1976 Triumph T140V Bonneville
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
After the closing of Norton Villiers Triumph, which meant the end of T160 Trident production, the Triumph name lived on only at the Meriden Cooperative. Here, owner-workers had ended a long strike to resume building the Bonneville in its old factory, but it would be the final chapter for Triumph in the era, as the Cooperative was building essentially the same old bikes and lacked funds for new-product development. Even so, there was a dedicated group of customers who appreciated the old-school bikes that Triumph was still building.
The 1976 Triumph T140V Bonneville 750 took on the left-side shifter and right-side brake pedal that the Trident had adopted to meet regulations in the United States. Some regarded the new shifter as less precise than before, and some thought the new primary cover ruined the bike’s looks. The Bonneville also adopted a 10-inch rear disc brake with underslung caliper. Compared to the Yamaha XS650, it was significantly lighter in weight and had better brakes but was more expensive at $1,995. The appearance was almost unchanged except for the red tank with white flashes. With increased refinement being an unquantifiable offering, the Bonneville’s selling points had to be tradition and character. “The production hot rod of the motorcycle industry,” said an ad, which showed a Fonzie-like character and a doting carhop. “Make your own legends.”