The new T120 is bigger and better. The entire new Bonneville line-up has really impressed us, and the flagship model certainly retains its no-nonsense character. Besides its excellent and refined ride quality, it’s a comfortable and beautifully styled practical retro bike for the modern world. The new Bonneville is all grown up, and is aimed at riders who’ll appreciate its level of maturity.
The new chassis is more than capable of allowing you to carve through twisty roads, but obviously it has far more limitations imposed on it when you compare it to the sportier Thruxton – especially when it comes to handling. Because of the large 18-inch front wheel, the T120 can seem to have a slightly lazy front end feel to it. The suspension seems to be on the softer side, but that’s a good thing because it perfectly suits the bike’s relaxed and composed riding style. It isn’t the best for long distance touring, but it is definitely comfortable and convenient enough for everyday riding.
The best thing about all the new bikes in the updated Boneville line-up, though, is the engine performance. In the T120, you get a superbly engineered new parallel twin 1,200cc engine, which has been tuned for maximum ease of use – while, at the same time, providing you with plenty of power on tap. You don’t need to twist the throttle much before the torque kicks in and sends you shooting down the road. If you’re anywhere above 2000rpm, the T120 will pull forward without a fuss. The throttle response is silky smooth and responsive, and, unlike the Harleys in the same category, there are virtually no vibrations at all throughout the bike. In addition, the ride quality is fantastic.
On top of all this fine engineering from the boys at Hinckley, the new T120 also gets some great technology – such as two-level heated grips, as well as ABS and traction control as standard. However, the T120 is a little too calm and composed for its own good. It certainly isn’t thrilling or sporty, although it is very attractive. It’s a bike for the more mature and relaxed rider, but we certainly love its no-nonsense approach.