2009 Triumph Bonneville SE — Retro Riding


Time to clear out the cobwebs around here with a couple (or so) posts from the two-wheeled world. No. 1 because it’s a brand near and dear to my heart is the latest from Triumph‘s retro range of bikes, the 2009 Bonneville SE. (Why is this near and dear? Because I love my THRUXTON.)


This new incarnation of the Bonnie gets a few tweaks and upgrades that really go far to alter the look of this classic machine. What you might notice first is that Triumph has ixnayed the classic spoked wheels in favor of someretro-flavored cast-alloy mags. Not quite sure how I feel about the looks of these. I’ve seen pics from a couple of New Bonnie and Thruxton owners who’ve installed various makes of mags and have never been taken with it. There’s something extra cool and sexy about spoked wheels (except when spokes break).

The second noticeable upgrade is the switch from peashooter pipes to megaphone mufflers — modern-classics-bonneville-se-studio-021 which are already used on the Thruxton. I tend to think these give the bike a sportier look than the original peashooters, which are definitely more classic. And lastly the Trumpet’s seat has been thinned out, reducing the seat height to just 29.1 inches. New, pulled back bars help round out the newer relaxed seating position.

What you won’t notice is the fuel injection that Triumph’s entire classic range is now equipped with. The whole setup has been carefully concealed inside what look like a duo of standard CV carbs. I’ve seen these up close and it’s a pretty trick deal that keeps the classic look of the DOHC parallel twin tucked into the frame. Besides a few wires and connectors just about the only giveaway is the lack of a petcock. Having dug through the carbs on my Thruxton on a half dozen or more rejetting expeditions, I’d love to get into these hollow throttle bodies to see what the guts look like. This motor/intake setup pumps out a claimed 67 hp at 7,500 rpm and 51 ft. lbs. at 5,800 rpm. But talk to anybody who owns one of the bikes based on the new Bonneville and they’ll tell you how easy it is to wrench out a bit more horsepower and torque with the minimum of mods (just don’t tell CARB or the EPA). In fact, I’d hazard a guess that most of the Bonnevilles, Thruxtons and Scramblers on the road today are running aftermarket pipes to complement the disappeared airbox on the intake end. There’s even a healthy aftermarket (check out Bella Corse and NewBonneville.com) aimed directly at this line of bikes.

These bikes are truly fun to ride and serve as way-back machines for bystanders who always seem to have at one time owned a Triumph. I can’t tell you how many times I get a thumbs-up from drivers who try to pace me or pull up at a stop light to see what it is exactly I’m on when I’m on the Thruxton.

Like any good motorcycle should, the Bonneville SE comes in black (or a two-tone blue/white paint job if you’re so inclined.)

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
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 5-speed

Frame Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, tubular steel
Wheels Front Aluminium cast aluminium alloy, 7- spoke, 17 x 3.0 inch
Rear Aluminium cast aluminium alloy, 7-spoke, 17 x 3.5 inch
Tires Front 110/70 R17
Rear 130/80 R17
Suspension Front Kayaba 41mm forks, 120mm travel
Rear Kayaba chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload,
100mm 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 and trip information
Length 2144mm (84.3 in)
Width (Handlebars) 748mm (29.4 in)
Height 1100mm (43.3 in)
Seat Height 751mm (29.5 in)
Wheelbase 1454mm (57.2 in)
Rake/Trail 27º/106mm
Dry Weight 440lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.5 gal / 4.2 US gals

Maximum Power 67bhp / 50kW @ 7500rpm
Maximum Torque 69Nm / 51ft.lbf @ 5800rpm

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One Response to “2009 Triumph Bonneville SE — Retro Riding”

  1. John Spencer Says:

    I have a 2001 Bonneville. I put 50000 miles on it before some fool in a car
    totalled it. Love that blue and white paint. Like the wheels too and the
    Commando like mufflers….. I will get another Bonneville.. and a BMW F800st
    AND…… a Harley Streetbob.

    It would be my first Harley in over 4 decades of riding 50 somethin bikes.

    Don’t believe me? Check my Website; profitwithjohn.

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