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Old 27th January 2014, 20:52   #31
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Hey Mobike very nice comparo. Its exactly the kind of thing one looks for when they are new to the world of premium biking and come from much more humble background of Royal Enfields. You stated points that most of us think about when we take our first ride on such bikes.

And can I say, the Bonnie looks gorgeous! Most find it plain jane, but I just love the understated simple classic look of the Bonnie. I love these retro-modern bikes. The Bonnie, the old Honda CB series from the 70's and the BMW Motorrad R 9T concept, for me, are the ultimate bikes to own.

I've never been a fan of Harleys and never will. But no doubt the blue Iron with the brown seats looks awesome.

Cheers!

Last edited by thumpingheart : 27th January 2014 at 20:54.
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Old 27th January 2014, 22:47   #32
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Nice writeup Avi.

The Bonnie and Harley are compatible in terms of their retro look and for usage as cruisers. But a Harley is strictly a cruiser and is not something you throw around corners. You didn't say anything about the ride quality of the Harley, but I'm sure its stiff considering the limited suspension travel !

For performance seeker, a more apt comparison would be with the Ninja 650. Hope to see that soon.

Having said that Bonnie is a great bike !

Last edited by Mpower : 27th January 2014 at 22:48.
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Old 27th January 2014, 23:19   #33
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Default Re: Unofficial Comparison Report : Harley Davidson Iron 883 Vs. Triumph Bonneville !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Haroon Sir,
How would you compare the Tiger with your 1200 GS? Probably I would be more keen to listen to that analogy
Would agree with your assessment of Bonnie versus Sportsters.

Well Mahesh, I can give lots of insights on the GS, but I dont have any riding experience with the Tiger. Although I had the option of renting that for my New Zealand ride, I stayed with the 1200RT since the luggage space for 2 of us was better on the RT. I just sat on the Tiger Explorer 1200 and it felt almost like the GS, handlebar, pegs, seat etc (the stock seat seemed way more comfortable than the BMW), but I felt the seat height a shade taller (dont know if it was the width of the seat). Also found a new feature on the Explorer, the OE topcase has a sliding mechanism on its base plate to slide sideways to the left & right depending on tilting the bike! (like a sliding door). They said its to improve handling....dont know what that means

Otherwise, the Explorer is directly targeted at the GS/GS Adventure. Everything from the beak, windshield, aux lights, raised muffler, single sided swing arm shaft drive, tubeless spoke wheels, seat design etc are almost a copy past design. However, the engine is one big difference. Many people not used to the small vibrations of the BMW boxer engine may find the Tiger's triple absolutely butter smooth. And indeed the I-3 is a beauty of an engine. In the weight department I guess the BMW is a tad lighter and its tele/para-lever suspension is unique. Beyond this I cant comment on the riding comparison.

Since the BMW GS & Triumph Explorer are similar bikes, for those that may be considering to buy the Triumph Explorer, all I can say is that with my practical riding experience of the BMW GS in India, the Tiger Explorer is a fantastic bike for our Indian road conditions. Higher ground clearance means most bad roads can be tackled without much problems, the menacing size of the bike clearly makes its presence felt on most highways as well as cities and people make way for you......Enough power and comfortable seating for 2-up riding/touring. You can easily mount large hard/soft luggage for your touring needs. A large petrol tank and long range means you wont need frequent fill ups. Sitting high (like riding a horse) you have a good view of the road above most cars. The wide handlebars unlike your regular supersport or naked bikes makes handling the bike a breeze. Ofcourse, these bikes can be a handful for the vertically challenged, but I have seen many shorter riders also comfortably handling the GS, so probably its just practice. Lastly, although these are 'adventure touring' bikes that are portrayed to handle the Sahara in Africa or Road of Bones in Russia, please take note that these are wonderful touring machines for 'all-tarmac riders' with the added bonus of taking on bad roads without having your heart in the mouth. And, for the off road enthusiasts, its still a 'heavy dirt-bike', dont be under false illusions.

Its worthwhile to check with the dealer about fuel grade required for the non-Bonnie Triumph range. Back in 2010 I found more bunks selling the premium unleaded, but in 2014, lesser bunks selling premium unleaded (I am not talking about speed97, but the one in between).

Last edited by Haroon : 27th January 2014 at 23:20.
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Old 28th January 2014, 05:00   #34
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Wow !! For the first time, have I read through a long text about superbikes !! And I loved it absolutely !!

From the first look, the Iron looks more macho and a mean machine. On a lighter note, the pillion may just slip off without a regular bar on the backseat.
The Bonny looks more like that of a regular commuter bike (the looks of a RE). No doubt you liked its ride and handling.
Undoubtedly, both have the power & performance, but what's life without a ride comfort ?

I would want you to go for beg/borrow/steal and buy the Bonny. Who knows, someday you may come-over to Bangalore and let us drool and feel your ride.
I don't even want to walk-in to a HD or a Triumph showroom, what if the manager asks, when are you buying it ? !!
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Old 28th January 2014, 10:56   #35
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Awesome writeup. The glee is written on your face. Thats what a bike should make you feel.IMHO, it is not about buying a bike to fit in. Its a bike to fit out of a group from. Own it, have a great experience and people will follow. Screw the Harley, ride a Bonnie
Thanks, well said. I have always been like that both professionally and personally. I detest herd mentality and like doing my own thing.

