Ultimate expression


Triumph’s duplex-framed 650cc range is the pinnacle of pre-unit development and the Bonnie is right at the top.

Words: Tim Britton Photographs: Gary Chapman

So there you are, outside washing the bike off after a run out and a passer-by stops, admires the machine and says: “I’ve got an old bike like that…” It’s a scene familiar to all of us with a classic of any sort and one Glenn Barker, the owner of this superb T120 Bonnie, had heard a few times before.

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“This chap was chatting away and I was listening but more concentrating on what I was doing, then the word ‘Bonnie’ sunk in and I perked up at that.” Glenn asked the chap a few questions and while doubting the bike would be an actual Bonneville, was intrigued enough to ask if it was for sale, reasoning even if it was just a 1960s twin it might make something. That’s the problem with Triumph Bonnevilles and probably the same with BSA Gold Stars, in that lots of bikes are described as such, but not all of them are genuine.

The owner was local-ish to Glenn and it was worth him having a look, and to his surprise the bike was actually a genuine 1961 T120 Bonneville and, while complete, it had been standing for so long it was a non-runner.

Read more in the September issue of TCM – on sale now!

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Triumph’s Bonneville, the bike that looks like it’s doing 100mph when it’s standing still.

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