RideApart Review: Triumph Bonneville SE

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bonnie-top

What if we were to tell you there was a bike that combined sexy retro looks with fast, responsive modern handling and performance? The kind of bike you could look good on in town, but still enjoy in the canyons. Well, that bike exists in the Triumph Bonneville, but you just need to make sure you by the right version.

What’s New:
Since 2001, the Triumph Bonneville has always just sort of been there as a good-looking, if unexciting retro bike. Reliable, shiny and affordable, but not the kind of thing you’d lay awake at night dreaming about. For 2010 and on, that’s just changed, totally. Triumph won’t tell you that the humble Bonnie is suddenly one of the most most desirable motorcycles on the market. But, don’t worry, we will. This is why you really, really want a Triumph Bonneville SE.

The first thing anyone will notice about the Bonneville is its looks. On the surface, it looks like something from the ’60s. Air cooled twin, carburetors, boring old school forks, twin shocks, banana seat. Take a closer look though. Are those really carburetors? What’s inside those 41mm forks? Are those 17″ wheels? All but the most fanatical motorcycle enthusiasts will never notice these things, but spend a little time on the bike, and you’ll eventually reach the conclusion that it’s a modern motorcycle wearing a vintage costume taken from grandpa’s closet.

After being discontinued in 1988, the Bonneville was reintroduced in 2001. Fuel injection came to American models in 2009, and minor changes to mapping and engine internals the next year resulted in a quiet motor that produces exceptionally smooth power and vibrates only enough to let you know it’s there. The 2001-present bikes are well loved, as evidenced by the steady $4500-$5500 prices on the used market, but the revised fueling from 2010 on really is a big improvement over carbs.

What’s Good:
Forks and shocks aren’t adjustable for anything but rear preload, but Triumph did their homework and got the spring rates and damping right. The chassis those components are bolted to has a few tricks of its own. Wheelbase is 57.2″ and a very low cg make it feel slightly longer than that. Rake and trail are 27º/4.2″ don’t appear very sporting on paper, but when combined with a 17×3 front wheel and 110 tire, steering effort and feel are sublime.

Motorcycle companies don’t publish numbers for swingarm length, pivot height and angle or the position of the countershaft sprocket in relation to the swingarm. They should though because those factors determine how a motorcycle will handle under acceleration. Still, you can tell just by looking that Triumph got things right.

Want to know what makes the Bonneville such a superior motorcycle to the Harley Sportster? Look at the swingarm pivot on the Triumph (above) and on the slow, unwieldy, ill-handling cruiser (below). See how the Harley’s swingarm pivot is lower than the rear axle?

When you accelerate on a motorcycle, there are powerful forces at work between the motor and the ground. Power gets to the rear wheel through the drive chain and on its way, it tries to pull the rear wheel into the motor and compress the rear shocks. When the wheel is driven, it pushes on the swingarm and tried to squish everything in front of it. The people who design rear suspension for serious motorcycles take these rather significant forces into account and angle the swingarm so that chain pull helps stiffen (rather than compress) the rear end when under acceleration. They put the swingarm pivot higher than the rear axle for the same reason. Harley Davidson just bolts it all together, calls is “slammed” and hopes no one will notice that the bikes handle poorly and tend to bottom out under acceleration.

Claimed wet weight on the Bonnie is 495 pounds and it feels about that heavy. The low center of gravity makes it easy to handle though and 67bhp from an air/oil-cooled 865cc parallel twin helps it get up to speed fast. Not sportbike fast, but you’ll still leave most sportscars for dead. An Iron 883 weighs 565 pounds and produces a pathetic 49bhp.

Riding the Bonneville is special. It’s impossible not to have some idea of what it will be like based on looks alone, and when you realize how well it performs, you’ll be surprised.

Sit-up ergonomics could best be described as stately or official. The banana seat makes it feel a little dirt bikey, but only in the best ways. There’s room to move around for both rider and passenger. Ride it slow, and it feels confident and planted. Ride it as fast as it will go and not much changes.

What’s Bad:
- The bars are kind of a funny shape and have about 1″ more pull-back than we’d like.

-Mirrors don’t always stay where you put them. I took them off and used a CRG blind-sight from my bike.

-495lbs is a lot lighter than 565, but there’s no reason this bike couldn’t come in around 400 with some fancier materials and generally dropping some of the unnecessary parts.

