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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got to test ride a Bonnie today. Wow, what an eye-opener. It was much more smooth than I expected. Further, the 2009s with the 17" front wheel steer quite quickly. From 0-60/65 great torque and pull. Above that the vibes begin to be noticeable, but very tolerable. I was easily able to keep up with the traffic and other cyclists in our group. Didn't think I'd like the seat, but I was wrong. Didn't think there'd be enough power, but I was wrong. Didn't think the brakes would be strong enough, but I was wrong. I was so wrong on so many counts I cannot begin to explain.

I have been searching for a second bike to compliment my 2001 Sprint St. I have ridden:

Buell 1125r
Kawasaki MeanStreak 1600
Kawasaki ZX-14
Honda CBR600RR
Honda CBR600F4i
Ducati Hypermotard
Harley Streetrod
Harley Superglide
Triumph Street Triple R
Triumph Scrambler (today)
Triumph Bonneville (today)

And, none of them have been as much fun as the Bonnie. While it isn't the fastest of the bunch, I think I might ride it quite quickly when given the chance. While it isn't the best handling of the bunch, I'd have to say the S3R would fit that bill, I think I would be quicker around corners with it. I cannot believe how confident I was becoming in its abilities in such a short period of time. Man, do I have some decisions to make. Plus, there'd be plenty of room for my wife and I. Plus, pretty good aftermarket support. And, best of all, it is still a Triumph.

I was fortunate enough to stop by Ridge Motorsports in Batesburg-Leesville, SC, where Jeff & co. treated me great, as always. They allowed us to go an a very long ride and truly get a feel for these bikes. I couldn't ask for a better dealership. They are a bit of hike for me, but it is one I gladly make for all of the work on my current bike.....and maybe the one to come.

What a great day!! I cannot believe how Triumph has gotten the "retro" bike thing so right. The Bonnie looks the part, but plays more like a new design. I rode a Sportster a couple of years ago and it doesn't even compare. Amazing bit of work on Triumph's part.
 

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I got to test an 09 Bonnie today myself and was surprised at how well it handled,compared to the T100 I demo'ed a few years back.
Smoother yes ,much improved braking and precise transmission.
It felt very light and nimble. The suspension still needs work if you ride agressively, but no doubt Triumph have upped the ante in the Retro Bike category.
 

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How about the 17" mag wheel on the regular Bonnie with the 19" laced (tube?) on the T-100 and SE?
 

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Nice write up alii...and my sentiments as well. I bought a '09 T-100 and love it. It is a very easy bike to ride. I have ridden a lot of other bikes as well. It does have enough power...my biggest concern and it handles better than I thought it would. The more you ride it...it feels part of you.
There is no denying the aesthetic element as well. Buying a motorcycle is an emotional decision really. Personally I would be probably as happy on a 17 inch alloy wheel version..but bought the T-100 because it has a bit more room but all of that can be adjusted and only personal taste.
Cheers,
George
 

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I checked out the new 09 bonnie the other day. Did not get to ride it yet, but I do like it. I dig the more petite feel, it's begging for a cafe racer conversion.

The weird thing to me was when I switched the ignition on and saw the yellow lights on the speedometer flash accompanied by the whirring of the fuel pump. I bet that fuel injection is pretty sweet though.

Kudos to Triumph for keeping the T100 in the lineup. I like the 70's styling of the NB, but I'm glad they've kept the classic 60's look alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, dragging up an old thread.....the New Bonnie

Well, Today I went back to Ridge Motorsports and rode the '09 New Bonnie again. This time I wasn't part of a group ride, they let me take it out alone. This time I spent a great deal of time doing low-speed stuff. Wow, those 17" wheels make such a difference. It was like it was on rails. Reminded me greatly of my 250 Ninja from a couple of years ago. Because I am no speed demon.....well at least most of the time......the low speed ability is of supreme importance to me. Further, I rode my Sprint farther today than I have in quite awhile....suddenly, the Bonnie is looking like it maybe a replacement for the Sprint not merely a compliment. Being of short torso the reach to the bars on the Sprint is quite significant. While that can be changed with $$$, I'm not sure that I want to do that.

The Bonnie was amazing again. The power was still better than expected, the handling was very good, and the comfort (which is becoming the important part) was very good too. The Bonnie has moved to the top of the Sprint replacement list.....
 

