Bonneville vs. America - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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First time rider, just finished MSF and looking for my first bike. I always loved Bonnevilles when I was younger and went to check them at the local dealer. Saw the America, and thought it was beautiful as well. I also liked the lower seat height since I'm not that tall. Not too sure about the forward pegs, different than what I learned on in class. What thoughts and recommendations does the forum have for me?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 03:18 PM
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Bonneville Bonneville Bonneville did I say Bonneville.

But then I have very strong opinions.

Good Luck with whatever you choose and enjoy it.

Ride safe,

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 03:25 PM
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How tall are you?

I say Bonnie, hands down. But I don't like cruisers at all, so take that for what it's worth.

If the Bonnie is too tall, you can get the seat redone and remove some foam. Or get an aftermarket seat that will lower the height an inch or two.

You can also lower the bike some by replacing the rear shocks with shorter units, then dropping the fork tubes to lower the overall bike. Though I've heard a sidestand mod is necessary. I'll let those who've done this chime in here.

Or both suspension and seat!

I think the Bonnie is the best choice. You can turn it into anything you want. Stripped down cafe bike. Hacked up bar hopper. Street tracker. Retro machine. Two-up touring bike.

The America is and always will be a cruiser.

[ This message was edited by: McQueen on 2007-02-28 15:45 ]

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 03:43 PM
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 03:43 PM
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Triumph is having a "Bike Week for the Rest of Us" next week, the 7th - 10th, if I'm not mistaken. Both of my local dealers are going to have the full range available to ride (so I'm told), so I'm going to test ride all the Bonnie variants.

If you're in SoCal, there's got to be a dealership somewhere near you that's participating.

Personally, I don't like the La-Z-Boy ergos of cruisers. They just make me feel vulnerable for some reason.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 04:00 PM
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How tall are you?

I'm 5'7" and sometimes I wish the Bonnie was a little shorter (just and inch or so). But I'd choose it over the America. I don't like the cruiser seating and forward pegs. I started riding on the Bonnie and I've been loving it. I'm sure the America is a great cruiser, but I feel much more centered/stable/able to ride with mid foot controlls and upright/sporty posture.

I've got the stock seat and springs, and I am considering taking some padding out of the seat and/or getting slightly shorter springs.

My vote is Bonneville.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 04:27 PM
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Go with the version of Bonnie that feels best beneath you. I personally LOVE the Speedmaster with it's mag wheels and tubeless tires ('07 America have mags now too?). The Speedmaster has a couple disc brakes up front.... and really cool "drag" bars, I like that as well. But I hate forward controls, not only because they're too gaye for me, but because my short legs can't reach 'em.

But I'm an old guy who used to long for a Bonneville back in the day; I'm a bit of a tratditionalist, so I prefer the traditional look of the Black, T100, and Thruxton. I don't do "cruisers."

I too am a short guy..... I can't reach the ground from the seat of a Bonnie, but I haven't been able to reach the ground from various motorcycle seats for over 35 years now. A 'newbie' should have confidence in himself and his/her abilities. The lower seat height of the cruisers will do that for you, and if you can reach the forward controls..... you'll get used to them.

They're all really handsome AND unique bikes, and they're certainly not a cookie cutter bike like so many other bikes out there. You can't go wrong, WHATEVER you choose! Go back to the dealership a few more times and sit on the different models...... then go with the model AND color that keeps calling out to you.

[ This message was edited by: FattRat on 2007-02-28 15:30 ]

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 04:42 PM
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Buy what feel's best to you, bike week for the rest of us is coming soon as mentioned earlier...drop by your dealer for a test ride.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 04:49 PM
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Go with the Bonnie. :-D I am short legged too and I solved the problem with a Corbin Gunfighter. They ask for your inseam. If you are a 30 tell them you are 29 :-D I can put my feet flat on the ground now

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 04:51 PM
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I'll put in a bit of info as an America owner/fan. I was a new rider when I went shopping as well. The lower riding position, I'm 5' 6", (lowered futher with an after market seat) felt "right" to me. The forward controls have never been an issue. It's a cruiser, yea, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it is nimble enough, can be modified in all different ways, and I am as happy as a clam with it.

Having said all that, I will, oh yes, add a Bonnie to my collection at some point. A guy can't have just one bike, after all.


[ This message was edited by: tba-golfer on 2007-02-28 15:52 ]

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