steering damper?
    #11
  12. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,681
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Mine was the 2005 bonny black.
    Spoke wheels and very thin seat.

    I suspect the shocks were under damped, the bike handled fine other then high speed sweepers on the interstate, gave me quite a wakeup a few times.

    The old bikes never showed any signs of that.
    #12
  13. elite1

    elite1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Pittsburgh-The Steel City
    This bike was a bonnie black, too. I hadn't seen it in a couple of years and I realized how much I love the Bonneville look. Straight- forward, simple and just plain bad-ass. My wife put it best yesterday. It's The Ramones of the motorcycle world.
    #13
  14. elite1

    elite1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Pittsburgh-The Steel City
    #14
  15. SomethingClever

    SomethingClever sick life

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    PDX
    These kinds of problems can often be attributed to tires. Under-inflated or over-worn.

    Granted, the stock suspension is not exactly "high-performance," but with proper tires you shouldn't have any wobbles in these sorts of conditions, unless by "high speed" you mean 100+ mph.
    #15
  16. sargev55

    sargev55 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    652
    Location:
    charlotte, nc, usa
    i think its a bit bogus, never felt any of these things on my buddies bikes. they were very stable.
    #16
  17. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,010
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Wow, that is exactly how I feel. Vstrom or Versys are perfect for me but I always turn around and look back at the Bonnie.:eek1

    I want one!!!
    #17
  18. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,962
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    Follow your heart. I did the V-strom thing. Fine all-round bike, but we just didn't connect.

    I keep coming back to the Triumphs too.

    Forgive the thread-jack, but I am also hoping we get the W800 - choice is nice!

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    932
    Location:
    CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIF.
    [​IMG]
    i love mine,handles just fine.
    #19
  20. BobM55

    BobM55 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    44
    I have a 2005 Bonnie Black and love it. It's not a fire breathing racer, but rather a very stable bike. Never had any front end wobble past the ton, although the wind will deffinitly try to pull you off the seat. As stated the stock seat leaves a lot to be desired, bought a 68 Solo seat, world of difference, I have a few extra pounds on me so I swapped out the stock rear shocks for Progessive 440 Heavy Duty, and swapped out the front springs for a set of Progressive's, pulled the peashooters and put on a set of Dunstall's. Minor changes compared to alot of riders, but a world of difference. What I like about the Bonnie is it is not the kind of bike that will let you get in to trouble with being able to pull yourself out, unless you ride like its a Sport Racer. It's the bike you want to ride for communting, couple hundred mile trips, winding back roads where you want to actually see whats going on around you. In short an enjoyable ride, not a speed trial. If tou want Speed and white knuckles get a Speed Triple or a Street Triple.
    #20