Triumph Bonneville T120 Black review

Triumph Bonneville T120 Black review

What is it?

Triumphs retro street bike is based on the 1959 Bonneville which itself derived its name from the Bonneville salt flats in Utah, USA where Johnny Allen broke the then land speed record and  achieved a top speed of 311kmph) on a Triumph special streamlined motorcycle aptly named the Devil’s Arrow. The T120 Black is a blacked out version that adds aggression to the original classic lines of the Bonnie.

All new?

Heavily updated for 2016, the Bonneville T120 sports a larger, water-cooled engine and a host of other updates to make it up to date with the current crop of superbikes. It gets an all-new chassis that is quite agile and makes the Bonnie fun to ride. It gets ride-by-wire, traction control and two rider modes. The headlamps get a nifty looking LED DRL setup while the tail lamp is an all LED unit.

What else?

The new engine, despite the increase in displacement, retains similar dimensions to the earlier version to keep the look as close as the original. The 1200cc parallel twin is liquid cooled with the radiator neatly concealed between the front down tubes and the cylinder head sporting fins for the air-cooled look of the original. Two faux carburettor covers hide the fuel injectors and the spark plug gets an old school look.


The 1200cc parallel twin engine is a family of two – a base and a high torque version that features in the Thruxton. The base version makes 79bhp at 6550rpm and 105Nm of torque at 3100rpm of which 100Nm is accessible from 2500rpm. That’s a 54percent gain from the previous T100. The motor is refined and all about accessible torque throughout the rev range and does a good job of propelling the 224kg bike forward with gusto. Efficiency has also improved by 13 per cent with a claimed 22.3kmpl in European cycles.

Fun to ride?

It is. Revisions to the chassis have made it agile. Initial turn in is on the heavier side though get past it, there is a lot to indulge in the fluidic handling. It’s quite effortless to ride despite the weight and the Kayaba forks and twin dampers at the rear do an excellent job of ironing out ridges and manholes. The seat is comfortable for sustained rides and the low height makes it accessible to most riders. The Pirelli Phantom sportscomp tyres provide a brilliant mix of grip and ride comfort and the Nissin brakes provide good bite. ABS cuts in a bit late and that allows you leeway to slide the rear wheel to an extent. Two rider modes are offered – Road and rain. Both offer 100 percent power with rain mode blunting throttle response. The best part of the Bonneville T120 is its accessibility without compromising on the fun factor.


The T120 Black is currently not on sale in India. The T120 though is available at Rs 8.9lakh (ex-Delhi) with a host of accessories and custom parts on offer. At this price, you get a retro looking motorcycle with modern underpinnings and a bike which is up there with the modern crop of superbikes and more importantly can deliver on that grin factor.

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