Triumph Bonneville S.E.


Make Model

Triumph Bonneville Special Edition




Four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder


865 cc / 52.8 cu in
Bore x Stroke 90 x 68 mm
Cooling System Air-cooled
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil Synthetic, 15W/50


TMultipoint Sequential Fuel injection



Max Power

49 kW / 66 hp @ 7250 rpm

Max Torque

71 Nm / 7.24 kgf-m / 52 ft-lb @ 6000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multi plate


5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain, X-ring
Frame Tubular steel cradle, swing arm: twin-sided, tubular steel

Front Suspension

41mm Kayaba telescopic forks
Front Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Rear Suspension

Kayaba chrome spring twin shocks with adjustable preload
Rear Wheel Travel 106 mm / 4.17 in

Front Brakes

Single 310 mm disc, 2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 255 mm disc, 2 piston calipers
Wheels Front 36 Spokes, 19 x 2.5 in
Wheels Rear 36 Spokes, 17 x 3.5 in

Front Tyre

100/90 19

Rear Tyre

130/80 17
Rake 28°
Trail 110 mm / 4.3 in
Dimensions Length 2230 mm / 87.8 in
Width     840 mm / 33.1 in
Height  1100 mm / 43.3 in
Wheelbase 1500 mm / 59.1 in
Seat Height 751 mm / 29.5 in

Dry Weight

205 kg / 451 lbs

Wet Weight

226 kg / 499 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

16.6 Litres / 4.4 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal



A pedigree that few models can match.

Just like the Bonneville, the Bonneville SE gets a distinctive 70's look of its own, but with the addition of special equipment to really set it apart.

A matching speedo and tacho set, polished alloy engine covers on the blacked out engine and a raised metal Triumph tank badge are added to the Bonneville's distinctive styling. The new cast wheels, upswept silencers, 'shortie' mudguards and new lower and narrower seat with white Triumph logo are shared with the new Bonneville.

There's even a twin colour paint scheme available to go with that classic twin sound.

The result is pure Bonneville with a real retro sporty look, just more of it.

Features & Benefits
The Bonneville SE features a fuel injection system designed for clean running and to meet forthcoming Euro 3 legislation. The retro styling remains uncompromised though, as the fuel injectors are cleverly concealed by throttle bodies designed to look like traditional carbs.

The Bonneville SE sports stylish new lightweight 17” cast alloy wheels for 2009, creating an all new look and improving the bike’s agility and low speed handling characteristics.

Exhaust System

Stylish megaphone exhausts mimic those sported by the raciest bikes in the 1970s.

The braking set-up of single front 310mm disc and 255mm rear, both worked on by powerful twin-piston calipers, offers sensitivity, control and ample stopping power.

The 2009 Bonneville SE’s comfortable seat now features the classic Triumph logo printed in white, while the saddle itself is 25mm lower than on previous models. Combined with a revised riding position, the Bonneville SE provides a more relaxed and accessible ride than ever before.

The Bonneville SE’s low seat height (751mm/29.5inches) and equally low centre of gravity, make it a manageable motorcycle that all riders – ranging from those with little experience to those with lots – can appreciate. The tubular steel double cradle frame is incredibly strong while offering light and precise handling.

2009 Triumph Bonneville SE

Defining the Bonneville in modern motorcycling terms is problematic: 50 years ago it was cutting edge performance, in present trim it falls somewhere between cruiser and standard. The most recent incarnation of the Bonnie, the T100 (2001 – present), is a modern interpretation of the 1968 Bonneville and has proven quite popular with older return riders looking for the bikes they rode in their two-wheeled youth. But Triumph is also targeting the entry-level crowd too, with Triumph Marketing Manager Jim Callahan describing the model as “one of the most accessible Triumphs.” Enhancing that accessibility are the new Bonneville and Bonneville SE.

The difference between the standard Bonneville and the SE is mostly cosmetic, with the SE sporting a fuel-tank badge with hand-painted pinstripe and aluminum engine cases. A tachometer is also added to the SE version. After straddling the Bonneville SE in the New Orleans French Quarter, however, the changes from the T100 version are more concrete. The new Bonnies change tack in two significant ways, wheel size and riding position.

