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Triumph Bonneville

619 of 1169 nominations


Triumph Bonneville

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Triumph Bonneville

Kawasakis and BMWs may come and go, but the Triumph Bonneville reigns supreme. For many, it is the definitive piece of motorcycling technology, first launched during the high-water mark of the rock-and-roll era, and still leaving inferior models choking in its dust in the 21st  century.

The Triumph company was founded by a German settler named Siegfried Bettmann in 1883, who began by selling bicycles from premises in Coventry. As the company went from strength to strength, it entered the petrol age in 1902, initially using engines made in Belgium, before moving all production to the Midlands.

The Bonneville was launched in 1959, instantly becoming king of the racetracks and offering generations of young riders their chance to be Steve McQueen. Production ceased in 1983, but was revived again in 2000, in a version based on the much-loved T120 model of the late sixties. With an engine capacity of 790cc, it is one mean machine. Get your motor running…


Your comments

This is the motorcycle that inspired a generation. Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando and Evel Knievel all rode this bike. It is the bikers' idea of a 'proper' motorcycle and is still lusted after today. Triumph still produce these motorcycles; evidence - if any were needed - of their long-lasting appeal.

Graham Bagley

Growing up inthe middle of Ohio all we knew of England came from the war books in the school library.We read about poorly fed ill equiped Brits doing amazing things;beating Rommel in the desert,sinking the Bismark,shooting down buzzbombs etc.Triumphs had a small white sticker that said made in England on the fender. Triumphs were lean, fast and tough.(we'd heard of Vincents but never say one).The Triumphs seemed to really represent your country.Now it,s princey Charles,Sir Elton ,George Micheal ...... What happened to you guys?
Tom Pruden

I am what you would call a rocker. I still wear the uniform - mudguard gibson shoes jeans and the leather with the epaulettes, and I still have the bikes. As a young lad I lusted after the 62 Pre-unit Bonnie, but in those days as a learner I was only allowed up to a 250cc. Most of us baby boomers who hit 16 in 1962 could not afford a new bike, however I passed my test and bought a 1954 6T in the summer of 62. I have ridden it for 45 years and liked its style. Indeed, Marlon Brando rode one into cinematic history, but it was not a Bonnie...I still wanted that Bonnie badly, but after courting, followed marriage. The week after we married, new wife on my arm I spotted the latest 68 Bonnie. Despite our stretch of new house, mortgage, kids...I spent the deposit for the house which was in my pocket at the time on the bike. With my brand new 68 Bonnie and newly-wed wife on the pillion, I headed to my parents house where we living. Needless to say, I got battered over the head with a frying pan by my mam. Ears ringing, and with lumps all over my head - it was worth it. The 'summer of love', a new Bonnie and a new wife, bliss, until someone stole the Bonnie. I tried many different classic bikes after that, the T160 in 1978, the MHR Ducati in 1984, a 1939 Rudge Ulster in 1988, Ariel Sq4 in 2002 and a new 2300 cc Rocket three last year. NONE of them comapre to the Bonnie. I bought a 1961 silver and pale blue Bonnie ten years ago and restored it fully. Tellingly, I have a stunning collection of bikes now, but when people look at them it's the 'Bonnie' everyone admires.
allan burgess

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