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T100's are out for the US now, and I'm in a pickle. Identically accessorized, the price difference between a T100 and a T120 is 'only' (of course that's a relative term, but bear with me) a difference of $1,085. Now I really don't know which way I should jump- $1K more isn't that much in the larger scheme of things for a much more powerful bike.

Or do I say 'damn the torpedoes' and stick to my original scheme of getting a '16 air-cooled T100 for a lot less than either of the water-cooled models?

Thank goodness I've only got a few months to stew over this burning question :D (Finances will be bike-ready in the late winter/early spring!)

Advice, suggestions, and dire warnings are all accepted graciously !
 

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If the price diff over there is only around a grand, I'd go with the T120. However, check the included specs first. The T120 has dual discs, center stand, heated grips, six speed, cruise option and the bigger donk. If the T100 has all this with the smaller motor, it would be worth considering as well. The ST 900 motor is a gem, but has to run a bit harder with the five speed box on the freeway at elevated speeds.. The ST is a great town / day ride bike
 

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T100R Daytona 1971 & Mash 400 scrambler & Silence S01 (electric)
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Ride a demonstrator with each engine spec. You will soon know whether the 900 is enough for you. The way power is delivered is the most important thing with these engines and, taking account of the weight differences which tend to level out the performance difference to some extent, its a matter of personal preference.
 

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I have an air cooled T100 and the water cooled T120. While I've never ridden a STwin, I would seriously consider an "older" T100 (new or used) - just given the price difference of those two I don't think the new waters are worth what could be double the price of a good used T100. Having said that, I think the new T120 is heads and shoulders better than the air cooled T100. Good luck with this decision over the coming months, it is a nice "problem" to have.
 

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I also have one of each - a '12 Base Bonneville and a '16 T120. The new bike is heavier and a bit sluggish at low speed - a pain to push around the garage. But on the highway there is no comparison. So much more power and comfort. On the air cooled bike I'm constantly looking for a higher gear. The 6 speed on the 120 is perfect.
 

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2018 Bonneville T120, Red/Silver
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Ask yourself what you want from the bike. Nobody really "needs" 1200cc's -- I have friends who have travelled coast-to-coast (several times) on a 200cc Vespa. With a passenger!. It used to be that 600cc's was HUGE. Then 790 Bonnie's were the cat's meow. Then 865 was a big engine. Now we have 900 and 1200 (and the absurd Rocket with 2200cc). Unless you weigh as much as a car, you don't really "need" that much power. I've ridden my son's Street Twin, and it definitely has acceleration and to spare. I'm sure the T120 has even MORE acceleration, but I'm not sure I really want or need that much power. The saying "give them enough rope to hang themselves" comes to mind as I envision myself careening off the side of a mountain because I went crazy with a bike that had more power than I really needed or wanted.

So you don't "need" a 1200cc bike, but maybe you "want" one -- that's a different matter and that's fine, to each their own. But don't fool yourself into thinking "gee, only 900cc's, no way I can use that for anything but putting around town". Just ain't true -- it's plenty of power to do whatever you want.

Whichever you choose, you'll come out ahead. Even my "slow" 865cc Bonnie can do the ton and scare the crap out of me when I let it!

-Dan

EDITED to add: Read the book "Main Street Africa" if you don't believe me. The author rode from Johannesburg South Africa to Cairo Egypt on a 650cc Bonneville in the early 60's, fully loaded with gear and surviving the heat, rains, dusty roads, border guards, and wildlife!
 

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According to Cycle World, the T120's weight is up 23 lbs from the 2016 T100. I think you can account for nearly all of that weight with the T120's factory installed center stand and low grab bar.

The T120 is the far more capable bike, with its greatly improved handling, power, shifting, comfort, and that much needed sixth gear. Don't forget the T120's dual front disc brake setup, sorely missed on the T100.

Apparently there's no gas mileage penalty for the T120's 1200cc engine; gas mileage is actually up from the T100. With my T120, I'm seeing right at 60 MPG day in and day out.

I seldom use all of my T120's power, but it's there whenever I want it. Plus, there will never be a combination of weight, altitude, and road grade that will bog down the bike.

So, it just comes down to the purchase price. The T120 costs more, but much of what you might later add is factory installed. Plus, you get a far more capable bike.
 

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Ask yourself what you want from the bike. Nobody really "needs" 1200cc's!
True but we should not run away with the idea that the Triumph 1200cc engine is some rocket ship with more power than is required. It has more power than the old Bonnies but it is also a fairly docile bike by current standards. Today's regulations and real world torque requirements have led to larger bore engines that are often less powerful at the top end. A combination of the weight and road tuned engine means the T120 and new Thruxton are slower than a lot of old 600cc bikes.

