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Well, once again Triumph has put ironic quote marks on their own name. I would describe the company as a triumph of illogic over reason.



First it's a 600 that can't compete with bikes five years older than it, and now a Bonneville copy that's not as good as the japanese one. What's with these guys?



I mean, it's a terrific effort, and I can see the quality of the thing, but why is it so freakin' heavy? Isn't this being marketed as a beginners bike? And why do the mufflers angle down like that? Universally, people think they look like ship.



I haven't ridden one yet, but my friend the Triumph salesman says that Triumph has an inexhaustible talent for making any bike dull. This overweight, underpowered slug seems to fit that bill.



Why anybody would buy this thing and not an SV650 is beyond me. But hell, Harley sells a zillion of their "motorcycles" each year.



Maybe the Japanese need to stop making their bikes so darn functional? Or maybe we all need to be heavily medicated?



 

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You are certifiable.



The new "Triumph" has ugly seams on the tank. The tank angles downward at a funny angle instead of being parallel to the ground. The pipes are ugly. No fork gaitors. No knee pads. Apparently it was not running when you saw it, as the new bike sounds like an EX500.



The whole bike looks like a T120 that ate its rider. Old Bonnies were svelte; this thing is not.



Go immediately to your opthamologist.
 

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oh so close!!!

I have a 1957 Royal Enfield single back home. Although I don't have much fascination with the Triumph name, I love old british bikes (BSA, Matchless, Vincent) and welcome the Bonneville. But they made two unacceptable goofs.

I MUST have a kick starter. It is deeply satisfying to bring an engine to life by actively doing something to it. I love kick starting old bikes, starting old cars with crank handles. Its a ceremony and brings me closer to the machine. So I'd take the W650 on this count alone.

I am not saying that the Kawasaki is better or that anybody else should like kick starters. Only that I like them and Bonnie doesn't have one. I didn't expect a kick starter on my ZX-12R, but I do on retrobikes.

and that bent exhaust is awful. MO staff can criticize this complaint all they want, but to my eyes, the sweeping exhaust of old was a powerful character element denoting streaking speed. If Ducati did a 916 replica in the year 2035 and used square mufflers instead of oval, everybody would scream foul. I scream foul at the bent exhaust.
 

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The tank seams, the pipe bends, no gaiters, no tank pads..... somebody should market a kit to fix it all... but then why not just buy the Kawi and be done with it. Authenticity you say. The Triumph "name" you say.... Puleaseeee... It isn't even the same company. The Logo is even different from the original due to copywright restricitions. For some reason triumph is trying to be more like Harley with this particular bike than like a Japanese manufacturer. Lets build a lump that we can sell aftermarket chrome for.
 

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I think, as the article states, that many riders tend to look back on the past through rose tinted goggles.

I clearly remember reading a copy of the letter that a friend wrote to Triumph shortly after he bought a Bonneville in the late 60s. In it, he told them:

I love my new Triumph Bonneville. It is the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever owned. I push it everywhere I go.
 

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Re: oh so close!!!

Yesterday I was reading MCN (the English magazine/newspapaer--not the website) and they dinged the Kawi because it HAS a kickstarter. Their reason for dinging it--If it should be able to start everytime with the electric start, why would you need a kickstarter?

I know all of you "more expierenced" riders get all emotional about old technology, so maybe next year Triumph will throw one on.

CAUTION the following is my comment on new old bikes. Please move along if you don't care.

It is kinda funny how many people will not let the kickstarter go. Nobody complains about bikes not having front drum brakes anymore. Real Bonnies didn't have disc brakes either (yeah they threw them on towards the end when they realized how far behind in technology they were and it is more of a safety issue -- but that would be more authenic fi they had drums). Will people complain if it doesn't drip oil or leave you without a headlight at night?

Which brings up a good point, if I brought back a company that went down because they did not stay up with the times, I would have a real hard time making a bike that had its heyday in the '60s. It could be said that the Bonneville brought Triumph to fame and fortune and the their inablitity to improve it drove the company down. (I know Triumph had other bikes that helped make them the power house that they were in the '50s/60s, but the Bonneville was their flagship model and stayed pretty much the same throughout the model years, they went to 3 cylinders, why not 4? Honda/Kawasaki did. They enjoyed the '70s/80s, Triumph/BSA/Matchless/Vincent did not)

I also understand why they had to wait for quite awhile to make this bike, they wanted to be known for making new bikes -- not recycling old designs (like many American companies that have fallen on hard times recently).

I think this is probably one of the hardest things Triumph has done lately. Kawasaki had nothing to loose, they are copying someone elses design, if it failed people would say it was because they are a Japanese company copying a British bike -- and would still sell a bunch of Ninjas and Vulcans. Whereas Triumph knew that their bike would be put under a big microscope by all of the Triumph fans and it looks like they did a pretty good job of capturing the look and feel of the old Bonnies. And they would have to go back into time, which is not a good place for a "new" motorcycle company. (ask Henderson/Victory etc).

But, people want to glamourize the past, so they made it. Hopefully they will know spend more R&D on their sport bikes (600!), so they don't become a dinosaur again.

btw: I took my first ride on a Triumph in 1967, I was in my moms womb. The vibration was with me until my mom was 7 months pregnant and the doc told her she couldn't go for anymore rides with my dad.
 

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Whether or not it's the same company is a matter of semantics. H-D changed hands at least twice (remember the AMF years and the subsequent management buyout?). When John Bloor bought what was left of Triumph, he bought the rights to the old logo, too. There were no copyright restrictions, he owned it. He did not, however, want to use the old logo - he wanted to distance the new version of the company just slightly from the old - hence the subtle difference in the logos.

