New base-model Triumph Bonneville caught

Entry-level 2017 machine spotted

WE’VE already seen several versions of Triumph’s next-generation Bonneville and now we can add another to the list in the form of this entry-level offering.

Previous pictures have revealed an array of the 2017 machines, starting with a brace of café-racer models spotted as long ago as December 2014 and including the bobber spotted earlier this month, but until now we hadn’t had a look at the bike that will form the basis for all these other versions.

Caught on test in the UK, the entry-level bike appears to have a smaller radiator than the higher-spec café racer models and the expected T100, suggesting it’s got a less-powerful engine, perhaps with a smaller capacity than the 1100cc that’s widely expected to be used on the faster versions. It also has just one front disc, where others have had two.

The only other version to share this bike's smaller radiator and single disc is the bobber, which is expected to follow the current Speedmaster and America models by having a less powerful twin with a 270-degree crankshaft instead of the 180-degree crank in the normal Bonneville.

While smaller, the fact that the radiator is still there leaves no doubt that this, like the rest of the 2017 Bonneville range, is at least partially water-cooled. That’s likely to be due in part to the pursuit of more performance but also thanks to the need to meet Euro4 emissions rules without losing power. We’ve already seen BMW and Harley-Davidson introducing water-cooled cylinder heads on their traditionally air-cooled engines for the same reasons.

Compared to other versions of the Bonneville, this prototype makes less effort to be a replica of older bikes. The alloy wheels are a modern design and the exhaust is less self-consciously retro than those seen on other versions. In terms of bodywork, the mudguards and side panels are unique to this version and also have less overt retro cues.

A quick look on Triumph’s website reveals that all the existing, air-cooled Bonnevilles are now listed as 2016 models, so this bike must be a 2017 machine. By the start of 2017, the need for Euro4 compliance and mandatory ABS means the whole Bonnie range will be replaced by the new models.

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