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What is the average age on this forum, as it seems if you carbon date a lot of members they go all the way back to when the original Bonneville was new (I don't go back that far).

I believe the average is Old Pfharts ….…I doubt you were around when Bloor bought the corpse...…..o_O


K
 

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I used to travel alongside my dads race bike in a carry cot in the back of a van back in the 60's . Born in February 9 months after the TT races you could say I've been around bikes my whole life and before .
 

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I would say 1969 Bonneville and the current Thruxton.
Those are the two which tickle my Amals.
Well, one of them but you get the idea.
 

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I think my 2015 Bonneville T100 is the best. I had a 2003 T100 and I find the 2015 more powerful and user friendly. I also rode english bikes in the early 70s. A 1966 BSA 650 Lighting, 1972 Norton 750 Commando, and a 1975 Norton 850 Commando Mark III. Trust me, anybody that thinks english motorcycles from that period were better bikes I am afraid is sadly mistaken. :) View attachment 718817
I have owned a restored 59 T100 and a new 71 Bonneville. Both were far too much trouble.
 

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So, I see a lot of people are chatting about their personal favourite Bonneville. But no-one has commented on the ones listed in the article.

Do you agree or disagree with those choices?
Well you asked....

I am not impressed by lists made by "experts"

Of the ten listed I have five (and sometimes more in certain categories)

First I discount any bike made by Bloor's Triumph. Why? When they came back into the States they made it 100% clear they wanted NOTHING to do with the old Triumph, Riders and or Dealer Network. A friend that works at Hinckley told me I should really buy a new one and he gave me various reasons. My response was you treat the old riders and dealers like dog dirt and expect us to by the new product No Way! I also had more than one interesting discussion with Mike Vaughn while and after he was CEO of the US Branch. A real piece of work.

As far as the Meriden bikes in the article.

How can one lump Pre units and Units in the same category? If I remember correctly the '59 T120 was put together with out ET's approval. I always liked the style and colour combo. As far as the 60/62 being among the best. Either the reviewer forgot (or doesn't know) the 1960 model had a frame breakage problem (that caused the demise of one rider) and 60/62 had a fuel problem. While the 1963 Unit Bonneville was good bike and should be on the list not in this area.

The Thruxton probably was one of the best. Specially picked and matched parts why wouldn't it be the best. The one in the picture has been 'massaged' note the front brake plate is a 69/70 piece. By the way the decal on the oil tank is 2009 50th Anniversary Bonneville Celebration so the picture used was taken after 2009.

The TT's were fine machines Not sure why only 66/67 are on the list.

70 was an excellent year one of the best. If you are interested the 70 shown in the article is really a T120RT owned by Graham Bowen. I believe the picture is from a shoot for the book (by Steve Wilson )Triumph T120/T140/Hinckley Bonneville. The same machine is featured in the book Triumph Bonneville Portrait of a Legend (by
Mann/Duckworth.)

Next we have T140V a whole group from 73 thru 80 to which my question is how can all seven years be the best when some are 650's some 750's. Some right hand shift some left hand shift. Some disc/drum brake some disc/disc brake.

T140J many were remanufactured unsold 77 T140V's . At the time Triumph HAD to sell about 2500 bikes to pay debt down. Pretty bike Limited Edition of 1000 and all 2400 plus sold quickly.

T140D a bike built styling wise for the time. Sharp looking machine we couldn't keep the Yamaha Specials on the floor. There were a number of T140D's recalled for a Safety Defect.

So basically this list of the best Meridian Bonneville's was almost every one except 64 thru 69 T120's 71/72 T120's(understandably) and all T140E & ES models from 1978 up.

I have no personal experience with the Harris machines so no comment on them.

K
 

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WOW talk about opening up sure fire topic for a debate. I guess I should feel good about this list since I've owned a Bonnie from #1 (1963) and #9 (2001). In my opinion they are all good. If I had to pick one it would be a 2001.
 

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Back in the late 60's I owned an early 60's Bonneville. In many respects it was legions better than my 52 Harley. It was like a BMW car compared to a 50's Cadillac, much more nimbal, lighter, more responsive. Given that, it was a demanding mistress; it leaked oil, could vibrate your teeth out, points that often needed adjustment, and it might have been a stripper in a prior lifetime the way it liked to shed parts -- safety wire was an essential accessory.

When I decided to add a new version of the Bonneville, and considering the many options available, I chose a 2006 T100 with red tank stripes. To me that was about as close to an early Bonneville as I could get from all the models available a few years ago. Given that, as much as I liked the looks of the 60's Bonnies, I think the 2006 T100 is marginally better looking -- what's more, the older I get the better it looks.

For me there's a plethora of reasons for that specific 2006 T100 machine. It has the small gas tank like the early Bonnevilles (tanks increased in size in 2008 to accommodate fuel pumps) , a 19" spoked front wheel, the 865 engine, the paint striping similar to the early Bonnevilles, has a tach like they had back then, and the gauge faces are closer to a nostalgic look. OH, and we musn't forget, yep, now we have the electric starter -- an essential item today.

When I'm riding my current Bonneville it reminds of all the good things I remember about my original Bonneville, but none of the trials and tribulations of the 60's bike. That's a win win for the 2006 T100 in my book.
 

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My first motorcycle was a 1969 Bonneville T120(R?). I really liked it, but learned a lot about adjusting points and became pretty proficient at adjusting the carbs with a vacuum gauge. I remember sooo many times outside the roadhouses watching those poor Harley riders trying so damn hard to get their scooters started. NEVER struggled starting my B'Ville. Now I ride an '05 America (carbureted 790) and It is MUCH better motorcycle. And I have only lost one part so far, a screw holding the choke lever onto the rh carb!!
 
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