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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've racked up close to 1200 miles since I bought my Bonnie and although it is not perfect, I am very happy with her. One unexpected surprise was how easy it is to move around on the seat and change your riding position. Even with the solo seat, there is ample room to move your arse around to help reduce fatigue. I also find myself using the rear foot pegs often as I'm flying down the highway. Arse back on the seat and feet on the rear pegs greatly reduce wind blast on the chest. One of these days when the wife is over the fact that I just spent 8 grand on a new scoot, I must get some sort of fairing. Thinking Bella Corse or Thruxton flyscreen.

I'm not tall at 5' 10 1/2", but I weigh 200 pounds and I am probably on the verge of being "too big" for this bike. Just look at the pic below and see how huge I look sitting on it.

I think new handlebars will be in order as well - the riding position is a bit to straight up for my taste. One thing that MUST go are the mirrors - ridiculous looking in my opinion - so something different (bar ends) are in my future.

The Triumph solo seat is NOT comfortable, maybe worse than stock-but I love the look so I think a gel pad of some sort is in order.

As far as performance goes, a story is in order:
While out in the Loess Hills of Iowa yesterday, I came up on a group of slow riding Harley boys-must have been 10 to 12 of them. Not that I'm against Harleys or enjoying the scenery-but come on fellas, you might as well have been pushing those bikes around! So, I take an opportunity to pass this herd, and I overtake them with no problem. The leader of the pack thought he would try to keep up with me as I passed him, but what he didn't realize was that I was still gaining speed. Oh, and did I mention we were entering some twisties. HOLY BEJESUS the Bonnie handles well in the curves. I look back after hitting the ton on a straightway (I guess I need to join a Rocker Club now - any ideas??:rolleyes:), and low and behold - no more Harleys! In fact, I pull over at a turn out a few minutes later and wait....and wait....and wait for those guys to ride by (afterall, I do love the sound of Harleys). 5 minutes went buy and the herd rolls by - NONE of them waiving at me! Go figure....:D Then as if by Karma, about 20 minutes later I was passed as though I were standing still by a 3 sport bike riders! Bottom line - the Bonnie fits in between the cruiser and sport bike - not a bad place to be if you ask me!

My reserve light came on at 128 miles - one of these days I'll ride it to empty just to know how far I can really go. Thinking probably 150 miles max. I can live with that.

I'm working on the wife to let me do an Iron Butt sanctioned Saddle Sore 1000 this summer. Thinking I may ride from Omaha to the Canadian Border or from Omaha to Cheyenne WY and back - both about 1000 miles. I'll provide my intimate thoughts of the bike after that ride for sure!

Bottom Line - after 1200 miles, I'm finding my groove on this machine. I had second thoughts in the 0 to 500 mile range, but after break in, I began to test the limits and low and behold it feels like a new machine. Couldn't be happier - unless of course Triumph decided to put the new Thunderbird motor in it!!!
 

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Maybe this is a good place for my first post. I have a black bonnie, just like the one above. My first Triumph. I'm 6'3" and 265 pounds,
and at first thought the bike was going to be too small for me. I've replaced the stock shocks with Ikons with heavy duty springs. With the pre load in the first position and the rebound damping in position #2, the suspension is just about perfect. I will replace the fork springs at some point, but after a 210 mile "spitited" ride over some of north Texas' roughest back roads yesterday, i VERY pleased.
This bike handles great.
At the first oil change, i opted for Amsoil, and my MPG has now risen to 50 per at constant 70-75mph and i only have 919 miles on the odo.
Besides the shocks, i also replaced the stock mirrors with bar-ends from Cycle Gear. Much cleaner look. I have the Dart tinted flyscreen which i think is a nice addition.
All my buds say i look like a monkey riding a football, but i don't care, i LOVE this bike! And i am enjoying this forum as well.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome Barnett. Dude - ya gotta post some pics with your mirrors. Those mickey mouse ears of mine have to go, but I can't decide what I want. I think I need the fairing first so I can determine which mirrors will work best.

If you don't mind me asking - where did you get the new shocks and what did you pay for them?

Monkey riding a football indeed! I know the feeling!
 

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JCF- I'm exactly the same size as you, and one of the things that appeals to me about my 09 Bonnie is its small size.

I've had larger bikes before, and they are just flat out not pleasant to maneuver in slow traffic or tight spaces (both of which I get a lot of in New York City and New Jersey). The Bonneville feels light and maneuverable, and I can flat foot it with ease. It's as easy as riding a scooter (light, agile), with the benefits of a motorcycle (bigger wheels and wheelbase, more power).

I'm still under 300 miles on mine, but I have to agree with your assessment of how this bike handles in the curves... it's got 'telepathic' handling, I barely have to think about leaning and I'm there. It's much more fun than muscling over some big sport-tourer.

The one downside is the lack of storage, but I'll fix that- I just punched a crater in my credit card buying some Givi racks from across the pond.

