Triumph Bonneville Reviews from United States of America

2010 Triumph Bonneville

Model year2010
Year of manufacture2009
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2013
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.1 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance2441 miles
Previous motorcycleTriumph Thunderbird

Summary:

This has been a stressful experience

Faults:

This motorcycle has been one problem after another.

The head gasket started weeping at 4000 miles. I had it replaced at 6k under warranty. I had the same gasket replaced 4 more times in 20,000 miles. Each dealer said it's nothing to worry about. It turns out it was. The valve train was getting out of spec because of improper oil pressure. I had to get a forensic oil analysis done to get the manufacturer to act. I finally got the cam cover replaced under warranty, but they managed to push the problem just beyond the window for a lemon law claim.

Then at 23000k I had the 24k service done a little early. I get it back from the dealer and it sounded like a rickety old sewing machine. I brought it back and they told me the bike was supposed to sound like that. Well the problem metastasized. I ended up having to get a forensic analysis of the oil and oil filter done to get them to even look into why it didn't sound right. When they finally tore it apart, the bearings were failing, the piston rings were shot, and the valve stems were coming apart. The engine is now getting rebuilt under warranty, but only just. The problem arose with 14 days left of my 24 month warranty. I had to drag them kicking and screaming to get anything done. If I had taken their word and not gotten the oil and filter analyzed, I would have had an engine blow out just past warranty.

General Comments:

The bike is fun to drive and good in the corners. It gets great gas mileage, and I always get a lot comments about the cool factor. If only it was reliable.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th September, 2013

2009 Triumph Bonneville

Model year2009
Year of manufacture2009
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 4 / 10
Handling marks 5 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance22000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha Virago 500

Summary:

A beautiful bike with a lot of tradition, but not for everyone

Faults:

The following applies only to fuel injected Bonnevilles from 2009 on: ECM will not allow bike to crank or run if battery voltage ever falls below 12.5 volts. The practical upshot of this is, if it's a cold morning, and the battery has dropped from 13.2 to 12.7 volts during the night, you're not getting the motor started without jumper cables, as the voltage drop during cranking will cause the ECM to reset. Since the starter solenoid is also controlled by the ECM, you won't even be able to crank the motor over at this point. This has left me stranded a couple of times, not to mention late for work. I spoke to the dealership and to Triumph UK, and the manufacturer refused to admit that there was a design flaw, and simply recommended I keep the battery on a trickle charger all the time. Thanks a lot, guys...

ECM occasionally gets "ghost" trouble codes on sensors that cannot be tracked down, because they apparently don't exist.

ECM has had to be updated a couple of times with new tuning parameters. Gas mileage improved noticeably.

Every time I wash the bike, the Low Oil Pressure light comes on for a couple days, some kind of wiring short. Really freaked me out the first couple times it happened, but now I ignore it.

This is not a cheap bike to repair. Parts are expensive, they sometimes take a week or two to arrive from England, and diagnosing computer problems requires a dealership (there are no aftermarket code scanners or plug-in diags available for your laptop).

General Comments:

It's a beautiful bike, one that turns heads and gets questions, especially from the older crowd. As one reviewer put it, you may not pick up many young babes, but you will definitely meet a few old men, LOL.

Overall, this is a great bike. It's the first all-brand-new vehicle I've ever bought, and aside from the occasional ECM problems, it has proven very reliable over 20,000+ miles. In retrospect, I wish I had gone with one of the earlier carbureted models, but when the fuel injection is working right (which is most of the time), I can get 50 MPG on the highway at 70+mph.

I go on long road trips, 700 mile weekends, and the bike is a joy to ride through the Texas country. Maintaining 90-100mph on rural country highways is quite easy.

The factory banana seat can get pretty uncomfortable after a couple hundred miles. Between that and the "barstool" riding position, rest breaks are a must every couple hours. The unusual stance takes some getting used to, and you will get leg cramps now and then.

As stated above, this is NOT a cold-weather bike. Unless you can store it in a heated place at home and at work, you will have starting problems from time to time.

It is a tough bike. I've laid it down a few times, been hit by flying road debris, and it suffered only slight damage.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th October, 2012

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 10 reviews