For Sale: 1971 Triumph T120R Bonneville
1971 Triumph T120R
A machine of its time: The 1971 T120R Bonneville. It’s numbers speak for itself (relative to its era) and when you take into account that these things were built in a shed in England in the seventies, with loose engineering standards and a different appreciation for motorcycling as a genre, you draw an exciting road map full of thrills, spills, and chills.
A redesign in the early 70’s brought changes to the Bonneville platform by way of bigger horsepower, better handling, improved braking. The most notable change for the year is the frame, the large 3 inch spine and central downtube became the “oil tank”, with integrated sump. The single downtube was replaced in favor of a braced twin-tube down tube, which helped to eliminate highspeed wobble and vibration. The old forks were swapped for large diameter telescoping fork tubes with almost 7 inches of travel and a redesigned roller bearing neck, increasing stability in higher speed corners and comfort with increased load. Gussets on the swingarm and bronze bushings proved more rigid and “beefy”. Everything down to the welds and paint was improved for the year. Front and rear brakes were enlarged and aided from active cooling ducts.
The 650 twin was rated at 50hp, using separate cams for intake and exhaust offering flexibility in tuning that most bikes of the era didn’t benefit from. Twin Amal monoblock carbs carried over from the T110 Tiger supplied the airflow, along with twin igniter coils, and a new ignition computer. Slimmed and upswept mufflers sounded and were more attractive. Four large tappet covers were added to the rocker covers for easy inspection and adjustment.
Fast forward to 2019, this bike catches flak from purists as somehow not being as great or coveted as the prior model, but I feel like those individuals, who will discount the many upgrades over the previous T120, are deluding themselves for some unrequited boyhood fantasy of becoming the next Dean or McQueen. Don’t listen to them. These bikes weigh in at under 400 bs, make 50 horses, handle like…well let’s be honest here, they handle and brake like they were engineered in a shed in England in the ’70s…which, they were. But goddamnit, they emote nothing but “cool”, for better or worse.
Real talk. They leak, they vibrate, they can be stubborn to start, and equally as stubborn to keep running, but once these bikes roar to life you’ll not want to do anything else. THis bike starts with a couple of kicks, runs stronger than new, and barely leaks at all. Come live the dream.
For further information, to schedule a test ride, or to make a purchase inquiry, please contact us.