View Full Version : Bonnie is gone to a new home

05-19-2010, 09:30 PM
Sold my 2007 Bonneville tonight. I really liked the bike, but it was time after two good riding seasons to try something different. Now I'm considering an early 70s BMW airhead (/5 or /6 probably) amongst other things.

So I lifted a glass to all the good miles I had with the bike, and to the miles to come on the next bike.


05-19-2010, 11:38 PM
If you buy a BMW, the 12th Annual Beartooth Rendezvous for BMW is August 19-22 south of Red Lodge, MT just a few miles from my cabin. You will find the locals very friendly. Rendezvous (https://www.beartoothbeemers.org/) Not to be confused with the Beartooth Rally which is a noisy, silly looking and very tiresome mostly Harley crowd.

05-20-2010, 07:14 AM
Thanks for the info, Mark. I wonder if my father-in-law is going up to that. He's the president of the local BMW riders club. I'm proud of the fact that he rides because of me -- he'd never ridden until after I met him. I was a good influence -- though I'm not so sure my mother-in-law thinks so. :smile:

05-20-2010, 10:55 AM
Drew: Since I'm just about ready to purchase a 2010 Triumph T100, sure would appreciate your evaluation of your Bonneville over the two years that you have owned her.

Just curious why you're switching to another bike.

Appreciate your comments.

dave in University City, MO

04 Mini Cooper S
05 Vespa ET4
61 AH BugEye Sprite
68 BSA 441 Shooting Star

05-20-2010, 05:16 PM
It was a really good bike, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone. May even own another some day.

Complaints first:

1. Fuel Range

You get about 150 miles per tank, 160 if you don't mind the chance of walking. For most people that's plenty, but I spend a lot of time riding in southern Utah (including out in the desert) where stations can be few and far between. I have found that I really need 200+ mile range. Short of a custom tank, there are not very good options for a larger tank.

2. A bit cramped for my legs

For longer trips I found that I was having some knee problems from the seat->peg space being a bit tight for my legs. Never noticed it on shorter canyon-carving rides, but the longer tours got to me. Had I kept the bike, I'd have added some highway pegs.

The good stuff:

1. Plenty of power/speed

I sold my last bike (VStrom 650) because I found myself going waaaaay too fast over my favorite pass roads. The Bonnie is more rational -- I'm probably 10 mph slower over that same road, but it feels more fun (and still plenty quick). I can happily touch both pegs down and it feels solid and plenty quick. My bike was completely stock and I never felt it was underpowered or under-geared.

2. Beautiful

I like a good looking bike. My old VStrom was one of the most functional bikes I've ever owned, but was beaten by the ugly stick repeatedly. In the end, it just wasn't my style. My wife says that the Bonnie looks like a motorcycle should, and I agree.

3. The best all-around out there

This bike can really do a bit of everything. I put dual sport tires on mine last year (Michelin Anakees) and did quite a bit of dirt road work -- and hit the canyons for some twisties all in the same trip. It's a throwback to the the old days of a true standard bike. If I had to buy only a new bike for my next one, I'd have kept it. It's really the only new bike that fits my need.

So having said all of this, why did I sell the bike? Well, I really want more range, and there just wasn't a reasonably priced option for a larger tank. I've also become interested in early 70s BMWs (and their 6-gallon tanks), and needed to sell the Bonnnie first if I was going to pursue one. Mostly, though, is that after two years of riding the Bonnie I found myself ready for a change. With the Tunebug running now I have a fun vehicle available so it's a good time to be bikeless while I figure out the next bike.

I have no regrets about buy the bike, and none about selling it either. I never planned to own only one bike (and amazingly enough my wife now understands this :smile: ) and it's time to try something different.

Note: this may have been more than you wanted, but I'm in a long, dull meeting and writing this was more fun than paying attention. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

05-21-2010, 10:22 AM
Drew: Thank you. The details you provided are just what I need. I live in an urban area, so I won't be taking any long cruises. I'm a short guy so I don't think my legs will feel cramped. This will be my first legitimate street bike and I'm at geezer at 63. I have had a number of dirt bikes...enduro type and rode rough terrain for over 20 years until my big accident 7 years ago. Since then have had 3 scooters. My current one is a 150cc Vespa.

I'm actually going on a demo ride today on the Bonneville. So, I'll let you know how it went.

Appreciate your feedback

dave University City, MO

05-21-2010, 06:18 PM
Hope the test ride goes well. Do let us know how it goes.

05-23-2010, 12:55 AM

I love the old bikes,but haven't yet accepted
the new ones.Why did they have to issue the old
name to a new bike?
I've got a '78 Bonneville that needs restoration.
I'm torn between the old bikes,but tring to accept the
newer ones.Any thoughts here?

- Doug

05-23-2010, 08:25 AM
I consider the new Bonnevilles to be what the bike would have been had they not stopped making it in the early 1980s. It is a fully modern bike (think 6k oil changes and 12k valve checks) but one that retains the more classic looks. Think new Porsche 911 compared to a 1960s one -- direct lineage, but a modern evolution.

Think of it this way: I would have had no qualms about hopping on my Bonnie and riding it across the country -- and would expect zero issues. I put 6k miles on mine last year with nothing other than gas and occasional air in the tires (plus a bit of chain lube). 300 mile ride at 75mph? No problem.

The modern Triumph company makes, in my opinion, one of the best range of bikes out there. They've got great fully modern sport bikes if that is your thing, but also the classic range for folks like me who like the earlier styling -- but with modern mechanicals.

I only sold mine due to the fuel range issue and because it was time to try something else. I won't be surprised at all if I wind up with another one some day.

05-24-2010, 06:46 PM
So having said all of this, why did I sell the bike? Well, I really want more range, and there just wasn't a reasonably priced option for a larger tank. I've also become interested in early 70s BMWs (and their 6-gallon tanks), and needed to sell the Bonnnie first if I was going to pursue one.

How about a '70s Norton Commando with a 6-gallon interstate tank?

05-24-2010, 07:26 PM
I'm going to branch out from the Brit world and try a BMW R75/5 this time around. Good for a change.

05-26-2010, 04:40 PM
If your experience with BMW is anything like mine, you'll like it.
I had mine for 28 years. I only traded it in due to the perceived need to put two more wheels under my butt -- hence the switch to a TR3.