Bonneville is a bike that exemplifies British excellence - a motorcycle that rode directly from the past into the modern world. In India, retro bikes are not new; right from Royal Enfield that has British lineage to the latest entrant in the market, Jawa, bikes that are inspired by vintage motorcycles are plenty. However, Bonneville is the only legendary classic motorcycle that is built in Britain and sold in India.
Founded in 1885 and wound up in 1983, Triumph Cycle Company conquered the world with its superb British motorcycles. Its reputation crossed the seas and even reached the Americas, threatening some of the leading names there. Bonneville was the name given to the first Triumph bike that set a record by clocking 311 km per hour in Bonneville Salt Flats in 1959. Since then, Bonneville became a star in several races. Though several years have gone by and several models have been launched, the popularity of the brand name has not dimmed.
Triumph suffered the same fate that befell other conventional vehicle makers - the company fell into a debt trap and reached the stage of closure. New owners took over the company in 1983 and rescued it from a certain premature death. The Bonneville thus resurrected reached India too.
The Bonneville T100 that was launched in India belongs to the modern classic bike segment. The design reminds one of the legendary predecessor that got its name in Salt Flats. The hallmark of Bonneville is its sculpted signature white and blue fuel tank, which also sports the Triumph logo in chrome. The meter console is an amalgamation of digital and analog, displaying fuel consumption, distance to empty, gear position, traction control and cruise control modes and a digital clock.
Classic all the way
The round headlamps do not affect the classic looks in any way. The T100 comes with wire 32-spoke wheels. The indicators are small and beautiful. Twin-silencer pipes have chrome finish. The brushed engine cover too is retro-styled.
Not too small
Though the bike uses the smallest engines in the Bonneville series, it has 900 cc capacity. The parallel twin engine produces 54 bhp of peak power and 80 Nm of peak torque. It weighs 213 kg and can be handled like a 150 cc bike. The throttle response is impressive.
Though it is unnerving initially, the fright gives way to excitement as one picks up speed. It is a pleasure riding the bike in both city traffic and on highways. The handling is exemplary. Seats are made for the long haul. The brute can easily achieve speeds of 160 kmph. The ride is aided by safety features like ABS and traction control.
Price: Ex-showroom Rs 9.02 lakh
Test drive: Triumph Kochi 9645599922