-17×3 and 17×3.5 wheels are good but 17×3.5 and 17×4.5,5 or 5.5 wheels would allow use of true sportsbike tires (footpegs and boots would wear out faster though, hm…).

-SE model is just polished sidecovers, chrome tank badge, nicer gauges, and different paint.

Now, the SE model isn’t the only bike in the Bonneville range. But, along with the base model, it is the best. Why? The T100 swaps in a 19-inch, spoked front wheel, tubes, two-tone paint, a flat seat, more conservative suspension geometry and higher, narrower, more swept back handlebars for a $1,400 premium over the standard Bonneville. Worth it? Nope. Those mods effectively ruin what’s otherwise a great bike, removing both outright handling ability and feel by increasing unsprung weight and making steering geometry more conservative. Save that cash and buy the base model or the pretty two-tone SE you see here.

The Verdict:
As fast as a modern bike and as fun as a classic.

RideApart Rating: 8/10

  • Kosta Chachanidze

    “you’d lay awake at night dreaming about” – sooooooooooooooooooooooooo many will disagree :)))))))

  • Campisi

    Bonnies could use better brakes.

    • Theodore P Smart

      Agreed. 500lbs needs twin discs upfront.

      • Justin McClintock

        I’d disagree with that. They need better pads. Twin discs are only really helpful if you’re racing the thing. Not too many people are going to be racing Bonnies. Swap the pads to something more aggressive and it’d be fine.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Like most bikes, the Bonnie benefits from EBC HH pads.

        • roma258

          Speaking of, that would make for a pretty sweet racing series. I know there was a thruxton series at one of the orgs.

          • Piglet2010

            I need to take my Bonnie to a track day at some point.

            • Stuki

              Then you can join those bitching about it having only one disc too…… :)

        • LittleMonster

          Was down at NJMP to watch some vintage racing a couple weeks ago. The class for modern twins was just about half Triumphs. Great sounding and the guys seemed to be having a blast.

        • Davidabl2

          Except against other Bonnies, there’s a racing class for them I believe.

    • travellin

      Speaking of brakes, when is ABS coming to the Bonneville platform? My dealer doesn’t know and actually told me “…you don’t need ABS on a light, low-powered motorcycle.” I’ve heard similar things from other dealers too. Yikes.

      • Sebastian Koch

        The chances are good that it will be coming in the near future, ABS is mandatory for new motorcycles from 2017 in the EU.

        btw: your dealer is a blithering idiot

        • 200 Fathoms

          Not to mention the fact that the Bonneville isn’t exactly a light, low-powered motorcycle.”

  • twm1010

    I’d love to see Thruxton performance on the upright model.

    • Campisi

      All the Thruxton gives you is heavier wheels, a higher price tag, and rearsets/handlebars that you’ll end up replacing anyway. The upright model is already the better performer.

      • twm1010

        Good to know :) I’m spying a base model for my commuting.

    • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

      There are options to make the Bonnie faster. Check out British Customs.

      • 200 Fathoms

        BellaCorse.com and NewBonneville.com as well.

        And TriumphTwinPower.com. With new pipes, new intake bellmouth, high-flow air filter, and a new tune, you change it into a new bike.

  • grb

    who would buy a cruiser instead of something like this? a poser? someone who has no clue as to whats awesome about riding bikes? someone with terribly bad taste?

    • Justin McClintock

      Someone more concerned about how it looks than how it rides. There’s a LOT of people like that. I know more than a few myself.

      • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

        Funny, I like the looks of the Bonnie a lot!

      • Piglet2010

        I see a *lot* of people checking out my Bonnie. Of course, part of that may be that not every poseur and his dog has one.

        • grb

          Yea, im thinking HD and other cruisers serve a purpose, as a way of differentiating real riders from wannabes

      • grb

        exactly, “more concerned about how it looks than how it rides” people that buy cruisers are just poseurs… but its all kinda dumb because if they want to look like a biker and want to look cool, why do they go out and buy something so tacky and awkward that just makes them look bad and sends the opposite message = ” you can tell by where the money was invested on my motorcycle that I dont know anything about bikes and riding!”… its all an oxymoron isn’t it? I guess being a poseur is pretty dumb to start with

        • Piglet2010

          I did a charity ride as a favor to a friend, and the majority of the H-D riders that were there should be made to go through a police riding class (or similar).

    • Davidabl2

      Too some extent nostalgia(and to coin a term “faux nostalgia”) sells both these and H.D.’s including sporties–and other cruisers. It’s a question of just what pushes your nostalgia button.

