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Bonneville T100

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Bought the Bonnie from new in November 2004 after a long break from biking. The 54 plate T100 is the last of the 790cc engines before they swapped to the 865cc and I paid just over £5K, adding a centre stand because it only came with a side stand as standard. They hold their value very well but the good side is that most second hand Bonnies have been well looked after and have pretty low mileage. Insurance is fairly reasonable too (mind you, I am a bit old)

Extras are a chrome rentec rack (looks good/v. useful), leather panniers (look good/totally useless - you have to put your luggage in a sock at a time!) and I have a colour matched fly screen which I haven't fitted yet. Oh, and I fitted a scottoiler.

I suspect the retro Bonnies are subject to personal taste but I think that they look fantastic. Mine's green and gold which is one of the best colour schemes IMO. It isn't just down to the retro-look and chrome, the bike is extremely well balanced looking. It certainly gathers admirers when parked up and it seriously isn't that difficult to keep clean.

Engine - frankly isn't going to set the world alight, the 790cc engine develops just 61bhp. The later engine has a few more and after market exhausts and retuning can up it slightly but I think the difference would be hard to spot. The engine has plenty of torque and will pull well in higher gears from 2000rpm although it will behave better if you keep the revs higher, between 3-5000 rpm. Redlines at 6000rpm!! so not too hard on your ears. Once going will accelerate nicely but not one for the speed junkies. Power is smooth and easily controllable with no real problem spots.To be honest, i've only taken the Bonnie up to just over 90mph and it wasn't particularly comfortable at that speed, the upright seating position means a lot of wind blast.

Comfort - this is an generally an extremely comfortable bike to ride (except when pushing it - see above) although I think a bit low if you are 6ft+. The seat height is about 790mm, I think. I'm 5'5'' and I can almost plant both feet flat. The position of the pegs is fairly central and the bars a comfortable height so very little strain on back, knees or wrists. Suspension is pretty good too. We mostly do short runs but we've done a few longer ones and I can honestly say that it's pretty good all day. You have to stop fairly often though because the beautiful tear-drop tank isn't that big and goes onto reserve after about 120 miles or so. Its a naked bike so cold weather does get to you - pretty much no protection from the elements.

Build quality - excellent. I don't only do dry summer miles and there's only minimal corrosion. No problems with the bike at all reliability wise.

Handling - The Bonnie is a heavy bike (over 200kg) but it has a low centre of gravity so handling isn't bad at all- no problems with city riding either. Think you would grind the pegs to nothing though before you got close to getting your knee down so forget it!! I have to be careful manouvering in car parks etc.. because I can't plant my feet that firmly and a bit of gravel could be fatal!! I've seen a few comments that the Bridgestone tyres have a habit of road groove following and producing a 85mph wobble which I had noticed but assumed it was me - going to fit some Michelins which are supposed to be better.

In summary the Bonnie is a great bike if you like the retro looks and riding around country lanes for fun but aren't hung up on performance. If I'm honest I'd like a bit more oomph but I'm too smitten to think about swapping her and I haven't the time or money for a 2nd bike.


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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful bike, sigh. :love: Would love to have one & ride it myself .... 8-) OH & me both love the old British bikes, he's had a few Triumphs (still has his 1975 triumph Tiger) & Bonnevilles a BIG fav.

Excellent review, really comprehensive. If I do ever bite the bullet & sit & pass the test then I'll be straight back to here...

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  • 1 month later...

Ah my Bonneville also bought in 2004, from Webbs of lincoln, was ex Demo model (286 miles on clock) got it for 4K its the all black version. I like your review and picture. My bike alas is not so pretty, afraid its just a clean with an oily rag (same also with bike), bike was off road for 1 year due to not being able to afford to keep it on road (self employed), but now finances back I have been using it for the last 3 weeks. Over 46,500 on clock n still going. Like you I love the Bonneville, I got an 18 tooth cog fitted (replacing the 17 tooth) spaces gearing out better and gets me high 50's to gallon. Also got the louder pipes sounds laaavly when you open it up. My Triumph screen is rubbish chucks the wind right in your face so I extended it with perspex, I will buy a Givi screen soon.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi. I agree these are great bikes. I bought my 02 T100 2 years ago and love riding it. It's not all about speed. I fitted a Triumph screen and it does make it more comfortable over 70 mph. Also fitted a backrest as my wife feels safer (thinks I may drop her off the back :-) ).



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  • 1 year later...

My T100 was bought on 1st March 2007. Took no time running it in and pleased to say it didnt have to go back to the dealers once everything spot on. Mine had twin carbs and one of the first things I did was to remove the air injection and fit larger main jets plus a renewable foam air filter. This helped stop the blueing of the exhaust pipes and gave me a bit more acelleration, although it was no sports bike it did help on the overtake.20071007_0003.thumb.JPG.a7dac68f73af657af732cf93c6be3273.JPG20070205_0002.thumb.JPG.c305c91cffd17109db342830bd17e973.JPG

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