Although the nameplate has evolved a good deal since the 1959 original stunned the world, Triumph’s latest Bonneville still manages to deliver an intriguing blend of classic style and modern performance. Carrying the torch for 2020 is the T120/T120 Black model, which soldiers on unchanged for this year.
Although it sports virtually the same aesthetics as the smaller-displacement T100, the latest-gen T120 steps it up in the engine bay with a larger liquid-cooled 1,200cc HT (High Torque) parallel-twin mill. That engine claims to put out 80 hp and 77pound-feet of torque, and Triumph has endowed the latest-gen Bonnie with some modern tech as well, like ABS, throttle by wire, traction control, two riding modes, heated grips, and an LED DRL. You still have your peashooter exhausts, bench saddle, and sculpted tank with knee cutouts, but you’ll pay more for those compared to the other modern classics. That doesn’t obviate the model’s old-school retro charm though, and this bike is still guaranteed to turn heads on the road.
The Bonnevilles are a perfect fit for riders who crave the retro look along with a good dose of performance and some modern comforts, and we’ve greatly enjoyed this modern Bonnie, citing its willing “do-it-all engine,” slick gearbox, and neutral handling over the years. But as the Bonneville has become more refined, its competition has changed as well, with this year’s rivals consisting primarily of the even more retro Kawasaki W800 as well as the smaller 650cc Royal Enfield Interceptor. Nevertheless, the Bonneville still has history on its side.
Triumph occasionally offers up one-off editions of the Bonneville, and 2020 saw a special Bud Ekins edition with custom paint and graphics in honor of the top desert racer, but otherwise, the regular T120 or the T120 Black model return unchanged this year. The Black adds a big splash of ebony color almost everywhere except the seat, which comes in a brown hue for this model.