Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Not so Bonnie

When the new Hinckley Triumph Bonneville first became available , I felt the same way about it as I do about all these Retro re~makes of classic vehicles (Leyland Mini, VW Beetle, Fiat 500 etc. ) , that is , I hated it . When you try to do an updated version of a design people really love , it`s always going to disappoint, because you can`t better the original .
Over time , however , I found myself coming around , the bike is aimed squarely at competing with Harley`s Sportster and from a design point of view it does that very well . It seems to occupy that space in the market for people who want an old bike but don`t want maintenance hassles or to have any more input than bolting on a flyscreen and adding a few stickers . But isn`t this kind of missing the point ? Some old bikes are cool because they`re beautiful , but they`re also cool because it takes dedication to ride one , you have to understand its little flaws , you have to connect with it.
I think the new Triumphs annoy me also , because so many people don`t seem to realise they aren`t connected to Meridan Triumph in any way . I blame the Classic bike mags for this , they all seem to love running features on the new ones , because it attracts the kind of advertisers who will pay top money . This reinforces the idea of a connection between the new company and the old that simply isn`t there.
What I`d really like them to build is a skinny lightweight 500 Twin , the kind of bikethat the old Triumph company built it`s name on , not those overweight bulky Tourer/Commuters they`re building now , they seem to me to be the antithesis of what a Triumph should be.
Anyway , the reason for this rant is , I got overtaken by one of them today , I wound down my van window `cos I could see he had aftermarket pipes on , the exhaust note was somewhere between a diesel truck and a damp fart , now that just ain`t Triumph.


  1. I have to admit, I often fantasize about selling everything in favor of a new Thruxton.

    I don't imagine you guys have the "Bonneville American" over there.

  2. They are just lame cartoon renditions. Nothing about them is Triumph except the f-ing tank badges. The Sportster is at least a more developed and refined version of what it originally was. These things are nothing man. I think they kinda sound like vacuum cleaners myself.

  3. I`m afraid we do have the `America ` version Richie .
    I could have gone on and on about this , the factory endorsed R.A.T club and the pipes on that horrible Scrambler version are particular low points for me.

  4. Its not a Triumph, if they want to make a triumph... make a triumph..... it's not that hard, if they can make bullits in India... enough said..... nice site mate,- Rowan

  5. Cheers Rowan , I think that`s the point isn`t it , the Indian Enfields and Sportsters have a direct link to the original version . Just buying the name and sticking it on a tank badge doesn`t buy you the hard won kudos.

  6. spot on... if you are using the original tools and dies it is what it say on the ingredients......