1961 Triumph 649cc T120R Bonneville
Registration no. 2528 MF
Frame no. D11517
Engine no. D11517 T120R
Hurriedly prepared for its debut at the 1958 Earls Court Show (it was too late for inclusion in the 1959 catalogue) the 'Bonnie' arrived at a time when young motorcycle enthusiasts wanted style as well as substance and had the money to pay for it. Finished in striking two-tone Tangerine/Pearl Grey with matching mudguards and black cycle parts, the bike was a real looker and the name 'Bonneville', chosen in honour of Johnny Allen's record-breaking achievements with his Triumph-powered streamliner at the eponymous Utah salt flats, was an inspired piece of marketing.
Although, ostensibly, the Bonneville was little more than a T110 fitted with the splayed-port cylinder head and twin carburettors, there was, of course, more to it than that. As well as the performance-enhancing top end, the Bonneville, together with the rest of Triumph's twins, incorporated a new, stronger crankshaft assembly that development had shown was necessary to cope with the increased power. The latter now stood at 46bhp, an improvement of some 15% over that of the contemporary single-carburettor T110. Works tester Percy Tait had achieved 128mph at MIRA on a development bike and even though this figure proved beyond the reach of the production version, the Bonnie was at least as fast as the opposition and much better looking, which was all that mattered.
This early Bonneville was purchased as a restored example in 2004 and taken to Ace Classics for a check over and additional work that included fitting a new clutch, carburettors, primary chain, etc to complete its refurbishment. Described by the private vendor as in generally good condition, the machine is offered with sundry restoration invoices, Triumph Certificate of Authenticity and Swansea V5 registration document.