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BMW R nineT Scrambler vs. Triumph Bonneville T 120

24 mayo, 2021

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Again, BMW Y Triumph faces are seen again in a head-to-head confrontation, of course, in the neoclassical category, which is the framework in which this comparison takes place today. This is a terrain that both brands are very good at and which they support with all their might; the British firm is a specialist in these matters, its rejuvenated Modern Classic range is a worldwide success and, with models like the recently released Bonneville T 120, reinforces its position in a segment where it feels practically at home.

BMW is also a firm with a lot of history and tradition, but it was not until the appearance of the R nineT family when Bavarian managers really realized the good business of being well positioned in this segment today. In fact, the original R nineT was called to be an exclusive and limited version to a very small number of units, but the demand and reception was such that BMW was almost forced to increase its offer.

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The results have been so good since its inception that they have even dared with brand-new developments to expand the offer and face new commercial challenges. The first to appear is this R nineT Scrambler, a beautiful version in a minimalist tone that aims to seduce a good number of users with its aesthetics and dual philosophy, very dedicated to asphalt, with a country side that is more the result of a marketing strategy than of a possible real use.

A couple of beauties

It is clear that in a category like this, the image is fundamental; possibly the most important of all the sections that make up our two guests. It is obvious that the work carried out in this regard has been magnificent in both, their creators have given everything when it comes to defining their aesthetics and taking care of every last detail.

This results in some very high quality motorcycles, with a design in which the nakedness of its forms, completely exposing the originality of its mechanics, immediately captures the public’s attention thanks to the wise choice and combination of all kinds of materials and shapes.

All this with the merit of concentrating all that design and good taste in the concise and restricted forms of a naked, since, apart from the fuel tank, the seat and the fenders, there are few more pieces left to give them something more personality. But in both houses they have been able to do it very well. If it were only for their appearance, it would be very difficult to keep just one of them; Fortunately, they are very original motorcycles with character that, in turn, enjoy two markedly different behaviors.

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We will appreciate this clearly and quickly when we get on each of them, since their driving position defines them perfectly. On the one hand we have the Bonnie, with her characteristic comfortable and natural riding position as always, in which her back is practically straight, her arms relaxed and her legs forming an almost perfect right angle. Before her, the new R nineT Scrambler, with a more attacking stance –Although not for that reason much more forced–, with the body leaning forward, the arms supported by its very wide handlebars and the legs somewhat more flexed, located in stirrups much more set back and higher.

The British is by far the most comfortable, although this superiority lies mainly in the comfort of its seat, which, despite not being a virtuoso in this sense – it is almost flat like that of the BMW – is frankly more welcoming than the table. ironing of the German. Nonetheless, We liked the position of the R nineT very much, it is very authentic, especially when it comes to going out on the road, where we should not be fooled by their elaborate designs, since both hide under their attractive appearance equipment and technology that, especially in the case of the Triumph, is to have it very much in mind.

Up to date

They are both bikes that are very well up-to-date. It is obvious that Many of the components, especially in the German one, have taken advantage of previous modelsYes, but in motorcycles of this class, that, far from being an inconvenience, gives them a certain character. This is the case with the boxer engine of the R nineT, the veteran air-cooled version of the model 1,200 still has arguments to fight; in fact, in terms of performance, it competes fiercely with the Bonnie’s parallel twin, a new-generation engine managed by much more sophisticated electronics.

This is very noticeable in operation, the boxer is an engine with a rougher feel, it vibrates a little more and is more noisy in operation. For its part, the Triumph twin is pure smoothness and finesse, the clutch -which is also anti-skid- and the gearbox offer an extreme sweetness of operation, which make it a very pleasant motorcycle to ride.

Regarding performance, perhaps power is not the least important, although we must highlight a great superiority of 20 hp in favor of the BMW in this regard. Despite this, the main thing in neoclassicals like these is the available pair, since it is thanks to it that the functionality of our guests is so important. On the terrain, They both start very well from a standstill, come out of curves quickly Better yet, they regain exceptional speed when overtaking.

