1961 650cc T120 Bonneville

1961 650cc T120 Bonneville




Engine Size


About the 1961 650cc T120 Bonneville

1961 650cc T120 Bonneville

The Bonneville sold from 1960 to 1962 is often regarded as the best-looking version of this famous model. The first of the twin-carburettor T120 line launched for 1959 was very similar to its Tiger 110 predecessor in style but a raunchier look was adopted for 1960. The frame now had twin downtubes, a self-contained chrome headlamp replaced the nacelle and lighter mudguarding was fitted.

Rough treatment in American cross-country racing threw up some frame failures, so an extra bracing tube was added under the fuel tank for 1961. Other changes for that year were the fitment of two standard Amal Monobloc carburettors in the place of the earlier ‘chopped’ instruments with a remote floatbowl and better brakes with fully-floating friction shoes.

Able to exceed 100mph with ease, the ‘duplex Bonnie’ had some weaknesses including excessive vibration and instability in fast corners. A major redesign for 1963 introduced a new single-downtube frame and unit construction of the engine and gearbox. In the following years, the T120 became a much-improved motorcycle but in the opinion of many the early Sixties’ versions were never bettered for looks.        

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