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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.
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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.



Triumph

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