2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black test ride – Triumph-antly good!

Retro styling meets dynamic modern day performance in the 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black.

UPDATE: Triumph Malaysia have recently revised the pricing of the Triumph Bonneville T120. Click here to find out more.


One look at the 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black and immediately everyone swears that the bike is from the yesteryears. Yes the design of the Bonneville is very much timeless so to speak. It has loads of classic appearance that captures the 60s Bonneville look, but given a fresh breath of air which makes it look current.


When I was going through every inch of the bike with my naked eye, I realised the details and the finish work on the Bonneville T120 Black is simply awesome. For your information, the catalytic converter is cleverly hidden under the bike, not forgetting the radiator being much smaller compared to other bikes of similar capacity.


The tank and headlight of the Bonneville enhances the retro look of the bike further. The big round light and the rubber tank pads are exactly from the 60s era Triumph.

Featuring an incredible level of detailing and sophistication, from the fully blacked out high quality details, including the wheels, grab rail and engine finish, through to the dark brown seat and beautiful twin skinned ‘peashooter’ exhausts, the result is absolutely stunning.


The instrument panel, which is easy to read, comes with classic designed speedometer and tachometer gauges plus an LCD display with ride mode setting, two trip meters, gear indicator, fuel range, fuel level, clock and access to turn off the traction control along with other useful information. Meanwhile the headlight and taillight are equipped with LED.


The Bonneville T120 comes in two colours, they are Jet Black and Matt Graphite. The bike featured here is dressed in the former, giving the base classic outlooks a little more attitude.


When I got the key to the bike, I was overwhelmed that I am about to ride a brand that is so rich in history. The ergonomics of the bike is sweet. The long, wide dark brown seat gives ample room to move about and the wide handlebar also grants amore comfortable position where I do not over stretch or bend my arms. The upright sitting position with the foot pegs at the right spot makes the ride pleasant.

The heart of the T120 is a liquid-cooled 1,200cc parallel-twin engine that churns out 79hp at 6,550rpm and 105Nm at 3,100rpm. On the highways, Bonneville T120 Black’s acceleration is very smooth thus you do not feel the surge of power every time you upshift.

The gears are very smooth with very responsive clutch. Be it upshifts or downshifts, both the gears and the clutch are working in unison in giving an excellent riding experience.


Whilst riding through Genting Highlands, it was very obvious that the Bonneville T120 Black can put many other cruisers of different makes to shame. The bike is very agile and able to tame any sweeping corners whilst still allowing me to flick the bike like a GP pro.


The bike is at home in the hills as good on a straight road. In fact I did very few downshifts while riding up to Genting Highlands as I was either in third or fourth gear mostly. Entering and exiting corners on this 239kg bike is a walk in the park.

Meanwhile the suspension on new Bonneville T120 felt plush. The rear end is firm, which prevents me from being thrown off every time I hit a hump or potholes. When pushed hard through corners, the bike felt unperturbed with my rough handling.

The front end of the bike is equipped with 41mm Kayaba forks with high travel rates that doesn’t lunge forward silly whenever I hit the humps or brakes.


On the highways, the T120 gets very interesting the minute the throttle is squeezed up to 3,100rpm onwards. In no time, I was doing 170kmph in sixth with much confidence.

The bike felt very planted on the road, inspiring all the confidence to push n further. The sturdy chassis and its low centre of gravity makes this the perfect choice for high speed cruises.


Even so, when I thought I pushed this bike to the fullest, I was surprised that there was still ample power I could still tap into. So many times, I throttled and rocketed ahead on the North South and Karak highway with a big smile.


In Genting Highlands, the Nissin brakes rose to the occasion brilliantly when summoned. The twin front anchors are easy to modulate thanks to the light yet potent lever action. The rear brakes, on the other hand, were a tad more sensitive than the front.

But this is easily mastered after few hours of riding, not forgetting the standard-equipped ABS suite granting better controls whilst under braking too.


In the new 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black, you get two ride modes – Rain and Road. Slightly damp surface conditions whilst riding through Genting Highlands allowed me to try out the Rain mode properly.

The throttle responses here are restrained and there’s lesser torque generated too compared to the Road mode. Nevertheless, this is a very reassuring and safe trait – no complains here mate!


Whilst in the city, this bike is capable at handling the urban traffic condition with ease. Weaving through the traffic wasn’t a problem once you get the hang of it. In fact, on a few occasions, I rode the bike on the five-foot payment just like a supermoto or motard – yes, the Bonneville T120 Black is that easy to handle this way too.


In short, the 2016 Triumph Bonneville is something highly recommended as a daily commuter towards anybody who seek to do so in style and be admired at by many later in the evening as well.

Triumph’s modern day engineering has made the much-loved Bonneville classic as reliable, engaging and useable for daily travels.This 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black is a brilliant example of that, and it is the ideal bike for those seeking one with a timeless classic design that’s matched with an abundance of power, performance and riding pleasure.


Don’t forget to also check out our previous test ride report of the 2016 Triumph Street Twin by our self-proclaimed hipster junior editor by clicking here.

Story by: Patrick Maes


ENGINE Liquid-cooled 1,200cc SOHC
8-valve parallel-twin with
fuel injection and Ride-By-Wire
TRANSMISSION 6-speed with wet multi-plate
assist clutch + chain drive
POWER 79hp @ 6,550rpm
TORQUE 105Nm @ 3,100rpm
CHASSIS Tubular steel cradle frame with
tubular steel swingarms
Fixed Kayaba 41mm cartridge forks
(120mm travel)Rear:
Kayaba twin shocks with
pre-load adjustability
(120mm travel)
100/90 R18Rear:
150/70 R17
2x 310mm discs with
2x dual-piston floating calipersRear:
Single 255mm disc with
dual-piston calipers


WEIGHT 224kg (dry) / 239kg (kerb)
FUEL TANK 14.5 litres
PRICE RM79,900 excluding insurance,
road tax, registration costs and
FROM Fast Bikes Sdn Bhd
(Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia)


2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black test ride gallery

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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