Bonniville T120 V Bonniville America V Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Newbies Hangout' started by Antony Lensh, Jan 20, 2021.

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  1. Alatamoc

    Alatamoc Senior Member

    Mar 29, 2019
    493
    113
    Uk
    Oh and the T120? Borrowed several...not happy. For me I felt I was perched on a tea tray.( Sorry all you urban hipsters out there). Nice engine though.
     
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  2. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks that's the sort of info I was after
     
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  3. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Hi thanks for the info thats just the sort I was after
     
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  4. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks once again
     
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  5. David Cooper

    David Cooper Triumph Rocketeer.
    Subscriber

    Hello and welcome to the forum Antony.

    gump.gif
     
  6. triumph900

    triumph900 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2017
    117
    43
    US
    I own a T120 and an America. I also used to own a Thunderbird. I never really gelled with the TB. I liked it conceptually, but it just wasn’t for me.
    The T120 and America are about as different as two bikes can be. The T120 “does” everything better. Faster, stronger, smoother. Better brakes, cruise control that I added. Rides well, handles well, blah, blah....
    The America is what I usually use for longer trips though. It has bags and a summer screen which help. It also has floorboards. 10 years ago, I would have never thought that would be important to me, but now, they are. I wish Triumph would build a new America. I tried the new Speedmaster, but it wasn’t for me.
    Anyway, it all boils down to what fits and serves your needs. They’re all good machines.
     
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  7. BLKWND

    BLKWND Member

    Nov 17, 2020
    34
    18
    HOUSTON
    #27 BLKWND, Jan 26, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    I’ve put 115K hard miles on a 2004 Speedmaster (still riding it just as hard), and 17k on a 2009 Speedmaster (still riding it hard), and just rolled the first 1K on my new T120.

    I never had issue with stock seating. I did put the Triumph Touring Seat on both Speedmasters, but I can’t tell any difference. I’m sure the pillion can. I found riding up at the tank the better position - weight forward, tucked in behind a flyscreen. I’ve many, many 11 hour days in the saddle and never ever felt I didn’t want to get up and do it again the next day.

    Once I learned to know the motor, and to keep the revs up (they love it), they’re great hot rods. Comfortable, roomy, and plenty fast enough for anyone. Living in Houston and spending tons of time on inner loop freeways, these bikes are ideally suited to it.

    And at 500 lbs., they can be picked up whenever the need arises, and can survive it without showing much evidence of it. They’re tough old birds.

    They’re the little cruises that could. That being said, find other bikes with a 65” wheelbase. You won’t find many. The new Rocket3 is one of them.

    As already stated, the T120 is better in every way, but really hard to compare the two. I thought a Tiger was on my horizon, and I put 40 miles on a demo 1200. Not a bad horse by any means.

    I got on a T120 immediately afterwards and couldn’t get the grin off my face. It wasn’t even on my radar. Decided right then another hot rod was in order. Now, after 1K miles, I can’t really call it a hot rod. It can be made to be loud, and it can be lightened up a bit, but she’s a masterpiece as she is. Like an open air SUV on two wheels, and a luxury SUV at that.

    The cruisers lend themselves to light bars and driving lights, and when properly deployed they do a swell job of pushing traffic around, day or night. The T120 doesn’t do that. I’m adding driving lights for the visibility, and the utility. I had the FOX rear shocks installed and at 15 clicks out you wouldn’t like it until you took it down a quick gravel road. At speed she’s a true thoroughbred. I’m tempted to change the gearing, as the Bonneville is no jackrabbit, but the more I ride her the more I appreciate the bike Triumph built. Triumph Engineering. It’s a thing. She is deceptively fast.

    The T120 lacks for wind protection. I never realized how much the lower seat height and the fatter fuel tank contribute to wind protection. One my 2009, which I layer down a while back, I bobbed the rear and put a Thruxton fuel tank on her. And Norman Hyde foot controls, bringing them back 4” from stock. At 80 mph and above I can’t keep my feet on the pegs, as it literally blows me off. It’s all about the knee pads and arm strength then. The T120 isn’t like that. I have the small flyscreen. I can’t hear my music at freeway speeds on the T120, where I can barely hear it on my other two bikes. But blowing me off? No. Sitting higher and on a taller rear wheel, it is a little more sensitive to crosswinds. Just say the pendulum can swing a little further on the Bonneville. Nothing wrong with that. She’s very comfortable and the stock seat is good here, too.

    As for touring, no doubt the Tiger is the tool for that. I’ve done my share on the Speediest, with saddlebags (always go LARGE), and the large MOTOFIZ CAMPING SEAT BAG (Aerostich), and I’ve known people to tour on Bonnevilles and scooters, for that matter. If you want a big top case and huge side cases, that’s the Adventure bike category. Ingenuity and careful selection of gear and priorities. You can tour on anything.
     
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  8. triumph900

    triumph900 Active Member

    Dec 24, 2017
    117
    43
    US
    Wow. 115k miles?!? Impressive. I love hearing about high mileage twins.
     
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  9. BLKWND

    BLKWND Member

    Nov 17, 2020
    34
    18
    HOUSTON
    I took the’04 in when I picked up my T120, and asked the dealer to replace my fork seals. They’d been seeping the last 2-3 years. Asked them to go on and adjust the valves while they had it. I’m impressed they even took it in, and they acted like they’d never seen that kind of miles before either.

    Found the timing chain guides worn, broken. I believe the exhaust side is, anyway. Hoping they can get the parts. Getting anything out of the UK isn’t easy these days. That explains a “rattle “ I’d been hearing lately, and it also showed up in an oil report, so I knew something was up. (I’ve sampled every oil change and have record of it. Used the oil reports to document my miles ridden for the AMA Long Rider qualification. Made that process undeniably easy.)
     
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  10. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    6,129
    800
    Three Counties
    Hi Antony :cool:
    No words
    D466D234-CEFF-4284-BE1B-076513318FE8_1_105_c.jpeg
     
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  11. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply
     
  12. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
  13. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
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    Cowes
  14. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
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    Cowes
    Hi
     
  15. Alatamoc

    Alatamoc Senior Member

    Mar 29, 2019
    493
    113
    Uk
    Whilst I can't claim 115 k Onan America I have owned 4 of them in total. Surprisingly good and capable bikes for the capacity. You do need to rev them though. Sold my last one 4 months back and will probably buy another. The America LT is a good tourer...done some long trips two upon one.
     
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  16. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
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    8
    Cowes
    Cheers
     
  17. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
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    Cowes
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply
     
  18. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks for your reply
     
  19. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks for your reply
     
  20. Antony Lensh

    Antony Lensh Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    11
    8
    Cowes
    Thanks for your repky
     

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