    • Piglet2010

      Well, if I was a foot shorter, I would probably get a Triumph America instead so I could get both feet down.

      • 80-watt Hamster

        If you were a foot shorter, the pegs on an America would be too much of a reach.

  • Mykola

    The first time I rode the Bonneville, I was raving about it, I would have given it 11/10 on the spot. After calming down, I’d still give it 10/10.
    The steering is sublime, the power is good enough, pushing steadily through ~90ish at the top of third gear (where an XL1200 is feeling wheezy), The suspension is just *slightly* firm solo, so it’s not going to bottom out two-up or over bad pavement, the size/packaging of the bike makes the 500lbs not feel at all heavy, it has a solid, built-to-last feel that you won’t get from, say, the Ninja 250 or 650, it still puts a smile on my face when I get to take one for a spin; The only complaint I can conceive about this bike is that the exhaust note, while pleasantly quiet, is utterly plain. This is such a friendly and still broadly capable bike that I could recommend it as a first, second, or last bike for anyone who simply rides a motorcycle.

  • Davidabl2

    Richard Pollock’s “donor bike” of choice….and the geometry lesson above shows one more reason why ’tis so.

    • Piglet2010

      Sportster = donor bike?

      • Davidabl2

        Bonneville. Sometimes XS650. http://mulemotorcycles.net

        • Piglet2010

          Oh, I was thinking “organ donor” bike, due to all the people that ride their H-Ds five or six times a year bar hopping.

          • Davidabl2

            With some customs it is an “organ donor” kind of “operation”..there may be a power plant from a ‘donor bike ” a frame from another “donor” etc etc

            • Ted Good

              In Michigan we call riders without helmets, organ donors. Our new helmet law is very confusing to say the least. I have a modified Triumph Legend TT. It’s a 900 triple cylinder with a modified Triumph exhaust that really sounds nice. I sure wish they’d bring it back with anti lock brakes and fuel injection.

          • Davidabl2

            Yes, come to think of it there’s also “donorcyles” and also an older term “murdercycles.” I haven’t heard “murdercycle” since I was in high school.
            My parents used both terms interchangeably, but ceased using them as soon as I turned 18 and promptly bought a Yamaha ;-)

            • Campisi

              My favourite: “suicycle”. Clever, that.

              • Davidabl2

                Yep, I used to hear that one too. EMT slang “in the day.”
                And another one of the terms my parents stopped using..

  • Justin McClintock

    I’ve been looking at getting something with a sidecar recently. It needs to be one of these!

  • 200 Fathoms

    To me, the Bonneville represents the ideal form that a motorcycle should take. So many bikes today look like two-wheeled Transformers (including other Triumphs, it has to be said). Amazing performers, but zero personality and no soul.

    The Triumph aftermarket is incredibly diverse. And TriumphRat.net is a valuable resource to owners.

    • Gonfern

      I hurried out and purchased my Street triple in 2011 right before they replaced the round headlights. Amazing how a simple re-style will kill the character of a bike’s face. Ive always lusted after the bonnie. I lean more to the thruxton, but the reason I still dont have one is also a testiment to their appeal and quality: the prices they bring on the used market.

  • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

    WANT. So much want.

    • 200 Fathoms

      A bit too OEM for me.

      Let’s go for something a bit more nasty looking. How about this (user johnnycactus’s bike from triumphrat.net)? Love this bike.

      • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

        That’s because I built it with the customizer on the Triumph website. :)

        Johnny’s is a mean looking bike. Personally I prefer the “standard” look to the “cafe racer” look though. Besides, you could get a Thruxton and some black paint and be halfway to that build (at least aesthetically). Either way, it’s a pretty versatile bike to build on.

      • Davidabl2

        Unfortunately it takes a lot of $ to go from the oem bike to go to the bike in the photo above..

    • Piglet2010

      What fly screen is that?

      • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

        It’s an OEM part. Unfortunately the “Build your own Triumph” tool is down, and the screen isn’t listed in the accessories page.

        • Iv ML

          Try the triumph web site from spain!!

      • 200 Fathoms

        http://bit.ly/1cJzBPR

        A lot of Bonneville owners are running this flyscreen, though:

        http://www.dartflyscreens.com/en/bonneville.html

        Helluva lot cheaper.

      • 200 Fathoms

        Word is just coming out that the 2014 Thruxton will now come standard with a flyscreen.