Bottom line, loving my 09, wish i had more time to ride it!
 

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mirrors

Hre are some black Napoleans, followed by a single Mirrycle bicycle mirror with an M bar, which I am currently using and has been the best [including CRG's]:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The one downside is the lack of storage, but I'll fix that- I just punched a crater in my credit card buying some Givi racks from across the pond.
You'll have to post some pics when you get the Givis. I bought a nice little magnetic tank bag (Rally Pack) for mine that holds enough for my afternoon jaunts. If I ever get time to really do some distance, I may investigate some fabric bags...but not sure I will ever want to mount hard bags as my eventual goal is make this baby my own little cafe racer. But maybe your Givis will convince me otherwise...
 

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jcf... i'll take some pics this week. the shocks i bought at Newbonneville.com for $299 for the pair...worth EVERY penny!
one caveat, they are an inch longer that stock. i don't think any of the aftermarket folks have figured out the 09 bonnie yet. the fact that they are an inch longer gives me more travel and makes the bike look bigger.

cheers
ken
 

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You'll have to post some pics when you get the Givis.
Skut48 is my inspiration- pics of his rig are here:

http://www.triumphrat.net/twins-talk/108109-09-bonny-se-givi-bags.html#post1249700

Mine will be identical, except without the Rentec luggage rack between the bags. The bags in these pictures are the E21s, the smallest monolock sidebags Givi offers.

I ordered some small bullet directionals from New Bonneville to replace the stalks in the rear- otherwise I think the Givis would interfere.

I also have a pair of E360 bags left over from my VFR- I think I would only mount those if I were going on a truly epic journey, as they will likely look ridiculously huge on the Bonneville.
 

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Maybe this is a good place for my first post. I have a black bonnie, just like the one above. My first Triumph. I'm 6'3" and 265 pounds,
and at first thought the bike was going to be too small for me...

Ken
It's actually quite impressive that a bike that seems as small as it does works as well as it does for tall people. I'm 6'3" as well and I was quite pleased with the overall fit. Just looking at it in the showroom it looks too small. I was also shocked at how much space there was for 2-up riding. I will probably go to Thruxton length shocks eventually just to bump the height up a bit.
Enjoy.
 

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handling

jcf66, it's all about handling. Any bike will go 70 or 80 into a 30 mph turn, so power is not the problem (unless you want to drag race a Hayabusa, in which case you are screwed). If you want to hang with the sport bikes, improve your handling (rear shocks, a little fork work and minor brake upgrade) and do a track day or two, and you'll be there! A good rider on a slower bike will beat a mediocre rider on a faster bike anytime - and it's lots more fun to beat a "faster" bike with your "slower" bike anyway. Even the stock triumph has lots of torque which makes it easier to ride in the twistys than high hp million rpm sport bike where you are constantly shifting to find a gear. Obviously, having a little more hp is always good, but handling and braking is just as important. You have lots of fun ahead of you - enjoy!
 

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Overkill...for one thing the bike isn't small. In fact it is considered downright long and heavy by sport bike standards. OP...you do not look large for the bike. The cast wheel bonnie looks slightly smaller because of shorter wheels and lower seat height...more so than say the T100. You do look like a good guy to have as a friend in a bar fight however. :) I am actually dwarfed at 6'1" by the large cast of really tall guys on this forum...some very tall dudes and a lot of them ride these bikes. As Sal mentioned in another thread...it is testiment to the so called standard riding position...neutral and accomodating...not feet in the air cruiser and not bent over crotch rocket racer...a fit that will comfortably accomodate a lot of rider sizes.
Lastly...bikeflake's comments were spot on. Provided a bike has decent handling and the Bonny clearly does...it is way more about the rider than the bike. One thing I will say about riding fast however...now that I have moved to the country with some great twisty roads...really keep your eyes peeled on the road surface quality. In the country there are a lot of dirt roads and the gravel from those connecting roads gets pushed into the nice tight turns we like to lean over in. I did a bit of a slip last night but caught it...because I was riding knowing this and well under what that road could be ridden on if the surface was clean.
Ride safe,
George
 

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Mirrors

I am STILL looking for some as well! The stockers suck! Too hi. I want a low (almost parralel) to the grip stalks w/ a decent mirror on it. HD has the closest so far. They also have to bolt thru the grip not into it! Not easy to find. I liked the ones Gere had in Off & Gent- bar under mirror. Guess Ill keep lookin unless any sugestions?
 

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Maybe this is a good place for my first post. I have a black bonnie, just like the one above. My first Triumph. I'm 6'3" and 265 pounds,
and at first thought the bike was going to be too small for me. I've replaced the stock shocks with Ikons with heavy duty springs. With the pre load in the first position and the rebound damping in position #2, the suspension is just about perfect. I will replace the fork springs at some point, but after a 210 mile "spitited" ride over some of north Texas' roughest back roads yesterday, i VERY pleased.
This bike handles great.
Ken, I am very interested to read this, as I'm having problems on the bumpy back roads with my 09 Black Bonnie. I'm 220 pounds and fitted the new Ikons specially made for the 09 model. They are better than the Triumph ones but not much No matter what I do with the preload or the damping. I get bounced out of the saddle. My mates think it's my weight that's the problem.

