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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me again (sorry). I’m having a hell of a time choosing between a T-100 and a SE (Base, Mag Wheel, whatever you want to call it).

For years I’ve had Japanese sports bikes with 17” wheels and the latest tire technology so a SE would seem a logical transition. However, I’m a fairly big guy (6’2”, 210 lbs) and feel self-conscious on one, like a circus bear on a tricycle.

I’m less conspicuous on a T-100 but I’m having a hard time getting fired up about tubes and spokes. Plus, I have no idea what to expect in terms of grip and feel of a 100/90-19 front and 130/80-17 rear (are they even radials?).

So, with that, anyone out there ridden both? Can you explain the difference in feel? I gave up bombing public roads a long time ago and my track days are at least on hold but I still want something competent in corners. I’m upgrading the suspension either way I go, probably with Ikon shocks and fork springs.
 

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Out of the box, the mag wheel bikes are better handlers. I think there is also a wider choice of sporting rubber for the SE.

Having said that, I just had some suspension work done on my Scrambler, and am kind of amazed at how well you can make the spoked wheel bikes handle if you can find enough coins in your sofa.

This is an interesting perspective on the SE... https://rideapart.com/articles/rideapart-review-triumph-bonneville-se
 

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Is there really a difference in handling between the different wheel technology, or is it just the size that matters?

Using Tapatalk on Android.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's a great article ScrammyB, thank you! :thumb
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's mostly the size, followed by weight and the available rubber, as I understand it.
..and tubes and spokes. All dynamics that I'm unfamiliar with.

I got out of sportbikes and track days because I now have less time and it was getting to be a bunch of work. I want to go back to just riding.
 

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i tested a T-100 in 2012 a nice + better than my modified 2006 1200 porkster, but bought the base bonneville for its styling + figured its gotta handle as good, but in reality is better. being only 5'8" it fit me well. all bikes can be made better- sportier + roomier-taller if wanted, but it will take some $$$. stickier radial tyres are best + relacing the T-100 hubs to sizes for better radials is not too costly. brakes are easy, just bolt on a 6 piston pretech caliper + be prepared for fork dive, matters not as you wanted better suspension. i chose Bitubo cartridge forks + their WME shocks at a little over 1G installed by me like everything else. while changing rear shocks the longer scrambler length adds leg room + tips the front end down for quicker steering. the afore mentioned upgrades total roughly 2G adding on to a reasonable priced bike giving a sporty ride + leaving $$$ for exhaust, intake + fueling adjustments, a good value for a good looking retro bike IMO!!!
 

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If you want a rough dollar figure, you can sort a T100 pretty good for under a grand.
 
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For taller guy - I'd highly reccomend changing the rear shocks on a T100 to the Thruxton spec height. I put TECs on with the piggyback cartridge. It makes a world of difference in the bike. Much more comfortable to ride - much quicker responsiveness. It's nimble and feels a whole lot better. I can't imagine that the Mags vs spoke make a real difference vs the the size. I like the new shocks a whole lot - actually sat in a new T120 today and felt that the rear shocks on that are pretty mushy like a stock T100.
 

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simply changing from sticky radial pirelli rosso II's on my 2012 maggie to bigger bias roadriders changed the bikes "feeling". i put 120-70 up front + 150-70 out back in preparation for sidecarring. riding a bit with the new tyres + car not yet mounted revealed bike felt heavier lifting off sidestand, + it took more effort to roll with the bigger, heavier, + prolly flatter roadriders. it still handles fine + seems more "roomy". smaller wheels are surely better, thats why sportbikes use 17's + unsprung weight is very important!! i can say without a doubt the handling is not as quick + nimble, but it looks better to me + stiffer firmer tyres are better for sidecarring. in the end only you need be satisfied as we are all different!!
 

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I have a Scrambler and the wife has an SE

now I can hustle the Scrambler round corners pretty well and it handles better than it should

BUT, the SE is SOooo much nicer handling on twisty roads and corners like it's on rails in comparison

BUT (yes, another one) at 6'3" I'm to tall for the SE which is why I ride the Scrambler and I'm waiting for my new suspension to arrive :)
 