        • RickyV

          I’ve owned at least 13 or 14 bikes throughout my life and can honestly say that the 2013 Bonneville that I purchased earlier this year is one of the most enjoyable rides of them all. Some of my sport bikes were fun for speed, but lets face it, how much speed can you achieve around town and how often, got tired of the uncomfortable riding position after a while..The sport touring bikes, even my Triumph Sprint ST had its limits. What I like about the Bonneville best for is that its a great urban commuter, around town type of bike that’s also fun on the twisties with comfortable riding ergonomics that will allow you to ride for hours and still want more.

  • Zac Hunter

    I miss my 2008 Bonnie Black. Such a solid reliable city bike

  • thegreyman

    Why not just get the Guzzi GRISO over this? You can get a used Griso anywhere from 7-11K depending on where and how many miles.

  • Guest

    yes yes… we all get it. you don´t like Harleys…. after all these years you definitely made your point .
    still wont sell my FXR.

    • sdyank

      You totally convinced me. I’m now and forever more a Harley guy.

  • di0genes

    I owned a 69 and a 70 Bonneville back when they were (almost) new, IMHO the best looking Triumph, and one of the best looking bikes of all time. They were supposed to be about 390 pounds, but that was without gas, oil battery, tires, whatever, it was a slim light bike with great performance and handling, not the fastest, but not much could run away from them either when they were running right.
    The new Bonnevilles always struck me as more resembling the Honda 350 twin and its copycat Japanese 400 cc cousins from Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki in styling and build, none of which could compare in appearance to a new Bonny – however, after a season or two of use the Japanese ‘commuter’ bikes still looked new, whereas your typical Bonneville, well most of them were in pieces by then, getting ‘rebuilt’ by the hamfisted.
    It’s a shame that Triumph chose to use the iconic Bonneville name for such a prosaic ‘entry level’ machine, they shoulda called it the cub or terrier if they wanted to ressurect old model names. The Bonneville name belongs on the Triumph that best represents what the Bonneville was in the sixties, the Speed Triple.

    • Davidabl2

      TR865 sounds about right for the name on a base model..

  • cabbell

    I’ll buy the right model if you promise to change the third sentence in the review. Deal?

    • ookla_the_mok

      Ahhh, missed that the first time. Nice catch

  • ckoerner

    My Bonneville is only my second bike, but I love it. Plenty of power and you can throw it around like a 10 speed. I prefer a comfortable (and quiet) ride. That alone is reason enough for me to go with a Triumph over a HD. There’s tons of mods and after-market parts and a vibrant, inclusive, community (online and off) for these bikes.

  • Piglet2010

    The base Bonnie is the best for one reason; purple and white colorway (no prize for guessing which Bonnie I have). I do miss having a tachometer, though.

  • Piglet2010

    “Claimed wet weight on the Bonnie is 495 pounds and it feels about that heavy.”

    To me the Bonnie feels like it is about 600 pounds when pushing it around, but about 400 pounds when riding.

    “Ride it slow, and it feels confident and planted.”

    The “torque-triangle” (or brake-torque) technique works very well during slow riding due to the good fueling and progressive clutch engagement.

    “and 67bhp from an air/oil-cooled 865cc parallel twin helps it get up to speed fast. Not sportbike fast,”

    And the wide power-band makes the most of what there is in normal riding, unlike a 600cc super-sport that will never even get to peak torque around town with stock gearing, or a wheezing cruiser lump you have to short-shift.

    “-17×3 and 17×3.5 wheels are good but 17×3.5 and 17×4.5,5 or 5.5 wheels
    would allow use of true sportsbike tires (footpegs and boots would wear
    out faster though, hm…).”

    I would not want fatter tires if it altered the handling – I love the way you can so easily steer the Bonnie “from the bottom up” – makes sweepers and s-bends a hoot to ride.

    What’s bad? The rear brake locks very easily. You need to lift hard with your right arm to get the bike up on the center-stand, but the center-stand spring is weak enough (at least on mine) that it bangs over hard bumps. The recessed ring around the headlight is hard to clean squished bugs out of. Even the optional gel seat is not that comfortable.

    Quirks: Separate ignition and steering column locks, and manual fuel enrichment on a fuel-injected engine. And this may be unique to my bike, but on warm starts it fires and stalls, unless partial or full fuel enrichment is used.

