WORDS: MSL Editor, John Milbank PHOTOGRAPHY: Alessio Barbanti, Matteo Cavadini, Paul Barshon and Friedemann Kirn

 

2016-Triumph-Bonneville-T120_026

This is the core of the new Bonneville family –Triumph has focussed closely on the design of the machine, giving it cleaner lines than the outgoing 865cc Bonneville T100. The ride-by-wire engine for instance, while 335cc larger and now fully water-cooled, has a more tidy silhouette – it’s actually slightly slimmer. The exhaust now more closely follows the clean, straight-through lines of the first 650cc Bonnie (the T100’s pipes kicked up slightly at the back); this is easy to see as a nice little design touch, until you consider that, in order to meet Euro 4 regulations, the new machine has a catalytic converter fitted. Through some incredible use of investment casting (a time-consuming process involving wax and ceramic), clever welding and twin-walled header pipes, the exhaust gas actually flows away from the tube’s run, under the engine, then back out before the end-can.

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The twin pea-shooter silencers don’t quite sound like the machines of the sixties (particularly after a broom-handle had been used to knock out the baffles), but the water jacket that also quietens the engine has allowed Triumph to tune a deep, booming note from the pipes. It’s best enjoyed from behind, or riding through narrow, high-walled streets, but it’s a joy to listen to one of these bikes at idle or passing by.

The same attention to detail is evident in the way the radiator is incorporated into the layout – with only small portions of pipework visible when you look hard enough – or the hiding of the now necessary carbon canister, Continental ABS unit and coolant expansion t