Triumph relaunched their 650cc twin, the Bonneville, for 1971 with the new oil-carrying frame, alongside sister company, BSA. Despite its fine handling qualities, the chassis ran into criticism because of its tall seat and was revised three times before a lower version was standardised for 1972 together with a thinner saddle. The new models’ botched introduction meant that within two years the entire BSA-Triumph Group was in severe financial difficulty, and the proposed closure of Triumph’s Meriden factory led to the workers occupying the plant in September 1973. By this time the arrival of the 750cc T140 Bonneville had signalled that the 650’s days were numbered, and the workers’ occupation effectively sealed its fate.
One of the last of the 650cc Bonnevilles, this matching-numbers example was originally built in January of ’71. From a southwestern collection, the bike was restored some years ago, prior to our vendor’s ownership, and has been stored in a climate-controlled environment alongside classic British bikes and high-end American 4-wheeled muscle since. Fresh from a re-commissioning by marque experts, Glory Motorworks, the bike is offered in good riding condition.