Triumph Bonneville T120Bud Ekins Special Edition purchased in June 2021. The break-in was completed the other day, and the mileage exceeded 1200km. At the first inspection, I changed the oil and oil filter, and finally I was able to run the engine to Max.
So, I would like to summarize the fast impression of Bonneville T120.
The original of this article was written in Japanese. It was translated into English by Google. Therefore, it may be difficult to read, but please forgive me.
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I was riding a YAMAHA SR400 before I bought the Bonneville T120. Furthermore, in the past, he has transferred to the kawasaki ZRX1200, MV AGUSTA BRUTALE, etc. I have 40 years of experience riding motorcycles. I got a motorcycle license when I was in high school.
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My favorite motorcycle style is "an analog twin-lens meter with an iron tank in the crotch, no cowl, and an old-fashioned motorcycle style with a bare engine."
The Bonneville T120 is such a favorite style. It's like drawing my ideals. British style orthodox. Just looking at it makes me mesmerized. triumph is particular about the details that Japanese brands do not have. Although it is an electronically controlled injection, it is designed like an old carburetor. Also, although it is a water-cooled engine, engine fins that are deeply carved like air-cooled are also good. It may be a respect for Bonneville, which has a long history as a triumph.
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My basic use is touring. It's rare to run with the engine running up to high revs. Honestly, Supersports Motorcycle, which has a low steering wheel and puts a strain on the shoulders, arms, and hips, is tiring (although I still admire it ...).
On the other hand, for highways and long-distance touring, motorcycles with cowls and screens are easier. At one point, I was inclined to an adventure-type motorcycle. However, once I tried the test drive, it was too good and too comfortable. I think it's fun to ride a motorcycle with some weak points (many riders like to put up with it?).
I was on a YAMAHA SR400 before switching to the Bonneville T120. The SR400 of the same type stretches its spine and receives the wind all over the body, and you can ride it as if you enjoy the scenery while feeling the beating of the engine-also called the fight against violent vibration. I like motorcycles like this. However, SR lacked power and I felt that it was a little unsatisfactory. Such a situation and various conditions led to the switch to the Triumph Bonneville T120Bud Ekins Special Edition.
I also liked the style of the Harley-Davidson Sportster 883N. I have also considered buying a Harley. Looking at the Harley from the side, the V-twin engine is beautiful in itself as a design.
However, unfortunately, the single meter upright position and low ride height are likely to spoil the fun of cornering. The tank capacity is small, so it is not suitable for long-distance touring. I felt a little different from what I was looking for, so I wasn't a candidate.
The riding position of the Bonneville T120 is just neutral. There is a steering wheel where his arms are extended, and the position of the step is also in the position where his legs are "soooo" down. The bending of his knees is just like a right angle, and it is a natural riding posture. I used to wear a backstep on the kawasaki ZRX1200, which I used to ride a long time ago, but I had to bend my knees a lot, so it was hard for me to go long distances.
The seat height of the Bonneville T120 is not so high at 790 mm, and even at my height (167 cm), my heels float a little when I wear both feet. It weighs 244Kg, which is a heavy category, but I don't feel it is so heavy because it is well-balanced. On the contrary, I feel a sense of stability. It looks big, but once you straddle it, it's surprisingly compact and doesn't feel like you're riding a 1200cc motorcycle.
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I was thinking mainly for touring, so loadability is important. There is almost no space on the Bonneville T120 vehicle itself. Batteries and ECUs are packed tightly under the seat, and ETC manages to fit in the gap. The only on-board tool is a hex wrench.
However, since the tandem seat is flat and large, there is no shortage for carrying a bag or the like. I optionally attached a top case pedestal. This is a GIVI OEM and I can just attach the 38 liter and 46 liter top cases I have. It is used properly according to the amount of these two to be loaded.
When I was riding the Yamaha SR400 in the past, the 46-liter top case was too big to fit, but the Bonneville T120 doesn't feel strange at this size. I went camping touring with the Bonneville T120, but it packs a lot of luggage and has side bags as an option, so if you have a shortage for long-distance touring, you can use it together. It can be expanded considerably depending on the combination. In that sense, I'm honestly not dissatisfied with the loadability.
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Power or torque
The power of the 1200cc twin engine is 80ps. Today's 1000cc Motorcycles are light and have 100ps power (the latest 1000cc SS exceeds 200ps!), So the power may be modest. However, it is not enough to have power. In fact, at the speed and rotation speed that are commonly used in the city and touring, it may be 100ps or 200ps, but the reality is that half of that cannot be used. The maximum power is exerted at the number of revolutions that produces that power, and what is practically important is torque.
Let's compare the specs with the Honda CBR1000RR, which is a typical super sports motorcycle.
Maximum output 192ps (141kW) / 13,000 rpm
Maximum torque 114 Nm / 11,000 rpm
TRIUMPH Bonnevill T120
Maximum output 80ps (59kW) / 6,550rpm
Maximum torque 105Nm / 3,500rpm
The maximum output cannot be obtained unless the CBR1000RR is turned up to 13000 rpm. If you turn the engine to that point on a general road, you will be arrested for speeding as soon as you raise it to 2nd speed.
What I want you to pay attention to is torque. Simply put, torque can be thought of as the force that pushes out the vehicle body (the force that pulls it up). In other words, a high-speed motorcycle requires high rotation to obtain acceleration force, while a motorcycle that generates maximum torque at low rotation such as bonnevill accelerates powerfully from low rotation. Bonnevill can obtain torque at 3000 rpm, which is not generated unless the CBR1000RR is rotated up to 10000 rpm. This is easy to ride because it accelerates powerfully even at low revs when riding in the city, and you can enjoy running while feeling the heartbeat at low revs.