    I plan on keeping my Bonnie as long as I can swing a leg over and ride it. :)

    • Kenneth

      I had intermittent starting problems, warm or cold engine, “choke” in or out, for nearly 2 years with my 2011 Bonnie (frequently taking 2-to-5 tries to start). The dealer: “They all do that.” Finally, a subscriber to the triumphrat website figured out that it was the ECM cutting the starter out from the temporary voltage drop when hitting the start button. A relatively-simple rewiring of the ECM – what Triumph should have done – solved the problem.

    • 200 Fathoms

      There is no “manual fuel enrichment” (choke) on EFI Bonnies. What you’re referring to is a high idle switch.

      I have the same experience as you; even when warm, the Bonnie fires up better when in neutral and partial high idle switch is engaged, then immediately clicked off.

  • Piglet2010

    Call me a heretic, but I think the base/SE Bonnies look better than the T100.

    • Davidabl2

      Except for those cast wheels… which may just sell a few of those dark Harleys :-)

      • Piglet2010

        I like the cast wheels better.

  • Jason 1199

    Another legit rideapart review. In depth and informative esp w the swingarm 101.

    I’ve seen references here on why you don’t want a T-100 over the cheaper SE so I’m glad it was explained.

    My only question is how does the similar speccd Guzzi V7 stone shed almost 100lbs on this bike with a shaft drive no less? I realize its not a “better” bike but still…

    • Conrad

      Jason,

      I actually test rode both bikes as I was down to these two as my next bike. Aside from brakes, the Guzzi wasn’t better. The weirdest thing for me was that the rear brake pedal looked just like the left foot shifter. It was bizarre. It also vibrated excessively starting around 50-55 mph. It seriously felt like my old r100/7 – which isn’t a bad thing, but still, if you’re gonna be plopping down 8400 MSRP, I’d like to have something that feels less “vintag-y”.

      It’s a shame, because I’m in love with the look of the Guzzi. But I’m definitely gonna pick up a new 2012-2013 Bonnie over the winter and hopefully at a decent discount.

      • Jason 1199

        Thanks for answering my question! The guzzi seems to have the right ingredients but I don’t see people falling in love w them, so that makes sense.

        • blood brain

          Eh, I love my V7 Stone. I think it’s a freaking badass but maybe that’s just me. IMO light and maneuverable as hell, more than enough power for the city. Sounds great, looks great. Came from an ’04 Bonnie. Go test one for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Here’s a pic of mine so far: http://i.imgur.com/PV60QB8.jpg

          • jp98226

            A V7 Guzzi AND a vintage Ford Falcon . . . bb you definitely embrace the “character” quality in your vehicles!
            [thumbs-up]

    • Conrad

      Oh, and one more thing. The transmission – There was no audible, satisfying click/clunk into first or anything that made you feel comfortable you were in that gear. Going through the gears later it was less annoying, but there was so many times I couldn’t tell whether I had gone into neutral or first.

  • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

    I love my R1200R, but if there had been a Triumph dealer in Las Vegas when I was buying there’s no doubt in my mind I’d be riding a Bonnie.

    • Piglet2010

      Hey, I live a 4½ ride from my Triumph dealer – no big deal.

      • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

        I was single, and my car is a 987 Boxster. I just couldn’t figure out or justify the transportation from Vegas to L.A. on my own, vs. getting a BMW. It’s worked out- I love my bike. But I might do things differently if I had it to do over again.

        • Piglet2010

          Well, my 500 mile service did take 11 something hours, but 9 of that was spent riding, so a good day. :)

  • MotoEnthusiast

    God, I wish this bike was lighter!

    • 200 Fathoms

      The easiest big change is to ditch the entire OEM exhaust system in favor of a lightweight, stainless 2-into-1 system. Then it’s iterative. Lightweight footpegs, mirrors, signals, removing the air injection system, etc. It all adds up.

      Pair that all up with improvements on the intake side (high-flow bellmouth/intake plenum, high-flow air filter, removed snorkel/airbox baffle) and a performance tune, and then you’re talking. Then throw in some performance cams for more fun.

      (New wheels would make a big difference too, but then you’re talking big bucks.)

    • Campisi

      Determined folks have managed to get these bikes down into the 430-pound range without doing anything TOO drastic. I once heard of a fellow on the Triumph Rat forums that claimed to have gotten his Thruxton down below 400 pounds, but he supposedly had used frame dips and things to achieve that.

  • geezus

    Was some of this review recycled from something written in 2010? Because it kind of reads like that.

  • Paolo

    Not much love for H-D’s on this website eh?