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If you are small in stature, you may indeed prefer the base Bonny. For me, the new T-100 is the right bike both in feel and the aesthetic as I prefer the larger spoked wheels. Either are great choices IMHO. I too was weary about the power...my biggest concern really but no longer after having ridden a bit over 700 miles. I rarely hit the ton when out riding and the bike hits 90 mph quickly and effortlessly. The bike is very simple to ride as you mention. The one knock on the lowered base alloyed wheel bonnie is the ride quality. There is a bit of fuss over the lowering shocks used but I believe this can all be tuned to fit...a matter of preference.
Cheers,
George
A couple of pics of my bike...a work in progress:




 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hear ya. The power of the Bonnie has me a bit concerned coming from the Sprint. I am so accustomed to just being "gone" when I need to that the lower power makes me a bit nervous. So, toward that end the bikes still in the running are a bizarre combination of choices, but these are the ones that have my attention:

New Bonneville
Street Triple
GSXR600

I know, I know they couldn't be more different. That is the problem. The ST3 because....ya know....like WOW! The Bonnie for what we mentioned earlier. And, the Sixxer because yeah like WOW again!

I have ridden all 3. I have been excited by all 3. I am a very confused old man!!

But, right now the Sixxer may be at the top of the list. Not the least of the reasons why is the local dealer....(the only good Triumph dealer is an hour away), and the aftermarket. All 3 are pretty comfortable for me, being a smaller guy. And, all 3 are great in their own right. Now, where is that lottery ticket..................
 

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One of things about understanding motorcycles is...you see the virtues in all bikes. Great motorcycles have a following for a reason. You sound like me...you like all kinds of bikes.
I prefer sport bikes to cruisers though...but my old body doesn't tolerate an aggressive riding position for more than a few miles. To me comfort trumps nth degree speed. I would just end up riding faster and not sure the fear of getting caught riding more illegal than I do is worth it at this point. The gixxer which has a cult like following for a reason is a very aggressive bike for riding position. I don't even like the newer Sprints. I like a standard...what a Bonnie is...believe that aggressive bikes are better suited to the track where speed will hold a torso up against wrist fatigue. I think smaller guys have it a bit easier there.
Good luck whatever you decide. No losers in that bunch.
Also...about the power thing...in the winter is when I like to do my modding and will likely build a few more hp into my bike in the next few years...not that it really needs it. ;)
Cheers,
George
 

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One thing that is rarely mentioned about the Bonny, but is key, is its confidence inspiring. So you can make more use of what its got.

Those are all good choices,but I think it depends on what type of riding you do.
 

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Alli1959 - I had almost the same experience as you when I first test rode the 09 Bonnie with mag wheels - I came away completely impressed. Didn't necessarily have the highest marks in any one area (hp, handling, braking) but I think what it DID offer was the best complete package.

I'm an all around fan of motorcycles - I like dirt bikes, dual sports, standards, a few sportbikes, and yes, even some cruisers, and I've owned and ridden many over the course of my 43 years. But there was just "something" about the Bonnieville that kept dragging me in. Was it the looks? The handling? The cafe racer possibilities? The tradition associated with the name? I can't quite put my finger on it, but I knew it when I rode it.

Sort of like how I felt about my wife the first time I.......ah......oh.....nevermind!:D
 

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Boy, I wish my garage was as uncluttered as Biker7's.

I like the base, white Bonneville. I already bought my new motorcycle for this year though (ZX-10R), so I have to wait. And I wonder if there will be any changes in displacement next year? I doubt it because Triumph has put all its changes into the T-Bird. But I'd like one of those Bonnies.
 

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I hear ya. The power of the Bonnie has me a bit concerned coming from the Sprint. I am so accustomed to just being "gone" when I need to that the lower power makes me a bit nervous. So, toward that end the bikes still in the running are a bizarre combination of choices, but these are the ones that have my attention:

New Bonneville
Street Triple
GSXR600

I know, I know they couldn't be more different. That is the problem. The ST3 because....ya know....like WOW! The Bonnie for what we mentioned earlier. And, the Sixxer because yeah like WOW again!

I have ridden all 3. I have been excited by all 3. I am a very confused old man!!

But, right now the Sixxer may be at the top of the list. Not the least of the reasons why is the local dealer....(the only good Triumph dealer is an hour away), and the aftermarket. All 3 are pretty comfortable for me, being a smaller guy. And, all 3 are great in their own right. Now, where is that lottery ticket..................
I am not going to try to advise you '59. Besides, I don't think you are looking for advice, just sharing your deliberations. As Biker7 says those three are all top bikes. It sounds like you haven't got the sport bike thing out of your system, so I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with one of those. There are narrower focus bikes out there that can outdo the Bonnie in just about every catagory. However, in my opinion, there is no other bike out there that does all the things that are important to me so well. As far as power, my Bonnie has all I need. Like so many have said, any more power would just get me into trouble because if it was there, I would feel obliged to use it. As it is, I find I am always having to pull back on the speed to be within a reasonable approximation of legal...and I consider myself a conservative rider. '59, let us know what you decide.

BTW, Biker7 what a gorgeous bike. I wish I had one just like it... oh I do :D
 
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