Triumph Bonneville SE arrives in USA

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Remember the 1970s? Triumph does, in 1977, beset by economic and political strife at home and no longer able to compete with the Japanese, the original company went out of business. By that decade the Bonneville had morphed from a lightweight, high power superbike into overweight, underpowered has-been. The Triumph Bonneville SE commemorates that time period. If you live in the US, you can buy one now, they’ve just been shipped over from Blighty.
Questionable historical associations aside, we actually really like the
SE’s upgrades over the regular Triumph Bonneville. The big news is the
wheels — cast alloy, 7-spoke 17-inch items that aren’t just lighter
than before, but should allow the fitment of more performance-oriented
aftermarket tires. Also helping handling is a new handlebar that now
sits closer to the rider and a 1-inch lower seat. There’s also a
tachometer, brushed alloy engine cases, a new paint-scheme (we dig the
gold pinstripe that separates blue from cream) and megaphone exhaust
pipes. The engine produces 67bhp and 51lb/ft of torque, identical to
the regular Bonneville.

At this point we might be tempted to draw a parallel between these
kinds of wimpy upgrades and the practices that put Triumph out of
business back in the ’70s. But, Triumph has done such a good job of
diversifying its range with everything from world-beating sportsbikes –
the Triumph Daytona 675 — to functional retros like this that we
actually welcome only slightly differentiated models like the
Bonneville SE.


  • jim

    Christ, that seat is ugly.

    • Wes Siler

      Look at it as a starting point. At least it’s comfy.

    • Frank

      The seat isn’t too bad, (I guess it kinda looks like a giant bug larvae) but it doesn’t go with the tank. If they slim that tank down to get the proportions right for the seat I think you’d have a winner.

      • Zeitgeist

        Give the tank to Thomashenry he will stuff it full of tofu and give it a guilt complex so it will slim down in no time. haha

        • Wes Siler

          I’m going to appoint ThomasHenny my dietician, I need to get in shape.

        • thomashenny

          Being healthy and free of disease is not a laughing matter. Make fun all you want but I hope your cells don’t display some uncontrolled growth in the future.

          Wes, I sense some sarcasm there because you didn’t look that big in that Fox video.

          As far as this bike, I WOULD get a smaller tank; something without all the extra bulges from the knee protector or emblem. Like my clients, I would also put this bike on a diet too, remove the gauges, mirrors, turning signals, mufflers, get a flat-track seat, chop the fenders, smaller headlight etc.

          The best part are the mags, which remind me of the Lesters that I had on my 100/7 long ago.

          • Zeitgeist

            You really cant relax can you? Maybe you need to get laid, get drunk or join a holistic living center to get to people who are really interested in your diatribe.

            So roll out on your 100/7 and ride off with your skinny jeans packed and bag of tofu and see the world that the rest of us live in. Perhaps you can escape the insular bubble that you have created for yourself where you are the only salvation to the worlds ills.

            Good luck and I really do mean that your just no fun to be around at all.

            • Wes Siler

              I think you both need to chill out.

  • BuddyJ

    What’s the starting price?

  • USIron


    • Wes Siler


  • contender

    I like the Thruxton exhaust (and the seat, actually), but that is it. After the Thunderbird and the Rocket I began to think Triumph was losing the way. The mag wheels here don’t help.

  • sam

    looks like a fun bike with some classy touches for the discerning buyer, especially in the 8 grand range.

  • Aoelus

    Doesn’t go far enough: wire wheels and mid-level exhausts would help. The line of the exhaust pipe is the worst feature. There’s a lot to be said for the period Brit bikes if one forgets the quirky electrics and the oil leaks.

    • Wes Siler

      The whole point is that this is supposed to represent a different period than the regular Bonneville, which, as you suggest, has wire wheels etc. These new Triumphs are bulletproof, no oil leaks, no dark lord electrics.

    • Zeitgeist

      Wire wheels and mid pipes? Thats a T100 scrambler for the most part. The pipes are the scrambler style two on one side and all of the new Bonnies have wire wheels. Take a peek at the website and have a look. I had a T100 as a my compnay bike for a bit and its a fun bike to own.

      • Aoelus

        So you’r right. They really get a lot of mileage out of the basic configuration. I always thought the quintessential Triumph was the ’58 TR6 (oddly also a designation on the car) with its high pipes, one per side and smallish muffler

  • Zeitgeist

    Im gellin ;) I wont stir up mischief anymore.

  • Kerry

    saw one in person at my local trumpet dealer parked next to a silver 2008 basic bonnevile. I hate to say it but triumph really screwed the pooch on this one, the bike looks totally out of proportion thanks to the wheels and the seat.

    I hate that the new bonneville black is not the t100 anymore but this new mag wheel ugliness. yes it has a disc brake rear now and still looks retro but the charm of the bonneville black was how simple it was (esp at $7300 asking price) and how much it looked like the original 1960s bonnies.

    BTW for those who hate the seat – the scrambler seat is a direct swap and much much better looking.

  • Ted

    It does look a little out of proportion compared to older models. I like spoke wheels myself..

  • Raj


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