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I 've ridden several T100's over the years. I always get caught up in the way they look, convince myself to buy one, then ride it and pass. I'm 6'2" and the T100 always makes me feel like a bear on a bicycle: knees way to high, bars way to narrow, somewhat vague handling. Then one day there was this killer used SE for sale late in the season. I figured being the smaller wheeled version I would likely feel like a Buffalo on a bicycle but the dealer encouraged me to ride it and I thought what the hell, might as well give it a try. Bingo, to me at least it felt a lot better: handling was sharper, bars better, more sport bike like. Now being lower it needed some mods: I added risers, dropped the pegs about an inch and lost the silly dipped stock seat first for a scrambler gell & then for a seat concept seat. It now fits very well.
As someone who wanted to buy a Bonnie for like 10 years but was never quite happy with the way they felt you might want to think about it. If you are sensitive to handling I think the difference is greater than some seem to report, it's also tubeless with a greater selection of rubber. Find yourself a left over Newchurch & give it a try. They are both great bikes as all of the 865's are essentially variation on the same platform. Putting on a smaller, stiffer, lighter front wheel pays dividends tho, more than i would have thought really.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...BUT (yes, another one) at 6'3" I'm to tall for the SE which is why I ride the Scrambler and I'm waiting for my new suspension to arrive :)
(heavy sigh)
Now you have me thinking about the Scrambler..again. :hmmthink
 

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You can make it quite sporting indeed for what it is. I'm 6'-2" and enjoy my T100 quite a bit. It's not a sport bike, but it can hustle very well on back roads with a little modifications. I think in the end you'll find that much of the experience comes down to the rider.
I've got thruxton length rear shocks, Hagon Nitros, intiminators in the front. It goes very well now. I can hang off the bike as far as I dare around corners.
Now would 17" rims make a difference, I'm sure they would, but I enjoy exploring the limits of this bike as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
..but I enjoy exploring the limits of this bike as is.
I've got to get back to having fun, otherwise I need to find a new hobby. But, I also don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money.

A new SE is a lot of bike for the money. It's not far removed from what I'm used to and the 70's theme is more my style, but then again I'm not looking to drag knees on the street.

The T-100 has to be the used-bike winner. It's closer to a cruiser than I want to admit but they're so easy to modify into something completely different.

The Scrambler is probably the best fit for me physically and I could explore dirt roads with it. It's the price that makes me hesitate, both new and used.
 

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I prefer the looks of the mag wheeled Bonnie. Probably due to my seeing 70s and 80s era bikes during my formative years. But it is on the short side. Even at 6 feet tall, I feel a little big for the bike. But it's more a visual thing than how I fit the bike. I have slightly taller tires, 120/70 and 140/80 Pirelli Sport Demons, and I'm thinking about taller rear shocks. Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Car Motor vehicle


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have slightly taller tires, 120/70 and 140/80 Pirelli Sport Demons, and I'm thinking about taller rear shocks.
Nice setup! I will contact Hagon or Ikon once I get a bike home. I plan on increasing shock height if I go with a SE or T-100. I never minded bikes that had 120/60 fronts and were considered 'twitchy' like the SV650 and 2003-2004 R6.
 

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Slightly off topic but I'm curious as to what makes you guys feel big on these bikes. I'm not a huge guy, 6'1", 160, so just kinda tall and lanky, but even with my clubmans I've never felt cramped on the bike. Maybe it's my lack of ownership or experience with other bikes, but I'm pretty damn comfortable on my mag wheel
 

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Here's a pic of me... all 300+ lbs of me... tearing it up on the Tail of the Dragon (photo courtesy of Killboy). $200 Hagon Classic Road Shocks (heavy damping & 23Kg/cm springs!) and $100 matching fork springs. Just look at how those gaiters are squished under compression.

Yes, you can have a budget suspension which offers a far greater sporting ride.
/M

 

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Slightly off topic but I'm curious as to what makes you guys feel big on these bikes. I'm not a huge guy, 6'1", 160, so just kinda tall and lanky, but even with my clubmans I've never felt cramped on the bike. Maybe it's my lack of ownership or experience with other bikes, but I'm pretty damn comfortable on my mag wheel

Some of it's set point and some of it how you are built. Me, I'm 6'2"', 225# (on a good day) and long in the torso. On a stock T100 literally it feels like I could rest my elbows on my knees, like I'm on a 24" frame bicycle vs a 26" or larger. Actually, the Scrambler fits me stock the best
but I've never been a fan of the high muffler under the right leg and that gets expensive to fix. There also aren't a ton of them so they tend to be at a premium on the used market. ANY Bonnie needs suspension work IMHO but whatever you do, it's never going to make up for a larger, heavier front wheel. That's why starting with a Maggie is a good idea, they also are a very good value on the used market.
 
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