Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Year Bonneville

I bought my Bonneville fournyears ago this week and rode it home four years ago tomorrow. Since then Pure Triumph of Ft Lauderdale has closed and the dealership has moved to Miami.

Since then the bike has lived here, under the house. Since then I have put 54,429 miles on the clock.

The bike has corroded a bit as expected since I bought it. I wash it weekly and hose it off more often to try to keep the salt air at bay but corrosion is inevitable.

It looked quite crisp when new:

I have found the Bonneville to be reliable and easy to ride over the years. I have been annoyed by the valve cover which when removed, for a valve check at 12,000 miles needs a new $50 gasket and washers otherwise the cover develops a slight leak which may be historically appropriate for a Triumph but it is annoying. it's never bad enough to require oil to be added but the seep is irritating.

The Parabellum windshield is brilliant, gives good cover and never squeaks or shifts.

I have scratched a bit falling off in a muddy Pennsylvania parking lot, a minor incident Jack Riepe made endless fun of as he rubbed out the worst of the scratches for me when I dropped by to see him.

I've added $65 Pelican 1430 cases as saddlebags, bolting them to the rails Triumph sells for soft bags. The Pelicans are cheap and tough and completely watertight and they're not too wide or bulky. With those, the $100 Emgo top case and a cargo net on the I have all the luggage capacity I need to take groceries home, take an Iron Butt ride or simply park the bike and leave all my riding gear out of sight and out of the weather.

I never bought the bike as a weekend ride, I wanted something comfortable easy and reliable and I got all that for $8,000. I never intended to worry about resale value or trading "up" as long the bike works. So far so good.

Eventually I will have to spend money painting the exhaust pipes and probably having the engine covers jet coated black to deal with the corrosion but for now....I like the simplicity of carburettors as we move to the complexity of fuel injection to meet pollution standards. The chain drive is very low maintenance as well.

I lubricate it with a total loss Loobman oiler system available from the Aerostich catalogue. For fifty bucks it does great job of keeping the chain happy while flinging oil over the back of the bike...not a good tool for Sunday fair weather riding fusspots.

Yup, here she is again, the daily rider, then commuter, the long distance mile eater.

The everything but a beauty queen roadster. You can't keep me off her. If your ride intimidates you and you find yourself finding excuses not to ride, get a Bonneville. It's too much fun.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


cpa3485 said...

It's a Beauty!

Anonymous said...

....and John Hartle'd be proud of you today.

Conchscooter said...

Jim it is still a Bonneville under the crud...though I do like the Harley Dyna Switchback... at twice the price.
Ref Hartle- he hasn't pulled me over in four years either. Not least because I am always on the look out for him at the 3800 block and deadmans. So far so good!

Anonymous said...

Johnny won the TT on a Bonneville in 1967. BIG deal that, at least at the time.

Anonymous said...

Johnny won the TT on a Bonneville in 1967. BIG deal that, at least at the time.

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

I take two small cans of Rust-Oleum out to the bike when I'm bored - a can a silver and a can of black. armed with a pair of artist's brushes and a rag, I paint bolt heads and other exposed and partially corroded metal bits.

Alloy must be painted in the Keys. Clearcoat does not stick welly to polished metal. I'm having luck in Guam with spraycan metallic paints on my recently cleaned engine cases.