One of the most iconic motorcycles of the post-war British era is set to get a big upgrade soon. Test mules of the next-gen Triumph Bonneville has been spied testing, and it is finally moving on from being air-cooled to liquid-cooled.
The Bonneville first came to life as a 650cc parallel twin in 1959, soon after Triumph set a two-wheeled land-speed record at the fabled Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. While its cylinder orientation has remained consistent through the years, its displacement has increased all the way to the 865-cc model that’s currently in showrooms. And it is all about to change. It is not just the liquid-cooling, these spy images reveal a new engine, new chassis and new styling that’s even more authentically retro than the current model.
Though the new engine appears to retain fully-functional cooling fins, there’s also a radiator mounted just behind the front wheel. Coolant hoses, though, are nowhere to be seen, suggesting the new bike might route coolant through its frame tubes. Autoblog reports that there’s no visible water pump either, which means Triumph may be using an electric pump just like Harley-Davidson’s ‘Project Rushmore’ bikes. At the other end of the engine, the Bonneville retains fuel-injection throttle bodies disguised as old-fashioned carburetors.
As for the new Triumph Bonneville’s engine capacity, that is another thing that has us stumped, and so we just have to wait and see what happens once Triumph decides it is time to reveal everything. It certainly looks bigger than the current 865cc though, going by the new 18-inch wheels and fatter 150-section Pirellis at the rear. The speed sensor rings of the ABS brakes, a legal requirement on new bikes over 125cc sold in Europe from the start of 2016, are also another telling point.