Triumph Unveils the All-New Bonneville Family !

The Triumph Bonneville is an icon of motorcycling, regarded by some – not least Triumph – as one of the most important bikes ever built. Revealed in a unique press conference at London’s The Bike Shed club on Old Street, the next generation of Bonneville is a new family of machines. This, says Triumph, is the future of the Bonneville, not a single futuristic Bonneville.

All-New Triumph Bonneville Family

The British company is celebrating a record year, with 54,000 motorcycles sold internationally last year. It has been working hard to expand the brand, with bikes featuring in films, on TV and even in video games. As stars like David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Chris Pratt are seen on modern Hinkley classics, the time is right to announce a new chapter in the story of one of biking’s most distinctive silhouettes. It’s been a project that’s spanned four years, and taken the time of a team double the size of that ever dedicated to a product’s development. A new liquid-cooled engine is carried in a "ground-up" frame and suspension design – the Bonneville family encompasses five new motorcycles – the 900cc Street Twin, the 1200cc Bonneville T120 and T120 Black, and the 1200cc Thruxton and Thruxton R.

In a year that’s seen most manufacturers developing heritage-based bikes, Triumph is keen to stress that the Bonneville is an authentic original. The brief was to create a machine that celebrates its heritage, with modern performance and handling; "More beautiful, more capable, more powerful". It also had to make the custom scene accessible to all owners, regardless of their DIY skills...

Triumph Bonneville Street Twin

2016 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin

The entry-level Bonnie has a "High Torque" 900cc motor making 59lb-ft at 3200 RPM – 18% more than the previous model, with 36% better fuel efficiency. A new upswept brushed stainless steel exhaust system has been tuned to retain the sound of a British Twin, and cleverly hides the EURO 4 compliant catalyst beneath the engine. The pipes twist into the cat and back out behind a dummy heat shield, giving the impression of the smooth-flowing plumbing of the original bikes. A similar piece of engineering genius applies to the small radiator, whose pipework disappears almost invisibly into the top of the head, returning from the bottom of the crankcase.

ABS, Traction Control, a slip-assist clutch that gives a lighter action at the cable-operated lever, LED rear light, immobiliser and a USB charging socket under the key-locked seat are all standard on a bike that’s said to be for those "aspiring to customise". A relatively modern-looking single analogue speedo incorporates a digital insert, controllable from the bar-mounted switchgear.

2016 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin

As with all the machines in the range, prices (and power) are set to be announced at the end of the year, but it’s expected to be in line with the bikes considered to be in direct competition – Ducati’s Scrambler, Moto Guzzi’s V7 II, Yamaha’s XSR700 and Harley-Davidson’s 883.

Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black

2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black

While the engine is physically very similar to the unit in the Street Twin, the "High Torque" 8-valve parallel-twin in the T120 is 1200cc, and makes 77lb-ft at 3.100 RPM – 54% up compared to the previous model. As with the 900cc, the 270° firing interval is said to be charismatic, yet with a smooth, linear power delivery through the new six-speed gearbox. The radiator is a similar, diminutive design to the Street Twin, and while the cat is also hidden away, the exhaust of the 1200 uses a brilliant twin-skin design running to the "peashooter" exhausts.

2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black

While this minimises heat discolouration, it also very effectively hides away the ‘real’ pipeworks’ diversion through the catalytic converter. Both models have a chassis set up for a relaxed and refined ride, a centrestand, ABS, traction control, a ride-by-wire throttle linked to a fuel injection system built into faux-carbs, ‘rain’ and ‘road’ riding modes, a slip-assist clutch, LED tail-light, USB charging socket, immobiliser, a new headlight with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and heated grips. Twin analogue clocks have a digital display showing the same info as that on the Street Twin – gear position, odometer, two trips, service indicator, range to empty, fuel level, average and current mpg, access to the traction control and ABS settings and a clock.

Optional accessories will allow the display to also show tyre pressures and heated grip settings. Competitors are thought to be Honda’s CB1100 and Harley’s 1200 Custom and Forty-Eight.

Triumph Bonneville Thruxton and Thruxton R

2016 Triumph Bonneville Thruxton and Thruxton R

The Thruxtons share the engine and exhaust setup (but with reverse megas) of the T120, but in a "Low Inertia" design, utilising a lighter crank, higher compression and unique airbox. Fed by ‘authentically-styled’ throttle bodies like the T120, it produces 62% more torque than the previous generation of Thruxton – 83lb-ft at 4.950 RPM; it’s also designed to give more feedback to the rider than the T120 tune. The bikes feature the same modern extras as the T120, with the addition of a "sport" riding mode, having a more immediate throttle response. Clocks match those fitted to the T120, though with the option to add cruise control on the standard Thruxton.

Triumph Bonneville Thruxton and Thruxton R The Thruxton R gains fully-adjustable upside-down Showa forks, fully adjustable Öhlins twin rear shocks, Brembo monobloc calipers and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres. It also has a stunning polished aluminium top yoke. A performance race kit will be available, reducing weight and increasing power. Competitors to both bikes are thought to be the BMW R nineT, Yamaha XJR1300, Norton Commando 961 Café Racer and Moto Guzzi V7 Racer.

2016 Triumph Bonneville Thruxton and Thruxton R

The new family looks every bit the Bonneville – only closer inspection reveals the level of changes involved. A lot of thought has gone into solutions to not only meet EURO 4 regulations, but to produce bikes that really do appear to be ideal for the riders, and roads, of 2016. The Bonny has come a long way in 56 years, and Triumph has proven that it’s an iconic machine only part way into an incredible history.

Inspirational Upgrades

Triumph used the conference as a chance to announce a new custom accessory range, with over 470 homologated parts to be available for the Bonneville family. Each bike also has several ‘inspiration kits’. – these can be bought as a complete set to be fitted to the bike, or simply serve to give the buyer an idea of what they could do, in much the same way as Moto Guzzi has done with its V7 II. A new configurator is expected on the Triumph website shortly.

Our favourites have to be the Street Twin Scrambler – though that high-level exhaust will be marked "not for road use" – and the Thruxton Track Racer. If you do opt for a kit, and want it on a new bike, it’ll be down to whether your dealer is willing to offer a good price for the bundle – the OE parts will still have to be replaced after you’ve bought it, though you might find some willing to ‘buy back’ your originals.

Interestingly, the current Bonneville Scrambler, America and Speed Master will all still be available next year. Triumph refused to comment on whether we can expect a new factory-built Scrambler for 2017...