Nobody said the new Bonnie has to look exactly like the old, or act like it. The new Bonnie, an unfaired traditionally suspended vertical twin, is not going to be a modern sportbike, the way the original was in the '60s. The bar has been raised too high by the Japanese. So, it's going to be a somewhat relaxed retro-standard that a whole lot of aging 40-somethings and 50-somethings are going to love. It's an honest-to-God British vertical twin that doesn't leak oil, has reliable electrics, and won't shake your fillings loose. So the pipes bend up a bit; so there's no gaiters; so there's no kickstart; so flamin' what? Move on.....
 

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Re: oh so close!!!

I've owned a couple of big inch Harley Shovelheads. The first had a kick starter. After learning a few hard earned life lessons (Never, and I mean never, fail to follow all the way through on the down stroke.); the second had a hi torque starter and a gel battery. Kawasaki put a kickstarter on their bike because they were making a carbon copy. They're good at that. (Look at the Drifter & the Vulcan.) I have no real use for a kickstarter on a bike.

Although the Bonneville isn't my cup of tea, it's nice to see Triumph spread it's wings some more. Triumph has gotten a lot of garbage from some people because their first attempt at a 600 wasn't as good as the Japanese 600s. Well those 600s weren't as good as they are now in their first year either. Now if Triumph does nothing to improve their bikes in the next couple of years, then there will be room to gripe.
 

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Re: oh so close!!!

Neoyetif,

I didn't have an electric start bike till my '98 Ducati. And most of the time, my bikes would be difficult to start with if the engine was cold. The Enfield was particularly aweful. The lever had terrible kick back, and if your foot slipped off the lever at the end of the stroke, the thing wouls snap back and wallop you on the shin.

In those days, I longed for electric start. Now that I have lived with it for so long, I realize that as much as I hated kick start then, I miss it. The rich warm feeling as that big single came to life, thundering and shaking after my efforts to wake it, is something I really miss.

But I accept that its a thing of the past. I don't want one on my ZX and I didn't want one on my Duc. But these are modern sportbikes. The triumph bonneville is not. It is a deliberate attempt to recreate the nostalgia of the past. But nostalgia is not just the look. It is sound, the feel, the expereince. And kick starting is an integral part of that.

If its not going to recreate the whole expereince, why bother? why does it even need to look like a Bonneville? Why does it even need the Bonneville name?

anyway, who said that people are rational creatures? I want a kick starter on my retro bike like a kid wants candy. There you have it. criticize me all day, but it does not change the fact that if I spend $6000 that I earned, I can demand and expect what I want.
 

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Re: Um, because

Drum brakes are inferior; that's why they are not on the front of most modern motorcycles. Heck, even Harley puts them on their bikes. :O

A kickstarter, however, can be a practical device. Has your battery ever gone dead? Problem with the electrics? Kick 'er over. Ride home.

Most of the vintage Triumph owners I know like the Kawi better than the new Bonnie. I guess that refutes your notion that they did a pretty good job.
 

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I've ridden it.

It is not heavy, and it goes pretty good. A lot better than a real bonneville. I'm not talking about trying to go fast on this type of bike, I'm just talking about really using it and being able to pass a truck. The Kaw may be a better retro bike, but is it really a better bike with 24 less hp? I don't like the seamed tank, and yes it should have a kickstarter (retro or not), but it is a great just-plain-motorcycle, and simply far more capable than the Kaw. I have to confess that although I like old bonnevilles, they don't fit me that well. I like the fact that this is a bit bigger with more power. It still feels small, just not as small. All I want from it is a kickstarter, I don't care about cosmetic details--especially when the frame and motor look good.

Now where did you get the idea that the TT600 can't compete with bikes 5 years old?? That's a big leap. It's not THAT far behind. It can't QUITE compete with the current 600s, it would smoke a 600 from five years ago. 5 years ago everyone liked the F3. How do you think an F3 would be honestly reviewed today against current 600s? Get real.
 

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It doesn't sound like an ex500 unless it has stock exhaust (which just sounds like cams). It doesn't sound like an old bonnie either. And of course it can't be mistaken for an old bonnie, I'm sure this person just doesn't happen to know a lot about triumphs. By the way, knee pads are ugly. Gaitors, fine. Course that's like about the color of the grips or something, it's not like they're hard to add/change. But knee pads--giant rubber things stuck to the side of the tank is almost as ugly as a seam. If they're going to add something goofy to the tank, it should've been a parcel rack!
 

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Re: oh so close!!!

I want a ZX12 with a kickstart. In fact, sportbikes should be kick only. Think of the weight savings. If sport riders can't handle kicking a modern short stroke machine like most sportbikes, they aren't ready for a hard focused machine and should get a honda pacific coast.
 

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I own one.

Fun to ride all day, mechanicly sound ,a seating position that didn't come out of proctoligist exam room, decent range (140 to reserve) , fast enough to kill ya, easy enough to ride that you can see the sights without it demanding too much input from you and killer reto look with a standard's flexibility.

Whats not to love?

I've got nits to pick too. But I expect the aftermarket folks to fill my christmas list for the next few years.

The W650 looks like a good runner and if that stirs your passion go get it . A better more faithful copy?

I don't buy it , The whining sounds like 'english envy' to me.

If it's set up to compete with anyone market wise it's aiming at the sportster and why not? HD has been selling alot of them for a long time without hustleing to make design changes. This debate will get even sweeter when the cruiser version hits the showrooms. Cheers to all Ed
 

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how ironic

You are exactly the person you mention glorifying the past, except instead of glorifying old things just for being old, you glorify new things just for being new. How can you possibly equate a kickstarter with drum brakes and oil leaks? That is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. A kickstarter is an extremely practical device. Are we all cripples or what? Have you ever heard of motocross?
 
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