Triumph Bonneville SE

Doin' Time - Staffers' Rides

Triumph Bonneville SE
Ringleader: **Damian Ercole
Miles: 935-947
Average Fuel Mileage: I'll get back to you on that.
Accessories & Modifications: Looking forward to it...

You know how women say the best way to get over a man is to get under another? I won't pass judgment on that, but I will say the best way to get over a motorcycle is to get on top of another.

I was just coming off a year-long relationship with Victory when in walked Bonnie. She's 220 pounds leaner and 120mm (4.7 inches) narrower in the rear, but I swear this isn't a rebound relationship. I liked my old Hammer, I truly did, but in the long run she wasn't my type. I wanted a smaller and more agile companion--something that would make city traffic bearable yet still be capable of open-road adventures.

The new Bonneville SE is a nimble little bike. I just hope that its meager 67 horsepower and 51 lb.-ft. of torque will be enough to keep me satisfied. Then again, if I were looking for a rocket, I would have grabbed a Rocket III! The retro styling of Triumph's Modern Classics line is appealing to me. The matching speedo and tach, polished alloy covers on the blacked-out engine, chrome tank badges, cast wheels, upswept mufflers, shorty fenders ... I especially appreciate the way they disguised the new fuel injection to look like traditional carburetors. Very old school!

Delivery was delayed due to a photo shoot, Bonnie finally arriving the day this story was due. (Yeah, I know, 935 miles seems high for a "fashion shoot"--that's definitely suspect!) My initial 12-mile jaunt around Brooklyn showed me that the upright seating position is quite comfortable, though it might be cramped for taller riders. The little vertical-twin gets up to speed with relative ease, especially as the rpm's rise. Its exhaust note is timid though, and while the Triumph accessory catalog includes an Arrow exhaust, I've also seen a great-looking Zard system online. Decisions, decisions...

I'm excited about this new relationship, and will have much more to tell you next time.

Resplendent in two-tone blue-and-white paint, Damian's new long-term Bonneville SE will be put to the test on the mean streets of New York City.