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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the local gear shop the other night and a felt pure jealousy when I watched a gun jump on his newer Bonnie hit the start button and take off. And then I felt pure dread at the thought of kickin over my 74 trident and fiddling with the idle screw to keep the choke less carbs going.

Watching that other cat effortlessly start and ride off sold me on an idea ive been kickin around for a little bit. I want a newish Bonnie, that I can mount a hack to.

So the question is, when I start looking, what do I need to know about these fancy new machines, any years to avoid, known problems to watch out for, etc?

Since I will be mounting a chair to it, I have no desire to ever have to push it home, so I want as reliable of a rig as I can get. And once I get it, what are the basic mods and maintenance I should do off the bat?

-Dan
 

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You'll probably want an '04 & up T100 or '07 & up Bonnie in order to get the 865 motor. More torque to move the hack. Earlier machines had 790 motors. These machines were first produced for the 2001 model year and most issues were sorted before '04.

IMHO, the best choices out there are the 2007 & up models...they have the reinforced starter idle gear boss in the case and haven't suffered the odd failure of the boss that earlier models have. Not a huge issue because there is a preventative fix offered by Pieman's firm that shores up the earlier models...I fitted it to my '04 and it is straightforward to do. My guess is that you'll be in the primary to install stiffer clutch springs (the stock ones are weak and tend to slip once you've added power) to support the chair, so the 'safe start' fix can be done when you are in there already. Just one less thing to worry about in the later bikes...

Lastly, the '09s & up are EFI here in the States ('08 & up in Europe). Depending on your perspective, this can be a good thing or not. You posted in the air cooled area, so I gather you want an airhead. Otherwise, the new liquid cooled bikes have more torque and larger motors. An option if liquid cooling doesn't put you off.

Enjoy the ride.

Cheers,

--Rich
 

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Get a carbed bike, less electrics, great reliability. Check out the majority of problems in this forum, most are from "mods". The only way you will get any real world power is by free flow heads, cams, big bore kits etc.all $$$ ,personally I got satisfied with the factory bike. If you want more power get a different bike like the 1700 Thundrbird which lends itself to a hack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Carbs or EFI are a toss up or me, I cut my teeth building turbo cars and got I to hot rods and bikes later, so everytime I hook up a manometer I sigh and wish I could plug in my laptop and just reflash it.

As far as performance goes, I will be mounting a chair to it, so "fast" doesn't need to be in its vocabulary. I want just enough power that it doesn't struggle and runs well. (I learned a lesson in my early 20's about trying to daily drive a race car) if I'm out on this thing I will be taking the kind of cruise or trip where I won't want to break down, hence my eye to a newish bike.

I am looking for an all around good rider, my preference is to stay with Triumph, despite the fact that my 74 is a premadonna at times, and I want that classic "look". Bonnie's are fairly prevalent and can
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Carbs or EFI are a toss up or me, I cut my teeth building turbo cars and got I to hot rods and bikes later, so everytime I hook up a manometer I sigh and wish I could plug in my laptop and just reflash it.

As far as performance goes, I will be mounting a chair to it, so "fast" doesn't need to be in its vocabulary. I want just enough power that it doesn't struggle and runs well. (I learned a lesson in my early 20's about trying to daily drive a race car) if I'm out on this thing I will be taking the kind of cruise or trip where I won't want to break down, hence my eye to a newish bike.

I am looking for an all around good rider, my preference is to stay with Triumph, despite the fact that my 74 is a premadonna at times, and I want that classic "look". Bonnie's are fairly prevalent and can be found for a good deal, but I am not adverse to the Thunderbird or American, but since I dont know much about them, and I rarely see them, that wasn't my first thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should also add that there is a pretty good retro and vintage scene here, so there is a lot more local support for newer Bonnie's than just about anything else.
 

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I have a 2013 T-100 Bonnie with a Cozy Euro sidecar attached and it has plenty of power for me, although I only weight 140 lbs and my wife weights 100 lbs. I don't feel the need for any more power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a 2013 T-100 Bonnie with a Cozy Euro sidecar attached and it has plenty of power for me, although I only weight 140 lbs and my wife weights 100 lbs. I don't feel the need for any more power.


What is your opinion on the build quality and the chassis/suspension setup on the cozy?
 

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What is your opinion on the build quality and the chassis/suspension setup on the cozy?
I've been very happy with the build quality, but like I said my wife only weighs 100 lbs. The way mine was set up it came with some thick rubber bands that help with the suspension and also a coil type shock absorber. It looks like it should ride pretty well but my wife tells me it's not very comfortable going over bumps.
 

