Marlon in Melbourne’s Honest Bonneville Review



Marlon in Melbourne’s Honest Bonneville Review

Update: Marlon hit us back in the comments below.

The things readers send us via the RideApart Twitter account are usually pretty clever. We have some savvy readers online and since day one at RideApart, I’ve been gobsmacked by the insightful reader comments that populate our site. We’ve been sent story ideas, exchanged thoughts about contest merch, generated donations for causes we care about, and been digitally high-fived when we’ve hit a story out of the park. During those particularly long nights when we are grinding away creating content, (and when Wes and I are usually working on each other’s last nerve), we’ve had some laughs when a kind soul in the Twitterverse sends us something particularly witty. Tonight (as I type this at 12:43 am) was one of those nights…

So, I’m sitting here editing a piece by RA contributor Jacob Moss about why riders should never apologize for taking up a full parking space (yeah…) when I decide to take a break and check our Twitter account. Like usual, we had a bunch of notifications and as I start to thumb through them, one that begins “@RideApart Have you seen this?” catches my eye.

I click the link and find a 9:42 YouTube video by a guy named Marlon in Melbourne Australia. I’m instantly skeptical. Prior to joining the guys at RA, I ran video for large offline/online pubs and if there is one thing I know, it’s that viewers will usually bounce after about 3:00 mark. Still, I tucked in to watch Marlon’s “Honest Review of The Triumph Bonneville.”

I watched the whole thing, and then I watched it again. Then I wrote a comment asking Marlon to contact me. I even looked for him on Twitter. No, I’m not a stalker, but I do want to talk to him about contributing to RideApart.

Watch the video below, be sure to give a thumbs-up to the screen when he gives RA a shout-out at the 1:44 mark, and then if you enjoy it as much as I did, help me get in touch with him. I thank you in advance, and you can thank me in the comments section below after you watch this particularly brilliant video.

Subscribe to Marlon’s YouTube channel here.

What other particularly good YouTube or Vimeo videos have you found online that relate to bikes?

  • JT

    Saw it the other day and as a Bonnie owner I love it even more! It’s hilliarious!

  • Luke Applegate
    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      Thank you Luke! I just went over and requested a login. If you are already a member I’d be grateful if you’d share the link to this article with him.

      • Luke Applegate

        I just dropped a message into the thread with a link here.

        • Jen Degtjarewsky

          (((Thank you))))

  • Jo Borras

    This. This x 1000. Also, “dogging”.

  • Conrad

    This was fantastic.

  • 200 Fathoms

    He originally posted this on

    His profile:

    His oil change video is pretty funny too:

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      Thank you!

      • 200 Fathoms

        Yep. I also dropped the RA link into the thread.

        • Jen Degtjarewsky

          Thank you so much!

          • KeithB

            That was 2fkn funny!
            The con rod in the oil pan killed me!

    • Luke Applegate

      He only has 12 posts on ADV. This might be better.

  • Nate Terrill

    Dead…….. on……… accurate. The thing is, I don’t know a single Bonnie owner, myself included, who hasn’t fallen in love with the bike. I’m not sure why because there are tons of bikes that are better in just about any category you wish to compare (especially suspension and braking as the author of the video mentioned).

    Maybe, it’s the fact that this bike is just “friendly”. It’s like a faithful dog, who may not be able to run with the greyhounds or have the endurance of a Husky, but will always do it’s utmost to please you even if it will eventually reach it’s limits. The difference is, my dogs (and my wife) are not as easy to mod to my tastes, while the Bonnie practically begs for the owner to put his or her personal stamp on it.

    • stever

      I have always thought of my Scrambler as the Labrador of motorcycles.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    I watched this a couple days ago. By far the best and most entertaining bike review I’ve ever seen. Somebody should pay this guy to do this year-round. I’d watch every video.

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      I agree. He really needs to contact me.

      • E Brown

        You DO know he took almost a year to make this ONE video, right? How strict are you folks about deadlines? :)

        Quite good, though – saw it when he posted the link to advrider. What I like is that, while honest about its foibles, you still get how much he likes and enjoys the bike. Too often, people focus on the OOB experience rather than acknowledge that motorcycle riders are individual – there’s nothing everyone can just hop on and ride forever.

        • Jen Degtjarewsky

          I excel at motivating people when it comes to deadlines. Just ask Wes. ;-)

          • Brian

            I figure you motivate Wes with those idle smacks on the back of the head like Gibbs would to Dinozzo in NCIS( among other possible things), but that may not work out so well with Marlon being half a world away. Just a thought. ;)

            • Piglet2010

              I heard Reg Pridmore used to slap Jason in the head when riding pillion and JP43 did not shift smoothly enough. ;)

              (OK, I am pretty sure that was tongue-in-cheek.)

