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Old 05-22-2001, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

Well, once again Triumph has put ironic quote marks on their own name. I would describe the company as a triumph of illogic over reason.

First it's a 600 that can't compete with bikes five years older than it, and now a Bonneville copy that's not as good as the japanese one. What's with these guys?

I mean, it's a terrific effort, and I can see the quality of the thing, but why is it so freakin' heavy? Isn't this being marketed as a beginners bike? And why do the mufflers angle down like that? Universally, people think they look like ship.

I haven't ridden one yet, but my friend the Triumph salesman says that Triumph has an inexhaustible talent for making any bike dull. This overweight, underpowered slug seems to fit that bill.

Why anybody would buy this thing and not an SV650 is beyond me. But hell, Harley sells a zillion of their "motorcycles" each year.

Maybe the Japanese need to stop making their bikes so darn functional? Or maybe we all need to be heavily medicated?

Gabe Ets-Hokin

Just a guy in the ether...
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Old 05-23-2001, 12:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

Whatever you say about this bike, it sure is difficult to tell apart from an original. I had to ask an old geezer about it (he had put an old fashion number plate and customized it slightly) to be sure.

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Old 05-23-2001, 03:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

You are certifiable.

The new "Triumph" has ugly seams on the tank. The tank angles downward at a funny angle instead of being parallel to the ground. The pipes are ugly. No fork gaitors. No knee pads. Apparently it was not running when you saw it, as the new bike sounds like an EX500.

The whole bike looks like a T120 that ate its rider. Old Bonnies were svelte; this thing is not.

Go immediately to your opthamologist.
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Old 05-23-2001, 03:43 AM   #4
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Default oh so close!!!

I have a 1957 Royal Enfield single back home. Although I don't have much fascination with the Triumph name, I love old british bikes (BSA, Matchless, Vincent) and welcome the Bonneville. But they made two unacceptable goofs.

I MUST have a kick starter. It is deeply satisfying to bring an engine to life by actively doing something to it. I love kick starting old bikes, starting old cars with crank handles. Its a ceremony and brings me closer to the machine. So I'd take the W650 on this count alone.

I am not saying that the Kawasaki is better or that anybody else should like kick starters. Only that I like them and Bonnie doesn't have one. I didn't expect a kick starter on my ZX-12R, but I do on retrobikes.

and that bent exhaust is awful. MO staff can criticize this complaint all they want, but to my eyes, the sweeping exhaust of old was a powerful character element denoting streaking speed. If Ducati did a 916 replica in the year 2035 and used square mufflers instead of oval, everybody would scream foul. I scream foul at the bent exhaust.
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Old 05-23-2001, 04:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: oh so close!!!

I thought the kick starter on the ZX-12R was a bolt on... like the oil sight glass.
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Old 05-23-2001, 04:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

The tank seams, the pipe bends, no gaiters, no tank pads..... somebody should market a kit to fix it all... but then why not just buy the Kawi and be done with it. Authenticity you say. The Triumph "name" you say.... Puleaseeee... It isn't even the same company. The Logo is even different from the original due to copywright restricitions. For some reason triumph is trying to be more like Harley with this particular bike than like a Japanese manufacturer. Lets build a lump that we can sell aftermarket chrome for.
They always run best right before they blow up.
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Old 05-23-2001, 04:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

I think, as the article states, that many riders tend to look back on the past through rose tinted goggles.

I clearly remember reading a copy of the letter that a friend wrote to Triumph shortly after he bought a Bonneville in the late 60s. In it, he told them:

[i]I love my new Triumph Bonneville. It is the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever owned. I push it everywhere I go.[i]
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Old 05-23-2001, 05:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

You forget that motorcycling in the US is mostly a hobby; and logic doesn't apply to hobbies. If the new Bonnie gets more bikes on the road, Great!

Se la vie.
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Old 05-23-2001, 06:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: oh so close!!!

Yesterday I was reading MCN (the English magazine/newspapaer--not the website) and they dinged the Kawi because it HAS a kickstarter. Their reason for dinging it--If it should be able to start everytime with the electric start, why would you need a kickstarter?

I know all of you "more expierenced" riders get all emotional about old technology, so maybe next year Triumph will throw one on.

CAUTION the following is my comment on new old bikes. Please move along if you don't care.

It is kinda funny how many people will not let the kickstarter go. Nobody complains about bikes not having front drum brakes anymore. Real Bonnies didn't have disc brakes either (yeah they threw them on towards the end when they realized how far behind in technology they were and it is more of a safety issue -- but that would be more authenic fi they had drums). Will people complain if it doesn't drip oil or leave you without a headlight at night?

Which brings up a good point, if I brought back a company that went down because they did not stay up with the times, I would have a real hard time making a bike that had its heyday in the '60s. It could be said that the Bonneville brought Triumph to fame and fortune and the their inablitity to improve it drove the company down. (I know Triumph had other bikes that helped make them the power house that they were in the '50s/60s, but the Bonneville was their flagship model and stayed pretty much the same throughout the model years, they went to 3 cylinders, why not 4? Honda/Kawasaki did. They enjoyed the '70s/80s, Triumph/BSA/Matchless/Vincent did not)

I also understand why they had to wait for quite awhile to make this bike, they wanted to be known for making new bikes -- not recycling old designs (like many American companies that have fallen on hard times recently).

I think this is probably one of the hardest things Triumph has done lately. Kawasaki had nothing to loose, they are copying someone elses design, if it failed people would say it was because they are a Japanese company copying a British bike -- and would still sell a bunch of Ninjas and Vulcans. Whereas Triumph knew that their bike would be put under a big microscope by all of the Triumph fans and it looks like they did a pretty good job of capturing the look and feel of the old Bonnies. And they would have to go back into time, which is not a good place for a "new" motorcycle company. (ask Henderson/Victory etc).

But, people want to glamourize the past, so they made it. Hopefully they will know spend more R&D on their sport bikes (600!), so they don't become a dinosaur again.

btw: I took my first ride on a Triumph in 1967, I was in my moms womb. The vibration was with me until my mom was 7 months pregnant and the doc told her she couldn't go for anymore rides with my dad.

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Old 05-23-2001, 07:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville Reader Feedback

Whether or not it's the same company is a matter of semantics. H-D changed hands at least twice (remember the AMF years and the subsequent management buyout?). When John Bloor bought what was left of Triumph, he bought the rights to the old logo, too. There were no copyright restrictions, he owned it. He did not, however, want to use the old logo - he wanted to distance the new version of the company just slightly from the old - hence the subtle difference in the logos.

Nobody said the new Bonnie has to look exactly like the old, or act like it. The new Bonnie, an unfaired traditionally suspended vertical twin, is not going to be a modern sportbike, the way the original was in the '60s. The bar has been raised too high by the Japanese. So, it's going to be a somewhat relaxed retro-standard that a whole lot of aging 40-somethings and 50-somethings are going to love. It's an honest-to-God British vertical twin that doesn't leak oil, has reliable electrics, and won't shake your fillings loose. So the pipes bend up a bit; so there's no gaiters; so there's no kickstart; so flamin' what? Move on.....
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