Triumph Bonneville T120 Black – FIRST IMPRESSIONS Five things you need to know Triumph’s newest Bonnie.
The all-new 2016 Triumph T120 picks up where the old T100 left off. It answers the question, “What’s the best bike to ride with a tweed jacket and a coffee stop in mind.”
1) It’s a brand-new bike, but the looks are still wholly classic. The old-school headlight now sporting a classy Daytime Running Light accent, the tank slightly more rotund, and those spokes placing its looks firmly in the era of Beetlemania. The redesign also eloquently hides the new technical bits and radiator, refinement and quality are upped significantly, but it still oozes charisma.
2) Gone is the 865cc air-cooled motor, replaced with a brand-new water-cooled 1200cc unit. In this application, the “High-Torque” (in Triumph vernacular), low-rpm thrum is given a higher priority than outright thrust. Additionally, the switch to a 270-degree crankshaft (from a 360-degree) delivers a pleasant snarl that was wholly lacking on the previous model.
3) It’s not only the power that has been improved, so has the braking and suspension. The addition of dual-disc brakes up front has paid dividends considering the extra weight and added power the bike now has. Yes, it is heavier than the outgoing model, but it wears its new paunch well. Low speed and parking lot gymnastics have not been compromised.
4) The suspension is on the soft side, and is optimized for cruising. You can definitely get it leaned over, but once the pegs start scraping, Michael Caine’s voice seems to pop into your head and gently remind you to not do that.
5) Some of the old-school charm is gone, namely the flexy frame and iffy brakes; traded for modern fit and refinement. However, the engine is a massive upgrade and enhances the riding experience, and also makes the T120 a much better light-touring option, as well.
Check back soon, as we’ll have a thorough First Ride report, with pricing, tech details, specifications and a complete riding impression.