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Triumph Bonneville T100 - Road Test Review - The Legend

Triumph Bonneville T100 - Road Test Review - The Legend

Snapshot: A glance at the Triumph Bonneville T100 and it takes you to the time when motorcycles were born, ride it and you jump into the future!

Triumph makes wonderful motorcycles and everybody knows that. All the bikes, be it the Daytona, Speed Triple or the Tiger, all these British bikes are considered to be an epitome in their respective territories. But, what’s most respected and recognized among the whole grid is the brand Bonneville. It is the oldest bike from Triumph Motorcycles which is as old as Elvis’ music and yet as modern as the latest iPhone. It has a certain charm that has undoubtedly made it one of the most desirable bikes ever made. The Bonneville T100 carries a whole legacy with it, it is unlike any other motorcycle present because it connects the old motorcycling era to the present. It is a reflection of how motorcycles were born and evolved with time.  

Looks:

Most of the elements on the Bonneville T100 remain true to what it used to be back in the 1950s. Look at the front headlamp, tank or exhaust, it is all classic and old-school. Even after retaining all these traditional elements, the new Bonneville T100 has yet many modern bits that make it one of the rarest bikes to have the perfect balance between evolution and heritage. 

You can compare the earliest generation Bonneville bikes to the new ones and you’ll find that the whole bike has been evolved very thoughtfully. The engine design, exhaust headers and pipes, tank knee pads and the headlight, everything looks exactly like on the earlier Bonneville bikes. While the adaptation of the modern technology in the form of liquid-cooled engine and bunch of electronics stay smartly hidden inside this bike which still reminds of the Marilyn Monroe era.

Its twin-clock old school analogue-digital display is clear, modern and stylish. It displays all the important information in a very likable format. Apart from regular bits like current speed and rpm, other important information like the fuel level, gear position indicator, odometer, average/current fuel consumption per 100kms, everything is displayed in a small digital display which is embedded within the twin clocks. The twin-clock display looks modern and scores full points in out charts for design, readability, and information. The styling on the Bonneville T100 has evolved blissfully over the years. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is a bike that will bring tears of joy to the ones who believe classics never grow old.

Rating: 4.4/5

Engine and Performance:

It comes with a 900cc Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin engine. Its name, the T100, kind of gives an impression of this bike being a 1000cc machine but it isn’t. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed transmission which is precise and easy to use. The bike is even equipped with ride-by-wire technology that contributes to easy riding.

This 900cc parallel-twin engine makes 54 bhp of power @ 5,900 rpm and 80Nm of peak torque @ 3,230 rpm. These are healthy output figures which translate into making the bike seriously fun to ride. The wizardry that comes out from this engine makes the Bonneville ready to sprint across the lane. The last thing you can expect from a retro bike like this to do is to run against a sports car such as a Jaguar F-Type 3.0 liter V6 car, and guess what, the Bonneville doesn’t lag behind in a 0-100kmph. In fact, both takes the 5.3 seconds to time to cross 100kmph mark. Impressed?

The bike accelerates fiercely and feels significantly powerful in the bottom and mid-range. It crosses 100kmph in its 2nd gear and keeps on pulling hard until you reach somewhere near 160kmph, above that, the speedo keeps rolling at a slow pace but still doesn’t stop. Also, the delivery is highly smooth no matter where you are cruising in the rev range, the only irritant felt was its on-off throttle transition as it could have been a bit smoother. Apart from that, I cannot find even a tiny flaw with this unit even if you put a gun to my head.

The bike also sounds great and you don’t really need to blip the throttle hard to suck out a symphony out of this 900cc parallel-twin. Just turn the ignition on, and the exhaust greets you with the mild twin cylinder melody.

Rating: 4.7/5

Ride and Handling:

Retro bikes are supposed to be comfortable like your favorite rocking chair, they are naturally meant to cruise comfortably and are as good at munching miles as any big cruiser or a sports tourer and the Bonneville T100 unsurprisingly is no exception. It has a very natural riding position, its single seat is extremely well padded and is roomy enough for riders of all sizes.

It handles very lightly and doesn’t require much of an effort even if one needs to deal with chock-a-block traffic situation on daily office days, which makes it one of the heavy bikes that can be easily ridden to the office every day. What also adds to its easy to use factor is the reason that it doesn’t heat up like other big bikes, and the cooling has been handled very efficiently by its liquid-cooling system. 

Apart from easy handling and efficient cooling system, the Bonneville is also a highly comfortable companion. Its suspension has been tuned for utmost comfort be it on flat straight highway roads or the countryside broken tarmac roads. The T100 feels great on almost anything it rides on and even if you accidently hit a big pot hole, or a highway joint, the bike will soak all the undulations without any drama at all. This is one of the reasons why Bonneville T100 makes more sense than anything else as per our riding conditions. On the other hand, do not get too excited and throw the BonnevilleT100 around the corners at high speeds as even after being a good handler, it is not meant for corners or holding cornering lines at very high speeds. Its suspension is tuned for comfort, not for hitting apex after apex.

It is equipped with a single 310 mm floating disc at the front and a single 255 mm disc brake at the rear. Both the brakes are linked with ABS that works great and is always welcome when our roads are taken into account. The braking power is commendable as the bike stops just on a single tap and hence impresses with the kind of stopping power these brakes provide. Triumph Motorcycles also offer traction control which is switchable. Apart from that, it also has integrated engine immobiliser and a USB power socket among all the goodies.

Rating: 4.5/5

Verdict:

The Triumph Bonneville T100 is an exemplary motorcycle that cheers the heart out loud. It is one of the bikes that should be owned at least once in a lifetime and should be passed on to generations. An exceptional and precise piece of engineering and emotions that has been mastered over the years to become a genuine icon that has a perfect blend of heritage and modernity. 

Grand Total: 13.6/15

Photography: Mohd. Nasir

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