Fresh spy photos of what’s purported to be an all-new liquid-cooled Triumph Bonneville for 2016 have just surfaced from across the pond. They reveal a new engine, new chassis and new styling that’s even more authentically retro than the current model.
Though the new engine appears to retain fully-functional cooling fins, there’s also a radiator mounted just behind the front wheel. Coolant hoses, though, are nowhere to be seen, suggesting the new bike might route coolant through its frame tubes. Our source informs us there’s no visible water pump, either, which means Triumph may be using an electric pump a la Harley-Davidson’s ‘Project Rushmore’ bikes.
There’s also a catalytic converter underneath the front of the engine the headers feed into, cleverly concealed by covers that give the impression it’s business as usual all the way from exhaust ports to peashooters. At the other end of the engine, the Bonneville retains fuel-injection throttle bodies disguised as old-fashioned carburetors.
The engine cases and covers closely mimic those of the unit-construction Bonnevilles of the 1960s, instead of the current model’s pre-unit Bonneville looks. U.K. government databases say the new bike is registered as having the same 865cc capacity as the current model, but inside sources have suggested that the new engine is somewhat larger in displacement. Either way, the addition of liquid-cooling hints at a significant jump in performance.
Bigger, sportier tires back up that suggestion; this prototype rolls on a 150/70 R17 Pirelli Phantom SportsComp at the rear – up from a 130/70 on the current bike. And the front wheel is 18-inches in diameter instead of 19, with a 100/90 R18 tire. Wire wheels hint this is the T100, since the current line-up puts cast alloy wheels on the base model. The speed sensor rings of the ABS brakes, a legal requirement on new bikes over 125cc sold in Europe from the start of 2016, are glaringly obvious. Maybe the finished product will hide them like Harley does on a bunch of its “retro” bikes?
The Bonneville and its variants are a critical platform for Triumph, so we’re anxious to see this new version in its final form. Expect full details at Italy’s EICMA show this fall.