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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am a new rider interested in getting a Triumph Bonneville, which is actually the bike that made me want to get my M1 in the first place. I went to one of the local dealerships near San Jose,CA (CalMoto) and took the new 2012 bonnie for a spin, of course as a new rider it wasn't elaborate, just driving around the parking lot getting the hang of the controls and the like, but by the end of it the bonnie just felt right. The bike felt smooth (definitely more smoother than the 250 Rebel I rode during my MSF course), throttle wasn't powerful/harsh (though I could feel it's true potential and made sure to give it the respect it deserved), and well without going on it just was great to ride all around. Of course as a new rider I wont foolishly drive around the busy streets, I actually intend to drive around the neighborhood and practice in the parking lot behind my house until I feel 100% ready.

Now comes the actual questions:
As much as a new bike seems cool to have (I mean it's new and shiny), I actually would not mind at all getting an older/used model. Unfortunately I haven't found that many available in CA (and any that are available are nearly the same price as new), but see a few that catch my eye (looks, price and mileage) out of state from private owners/dealerships on oodle and cycle trader. Has anyone ever bought a bonnie off the internet? Can anyone here vouch for getting a bonnie off the internet from a state without having seen the bike in person? I'm guessing the smart/wise thing to do is to get a chance to see it in person, but sadly my schedule doesn't really leave me much time to go off across the country to see one :(

So what questions should I ask if I wish to get one out of state? How could I go about making sure that I'll get a bike that works great like it's description claims? What should I be looking for? Any tips would be appreciated. Or if anyone could recommend a dealership around San Jose I'll take that too.

Also, any recommendations on where I could possibly get a sidecar for the future?
 

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buying a bike online can be difficult.... or not. I've had good and bad experiences.

if your buying late model and paying anywhere near the price of new, one thing to consider is the warranty. I'd have to get a good savings to justify in my mind the unknown of how someone else has cared for the bike or what they may have done to it.

however, on the other hand, I've bought bikes paid more due to them having anal owners who document every moment of the bikes life. can show receipts/service tickets etc but it has to be hard copies, no one is to be trusted on their word. ;-)
 

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I found 4 Hinckley Bonnevilles on the San Fran/Bay Area craigslist, so no need to go out of state for one. My 25 year old son bought an '03 Bonnie as his first bike back in Feb & he loves it. We just got back from a 1900 mile round trip to New Mexico & the bike performed flawlessly. They're docile enough for a newbie, but have plenty of power & the cool factor....well, if you buy one, you're gonna hear "Nice bike!" a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I totally forgot about good ol' craigslist. I aee a couple of good bikes here, hopefully still available.

Would a 2001 model with nearly 40k miles on it be one worth checking out?

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I
Would a 2001 model with nearly 40k miles on it be one worth checking out?
It wouldn't be my first choice (unless the price is really low and/or it has very good maintenance documentation). Even a solid bike with proper maintenance can pay the price if those 40k miles were hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Alrighty, so I'm curious cause on CL I'm seeing a 2010 T100 for 7700 w/60 miles, would that be worth taking a gander at?
 

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couple of major model changes to be aware of:

2001-2006 were 790cc and carbed
2007 & 2008 only are both 865cc and carbed
2009 begin the 865cc fuel injection models

difference between models?
SE is smaller from wheel (17") and they are mags not spokes. All SEs are injected. Seat is sort of curved cushion but all Bonnie seats are same pan/base and interchange.

T100 incl the Tach, Knee Pads, Fork Gaitors that the base Bonneville 19" spoked wheel models do not (so a non-SE, non-T100 has no tach, knee pads, or gaitors-aka Bonneville Standard or Bonneville Black (blacked out engines).

IMO it's preferable to go with a newer model, lower mileage with full paper trail of service. More important than finding a bike is a reputable local dealer to service and pre-inspect. Usually a 2 hour, $200 prepurchase inspection results in saving at least that in the negotiation ("the inspection revealed a new battery is needed and brakes as well so let's take $xxx off the asking price").

Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I've been eyeballing a 2010 t-100 that someone is selling nearby, will check it out Sunday or Monday (PS is out of town). However I'm seeing some bonnies from 71-81 on here as well. Would looking into any of those be a good idea or would sticking to something from 2003-2012 be a safer deal? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, like to attempt to fix things myself.
 

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Well I've been eyeballing a 2010 t-100 that someone is selling nearby, will check it out Sunday or Monday (PS is out of town). However I'm seeing some bonnies from 71-81 on here as well. Would looking into any of those be a good idea or would sticking to something from 2003-2012 be a safer deal? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, like to attempt to fix things myself.
its hard to fault the reliability of the new ones.
 

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g However I'm seeing some bonnies from 71-81 on here as well. Would looking into any of those be a good idea or would sticking to something from 2003-2012 be a safer deal? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, like to attempt to fix things myself.
Bonnies from before 1976 (I think) will have a right foot shift lever and that could take some getting used to. Of course, you're a relatively new rider so maybe that woldln't that big a problem. By and large, Meridian Triumphs are for riding to the cycle show or the coffee shop. They are not - these days - going to stand up to daily use or longer rides. Stick with the newer Hinckley bikes.
 

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Well I've been eyeballing a 2010 t-100 that someone is selling nearby, will check it out Sunday or Monday (PS is out of town). However I'm seeing some bonnies from 71-81 on here as well. Would looking into any of those be a good idea or would sticking to something from 2003-2012 be a safer deal? I don't mind getting my hands dirty, like to attempt to fix things myself.
Keep in mind the pre '90 Triumphs in USA have no relationship with the current models. While parts for the older bikes are readily available -- if you know where to look -- (and possibly more available -- and better -- than they were in the 60's & 70's) -- qualified mechanics are not as easily found. And has been said in other posts, it sure is nice to go out to the garage, check the oil/air/gas, and turn the key, push the button, then go ride! As one of the many who have owned bikes from the 60's, you had a few (many?) more steps to go through on those older bikes, and that is when they were new!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright so I'm still trying to see about the 2010 used on craiglist, but how are these ones? Would they be worth looking more into?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/mcy/3290457360.html- 2006 T100 w/7.2k miles
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/3298663815.html 2006 T100 w/6.9k miles
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcd/3316428069.html 2006 T100 w/6.3k miles
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcd/3316322114.html 2009 Bonnie w/7.3k miles

Whens should mileage be a concern when looking at used bikes? Also is Fuel Injection a significantly big step when compared to carbs? Looking to use my future bonnie for commuting to school and work (in style)
 

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought in the state of California it can be kind of difficult and a pain to buy a car or motorcycle from out of state if it is, lets say, newer than 10 years old (or something like this). There are special CA regulations on newer vehicles that must be met, unless you've moved from out of state... That is at least my understanding...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh I'm not looking at out of state anymore since I've seen so many available in my area. But yes CA requires a specially marked bike or used bike with 7.5k miles on it.

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Ask

Ocka,

Ask if the owner would take the bike to a dealer to get it checked out? If not than just keep looking.

It could be a good idea to start with a used one when learning because you could drop it a couple times, I did during my first year riding.

I was looking for a used bike when I bought my 2011 T100 new. It wasn't that much more than the used ones I looked at. I am very happy with this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, well so far I'm looking into a used 2006 model and checked it out. Looks good, only problem is that dealer (went to a local bike shop in SF) says the bike has after market pipes that are unnecessarily louder than the stock pipes. This isn't the main factor stopping me, but I'm just wondering if anyone could recommend any sites were I could find some used stock pipes? (would look on the classifieds here, but don't have the membership needed to access them)
 

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But, do YOU think the pipes are too loud? If not, no problem; if you do, you could go to the Bonneville forum & ask if anybody has some stock pipes lying around. I would imagine you won't have much of a problem as most owners change them out. Also, I've seen stock pipes offered on ebay & craigslist. One last note, if you go back to stock, you'll most likely have to re-jet the carbs.
 
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