Looking at the Newbonneville website, they only list standard length or lowered one inch, and make no mention of heavy duty springs or one inch longer, so I would like to check what you have there:

- does "one inch longer than stock" mean 1 inch longer than the 09s or 1 inch longer than the normal 2001-2008 Bonnies?

- what's the "heavy duty spring"?

- does having "preload in the first position" mean at the bottom, or one click up?

Normally, both the shock body and the spring have part numbers on them. If you can easily see these, I would be grateful if you could tell me what they are, or alternatively what Newbonneville's part numbers are.


Cheers,

Dave
 

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Is there visually a way to tell the difference between the heavy duty and standard springs (number of coils? spring diameter? markings?). I have an IKON rear shock which seems to work well for me with little to no wallowing in corners. I am 6'1 and around 220 pounds. I purchased the bike second hand and the previous owner was a much smaller bloke.
 

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Ken, I am very interested to read this, as I'm having problems on the bumpy back roads with my 09 Black Bonnie. I'm 220 pounds and fitted the new Ikons specially made for the 09 model. They are better than the Triumph ones but not much No matter what I do with the preload or the damping. I get bounced out of the saddle. My mates think it's my weight that's the problem.

Looking at the Newbonneville website, they only list standard length or lowered one inch, and make no mention of heavy duty springs or one inch longer, so I would like to check what you have there:

- does "one inch longer than stock" mean 1 inch longer than the 09s or 1 inch longer than the normal 2001-2008 Bonnies?

- what's the "heavy duty spring"?

- does having "preload in the first position" mean at the bottom, or one click up?

Normally, both the shock body and the spring have part numbers on them. If you can easily see these, I would be grateful if you could tell me what they are, or alternatively what Newbonneville's part numbers are.


Cheers,

Dave
Dave,

I emailed Brent at Newbonneville.com, and told him my size, and he was the one who said he would order them with "heavy duty" springs.

the preload setting I'm using is the softest, or "least loaded".

the rebound damping is set to #2.

the shocks, i believe, are most likely pre 2009 stock length.

hope this helps!

ken
 

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My $0.02 on this issue owning an '09 T-100 with stock shocks that to me is an excellent riding and handling motorcycle...I weigh 190#...and having played around with lowering motorcycles changing shocks and preload affecting sag is...Triumph created a bit of box for themselves. I am not saying the '09 base bonny with alloy wheels isn't meant for heavy riders but it is postured to shorter riders which are generally lighter. There has been a pretty constitent chorus of complaints about the '09 bonny rear shocks. By contrast, I believe the new T-100 rear shocks to be very good for stock shocks. Aftermarket shocks are almost universally better on any motorcycle. The design challenge with a lowered shock is how to control the sprung mass with less travel. The result is generally higher spring rate to keep from bottoming without excessive damping which will make the ride unacceptably stiff. If the ride is like a pogo stick and you are heavy, then I believe you need more travel. I would either suggest picking up some std. length Bonny shocks at 1/2" longer or even some Thruxton shocks which will be 1.5" longer than the stock bonny shocks. T100 shocks are for sale all the time as others upgrade their rear shocks.
If you weigh over 200 pounds, you likely need more travel than what the reduced ride height bonny offers. This allows spring rate to be softened a bit because the shock inherently has a longer throw to let the swingarm control the extra rate. As a general rule, it is no coincidence that lowered or motorcycles with less rear suspension travel, ride more harshly due to the dynamic mentioned above.
Hope that helps,
George
 

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Thanks for the info & advice, Ken & George. It's clear from Ken's experience that the 09 can be made to work effectively. I don't believe there is any change in the swingarm, so the shock is the only difference at the rear end, apart from a more rigid wheel.

I have contacted Geoff Lowe at the Ikon factory who created the new model shock based on my bike back in February. He is also interested to know exactly what Ken has. The stock Ikons for the 01-08 Bonnies have a max length (bolt center to bolt center) of 337mm and a minimum of 261mm giving a theoretical travel of 76mm. The Ikon listed for the Thruxton however has a max of 362mm and a min of 298, giving a travel of 64mm. Interesting that the Thruxton shock, which is 25mm (1 inch) longer has a shorter travel. As it's unlikely that Newbonneville has ever seen a 2009 shock, it's probable that the "1 inch longer than stock" refers to 08 stock, meaning that they have given Ken a Thruxton shock. Perhaps . . .

Geoff has asked me, when I get time, to ride the bike back to the factory so he can experiment some more (The factory is about 5 hours ride from home).

Dave
 
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