The prototype’s hacked-off fuel tank is purely for practical purposes, allowing Triumph to move the bars or alter the bike’s headstock without hitting the tank.
WORDS and PHOTO: Ben Purvis
Triumph has been caught experimenting with a prototype that combines the basic Bonneville engine and chassis with Speed Triple componentry to produce a tantalizing retro-modern roadster. The machine, spied during Triumph’s winter tests in Spain, is clearly in the very early stages of development and unlikely to be production-ready any time this year. Even so, the direction Triumph intends to take is already more than clear.
The front end of the Bonneville frame has been hacked off and fit with a new headstock that appears designed to deliver shorter, steeper steering geometry. Bolted to that steering head is what appears to be the entire front end from the current Speed Triple naked bike, including Showa inverted fork, Brembo radial calipers, and an alloy front wheel. The wire-spoked rear wheel is more traditional-looking, but appears to carry about a 170-section tire—much larger than the standard Bonnie’s 130-section rubber. Both wheels are 17-inch diameter, allowing the pick of today’s sticky sportbike rubber, and adjustable piggyback Öhlins shocks suggest similar sporting intent.
The stock Bonneville’s 60-horsepower output seems too little for a bike with this sort of running gear, but rumors suggest Triumph is working on a bigger-capacity version of its parallel twin that will likely appear here. Aftermarket tuners have already managed to stretch Triumph’s basic 865cc unit to as much as 1200cc and more than 100 bhp. The prototype Arrow exhaust shape may or may not remain.
Triumph recently trademarked the term “Street Tracker,” so that name is almost certain to appear on a new model soon—though whether the bodywork tends towards café racer or flat-track cues remains to be seen. At this stage it appears Triumph is still experimenting with different riding positions.