              • Brian

                I heard King Kenny used to do the same thing to KR Jr. ;) okay…maybe not…

                • Piglet2010

                  I heard it from JP43 when he was talking about shifting and rpm management at Star Motorcycle School.

    • Pablo Perez

      +1, this was the best motorcycle review I’ve seen in a long time (maybe ever).

    • Kr Tong

      That’s the kind of review you make about a bike you own for miles and miles without riding anything else. Not even “long-term motorcycle test & review” articles read like this, not for lack of talent but because a.) it’s not their own personal vehicle that they chose and now have to live with, and b.) they ride other people’s bikes more than their own.

  • jlpp

    Great, great review and video. I hope Marlon does contribute to RA.

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      Me too!

  • skongara

    This review has been doing the rounds on the forum as well. Very nicely done review.

  • Jake Isbill

    I saw this last week on reddit. Wes you need the guy to be a regular on the Rideapart team!!!

  • Send Margaritas

    Great stuff. This was a very honest, objective, humorous review. He really endeared himself to me touching on the ‘green parkerized engine bracket’…I bet we’ve all had an annoying ‘feature’ on our bikes like that, and felt similarly.RA should hire him.

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      Am trying to locate him

      • Send Margaritas

        Your challenge, if you do take him on, would be the reaction from manufacturers submitting bikes for review. A refreshing thing about his review, was that both the bad, and the good were pointed out. It seems so may review sites have to balance a review, with careful wording on the negatives, to not offend a sponsor, and continue to get products to review. Yet your readers will love that reviews are honest, and not just cheerleading.Reviews have to be balanced, even if they point out the bad. Harleys, for example, have bad aspects (weight, handling), and good aspects (fit, finish, character.) A unbiased reviewer needs to be able to point out both, as this reviewer did. But Wes Siler, is a Harley hater, and I’d dismiss his review of one, unread, given his past statements.Here, I see RideApart generally objective…perhaps a bit ‘Pro’ Honda. You would need to be able to tolerate wonderful statements, like this Triumph reviewer made, such as his humorous comment, something like, ‘Honda is the Japanese word for having no “soul”‘. I loved that comment, even though I have a Honda.But all in all, honest reviews, with objective observations, are what I think we all would love. You would earn reader loyalty.

        • Piglet2010

          Have Wes Siler rent a H-D from Eagle Rider and post his impressions.

          • Send Margaritas

            Any hater would suit your goal, Piglet. ;)It might be an outlet for your creativity. Rent a V-Rod and have at it.

            • Piglet2010

              A V-Rod is not a “Real Harley™” – only the “Big Twins” count.

              P.S. Honda is the Japanese word for “Hon rice paddy”.

              • Send Margaritas

                Lol, You’re a HD hater, but might like a VRod more than other HDs.Personally, I like to keep an open mind. I’ve had weeks, where over the course of the week I was pretty seriously considering a V-Storm 650, FZ-09, CB1100, F6B Deluxe, and an Indian Chieftain as second bike. The trouble is I like ‘em all.

                • Piglet2010

                  Well, if I was going to ride a H-D by choice, it would be a Street Rod or a XR1200R. The thing is, for the price of a new V-Rod, I could have a Diavel, or…

  • Piglet2010

    The newer Bonnie’s do not suffer the fueling issues mentioned in this video, and the upper engine mount bracket is now finished in an unobjectionable mat black. And the low speed handling is just fine with a brake-torque technique. But yes, the rear shocks are crap on a bumpy road, and rear brake locks way too easily – fortunately I only use the latter during low-speed riding where it works fine. Rest of the video is pretty much on.

    • GoonerYoda

      All stock EFI bikes can use “some” adjustment.

      • Piglet2010

        But on the current Bonnie, upgrading the rear shocks is a much higher priority than messing with the fueling.

    • 200 Fathoms

      There are regular complaints from EFI Bonnie owners about snatchy throttles. Removing the air injection system (and installing a custom tune— really helps.

      • DerekB

        I’m surprised he hasn’t encountered the battery drain issue.

        • Marlon

          Two weeks ago, after finishing editing… I did.

          My neighbor who also has a Bonneville (I live in that kind of area) started having the same issues.

