Well, I finally went and done it. I bought a new 2004 Triumph Bonneville and it's everything I'd hoped it would be. It was $8000 out-the-door. My Bonny is Classic Black with polished and 'lacquered' engine covers. Not to be confused with the neato 'Bonneville Black' that was released this year (The 'Bonny B...
Well, I finally went and done it. I bought a new 2004 Triumph Bonneville and it's everything I'd hoped it would be. It was $8000 out-the-door. My Bonny is Classic Black with polished and 'lacquered' engine covers. Not to be confused with the neato 'Bonneville Black' that was released this year (The 'Bonny Black' has blacked out engine cases and covers for street fighter sort of look). As of right now, my bike is bone stock, but that's about to change.... see "Upgrades/Accessories" below. I love the overall feel of the bike. It handles well, has decent acceleration, and stops pretty much on a dime. It's not a sport bike by any means, but it's predictable on the road. For comparison, the Bonneville pulls kind of like a Harley Sportster 883, but a little smoother, and not nearly as lumpy. Praises: It's a Triumph through-and-through. When you're riding it, you know you're riding a modern interpretation of a classic. It gets looks and sometimes-even double takes! The seat feels great to me, and there's plenty of room for adjusting your seating position from time to time, or doubling up when the need arises. I prefer riding alone on this bike though. The extra passenger seems to cramp the style of the Bonny. I like the way to bike takes the curves. It seems predictable, and it's just heavy enough to stay put when you aim it. The exhaust is way too quiet. The bike seems to hum at speed, and the 'off-road' pipes are almost a necessity if you ride in traffic, or want to be heard. Besides Triumph twins have a wonderful sound that really should be heard. The Triumph 'Off-Road' mufflers are around $400, but they some with a jet kit. I understand that the kit will add approximately 10hp. One real gripe: The transmission clunks pretty loudly (although firmly) when shifted. I've been told that this will soften up a bit as the bike breaks-in. I wish the bike had a 6-speed gearbox. The 6th gear would really come in handy on the highway at 65mph. A 6 speed would also close the ratio a bit, eliminating unnecessary clicking back and forth between gears at 35 and 40mph. Even though it's an age-old characteristic, I'm not crazy about the bluing of the header pipes. I really wish that Triumph had addressed the problem in the early development stages of the new Bonneville. From what I understand, most of the bluing on the new Bonny's pipes is due to an emissions valve circuit that superheats the exhaust gases. I've only put 100 miles on the bike so far, but I'm impressed with the Bonneville. I'm glad that Triumph had the guts to buck the system, and throw us back in time a few decades. We needed a classic, and I'm sick of looking at the cookie cutter Harleys. I wanted something different, Triumph delivered. The bike is bound to be a new classic.