Britain takes on America in the budget cruiser battle
Triumph's Bonneville America is a bike I admit I didn't understand until I rode it. I couldn't work out why it existed. Bonnevilles are all about the retro scene - you know, rekindling the flames of youth and all that, but doing it with a machine that starts everyday on the button (no kickstarters here to catapult you over the shed roof when it backfires).
So where does a cruiser fit into this scene? Simple, it doesn't.
Because the Bonneville America is Triumph's answer to Harley-Davidson's 883 range. A cheap, light, good-looking cruiser with a famous name on the tank aimed at riders who want to kick back and enjoy the experience without busting the bank.
Which is where, for me, the 883 range is a let down. I find nothing pleasant about riding an 883 and would only recommend one to a dedicated Harley dreamer. The America, however, is different.
For a start the Triumph feels substantial, not spindly like the Harley, and sitting on the sculpted rider's seat you feel like you're on a 'proper' cruiser, not a small capacity wannabe. Well, until you start the engine, that is.
For 2007 Triumph has given the America the bigger 865cc motor while keeping the 270-degree firing order of the old motor. Apparently this configuration gives a more 'cruisery' twin sound. Not that you would know this, like most of the modern Bonneville range the America sounds pretty flaccid with stock cans on. I'm told a set of Triumph aftermarket ones sort this out, but as standard it really is a wet drip of an exhaust note.
Continue the Triumph Bonneville America Review
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