          • DerekB

            well then… welcome to the club! the battery issue is my only serious complaint about the bike. For me personally the brakes are adequate, yes the suspension is terrible but It can be sorted out, but the battery issues are unacceptable. I have the “urban tune” and it still occasionally will be dead after I come out from a shop. Pretty defeating when a bike has this problem especially when my buddy’s street triple that has never been on a battery tender starts 100% of the time. I’m thinking of getting a lithium battery, triumphrat seems to think it will cure the issue.

      • Piglet2010

        Somewhere between the 2009 introduction of fuel-injection and the 2013 model year Triumph revised the mapping – my 2013 Bonnie has as smooth of fueling as my Honda Deauville.

  • Jen Degtjarewsky

    I really thought that between all of us, we would have found him by now. So far, no dice. Am getting ready to offer a bounty…

  • Larry

    …an engine that sounds like a “kindly black man’s voice…” wait, what? Cut, cut! Let’s try that again…

    Ah, that’s why editors are important. That notwithstanding, nicely done. Youtube steered me to this last week when Regular Car Reviews up voted it…which hey, reminds me…Regular Car Reviews on the Suzuki GS500!

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      That bothered me too.

      • Price Action Guru

        Not speaking for all black people, but as a member of the group, I found the remark “kindly black man’s voice…” to be funny and not at all offensive.

        The intent was clearly not with malice or hate.

        • IRS4

          Yeah, there’s a reason Morgan Freeman plays God.

    • lennard schuurmans

      that was funny

    • anthony

      I really don’t think it is offensive…at all. There was no maliciousness intended. We live in a hyper PC world where comedy gets beaten down until it’s banal. Richard Pryor would approve i’m sure. Lighten up!

  • Marlon

    Hey, it’s me!

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ll be in touch later tonight.

    • Jen Degtjarewsky


      • Lee Scuppers

        Have you guys thought about a comparison feature on all-weather handlebar smartphone mounts?

    • Luke

      Great stuff man – excellent use of the “fast cut”!

    • IRS4

      The modem tone killed me!

    • E Brown

      Question: the girl during the modem tone is Britney Spears, but I don’t recognize the girl from the wi-fi age – who’s that?

      • cheese302

        christina hendricks, OH SO MUCH

    • Stephan Alessi

      you need to be paid to do these. hands down best video bike review! please team up with RA and make more! That damn green bracket haha

    • Eric R. Shelton

      I can’t NOT see that engine bracket now! LOL! Dammit!

  • ThruTheDunes

    While I enjoyed the video very much, I found myself curiously unnerved somewhat by one thing: driving on the opposite side of the road. It just seemed unnatural. In the clips from the on-bike camera, I felt this urge to will him to the opposite lane, like trying to get an errant field goal kick through the uprights by yelling at the TV, useless as it is. Had to laugh at myself when it was over…

    • KeithB

      I rented a bike while on vacation in Auz and the left hand driving wasn’t so bad.
      What did freak me a bit me was riding a nice sweeping right hander and having a big truck coming toward me…on my right!!!
      What was funny though were signs in popular tourist areas “Drive on the left in Australia”

  • Jonathan Berndt

    this was fantastic, i launched it while concentrating on something else and im like what the??????
    you should hire this dude, well done!

  • John

    If I owned a motorcycle company, I would use these kind of reviews as the basis for every conceivable update possible, but……..NAH.

    The problem with a lot of modern bikes is that they seem to be less about constant evolutionary improvements than about marketing and lust. Give me an old Sabre or VT500.

    Also, Marlon is a freaking genius.

  • DucMan

    Freaking epic!!!!!! THAT is what is GREAT about the internet. Thank you HFL and Ride Apart!!!! Epic!!!!

  • Chris Gillham

    all good people come from Melbourne

  • David Park

    Actually laughed out loud a few times. Just wondering how many folks watching and knowing it’s too late to stop by a Triumph dealer looked up ‘dogging’ instead. And no I didn’t……….already knew.

  • cheese302

    Love the video, and his “how to change the oil on an sr500″ has made me want to track down an SR500 of my own, great watch, maybe i have to add a triumph twin to the collection as well.

    • Davidabl2

      I’m with you on the SR but it made Me want a W-650 instead.

      • cheese302

        i already ride a triumph triple, and will take the brit bike any day. there is nothing wrong with the W but i just like triumphs.

  • Davidabl2

    It’s a great review..but it’d be a long wait for another. Dude has to have the bike for a year or so first. And then a good period of time to produce his vid.
    And I think that most manufacturers would not want to lend him a bike to do it…