Seven-spoke 17-inch wheels replace the more traditional looking 19-inch wire-spoke rims. Aiding in the handling department, the smaller hoops also offer a much wider tire selection – our test units sporting Metzeler ME24 rubber (110/70 front, 130/80 rear). Seat height has been lowered 1.4 inches to 29.1 thanks to the smaller wheels, a lowering of rear suspension travel by 6mm and a new shape of the seat itself – the foam thickness reduced. The handlebars are relocated 22mm further back and 21mm lower, reducing the reach for smaller-statured riders, who are sure to appreciate the lowered seat. Other changes include the incorporation of fenders borrowed from its Thruxton and Scrambler siblings, as well as the Thruxton exhaust pipes – which replace the T100’s pea-shooters but still leave room for luggage, as many Bonneville owners use their rides for short touring duties.

Although our 6’1” frame felt cramped with the pegs and bars, the riding position seems ideal for smaller riders. Our brief riding time makes us suspicious of the new seat’s comfort factor, however, feeling stiff and less cush than expected. Adjustable brake and clutch levers are a valuable feature and the mirrors have been moved out to provide better view of behind. The instrument display with analog speedometer fits in with the overall vibe of the Bonneville and the SE version, with analog tach to match the speedo, looks best.

In practice the new Bonneville makes for a fine urban cruiser. Darting up and down the historic streets of the French Quarter, the first impression of the new Bonneville is how light and small it is – confirming Triumph’s claim that the new wheels and fenders contribute a 19-lb weight loss. The sensation makes it quite easy it is to ride, at lower speeds in particular. Aided by its light clutch pull and the precise 5-speed gearbox, the Bonneville makes a successful case as the ideal entry-level mount in the Triumph arsenal.

Cutting through traffic on the larger surface streets and freeways, we head eastbound on Highway 90 en route to Mississippi’s gulf coast. The smaller wheels do make the new models feel light and quick and the 865cc Twin flutters along without trouble.

Undergunned compared to the typical cruiser powerplant on American roadways, the Trumpet’s Parallel Twin is still a fun ride. The power is quite easy to control, again ideal for the entry-level crowd. With a respectable lower end, we found ourselves parking the throttle in the upper half of the revs between 4000rpm and the 7000rpm redline to take advantage of some top end zip.

The Modern Classic’s headlining move to electronic fuel injection conforms to EPA emission regs, the new system claiming to be five times cleaner than the older carbureted version (the EFI promising better fuel efficiency too). Triumph introduces EFI with a twist, however, packing the injectors into a twin carb façade – with functional two-stage fuel-enriching choke lever. Knowing the EFI was coming, a new fuel tank was intro’d in 2008 with room for the fuel pump. Developed with Keihin and tuned by Triumph the electronic fueling provides near seamless power delivery – the only nit to pick being a slight jerk of hesitation when briskly re-applying throttle after rolling off.

Sound emissions will not be an issue for the polite purr of the Bonnie, unless riders choose one of the aftermarket exhaust options from Arrow. The partnership between Triumph and the Italian firm has expanded into the Modern Classic lineup and the bombastic bellowing of the Bonnies sporting Arrow 2-into-2 and 2-into-1 systems are character altering to say the least. The systems deliver up to a 60% weight savings on the stock pipes. And although we’re told peak horsepower claims aren’t much bolstered with the addition, first-hand experience of the pipes confirms the powerband feels beefier.

Heading into the bayous along the coast, there aren’t any turns worth evaluating the Trumpet’s cornering abilities, just a couple bends in the road to wiggle through. Severe thunderstorm warnings squash peg-scraping intentions and cut our ride day short. All we can say for certain is the 41mm Kayaba fork and twin rear shocks are not adjustable, except for rear preload, with potholes and other significant road imperfections accompanied by a harsh jar on more than one occasion.

The dual-disc (one front, one rear) braking system is more than adequate. The single 310mm disc front delivers a confident feel and the floating 2-piston Nissin calipers are effective but not grabby. The 225mm rear, also pinched by a two-piston Nissin unit, performs its ratio of the stopping equation rather well.

The classic lines of the new Bonnies deliver in the style department, at least in our opinion. The only caveat is the faux carb looked less clever the longer we examined it… but, hey, we’re paid to complain. Overall, the new Bonneville is a fine mount, one we enjoyed immensely. Our only regret is not enough time in the saddle for a more thorough evaluation.

The standard Bonneville is available in black and white, retailing for $7,699. The SE is available in all black or two-tone blue and white, sporting an $8399 asking price.