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Back in 2009, I test rode a new Bonneville SE with EFI and 17" mag wheels. I posted here later that day, that this new demo bike was the 'best bone-stock' Bonneville I had ridden to-date. Bone-stock. I did take umbrage with the bulbous fuel tank and nearly-moped looking 17" front wheel.

Fast forward 7 short years and i find myself back at Triumph Detroit, albeit at the new (very modern) shop in Shelby Twnshp, MI. This occasion was the MTR Spring BBQ at the dealership which afforded me both an eyeful of new water-cooled twins and a belly full of food. My two most favorite past times other than riding.

The Thruxton R - what can anyone say? Massively retro and thoroughly modern. I love it, absolutely love it... except for one massively glowing mistake. The Monza fuel cap "cover" flips open THE WRONG WAY. Now before any of you jump down my throat over this, let me add that in attendance with me was a world-class author & Triumph historian, a highly noted Triumph restoration mechanic and my dear pal, an old-as-dirt classic bike collector. All of us agreed almost in unison, how the cap -ahem- "swings the wrong way" ["Not that there's anything wrong with that." - J. Seinfeld] Hopefully the 'cover' can be rotated 180°. I did notice an indentation at the forward-facing area under the cap, apparently to give clearance for the latch. Call me nuts, but I would be obsessed with getting a 'proper Monza Cap without the inner locking cap installed. But on the up-side, the metal tank strap is gorgeous enough that I could ride the bike with a shop rag stuffed in the tank.

The standard Thruxton has the same fuel cap, and personally looks far more vintage with the conventional forks. The shops demo bike looked stunning in green and was booked solid all-day. The raised clip-on's felt good to me, but straddling a demo bike on the shop floor is not the same as a demo ride. I think the foot peg location would be my only bugaboo. We'll see.

The T120: Man, I would need to 3 or 4 posts just to gush about how good this bike looks. This is the one for me. Just giving the bike a glance-over, without being so cheeky as pulling out a tape measure, I see areas where there is commonality with the T100, and many areas that are uniquely T120. My author buddy pointed out the new rear conical hub with lightening holes. Very retro, but only do in black, even with chrome/silver rims. Easy spray can solution once I ditch the steel rims for lightweight alloy.

Street Twin: To my over-medicated eyes, the best looking bike in the bunch. I can only think about 'what if Triumph introduced this bike back in 2009?' It would have blown the marketplace away. The lines with proper 18" wheel up front, flat/sporty handlebars, bobbed rear fender and a stylish seat really works. But hey... haven't we seen such other examples of customized 01-15 Bonneville's styled very similarly? YES WE HAVE. And this is where Triumph really got their act together. Clearly their styling department studied what their customers were doing with their own bikes and took copious notes. Kudos Triumph Styling Department.

Personally, I can't wait to test ride these now models. And what about the aftermarket? Well it took Norman Hyde about a nanosecond to develop slip-on mufflers. Others are posed to introduce their offerings in the coming days. Still early days, but I foresee the aftermarket jumping into the water-cooled marketplace in due course.

/M
 

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Some very interesting observations.

I have been offered a Truxton R at a very good price but would probably part with my '13 SE if I bought it and now that I have the bars and the suspension sorted on the SE, I really enjoy riding it.

Anyway, wet weather is on the way as we head into 'winter' :wink2: so I will probably wait until Oct/Nov to decide.

My wife enjoys a pillion run now and then and I liked the look of the R with the dual seat posted by another member - I don't need the riser bars.

Take your time with your decision - the R is a nice package.
 

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