    • Stuki

      HD is the overwhelming choice of the parents’ of this site’s target demo. And every generation rebels against their parents :) All in all, though, I don’t see much unsubstantiated HD hate here. Comparing a well liked bike to a superficially similar, known entity HD, to illustrate and explain suspension differences is actually quite clever.

      • T CP

        Tell that to the HUNDREDS of young Soldiers around Ft. Bragg on their Sportys and Dynas! But I’m with the author and am in the Demographic you speak of. 883′s and Sportys and in general do NOT agree with this old busted up spine!

  • Piglet2010

    (Reply to the post below by 200 Fathoms that is awaiting moderation.)

    No, I only switch off the fuel enrichment immediately on hot starts –
    cannot say about cold weather starts, since it has not been below 65°F
    since I have bought the bike. The odd thing is the engine fires
    immediately but then dies when hot. Even odder is the smell of unburned
    fuel, as if the engine was flooded, which makes the use of mixture
    enrichment counter-intuitive. And oddest of all is the Bonnie starts
    fine without the fuel-enrichment in similar temperatures if the engine
    is cold.

  • Davidabl2

    “if you want something that has that classic look and has the performance and technology to match. just go with a ducati monster. ”

    Perhaps, but here in NorCal I have seen more Ducatis broken down by the side of the road than any other contemporary bikes. Besides Harleys that is & Harleys outnumber everything else on the road by a factor of at least 10… I have yet to see a broken-down Hinckley Triumph by the side of the road..

    • plutonites

      I put 21k on that Bonny in a year and a half.

      i had the clutch safety switch go out and had to be replaced under warranty. which did leave me stranded two days in a row.

      I also had battery issues that needed to be rectified under warranty as well.

      that being said. the bonny was still reliable and sure-footed.

      I try not to base my opinions on anecdotal highway stories. every bike is going to have its quirks and issues. just check each bike’s respective forum for proof.

      the modern air cooled ducati engines have been around forever. and are easy to work on to boot.

      • Davidabl2

        True, Many of the Dead Ducs I’ve seen were the higher end Ducs. While I haven’t really researched Ducs, counting dead ones on the side of the road isn’t “anecdotal highway stories.” it’s actually more like conducting an informal poll ;-)

        I’ve also been on a number of the DocWong rides/riding clinics in NorCal and the ONLY bikes that I saw not finish the day due to mechanical/electrical/electronic issues were Ducs. And the”issues” appeared to be electrical/electronic.
        As to the DocWong rides, a group of say 30-40 riders spends 3-4 hrs. riding goat trails and twisties in the mountains south of SanFrancisco, so it’s is a real world comparison of the various machines, as maintained by their owners. http://www.meetup.com/docwong/

  • ms

    Wow there is some ill-spirited Harley bashing going on in the comments. I test rode a 2011 T100 and it felt unwieldy and awkward and poorly-balanced, bought a 883 Iron and have put 25,000 miles on it in the past 2 years (despite having 3 other bikes that I also ride quite a lot). The only “poseurs” are the people who buy motorcycles and do not ride them. The make of the bike is irrelevant. I hope y’all don’t judge people by their musical taste or religion as you judge them based on the manufacturer of their vehicle.

  • RandleMcMurphy

    I love the Bonneville. In all flavors. The 883 is a badass looking bike. I’d be inclined to get one but, the rear suspension ( or lack thereof ) is brutal. I’ve ridden one and, having a somewhat fragile back, was really hurting over even small bumps. I know, I know, it’s a “slammed” bike but, I have to believe that in the year 2013 H-D could come up with something to make these bikes more back friendly. Us over 50 riders really need to have the ride comfortable. The Triumph is one of those bikes that feels great to me. I love the old school seats and upright riding style myself. They just have it all for the purist in so many ways.

    Lest my thoughts be misconstrued, I like Harley’s. As I see it, Harley’s were more or less a blue collar man’s bike. Now, they are very much a white collar man’s bike. Nothing wrong with that. Just the way it is. Most of us can’t pony up some 20k for a decked out Harley. But, Harley really needs to do something about the rear suspension for the bikes that the blue collar crowd can afford. Maybe it’s just me but, this never gets mentioned much. Like somehow we can overlook this back breaking detail. Not me. It’s a deal breaker to me. Yeah, you can do this and do that but, it’d be nice to see H-D do it for us and make the ride a little less brash.

  • chupa

    Why can’t they make this with ABS and lighter? About 100lbs lighter like the Guzzi V7?