We can’t pretend it’s the fastest or the most high-tech motorcycle you could own in 2013, but the classic Triumph Bonneville is a standard-bearer of British engineering whose engine note has resonated around the world for nearly 55 years.
Triumph was founded in 1902 in Coventry, but after its first factory was annihilated in a 1940 blitz, it was re-established, two years later, at Meriden in the West Midlands.
The first "Bonnies" were rolled off the production line in 1959, immediately becoming the spiritual leader of the Sixties’ British bike pack, finding favour with discerning riders on these shores and beyond. Happily, Triumph still makes them today at Hinckley in Leicestershire – updated, of course, with a bigger 865cc twin-cylinder engine and 21st-century brakes and electrics, but the retro-engineered styling retains the original machines’ DNA, most evident on the T100 model.
Spoked wire wheels, a big chrome headlamp and chrome “peashooter” exhaust tailpipes complement heritage livery choices including classic two-tone cranberry and white or menacing jet black for the full Ace Café, ton-up boys tribute. Grab a Lewis Leathers jacket, an old-school skid-lid and escape back in time.
From £7,199 triumph.co.uk