Monday’s Motorcycle: Triumph Bonneville

The Saturday evening friends gathered to watch some awesome Motorcycle Racing.  Before the races, we sat around a table and talked bikes and riding and all of us have some different points of view… but we all agreed on one thing.  Triumph.  No matter what kind of Biker you are… you have to nod that Triumph owns Cool.  So in honor of The Triumph Accord, Monday’s Motorcycle will be the coolest of all Triumph Motorcycles.  The Steve McQueen Edition Bonneville.

I love sport bikes, and Cafe Racers… but there is something about the Retro bikes that are just epic cool without even trying.  Now, The Bonneville isn’t really Retro… because it’s never really changed it’s what it is.  Coolness, now Personified by the Crowned King of Cool, Steve McQueen.

Steve McQueen was no spoiled Hollywood Brat Pack wuss.  He was the real deal and he didn’t play any characters that did things he didn’t do every day in real life.  He insisted on doing that epic motorcycle jump in The Great Escape, one of the best movies of all time.  That’s right, watch that film and know Steve wanted to do that jump himself.  He rode Motorcycles like a complete Nutter, then when he was done with that, he raced cars, satisfied women with a glance and a grin, and just wrote the book on Coolness.  I have a signed copy… if your not cool enough, you can’t be given a copy of your own.  You don’t ask for it. It just shows up one day… the day you are deemed worthy.  The book only has one page inside the thick leather and oil stained cover.  It’s a picture of Steve, sitting on that Triumph.

The Bonneville is no hotrod.  It’s stats are rather moderate by modern standards.  But that’s no bother.

Type Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 360º firing interval
Capacity 865cc
Bore/Stroke 90 x 68mm
Fuel System Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI
Exhaust Stainless steel headers, twin chromed silencers.
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5-speed
Oil Capacity 4.5 litres (1.2 US gals)
Chassis, Running Gear and Displays
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, tubular steel
Wheel Front 36-spoke 19 x 2.5in
Rear 40-spoke 17 x 3.5in
Tire Front 100/90 R19
Rear 130/80 R17
Suspension Front Kayaba 41mm forks, 120mm travel
Rear Kayaba chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload, 106mm rear wheel travel
Brakes Front Single 310mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
Rear Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
Instrument Display/Functions Analogue speedometer and tachometer with odometer, trip information and clock
Dimensions and Capacities
Length 2230mm (87.7in)
Width (handlebars) 740mm (29.1in)
Height without mirrors 1100mm (43.3in)
Seat Height 775mm (30.5in)
Wheelbase 1500mm (59.0in)
Rake/Trail 28º/110mm
Fuel Tank Capacity / Efficiency 16 litres (4.2 US gals)
Wet Weight (ready to ride) 230 kg (506 lbs)
Performance (measured at crankshaft to 95/1/EC)
Maximum Power 68PS / 67bhp / 50kW @ 7500rpm
Maximum Torque 68Nm / 50 ft.lbs @ 5800rpm

Okay, now if you want to submit your own point of view in the comments… Please do so.  And while I respect your opinion, even though it could very well be wrong… I appreciate the discussion.  Since Steve McQueen was the Coolest Human to ever walk the Planet, and Triumph being the coolest Motorcycles… The Steve McQueen Bonneville is then by default The Coolest Motorcycle to ever Ride on the Planet.
However also by Default, the bike you are currently riding is also the Coolest Motorcycle.  So enjoy your Ride…

If you disagree about the Steve McQueen Bonneville – here’s a list of all the reasons your argument is invalid:

The Hunter
Papa Thorson

1976Dixie Dynamite
Dirt-bike Rider (uncredited)

1965Baby the Rain Must Fall
Henry Thomas

1963Love with the Proper Stranger
Rocky Papasano

1963Soldier in the Rain
Sgt. Eustis Clay

1962The War Lover
Capt. Buzz Rickson

1961The Honeymoon Machine
Lt. Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Howard

1958-1961Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV series)
Josh Randall

– Dead Reckoning (1961) … Josh Randall
– The Long Search (1961) … Josh Randall
– Monday Morning (1961) … Josh Randall
– Detour (1961) … Josh Randall
1959-1960Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series)
Bill Everett / Gambler

– Man from the South (1960) … Gambler
– Human Interest Story (1959) … Bill Everett
1959Never So Few
Bill Ringa

1958The Blob
Steve Andrews (as Steven McQueen)

1958Never Love a Stranger
Martin Cabell

1958Trackdown (TV series)
Josh Randall – Bounty Hunter / Mal Cody / Wes Cody

– The Brothers (1958) … Mal Cody/Wes Cody
1958Tales of Wells Fargo (TV series)
Bill Longley

– Bill Longley (1958) … Bill Longley
1958Climax! (TV series)
Anthony Reeves / Henry Reeves

– Four Hours in White (1958) … Henry Reeves/Anthony Reeves
1957The Big Story (TV series)
Chuck Milton

– Malcolm Glover of the San Francisco Examiner (1957) … Chuck Milton
1957The 20th Century-Fox Hour (TV series)

– Deep Water (1957) … Kinsella
1957West Point (TV series)

– Ambush (1957)
1957Studio One in Hollywood (TV series)
Joseph Gordon

– The Defender: Part 2 (1957) … Joseph Gordon (as Steven McQueen)
– The Defender: Part 1 (1957) … Joseph Gordon (as Steven McQueen)
1956Somebody Up There Likes Me
Fidel (uncredited)

1956The United States Steel Hour (TV series)

– Bring Me a Dream (1956) … Bushy
1955Goodyear Playhouse (TV series)

– The Chivington Raid (1955)
1953Girl on the Run
Extra (uncredited)

Hide HideProducer (4 titles)
1980Tom Horn (executive producer)

1978An Enemy of the People (executive producer)

1971On Any Sunday (documentary) (producer – uncredited)

1966Nevada Smith (producer – uncredited)

14 thoughts on “Monday’s Motorcycle: Triumph Bonneville”

  1. Another plus to the Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen edition is that it is only $10k for a brand new bike. My wife looked at it and said that maybe I should get myself one.

  2. Ogre-San: I thought Bud Ekins did that jump..really. Anyway, a friend has a Bonny, and it’s a smooth, nimble, tight ride, and looks like a million bucks doing it. Great bike! I rode his today!

  3. Your argument is ironclad. Buddy of mine has the Scrambler, which is just about as cool as McQueen’s steed.

  4. No doubt, McQueen is the King of Cool – the King is dead, long live the King! Only thing drove me nuts, gun-wise; the Bounty Hunter, w/ that damn Mare’s Leg Mod. 92, and .45/70 rounds in the ca’tridge belt….

  5. Great looks and style, little short on power but there are fixes for that. I really like the thruxton just wish it had more power. 17inch wheels would not hurt the thruxton either but that is also easy to fix with new spokes and hoops.

  6. There’s a 63 Bonnie sitting in my garage right now, just waiting for a full restoration. Last time I rode it was 1992. It’ll be 50 next year, might be time to get it done.

  7. Steve was such a badass he also snuck across the Iron Curtain and rode the 1964 East German International Six Day Trials with Bud Ekins under an assumed name so his movie studio wouldn’t find out.

  8. Bought a new (to me) motorcycle today! It’s a 1997 Suzuki Bandit 1200S. Maroon. Big, fast and beautiful with only a tick over 16,000 on the clock.

    I am a happy, happy man.

  9. “Cool” does not have to be the biggest, the fastest, or the meanest….”Cool” is being the man you can be, and demonstrating courage and values through out ones life.

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