The German is always one step ahead in performance, although the effectiveness of electronics in the British allows us to go safer and more confident on roads and more complex situations. The traction control system, the driving modes – especially the Rain in wet rain – and the slipper clutch when reducing are key when it comes to safeguarding us from any inconvenience. And it is that on asphalt with little grip, this is a difference to take into account, which, although it is not decisive to be able to go faster than the R nine T, it does greatly increase our safety.

Regarding consumption, They are not motorcycles that spend too much. In a mixed city-highway use and the occasional highway section, the average consumption per 100 km was about 5.3 liters in the Bonnie and 5.4 liters in the R nineT. Although that was at a walking pace and being kind to the throttle; in sporty driving, when we are not so finicky about fuel consumption, the BMW even exceeded 6 liters more easily than we would have liked.

Pure vice

It is clear that a percentage of the users who access one of our guests do so because of its aesthetics and that, in most cases, its use will be restricted to urban and interurban travel. But either of the two is capable of offering us much more, his road demeanor is a real joy, since having the most fun despite his docile and civilized appearance is guaranteed.

The best thing is that, even being motorcycles of more than 1,000 cc, they are not very demanding in terms of driving; It is true that when standing still they are somewhat heavy, but when we are running, that weight, which has been strategically distributed by its manufacturers, acts in our favor to provide us with a balanced and easy-to-govern set.

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Something that is noticeable from the beginning in both is how close the weight is to the ground, a fact that helps us feel better stability both on the straight and when cornering and makes them even more pleasant to drive.

The R nineT is a true corner-eater, has a longer wheelbase and its steering geometry is not as tight as the Bonnie, but still manages to maintain fast and easy cornering behavior. . It achieves this to a large extent thanks to a very well compensated suspension section, as is usual in BMW, which, without being extremely hard, enjoy enough consistency to control your 220 kg and the inertias that these cause even at a fairly high rate.

Regarding the brakes, the German one is equipped with simpler calipers than the first R nineT – ABS has been included as standard – but it is a set of proven effectiveness in which both touch and power in large doses are fully guaranteed.

English virtue

For its part, the Triumph is a somewhat calmer motorcycle in behavior. The engine has enough qualities to keep up with the German, but its design and cycle part have not been conceived to beat the chrono. To begin with, the suspensions are much softer in reaction and have a long travel that leaves them a lot of room to guarantee their owners a good ride comfort under normal circumstances.

On the contrary, on all the occasions that we have tried to keep up with the BMW, we were able to detect that the fork compresses quite easily under heavy braking and, by increasing the weight transfer to the front axle, the rear shocks tend to bounce more than desired in sporty riding. Thus Bonnie feels much better when we ride at a calm pace, where, in fact, we can enjoy the most comfortable and enjoyable bike in this comparison.

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Another disadvantage is how close the footpegs are to the asphalt; This is possibly the most limiting factor when trying to drive at a high pace in very twisty sections with the T 120, as it greatly reduces the speed of entering the curve, and, once inside the turn, greatly reduces the degrees of lean.

By last, braking has the expected quality. Triumph’s Modern Classic range has always stood out in this regard, and a model as representative as the T 120 could not be an exception. With the help of Nissin they have made a highly effective and safe braking group thanks to the standard ABS, perhaps with a somewhat spongy feel on the right lever, but with enough precision to apply its good power efficiently.

Finally, the biggest difference between our two guests is in the price. One more time, the exclusivity of BMW leads him to have the most expensive model of this confrontation with 13,700 euros, something that, at least for us, is not completely justified, since the Triumph, at a price of 12,100 euros, offers us a great motorcycle better equipped as standard. The choice is yours.

BMW R nineT Scrambler: Exclusivity at your fingertips

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The success of the BMW R nineT It has been overwhelming, which a priori should be a model limited to a small series, has ended up being the first of a long …

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