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3,489 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
T120 Initial Impressions

I took delivery of my new T120 yesterday, May 28th. My dealer is in a different city so I had the pleasure of riding the new bike home, which was about a five hour journey, plus gas stops.

I chose the two-tone paint scheme in jet black and pure white. The scheme didn't look quite right to me in all of the photos that I've seen, but in person, it's stunning.


Everything on the T120 has been carefully thought out and is beautifully executed and finished. BTW, I hope you like the name 'Triumph'. It's everywhere!

At first, the LCD readouts seemed a little small, but then I realized that they really compliment the beautiful black faced electronic analog tach and speedo. The readouts are perfectly usable without being too large, and I wouldn't change a thing.

The instrument cluster sits slightly high. Even at high speed (90 MPH) it cuts the wind somewhat. There was very little pressure on my chest, but my helmet caught the full wind flow.

My first few minutes in the saddle of the new bike were of concern because the throttle-by-wire twist grip seemed entirely too sensitive, giving a notchy, on-off kind of feel. As I rode, I realized that the throttle was feeling more smooth and precise. My brain and wrist had accommodated, and the throttle-by-wire set-up now seemed perfect, as it did for the rest of the day.

Brakes are positive and strong. The slipper clutch is absolutely amazing. A wimpy or imprecise nudge of the shift lever still gets you a clean, positive shift, every time, with no false neutrals and a barely perceptible clunk. Nice!

The T120's 1200 cc "high torque" engine is an absolute marvel. It pulls like a draft horse in any gear when above about 3,000 RPM. I can foresee no circumstances of load, altitude, or road grade that will cause you to wish for more power! It's absolutely smooth. There is no vibration at all in the grips, pegs, seat or mirrors. Gearing is perfect, as is shifting. I found that sixth gear gave an indicated 88 MPH at 4,000 RPM, my limit for engine break-in.

Even varying throttle, speed, and gear all the way home, the bike got an actual 48.3 US MPG. Slowing to a sedate 65 MPH, it indicated 65 MPG.

Suspension compression and rebound rates front and rear are identical. The bike deals with even large bumps with aplomb, without any tendency to pitch. Sweet!

The T120 is both extremely stable and very nimble. Its manners at any speed are impeccable, the best of any bike I've ever owned or ridden. It's completely immune to the effects of high, gusting cross winds.

The bike may be heavy, but you never feel it since the CG is so low.

Tires are bias ply Pirelli Phantoms. They feel a little vague on grooved pavement, but otherwise inspire absolute confidence.

The heated grips have three positions: off, warm, and hot. They're off when the bike is started, regardless of the last setting in use. There is no indicator.

I rode most for most of the day on the T120 and was never once uncomfortable. The seating position is just about perfect for my 5'10", 175 lb frame. There's no pressure at all on my wrists at any speed.

Last, there's the bike's sound. It's one of the nicest I've ever heard from any motorcycle. It's never loud, and at highway speeds you have to listen to hear it. The T120 has a beautiful voice, and what it's saying is well worth the listen.

Of all the bikes I've owned, the T120 is likely the best because it shines in every category. Looks like I'll have to sell my trusty T100!


The turn signal and kill switches feel slightly cheap and could be more precise and positive.

There's no cruise control. My dealer's parts department tells me that this is on the way in the form of a retrofit kit which should sell for $382. He didn't know whether this would require reflashing of the ECU.

The indicator lamps are easily daylight readable, but are too bright at night; a rheostat would be nice. Instrument lighting is otherwise good, and very even.

The headlight beam hi/lo switch on US bikes should flash the high beams only, as I'll bet it does on Euro spec bikes. There should be a separate switch for hi/lo beam.

The daytime running lights (DRL) are disabled in the US and are used as a parking light.

The turn signals use standard bulbs instead of LEDs. Hopefully, there'll be an aftermarket fix for this.

Here's a photo, taken on the ride home:


161 Posts
Can't wait to get mine! Great review. Makes me wish I could go out and ride right now.

I put down a deposit on the last T120 Black in jet black at my local dealership. Waiting until my insurance claim from a recent accident goes through before I it. The wait is frickin killing me!

203 Posts
Thanks for the review and the pic. I think you've hit the good points and the (few) challenges with the bike. I agree with you, one of the most, if not the most, comfortable bikes I've ever had. But I'm keeping my 01 Bonnie, too.

429 Posts
Great review! :grin2:

As for the turn signal point you make, contact [email protected] with the part number A9838039 (short stem led indicator; genuine triumph part). Her name is Katherine; ask her to give you a quote on the led's and shipping. It should take about 10 days or so and cost $20-ish in shipping (the pound sterling equivalent).

Hope this helps.
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