Cult wheels meet Indian asphalt

Last Updated 18 March 2014, 16:33 IST

British motorcycle maker Triumph has finally entered the Indian markets after a two-year delay since its planned launch, with ten models on offer.

In its heyday, the manufacturers of Triumph were on top of their game in churning out machines that were desired by the youth in Britain and other parts of the world.

The Triumph motorcycles were patronised by legendary Hollywood film stars on silver screen as well, which made its models most desired and loved among bike enthusiasts across the world .

Iconic actor Steve McQueen was one among many stars who added flavour to the  Triumph bike range. In an unforgettable scene from the movie ‘The Great Escape’, McQueen attempts a mind-boggling jail break on a sporty Triumph motorcycle. Then Marlon Brando, made the Triumph variants the coolest in his movie ‘The Wild One’, in which Brando appears to be super cool cruising the streets with a pack of untamed riders.

These iconic actors made statements with their bike stunts in movies created an undying craze for the company’s motorcycles among the growing school of urban bikers.

Cult makers

Triumph came into being in1983. It first manufactured cycles, then stared bolting motors with cycles and continued to experiment with designs till it rolled out its first ever motorbike in 1902.

Bonneville is an iconic motorcycle that captivated the minds of bikers and notorious street racers throughout the 50s and 60s. This model would also become one of the biggest money-spinners for the company in the decades to come.

The motorcycle derives its name from Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, where the Triumph motorbikes created and broke records for land speeds. Back then, the land speed events held in Bonneville Salt Flats provided motorcycle companies with an ample platform to exhibit their machines and boost their sales. The motorbikes which set records would become the immediate bikes of choice for speed fanatics.

With the bike maker opening its first ever store in Bangalore this year, the long wait has ended for biking enthusiasts. Sauntering into Keerthi showroom, the official Triumph dealer in Bangalore, the range of Triumphy models on display is pure brawn and class rolled into one package. Viewing the bikes on their stands is nothing short of fascinating, though it is the Bonnie which instantly cruises into and dominates the visitor’s neuron network.

This reviewer had read and heard a lot about the Bonnie before he ever got a chance to ride one. Though a unabashed fan of the cult machine, he chose to suppress all preconceived notions to enjoy his virgin Bonnie ride and under the experience indepth.
The Bonneville from Triumph Engineering is a distilled blend of old world charm and modern sophistication. Its makers have been more cautious in recreating an iconic motorcycle amalgamating modern-day biking technology to provide an unmatched riding experience.

A lot of engineering has indeed gone into retaining the C Factor, so much that the bike boasts twin fake crabs which house fuel injection hardware, provided that latest fuel supply system would have altered the vintage look significantly besides just being eye candy, the Bonnie has other things to offer in the store for an enriched and fun biking experience.

A real looker

In the looks department among the classic-looking motorcycles, this street bike wins the game hands down. The moment you hit the street, the Bonnie does wonders for your ego as heads turn to get a dekko of the bike, not to mention surge of pride and power coursing through the rider’s veins. This then, is the experience, when ego and aggro are in equal measure appeased.

While, the bike’s chromed round headlight, twin rear shocks and long cone silencers retain the vintage look, the alloy wheels and dual-tone color add richness and layering to its design.

On the comfort front, there is enough space for rider and passenger to just sit back and enjoy the ride, courtesy the long flat seat. The seat height and handle bar are engineered for optimum comfort for anybody, regardless of individual height.

Bonneville is powered by a four-stroke, air-cooled and 865-cc twin parallel; all its versions underwent engine enlargement from 790 cc in 2007, coupled with fuel injection. It pours out 6.93 kg of torque at 5800 rpm. Indeed, the performance does not provide an edge over its rivals in this segment, but then, you would not be buying a Bonnie to win drag races, do you? It’s all about the legacy and the incomparable feel of everyday motorcycling that makes Bonnie a tempting, if not classically correct, choice.

The Bonnie makes sure that you don’t feel let down as far as torque goes. The machine is velvety smooth and taming it, be it on busy streets or the highway, would not be a difficult task. The motorcycle becomes an ally the moment you mount it and readily follows the rider’s commands without qualms at both the lowest and highest ends of the speedo.

While on the expressway the motorbike feels at home, riding on the city roads is equally fun. This writer effortlessly wove his way through the complex traffic jams with the bike’s intimidating 225 kg wet weight not really being something to worry about. The Bonnie does not create a fuss while negotiating the slow moving traffic either. That’s truly rugged and classy stuff to absorb in one unique biking experience. The stuff that legends are made of.

(Published 18 March 2014, 16:19 IST)

Follow us on