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You can buy any of these Bonneville's and just ride the heck out of it and never need to do anything but change oil. EFI or carb would be just as good as the other. I've got an 2007 carb version but would have been just as happy. with an EFI model.

If I ever buy another one, I'd go with the EFI for the better MPG. I'm only getting 42 MPG with 2007 carb model. 37,000 miles and the only thing that ever failed was the rear brake light switch. Bike still not burning even a drop of oil between 5,000 mile oil changes. I've never owned any other engine this good with not using oil.

About as perfect a bike I've ever own. Absolutely love this bike.

Heck I grew up in a family Honda dealership, this bike's as good as anything Honda ever built.
 

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Installed Arrow 2-1 on my bike and uploaded the new tune in less than 10 minutes. No carbs sorcery needed. Get an EFI bike. You won't regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been very happy with the build quality, but like I said my wife only weighs 100 lbs. The way mine was set up it came with some thick rubber bands that help with the suspension and also a coil type shock absorber. It looks like it should ride pretty well but my wife tells me it's not very comfortable going over bumps.
My lady is about 115 and I'm right about 170 because we like beer and bacon just as much as we like getting out and doing stuff. Which is kind of one of the reasons I want a hack. It just looks like a fun way to get to places.

What is the max distance you guys feel comfortable riding? We frequently take day trips across and around the state to check out antiques, so I could do photography stuff, to go hiking, etc. And I would absolutely love to ride a rig from Indiana to Virginia in the early fall for a competition series I do.


What do you regret most about your rig, or wish you had done differently?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can buy any of these Bonneville's and just ride the heck out of it and never need to do anything but change oil. EFI or carb would be just as good as the other. I've got an 2007 carb version but would have been just as happy. with an EFI model.

If I ever buy another one, I'd go with the EFI for the better MPG. I'm only getting 42 MPG with 2007 carb model. 37,000 miles and the only thing that ever failed was the rear brake light switch. Bike still not burning even a drop of oil between 5,000 mile oil changes. I've never owned any other engine this good with not using oil.

About as perfect a bike I've ever own. Absolutely love this bike.

Heck I grew up in a family Honda dealership, this bike's as good as anything Honda ever built.


What is the mpg difference between the carb and efi models? A sidecar setup is going to get worse mpg no matter what, but if I an start with a better base milage, that might make things a little easier.

Hell my car only gets about 25-30mpg in most conditions, so as long as I can beat that I will be ecstatic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Installed Arrow 2-1 on my bike and uploaded the new tune in less than 10 minutes. No carbs sorcery needed. Get an EFI bike. You won't regret it.
I'm sure there is a thread dedicated to this, but what kind of program/tool are you using to reflash the bike, and can you write your own fuel maps?
 

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TuneECU is the program. You can connect to your ECU via ODB2 cable and program it quite easily. Arrow 2-1 map was already available on the tune ECU site, so that's what I went with.

TriumphTwinPower (TTP) makes Dyno tuned maps with predefined mods. At some point, I will be installing a TTP map (with recommended mods ), but for now I am happy with the OEM Arrow map.


I'm sure there is a thread dedicated to this, but what kind of program/tool are you using to reflash the bike, and can you write your own fuel maps?
 

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What is the mpg difference between the carb and efi models? A sidecar setup is going to get worse mpg no matter what, but if I an start with a better base milage, that might make things a little easier.

Hell my car only gets about 25-30mpg in most conditions, so as long as I can beat that I will be ecstatic.
I've heard the EFI guys get into the 50 something MPG range. Maybe one of those guys will ring in. The EFI bikes get better MPG then the Carb bikes. Have heard they run a little smoother.
 

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2 problems I've had with my Scrambler:

-Sticking rear brake caliper. This was a recurrent problem that was solved temporarily by a good cleaning, and permanently by a caliper rebuild and relocation. I do ride in some really nasty weather, including on salted roads in the winter, so that doesn't help.

-Grooved and under-spec cams and cam journals. This was the big one. I made a thread about it several months ago. Luckily the repairs were covered by insurance (got a new engine head, total cost of repairs was ~$3,500 with work done by Triumph Philadelphia). The root cause was never found and is still unknown. Consider it an anomaly, possibly defective head/cams from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you guys for great responses and encouragement. Sidecars seem like a pretty fringe thing, and most of the setups I've seen have been on Harley's, GoldWings, or dualsports. I hit up some of the sidecar community and most of the responses have been "get a goldwing" but since I'm till in my early 30's Im not old enough for one of those.

Now I just need to figure out if I should put the rig together myself, or if I an find a company that specializes in cars nearby to do the work for me (it would save a lot of time)
 
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