Triumph Bonneville T100 is simple, subtle and a modern classic to yearn if you are young or old as it sprinkles its charms the moment you start riding it
- Modern Classic In Every way
- Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
- Comfortable, fuel efficient and easy to ride
- Endless accessories to choose from
- Priced a bit higher
If there is one thing that you cannot ignore as a motorcyclists favorite thing is without any doubt adoring a classic motorcycle that has a long history in the tales from our dad’s and grand dad’s vintages of experiences. They were potent enough to be anything in their day. They were converted into cafe racers, full blown racing machines, insanely modified to make large performance numbers keeping bragging trophies fairly close to hearts and the easy modification process thanks to high number of cylinder (four or six cylinders back in the day) made them all rounder machines.
The all rounder term also suits perfectly since those bikes were easier to ride, had comfortable riding position and linear power delivery with oodles of torque everywhere in the range to further aid ease of use. But, we live in these days of emission constraints and advanced technology, and still a few old icons survive today and collectively form the group we now call, Modern Classics.
A brief look around the portfolio of almost every major manufacturer would reveal a modern classic or two being offered. These have a sole purpose to entice and woo customers with their age old charm and (comparative) simplicity in these modern times. A motorcycle that lets you breathe the nostalgic air every day as you look at it every time, is generally a pure bliss. That said, I am particularly among those who adore the classic aura of these unmistakably cool motorcycles. Every time I see a Honda CB1100/750, I shine with a bright smile.
On one hand we have Royal Enfield solely surviving (and rapidly growing) on their lot of Modern Classics and on the other are companies like Triumph Motorcycles, which in earnest was the first to bring a proper Modern Classic in the country and their bikes are said to be downright brilliant in what they offer. In fact, the Triumph listing has a lot of modern classic packages as per your need to choose from. That brings us to the iconic Triumph Bonneville T100 that the lovely folks at the company had sent us for a proper road test. Below you can read about our views on the bike that has a potential to make grown men go weak on their knees and say ‘Aww’, (in a very manly way that is).
Styling plays a large role in how a modern classic is perceived by customers and riders at first sight and Triumph has done a simple, yet a brilliant job. The large tank is very much a modern interpretation of the Bonnie’s of the past. The headlight is round and significantly large. There is hardly any tail-piece along a small mudguard. The stance of the motorcycle is low and long which is aided by the ribbed seats and a back rest which is either a hit or a miss.
The large wheels are spoke units and short suspension travel makes it look purposeful. The gators on the fork make it look more retro. The tail-lamps are modern yet retro at the same time and so are the indicators, which are optional extra as they are LED units. There is also optional extra front axle sliders fitted as well. The twin sided exhaust are downright old-school in design and style. and also very very cool.
The chrome wheels, exhaust, suspension all add to the retro feel of the package. The side panel is one small unit which has the model named embossed and adds a minimalist air to the whole design. The transmission and brakes have also switched places just like old times. The V-shape crank case is a great addition. Overall, the white and blue scheme or other options on offer just make the bike look very special, nostalgia inducing and brilliant.
For obvious reason, the ergonomics are the highlight of the bike. The upright riding position thanks to the handlebar mounting, the soft seats and low-mid mounting of footpeg, all make it a very comfortable bike to ride for long or short journeys. There is a lot of space for the pillion or luggage, either of the things you decide to do so. The back-rest for the pillion make things even more comfortable for long journeys. However, the grab rails are missing for some unknown reasons.
Speedo and Switches
The clock are two round dials which are modern-retro units, they look great and provide a subtle amount of info. The speedometer has options to show you time, trip meters, odometer, average and current fuel-efficiency, gear position indicator through the button on the left hand switch. The pass light button wasn’t working and the hazard light button knob was broken. The RHS speedo shows distance to empty along with the tachometer. Quality is very good, but the build in this area is where Triumph lacks and should concentrate on making these better and more robust here.
The motor is all new unit which now displaces 900cc that ends up making less horsepower than before and similar amount of torque over the previous version. The 54 BHP of power and 80 Nm of torque is still enough as it is now channeled through a 5-speed gearbox which has a chain drive now. The liquid-cooled (despite it has fins on the engine to defy its air-cooled) 8-valve motor is very low on NVH levels and is butter smooth. There is hardly any combustion or intake noise, it is only the over run and exhaust note that makes things special on this motorcycle.
The distinct rumble of an old-school motor modernized to meet today’s standards that are demanded by riders and the government in terms of emission and fuel-economy is just done right. At redline it does become a bit buzzier than expected, but no one does that on a modern classic, it it reserved for super sport motorcycles only.
The linear power delivery, the short throttle play, makes the it more responsive, like a superbike, thanks to ride by wire, which makes it very smooth as well. Subtle amount of low-end along with a punchy mid-range and just about a decent top-end power makes it an ideal bike at any given speed or road. Be it city or highway, the T100 feels at home. The comfort factor is very high along with the splendid ergonomics and ride it offers. Fuel-efficiency was recorded in our testing was 22.8 km/. 0-100 km/hr on our testing equipment was recorded at 5.62 seconds.
Traction control keeps thing safe when you encounter traction loss over large speed breaker or loose mud on the side of the road, the light comes on. The clutch is light, the gearbox is super smooth and deserves a special mention too. The engine does heat up a bit in traffic and if you enter grid locks, like we did, the side-corners of the fuel tank, get heat up and it can give you pinches of heat every time you touch it. Overall, a sweet mechanical package makes it ideal for any kind of rider as it enjoyable in every situation.
Ride and Handling
Dynamically, this is a old school chassis but it has been stiffened up for the job. The center of gravity is low, it loves direction changes and flings from side as it doesn’t get unsettled. We wish the trail was more and the steering could have been bit faster and more lock to lock ratio would have been better. This has happened due to a larger 18-inch wheel at the front and 17-inch wheel at the rear. The motorcycle still feels nimble in the city, agile enough to make things sporty to inspires a certain amount of push too. Braking is excellent as there plenty of initial bite and a lot of progressive power post on both ends of the bike.
Suspension at the front is on the soft side and since the rear is adjustable, it can be stiffened up. Ride quality is excellent though. However, we found it a bit bouncy at 30 PSi of tyre pressure, pumping it up a bit around 38 PSi made it much better though, we would recommend these pressure for your bike as well. Tyres however provide decent grip almost everywhere.
Bonneville T100 India Review, Verdict
Bonnie series of motorcycles are the few of the lot that tell you a lot even if you take a small test ride. The ease of use, the modern classic stance and styling and Triumph excellent sales and service network nation wide already seal the deal. However, once we rode it for almost 350 kms, we came out smitten and we expect owners to feel the same over the due course of their ownership.
Already, Bonnie series is taking Triumph to next level in terms of sales number and with a large range on offer already and surprisingly, more still set to come, there is no stopping the Triumph, triumphing over its rivals if it has weapons like these in its arsenal.
Ex-showroom price in Mumbai
Bonneville T100 India Review