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 Triumph - T 120 R Bonneville
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Triumph D2-492-07-01
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 650
Model : T 120 R Bonneville
Production : 1968 - 1969
Category : (R) Street Bike


650 Bonneville T 120 – 1969

One of the most famous british bike

In 1937 Triumph announced a new bike that took the world by storm. Designed by the famed Edward Turner, the 500cc vertical-twin Triumph Speed Twin was so successful that it set a fashion that was quickly followed by all the other major British manufacturers.

Grand Prix Victory

In 1940, during World War II, the Triumph factory in Coventry was blitzed. Production shifted to a new factory at Meriden. The geographical center of England, where military engines with silicon-aluminum cylinder and head based on the Speed Twin were built. Postwar, a Tiger 100 vertical twin with this design won the 1946 Manx Grand Prix. By 1949, British bikes were becoming popular in the United States, and a special American-market Triumph twin, the 650cc Thunderbird, went into production. Triumph became part of the BSA group in 1951.

World Speed Record Breaker

The Triumph twin enjoyed remarkable sporting success and set world speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. In 1955, Triumph power set a speed record of 193 mph and in 1962 raised the record to almost 225 mph. Though the record-breaker was a cigar-shaped projectile on two wheels, from then on Triumph named all of its twin carburetor sports bikes "Bonneville" to commemorate the event. The BSA group collapsed in 1973 and Triumph merged with Norton-Villiers.


Engine: 649cc (71x82mm) vertical-twin four stroke

Power output: 47 hp @ 6700 rpm

Valves: overhead valves

Fuel system: twin 1.2 in Amal carburetors

Transmission: 4-speed gearbox; chain final drive

Suspension: (front) telescopic forks; (rear) swinging fork

Brakes: (front) two-leading shoe 8 in drum; (rear) two-leading shoe 8 in drum

Wheels: wire; (front) 3.00x19 in; (rear) 3.50x18 in

Weight: 386 lb

Maximum speed: 106 mph


One of the most famous Triumph models, the Bonneville vertical twin was a high-performance bike with tremendous bottom-end torque.”

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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