1970 Triumph T120R Bonneville
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The model years 1968, 1969, and 1970 were the high points for the Triumph T120R Bonneville. Before too long, it would be regarded as a living antique, but for the time being the bike was still fabled, potent and pure. Development slowed to a crawl in 1970, which is just fine for most aficionados. If there’s one must-have among classic British motorcycles, the 1970 Triumph T120R Bonneville is it. Yes, the new Japanese entries had smooth-running multi-cylinder engines and five-speed gearboxes, and caring for them hardly required a thought, but the Triumph buyer was apt not to think well of the Hondas, Suzukis, and Kawasakis, which didn’t have Triumph’s illustrious heritage.
The Bonneville stood upright and had a narrow aspect, thanks to the compact, air-cooled 649cc parallel-twin engine and slender 2.5-gallon tank. This year’s paint scheme changed from Olympic flame and silver to Astral red and silver, with the red tone resembling that used on 1969 TR6 models. Bordered with gold pinstriping, the silver flashed over the tank for an inspired factory-custom look. The obvious front and rear springs, twin-leading-shoe front brake, and beautiful downswept chrome pipes caused praiseful utterances. The small tank meant the Bonneville’s range was short, but it was a necessary sacrifice for the sake of style. New this year was a crankcase breather tube that emulated the one used on the Triumph T150 Trident 750. A pair of Windtone horns were added, and the passenger appreciated the grab rail that now attached to the fender stay.