So I would say try both new bikes and an air-cooled model. All three right give you the level of grunt you want, equally you might find none will, only you will know.
 

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For me the 6th gear, extra front brake, and more relaxed torque were all worth it. Would I like 20lbs less weight, for sure. But I don't really feel it while riding, only when pushing it around the garage.
 

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Ask yourself what you want from the bike. Nobody really "needs" 1200cc's -- I have friends who have travelled coast-to-coast (several times) on a 200cc Vespa.
Hell, Forrest Gump ran across the country...over and over.

It's not about peak power. That's about as silly a metric as one can come up with for a bike. Where the large bore comes in handy is being able to travel at a variety of speeds, even loaded, in a single gear. Sure you can do the same street legal speeds with smaller bikes, you just have to run them harder and shift more. If you're lazy, like me, liter bikes are a necessity. Not because I couldn't ride a smaller bike (or even walk), but because I don't want to.
 

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2018 Bonneville T120, Red/Silver
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Hell, Forrest Gump ran across the country...over and over.

It's not about peak power. That's about as silly a metric as one can come up with for a bike. Where the large bore comes in handy is being able to travel at a variety of speeds, even loaded, in a single gear. Sure you can do the same street legal speeds with smaller bikes, you just have to run them harder and shift more. If you're lazy, like me, liter bikes are a necessity. Not because I couldn't ride a smaller bike (or even walk), but because I don't want to.
Valid points.

Someone earlier said the ST was just good for "around town", implying that it couldn't or shouldn't handle freeway or trips. I still say it's quite a capable bike for all those things. It's not only for short trips. Is it the best possible vehicle for long distance trips? Maybe, maybe not. Some people would say you have to have a 2000cc Goldwing to do cross country trips, nothing else will do. Others will say you should get a car for cross country trips, you're crazy to do it on a motorcycle. Some people say a 200cc Vespa is just fine for that. All of those vehicles are capable of doing it. Again, it's what you want to get out of your bike, what features do you value and how do you like to ride. I don't want a Goldwing. It's too heavy to push out of my garage, and really isn't that fun to ride. And I suspect a T120 is heavy enough that it would also get old pushing out of my garage. But I do ride on the freeway, I do like to have power when I need it, I do like to go on longer trips, I like to commute to work every day on my bike, and I do like to zip thru the twisties for a few hours on a weekend. I personally find my 865cc Bonnie just perfect for all those things, for me. I'm considering the Street Twin because the weight distribution is such that it's much easier to move around, has modern features like ABS, traction control, lighter clutch, yet (to me) has as much and more power and accelleration than my 865. But since I prefer the styling of my Bonnie, I am also intrigued by the new T100. I'm confident it has plenty of power (based on my ST rides) for my needs and riding style.

-Dan
 
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I owned a T100 for about a year before trading it in on a T120. As said before, the T120 is better in most every way. The T120 with that 1200 motor is just loafing along at 70mph in 6th gear. It really makes this a do it all bike that can be used for commuting or touring. I think the handling was also significantly improved and the bike just feels planted and stable. The brakes are vastly improved and the added features including the updated clocks, riding modes, heated grips, fit an finish just make the extra 1K a no brainer IMO.
 

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I am surprised that so many posters find an extra gear a positive option. I find that on longer journeys excessive gear changing is just tiring. One of the features of the Street Twin that I really like is that once clear of urban areas and twisty back lanes it can stay in 5th all the time. 5th is still an overdrive ratio as far as peak power is concerned but the engine has so much torque it remains very responsive at any speed over 60 mph. Unfortunately its not practical to skip gears on a sequential change but when driving my six speed car I almost always skip some of the gears and sometimes even skip two when traffic or speed limits prevail.
 

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In my observations, more people who buy the less expensive (less power) bike trade up to a larger bike than the other way around. Are you going to wish you had the T120 if you get the T100? Would you have this voice in the back of your head saying "it was only another $1,100 and I would've had a (perceptibly by you maybe) better bike." Think about your riding, do you like to hot rod around? I'd get the T120 if so.
 

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While the 900cc Street Twin engine certainly has plenty of power, I purchased the ST because I like it better than the T120 - looks, ergonomics, weight distribution, etc. They are very different bikes. The new T100, on the other hand, is essentially a T120 with some different options and less displacement - There isn't much reason to like it better than the T120 other than the price.

Ultimately I think the power delivery of the 900 is awesome and more than adequate, but I suspect you'll wonder 'what if' and secretly lust over the T120 if you end up with something else.
 
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