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Reviewed: Triumph Bonneville T100 (2021)

triumph trident 2021

For 2021, Triumph have given their T100 more power, less weight and higher spec components. So, how good is it?

Triumph really have pulled out all the stops when it comes to their Bonneville range. Every year the whole lot just seem to get bigger and better, and for 2021 they’ve made some big improvements to its range of seven models, including this: the T100.

And these aren’t just little updates. For starters, they’ve seriously been to work on that 900cc parallel twin engine, which is not only lighter than before but is more powerful too, even while meeting the new Euro5 emissions.

It makes an impressive 18% more power at the top end with 64.1bhp on offer, while the parallel twin is now 4kg lighter for good measure – even though the bike is still fairly hefty, at 228kg ready to roll.

There’s also a higher-spec Brembo braking unit on the front, alongside improved suspension, with the rest of the machine sitting towards the old-school end of the spectrum.

Besides very basic ABS and traction control, there’s no electronic aids, IMUs or any other jazz that you find on most machines nowadays.

Oh, and if you’re just in the process of getting your licence, it can be easily converted into being an A2 compliant machine with a kit available from your local dealer, while being just as easy to change back too. In terms of its rivals, it comes in on the pricier side of things, so how much difference have all these changes made, and is it worth the £9,100 price tag?

Triumph Bonneville T100 (2021)

 

Back to the future

There’s a lot to be said about making a modern classic look cool, classy and tidy, but Triumph’s Bonneville range really does seem to hit the nail on the head at every opportunity.

The T100 does look very similar to the higher spec, 1200cc, T120, in the flesh (or metal). It’s a traditional design, and very smart, although if there were any complaints it would be that it almost looks a bit too plain as it leaves the factory.

Then again, with well over 100 official Triumph accessories for one of these, not too many remain completely bog stock. The platform allows owners to modify their bikes and customise it to exactly what they want.

Jumping on, the T100 has an impressively relaxed riding position, with a really nice mixture of seat, ‘bar and peg positions, and a low height for ease of reaching the floor.

The cockpit is a nice place to be too, although the cockpit is on the minimalistic side, which means that if you’re not into all your TFT dashes, electronic gizmos and all the other jazz that comes with it, then you’ll definitely feel at home on one of these.

It’s quite refreshing not being bombarded with buttons and settings, although I wasn’t a massive fan of the switchgear, as some of the buttons (like the indicators) just felt slightly out from where I’d expect them to be. That said, I got used to it after some miles in the saddle.

Flicking it off the side stand, I was surprised at just light the T100 felt at a standstill. Although it sits fairly hefty on the scales at 228kg it is nicely balanced, and with those nice wide bars and a fairly impressive amount of steering, it feels incredibly easy to roll around on at slow speeds, which is great if you want one for razzing about a city.

The same feeling goes for the engine too; although that parallel twin unit has been beefed up in terms of its performance, it’s still so user friendly, creating a massive amount of torque from barely any revs at all.

It actually feels proper old school, hitting the sweet spot of that 64 horsepower at about 7,500rpm, before a shift up – as you guessed, the old way with no ‘shifter or ‘blipper in sight. It does make a gorgeous sound through the rev range too – this bike was made for open faced lids, warm Sunday afternoons and gentle blasts in the countryside.

Especially so as where the T100 didn’t quite hit the mark before though was on its cornering ability, but thanks to those new and uprated front forks, it really does sweep nicely into corners, and is incredibly pliant mid-corner too.

Sure, it’s no supersport bike by any stretch of the imagination but for a nigh-on 230kg modern classic it really does hold the road well, and now that it’s equipped with Brembo stopping power on the front end too, it even stops in good time as well.

Saying that though, don’t expect too much in terms of the rider aids – the ABS and traction control aren’t the most intuitive or impressive systems I’ve ever used, but on a bike like this it’s barely noticeable – plus that engine delivers power in such a smooth manner, that it shouldn’t cause any issues on a normal day anyway.

Triumph Bonneville T100 (2021)

 

Conclusion

Triumph’s T100 was never a bad bike by any stretch of the imagination, but for 2021 they really have made it better. Even with that little extra power the soulful 900cc engine is an absolute joy to open up with a delightful engine note and an ease of acceleration that you’d expect from an easy going roadster.

Couple that with a better handling package and a smart, yet classic dress, and overall, you have the whole package. It does come in a bit pricier than a lot of its rivals, but it is an impressive bit of kit, with a lovely finish.

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