Stop us if you’ve heard the story about ’60s hearthrob Steve McQueen and his friendship with Hollywood Triumph dealer/racer Bud Ekins, who went on to be a great stunt rider/driver in a slew of McQueen moving pictures. Stop us even if you haven’t heard it, because it’s in Triumph’s press release below. These cool Bonnevilles are Bud’s payback.
The California Air Resources Board has published executive orders certifying a number of unannounced 2020 Triumph models. These include the Thruxton RS, which Triumph has already started teasing, a couple of Bud Ekins tribute Bonnevilles and two new versions of the Tiger 1200.
We wish there were more ladies like the author of this tale. Although Tamara didn’t compete in this epic adventure below, have no doubt she’s a real-deal rider. She races vintage motocross and flat track, has dabbled in supermoto, and completed an Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 by riding from Long Beach to the Grand Canyon and back: 1060 miles in 21 hours on a Triumph Scrambler. She’s also graced the pages of MO in our Naked Middleweight Shootout. Now it’s her turn to tell a story, this one about crewing for a team racing old Triumphs across the desert in the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. It would’ve been much easier on a motorcycle several decades newer, but then the adventure wouldn’t have been nearly as adventuresome!
This is an unusual Ask MO Anything, as this question was delivered not by a reader but by me. During the presentation for the T100 Bonneville I rode last week, I asked why Triumph chose a 270-degree crank for its new Bonneville parallel-Twins rather than the 360-degree orientation of Triumph’s originals. Miles Perkins, Triumph’s Head Of Brand, attempted to give me a satisfactory answer but admitted I’d be better served by a response from one of Triumph’s powertrain specialists.
Triumph’s new Bonneville platform has already made a significant impact on the moto market in less than a year. Spearheaded by the 900cc Street Twin and followed closely by the 1200cc T120 Bonneville and Thruxton models, the retro-modern roadsters are selling as quickly as Triumph can build them, with strong sales forcing the company to add an extra shift at its factory to meet demand.