Triumph T120 and Thruxton Pre Ride

We’ve just arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, where tomorrow we’re going to ride the new Bonneville Thruxtons as well as the T120. These bikes are entirely redesigned and unlike previous Bonneville models, which were basically the same bikes with different suspension and trim pieces, the new Bonnies are distinctively different machines.

I’ve already ridden the Street Twin, which has a smaller 900 cc, five-speed version of the new liquid-cooled parallel twin, and I liked it. But that’s Triumph’s entry-level modern classic. These two bikes are scaled up, using a different 1,200 cc liquid-cooled twin with six speeds.

All new Triumph liquid-cooled twins now utilise a 270-degree crankshaft, so the flat-sounding 360-degree design is gone. Despite the larger displacement and increased performance, Triumph claims the T120’s new engine is 13 percent more fuel-efficient than before, initial specs showing fuel consumption at 4.5L/100 km. It also lasts longer between servicings, now every 16,000 km (up from 10,000 km).

Electronics wise, they both come with switchable traction control and ABS, though on the Thruxton the ABS can be switched off. The T120 gets two ride modes; the Thruxtons get three.


ThruxtonROf course, the Bonneville getting all the attention is the new Thruxton. There are two versions, the standard Thruxton and the higher-spec Thruxton R. Both of these modern café racers use a breathed-on version of the 1,200 cc twin, with a higher 11.0:1 compression ratio (due to a different head) compared to 10.0:1 for the T120. It also has a lighter crankshaft, larger airbox, different exhaust and engine mapping. As a result, the engine produces 96 hp and 82 lb-ft of torque. Triumph calls the twin the ‘Thruxton spec’ engine.

Like the T120, the Thruxton-spec engine is more fuel-efficient, by 11 percent according to Triumph. Published numbers initially place it at 4.6L/100 km.

Both Thruxtons roll on 17-inch wheels and have aluminum swingarms (the T120’s is steel), but that’s about where the chassis components overlap. The basic Thruxton uses Kayaba suspension, with a 41-mm non-adjustable conventional fork, and shocks adjustable only for preload. Brakes are the same as the T120, and tires are Pirelli Angel GTs.

The Thruxton R has a fully adjustable 43 mm USD big-piston fork, and Ohlins fully adjustable piggyback shocks. Brembo provides the front master cylinder, 310-mm floating discs and radial, four-piston monobloc calipers; the rear brake is unchanged from the standard Thruxton. It rolls on Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa rubber.

Both machines include standard traction control, Rain, Road and Sport ride modes, a lighter-effort clutch, and a USB charging port. Dry weight is 206 kg (454 lb) for the Thruxton and 203 kg (447 lb) for the R.

The Thruxtons come with three ‘Inspirational Kits’, the Track Racer, Café Racer and Performance Race Kit to transform your Thruxton with a few bolt on bits. Pricing is $13,200 for the standard version and $15,500 for the R. We’ll have a riding impression for you tomorrow.


Bike  2016 Triumph Thruxton (R differences in brackets)
MSRP  $13,200 ($15,500)
Displacement  1200 cc
Engine type  Liquid-cooled eight-valve SOHC 270° parallel twin
Power (crank)*  96 hp @ 6750 rpm
Torque*  82.6 ft-lb @ 4950 rpm
Tank Capacity  14.4 litres
Carburetion  EFI
Final drive  Chain
Tires, front  120/70 ZR17
Tires, rear  160/60 ZR17
Brakes, front  Dual 310 mm discs, Nissin 2-piston axial floating calipers, ABS
(Brembo dual 310 mm floating discs, Brembo 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS)
Brakes, rear  Single 220 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston axial floating caliper, ABS
Seat height  805 mm
Wheelbase  1415 mm
Dry weight*  224 Kg
Colours  N/A
Warranty  N/A
* claimed


The T120 is the classically styled Bonneville, and its engine produces a not-too-shabby 79 horsepower at 6,550 rpm, up considerably from the previous 865 cc twin’s 67 hp. Torque is also up, now peaking at 80 lb-ft, a 30 ft-lb increase on the former bike. Also, torque peaks at just 3,100 rpm, which is why Triumph is calling its new twins ‘high torque’ engines.

The shinier T120 is adorned in chrome trim pieces, while the more sinister-looking T120 Black is blacked out pretty much everywhere and has a tan coloured seat (it’s my preferred T120 model). Both T120s come standard with traction control, ABS, Rain and Road ride modes, a lighter-effort mechanically assisted clutch, heated grips, a USB charging port and a centre stand. Suspension components are basic, with only preload adjustability available in the rear, and it rolls on an 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel.

There is an ‘Inspiration kit’ available for the T120 which includes a four-bar tank badge, compact indicators, chrome Vance & Hines peashooter slip-ons, black ‘barrel style’ grips, chrome clutch cover, alternator cover badge and inspection plate and a throttle body embellisher, whatever that is. Pricing for the T120 starts at $12,900, up from the T100’s $10,400.


Bike  2016 Triumph T120
MSRP  $12,900
Displacement  1200 cc (same price for standard and black)
Engine type  Liquid-cooled eight-valve SOHC 270° parallel twin
Power (crank)*  79 hp @ 6550 rpm
Torque*  80 ft-lb @ 3150 rpm
Tank Capacity  14.4 litres
Carburetion  EFI
Final drive  Chain
Tires, front  100/90-18
Tires, rear  150/70-17
Brakes, front  Dual 310 mm discs, Nissin 2-piston axial floating calipers, ABS
Brakes, rear  Single 220 mm disc, Nissin 2-piston axial floating caliper, ABS
Seat height  805 mm
Wheelbase  1445 mm
Wet weight*  N/A
Colours Black, Red, Black/White, Red/Silver (T120 Black – Black, Matte Graphite)
Warranty  N/A
* claimed

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