What are the best tyres for the Triumph Bonneville motorcycle?

By Julia Freeman

Written off in the 1970s, British motorcycles have made a remarkable comeback since the 1990s. Triumph Motorcycles, in particular, grow more popular every day and no Triumph is more iconic than the Bonneville family. While their styling clearly descends from their 1950s and 1960s predecessors there is nothing retro about their performance and engineering. Everything is executed with detailed precision and that extends to their tyre recommendations.

Triumph Bonneville

On any vehicle, it is important to fit tyres whose characteristics suit the vehicle as well as the rider. Those tyres must also match each other, because if they react to road and weather conditions differently the vehicle will lose stability. Our tyre professionals point out that when you only have two wheels. matching them well is twice as important.
 
Triumph say the same, but they don’t make it easy. Some models are shipped with surprising tyre combinations, for example, a radial behind a bias-ply on some Bonnevilles and Thruxtons. They also recommend different tyre brands for otherwise similar bikes. Riders can download a list of tyre recommendations from Triumph’s website, but should still feel free to make their choice in view of their own riding habits and preferences.

Triumph Bonneville models

Modern Bonnevilles come in several models: the original 790 family (including the 865 and SE), the T100, the T120 and the Bobber. The America and Speedmaster are basically “stretched” versions, and although the Thruxton doesn’t bear the name it is arguably another Bonneville model.

Buy Motorcycle Tyres for your Triumph Bonneville

Tyre sizes

Most “original” Bonnevilles like the 865 have a 19” 100/90 on the front and a 17” 130/80 behind. The Triumph Bonneville T100 tyre size is an 18” 100/90 on the front and a 17” 150/70 behind. The T120 is usually the same. Most Bonneville 1200s go for an 18” 110/90 on the front and a 17” 150/80 behind.

Tyre recommendations

Many earlier Bonnevilles come with Metzeler (ME33) tyres. Leading alternatives include the Bridgestone BT45 and the Avon RoadRider. Many riders report better steering and durability from these tyres. From 2009-2016 most Bonnevilles were fitted with Metzeler Lasertecs which are excellent tyres, but Bridgestone BT45 and Pirelli Sport Demons are also good choices. Leading recommendations for the T100 and T120 are the Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp or Avon Storm 3D, while for the 1200 Bobber and Speedmaster models it is Bridgestone Exedra Max or Avon Cobra AV71.
 
Triumph’s specific recommendations often depend on the year as well as the model. Other tyres often seen on Triumph motorcycles include the Pirelli Scorpion Trail, Pirelli Angels and Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp. Suggested Bridgestone options are the Battle Wing, Battlax and Exedra ranges. Metzeler has the Tourance and Lasertec; Michelin has the Anakee 3 and Road Classic. Finally, from Avon the Storm 3D, Cobra, RoadRider, TrailRider and TrekRider ranges.

The local garage you can trust

One thing to note is that the cast wheels of standard Bonnevilles can use tubeless tyres whereas models with spoked wheels, including most T100s, should not. Ask our tyre professionals if you are in any doubt, you can ask your local Protyre garage using our online contact form.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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