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Twins Talk Discussion of Hinckley Triumph Twin related matters and topics.

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Old 08-18-2009, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How long will a new Bonneville last?

I've been riding a Yamaha Vino 125 scooter for over a year now but want to "upgrade" to perhaps a new Triumph. How many miles can I expect a new Bonneville or perhaps, Scrambler, to last? I always perform maintenance on schedule. Will these bikes last 200,000 miles? Less? More?
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea, more or less in a perfect world. LOL
If I were to guess though (and that is all I could do w/ a question like this) the Bonny is a air cooled engine, so life expectancy wouldn't be as great as one of the water cooled triples.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are examples of Bonnevilles going over 100,000 miles. A well-known example is Chris Coleman's.

This is remarkable on an air-cooled motorcycle engine in my experience, specially without an overhaul.
200,000 miles is probably too much to ask of any motorcycle engine. The average motorcyclist only does 3-4k miles a year, a figure that governments use to force through anti-bike legislation and one that manufacturers apply in designing the life expectancy of their engines.

With a Triumph you're in a happy position to enjoy an extremely well-made and over-engineered powerplant that will outlast most others. I believe this is because the engineers at Triumph know that being a re-born Marque that floundered because of unreliability and other problems, they have had to ensure that their engines last. Any reliability problems could have sunk the new brand very quickly, specially as nowadays they're competing with very reliable and well engineered machinery.

Cars are a different proposition altogether: Only yesterday I travelled smoothly and in total comfort in a Mercedes 300D taxi that had done over 400,000 miles. The engine still purred like a sewing machine...

Last edited by Forchetto; 08-18-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great to hear! I was hoping for greater longevity that around 100,000 miles though. I was wondering if the Triumph's would last as long as their Japanese competition. I'm planning on riding over 6,000 miles per year on my new bike.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtphyre View Post
Great to hear! I was hoping for greater longevity that around 100,000 miles though. I was wondering if the Triumph's would last as long as their Japanese competition. I'm planning on riding over 6,000 miles per year on my new bike.
How many Jap bikes make it to 100,000 miles, let alone 200,000 miles, without major work? A Bonneville will last just as long as a typical Jap bike, if not longer. Even at 6,000 miles a year, you could expect to get 20 years use out of it. How much more can you expect? Anyway, some myopic car driver will have wrecked it for you long before you've had it 20 years if you're doing that sort of mileage. Chris Coleman's bike is one of the first Hinckley Bonnevilles made and one of the first (if not the first) to reach 100,000 miles so it will be a bit longer before we know how far they can go without major work.
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Last edited by PAAS; 08-18-2009 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just want to amplify what Forchetto was saying to you...the key is not Japanese vs British, but rather...air cooled versus water cooled. It's just asking a bit much for an air cooled engine to deal with the differing tolerances as it heats up (and then heats up more). 100,000 miles is pretty darn good IMO. For better...consider a bike with a radiator. I'm assuming you must do a lot of bike riding and that high mileage is a realistic requirement.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A Bonnie will run as long as you're interested in keeping her running. Like anything mechanical, 'stuff' will eventually start showing wear, and will need replaced. From my experience to date, you have little to worry about. Almost 40,000 miles on my 2003 790cc, and no major issues, just replacement of wear items (brake pads, chain, sprockets).

My much older Beemer (1991 GS) recently turned 118,000 miles. She's required a bit more maintenance as she's gotten older, starting from most recent:
- steering head bearings - this year
- cam chain/tensioner. Carb rebuild - last year
- alternator rotor at 94000 miles. Replaced with aftermarket unit.
- replaced starter motor with good used one - 3-4 years ago
- pulled tranny at 65000 & 104000 miles to replace output shaft bearing (known design problem)
- Clutch and rear main seal at 65000 miles.
- Monoshock replaced at 50000.
The airheads typically have head work done at 80-100k miles (valves, guides, and as long as the heads are off, probably the pistons and rings, too). A warm compression test showed this old air cooled engine to be holding approx 140psi both cylinders. Not bad! So, the top end work will be on hold until 2010 or 2011.

Nice thing about bikes like the Bonnie and older airhead Beemers ...... many of the mechanical and cosmetic pieces and parts are the same year after year, and are interchangeable across various models. Makes it much easier to keep 'em runnin'!

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Last edited by ohiorider; 08-18-2009 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you do the maintenance quite a while....
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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longetivity

A Bonnie is oil cooled around the cylinders , so with nikasil cylinders a tighter piston clearance can be run which improves heat transfer and longer life . I would expect at least 100,000 miles with regular maintenence. We see in the shop bikes dying from neglect of all makes,not usually worn out.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And don't forget that the #1 most important thing if you want max mileage is frequent oil changes. It's been said 3000 miles is sort of a turning point for oil in a bike mainly due to the shear forces of the gearbox. Most oil no matter how good loses a lot of it's protection after that. It's been said it's better to run cheap dino oil and change it every 3k than to use the best oil of any type for longer like the recommended 6k triumph specifies. So change it as often as you can afford to and if these engines ARE capable of 200k, that would be the one thing you would HAVE to do to get there. you could spend the same amount by running an oil thats 1/2 the cost of the triumph recommended oil and just change it twice as often.....same cost, better protection if what they say is true.
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