MARLBOROUGH MUSCLE CARS & BIKES MUSEUM
2001 Triumph Bonneville 790
From the outset, Triumph's intention with the design of the new generation Bonneville was to produce a machine that combined the old model's timeless appeal with modern technology. Triumph wanted authentic styling that had to include a parallel twin engine, and to replicate as much as practically possible, the feel and sound that forged the original Bonne legend. This required using a 360-degree crankshaft (pistons rising and falling together).
The design team's first task was deciding which Bonneville from the past should be the inspiration for the new bike. This wasn't easy, given the model spanned almost three decades and incorporated countless styling and technical changes. The team chose to model the new bike on the 1969 Bonneville T120, a model with the combination of performance, styling and market position that once made the marquee famous.
Many agree Triumph nailed the look of the bike as much as modern legal red tape and manufacturing processes allowed, but others don't agree. Some complain that the top end isn't right, or the angle of the peashooter exhausts is wrong that led to one Triumph executive was heard to say "If you need it to be 100% like a 1969 model, then go buy a 1969 T120R"
The 2001 Triumph Bonneville 790 is powered by a 790cc air cooled eight-valve vertical-twin engine that produces 62bhp. Double overhead camshafts driven by a chain between the cylinders replace the old model's pushrod valve operation but to preserve authenticity the old model pushrod tube is retained and functions as a cylinder head oil breather. A small A-frame mounted oil cooler helped maintain an even oil temperature.
Engineers opted to go with a 5-speed transmission and took a Daytona 955i six-speed unit, removed a cog and flipped it to place the cable-operated multi-plate wet clutch on the left, and final-drive chain on the right.
A 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel, relatively long wheelbase (59 inches) and low seat height (30 inches) gave the new Bonneville the lean look of its predecessor.
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