Sports Motorcycles do not produce power unless the number of revolutions is kept high, so it is surprisingly difficult to ride in the city and stress accumulates. Old 2st racer replica did not have low-speed torque (RG250γ of Suzuki, the display of the tachometer was not 3000 rpm or less). This leads to a big difference in ride quality depending on whether the emphasis is on power or torque.
The Bonneville T120 is, of course, the latter, which exerts angry torque from low speeds and accelerates tremendously as if the body were left behind when the accelerator was opened wide. On the other hand, if you start by engaging the clutch at a speed slightly higher than idling, you will enjoy the pleasant sound of the vertical twin "do do do do" and the beating of the engine. Now that I'm addicted, I often meet the clutch at the number of revolutions, whether it's stalled or not, and start off.
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It's a motorcycle like this, so it's not a motorcycle that runs with its eyes raised in a triangle and hangs off. However, you can run on the pass at a good tempo. However, due to the weight of the vehicle, straight-line stability is high, but turning back corners is heavy.
Compared to the Yamaha SR400, the SR took advantage of its lighter weight and used higher gears to make cornering without killing speed as much as possible in order to compensate for the acceleration of the start-up due to lack of power. The Bonneville T120 is slightly understeer and has the property of bulging out with cornering. When I entered the corner at overspeed, I sometimes felt a "hear". Therefore, I take advantage of the torque from low speeds, slow down enough in front of the corner, open the accelerator firmly from clipping, and corner with emphasis on acceleration.
A Japanese motor journalist thus appreciates the cornering of the Bonneville T120.
“When entering a corner, you should slow in, push down the Motorcycle, hold the rudder for a while, and gently turn on the power, and it will stably trace the line you envisioned.
The calmness that accompanies the behavior of the motorcycle until it gets up and the amount of steering torque that can be felt slightly, while feeling the difference from the recent sports motorcycle, the rider and the machine turn while communicating properly. The scene was nostalgic and pleasant. “
What he wants to say is the basic "slow in first out" ride. By the way, he has a classical atmosphere, but he is a Bonneville T120, but it is equipped with ABS as well as traction control, and it is much safer than SR.
Furthermore, the rigidity of the frame is high. The frame will not twist during cornering. This leads to a sense of security. The SR frame was pretty weak. When I banked deeply and dropped my body inward, the frame was twisted and it was difficult to ride. SR is a motorcycle with an old design 40 years ago, so it can't be helped.
The weak point of the Bonneville T120 has a shallow bank angle. It rubs the steps even at general intersections. However, if you attach the back step, the riding posture will change, so I'm worried about whether to attach it.
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Unlike Japanese brand motorcycles, Bonneville has few third-party custom parts. It can't be helped because the number of units sold in Japan is small. Also, if you make an illegal custom, you may not be able to receive the manufacturer's warranty.
However, I am normal and have no complaints. I like the normal atmosphere, so I don't want to customize it to break it. In addition, it is a special equipment of the limited car, and it has LED blinkers and bar end mirrors, so it is more original than the normal T120.
The only dissatisfaction is the rear suspension. There is a spring preload adjustment, but there is no damper adjustment function. The springs are stiff so that it's okay for big people to ride. At my weight, it often bounces in the gap.
I would like to replace only the rear suspension with a third party good one. However, Orleans and Nitron are expensive.
I removed the YSS suspension (Z366) attached to the SR and saved it. I checked with the manufacturer. I wonder if the Z366 can be attached to the Bonnevill T120. "If you replace the mount and end eye with one that fits Bonneville, you can get it," he replied.
He also told me that if I send it to a company that handles YSS suspensions in Japan, they will replace the parts. At the same time, when I asked for an overhaul, I was told that the wages for parts replacement would be included in the overhaul price, so only the parts cost would be sufficient.
The amount was about 35,000 yen in Japanese yen.
It's more reasonable than buying Orleans or Nitron.
I replaced the rear suspension. Comparing the Z366 with the normal suspension, I was a little worried because the Z366 is thin.
But my worries were useless. The ride has become quite mild. It is sticky when the rear is weighted. The movement is also smooth. It was in the best condition.
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Compared to Japanese manufacturers'motorcycles, manufacturers in other countries may have the image of having more breakdowns. But triumph doesn't seem to worry. I hear that many parts made in Japan are actually used and there are few failures. There is a manufacturer's warranty for 2 years, and although it is charged, it can be extended for 1 year. I have subscribed to an extended warranty and a maintenance pack for 3 years of regular inspections (including oil and plug replacement), so I don't have to worry too much about that.
Even when I actually ride it, there is nothing to worry about, and the precision of making it is high, which is comparable to Japanese manufacturers. When I was riding an Italian MV Agusta, oil often leaked.
The Bonnevill T120 is very easy to ride, but on the other hand, it doesn't feel like it's a light ride. The beat is transmitted properly. I was able to meet one of the best motorcycles that has everything I'm looking for in a motorcycle right now.
The only drawback is ...
The heat of the engine is so hot that it blows directly onto your feet!
When it stops at the traffic light, the radiator fan turns and hot air blows up from below. During the summer months, this fever afflicts me very much.
I feel that the radiator is small for the displacement (it seems to be the same as the 900cc lineup), is there a problem with cooling? I think that the engine fins like that air-cooled are not decorations, but really for cooling.
Then, the brakes aren't as effective as I expected. There is no shortage in the normal range, but I want a brake that works a little better. Is it the reason why Brembo calipers are standard equipment on the 2021 model?
I hope it helps anyone considering buying the Bonneville T120. Also, if you like this article, please leave a comment. thank you for reading it until the very end.
From Japanese Bonnevill riders.