Your right about the glee, I was simply not able to control it !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
The reason I said, I knew where you were heading was based on the fact that at the outset you prudently said I will ride both bikes back to back and then come to an educated choice and since then I was eagerly waiting for your ride review unlike some first time big-bike buyers just taking a test ride on the Sportster, buying it and then saying its the best bike out there! And most times, I am sure when first time buyers look at both these bikes, its an almost similar outcome of feelings, likes & dislikes that can be expected....finally head Vs heart.
Yes what you said is right. Some people have a predefined notion of a product being superior without comparing it to a comparable product. I could have also done the same but, being an educated buyer with limited resources, I need to be sure that it's money well spent.

Some people have the notion that I should have kept it only about Bonny. But, why? I pitted it against a product which is legendary, similar cc and best part exact pricing and found what is best for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
Ram and a few others on this forum will know my affinity for BMW bikes. However (I have discussed on this forum few times before also) prior to entering the world of BMW more than 15 years back, I did own a Harley Sportster 883 (those days here in Saudi test rides were unheard of and hence I made the purchase purely based on sitting & feeling the bike on the showroom floor). I sold it after about 6,000 kms in 3-4 months and moved on. Later when the rubber mounted engine made its debut, I was curious and I did a long test ride on that as well. The ride & handling although a shade better than my older version, was just not to my liking. Fast forward to 2012 in New Zealand after just coming off an almost 1800km trip on the land barge- the BMW R1200RT, I was asking the rental owner questions on the Bonnie T100 that was his wife's bike and surprisingly he told me to take it for a nice long ride. Since they are located outside the city I rode it thru some nice winding country roads and absolutely loved the ride & handling of the bike. Yes, I did feel the bike's accommodations a lil cramped esp since I was living for the past 7 days on a large & comfy 1200RT. Also the stock suspension may need some tweaking, but it was still ahead of the Sportster (purely my personal opinion). And surely for the price & engine capacity I cant make a comparison with the BMW, but the Bonnie was speaking to me way better than what the Sportster did. BTW, even if you ask many of the old classic bike riders, Triumph's from the early eras were also fine handling bikes.Personally for me, the Bonneville will be a nice second bike for my solo touring and weekend rides while my 1200GS will serve my 2-up touring needs.
Wow, thanks for that lovely description. I can now imagine why that respect for a Bonny. I cant wait to own and experience it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post
Did you get the impression that this can be used as a daily commute in stop-go traffic? Did the bike heat up in any way or was everything manageable?
Thats a good question and something which I asked on the Triumph thread already. While riding the Bonny, there was absolutely no indication of heat. But, when i finished the ride and came to a standstill, it was slightly on warmer side.

Maybe Haroon or Ram can share some inputs as to why/what it could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insearch View Post
The Bonnie is different. It has a specific history and reason for existence, not comparable to anything else, in the true sense. It is just like our local bullets, which have had a certain niche (in the past at least)

I can imagine a Harley rider catching all the attention on a busy road due to the size/style or the sound of the bike. The Bonnie would just slip through unnoticed for the most part, and that appeals to me. One can enjoy the bike without having to "live up" to any image. In other words, there is nothing about the Bonneville that stands out. Of course, that could be enough reason for some of us to avoid it
I agree and disagree on two things you mentioned here which is just my own opinion.

Totally agree that we dont ride with brands but, with friends on a machine that "should" give you joy and not meant for other road users to ogle.

Disagree that a bike of this stature should go away unnoticed. After all, Bonneville is a legend and should get its due attention on road. Iam sure some minor mods ( as you will see from my subsequent posts) can make it look utterly desirable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheonix View Post
Quick Drive : Push the button and with a little growl ,the nimble engine comes to life. Very subtle. You would probably expect a howl of the 800+ motor but it rather stays meek. Very cautiously i let the clutch go slowly, even at zero throttle the bike was on roll,the clutch was just amazing. Little flick of the throttle and it just "flew". Such dose of power was new to me and i was literally blown by the power of the engine.I got a bit scared and pressed the brake bit frantically and felt a very sharp bite from the both the brakes.Amazing braking stuff in front and rear. I thought i would skid off but the rear tyres have such great grip that they held the road very well. Amazing engine and a brilliant,smooth gearbox, you can take it to 70KMPH in first gear and you dont even feel like you are stressing the engine at all. You cannot stop from twisting the throttle and test its limits.After those 30 seconds and that you have now experienced the power,braking and grip , this handles like breeze.Within a short stretch of road where I did the TD i could see the needle doing tripple digits and i realised that only after looking at the speedo.You keep on twisting only to see loads of power flowing in . Bear with me for saying this but i felt myself like Trinity ( from Matrix Reloaded) riding her Ducati 999 dodging traffic as everything around looked to be moving very slow and i just dipped the bike through traffic thanks to the erogonomics of this bike which give you so much confidence to push this bike to its limits and it does all that with such an ease. So "Yes" speed and instantaneous power and good doses of torque at the flick of your wrist is always available at your command along with great riding dynamics
Woah, that's some write-up ( iam ignoring the cliche about earning the Bonneville part--though i agree its as smooth and silky as the Bonneville chocolate ). As you are an ardent bulleeter yourself, I reckon you too felt instantly comfortable with this bike as it's the most logical upgrade if you are looking to relive the bullet soul wrapped in new age technology & shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
This guy has an interesting review of the bonnie up.
This has been shared a few times on the Triumph thread. Indeed a funny take on the Bonny

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Personally for me the Beemers are the ultimate thing. We cannot even compare them with the Sportster's and the Bonne's . One day it's gonna be a 1200GS or similar for me.
Confusing comment Dkaile. You say Beemer is an ultimate thing and then in same breathe you say it cannot be compared to Sportsters and Bonnie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post
And can I say, the Bonnie looks gorgeous! Most find it plain jane, but I just love the understated simple classic look of the Bonnie. I love these retro-modern bikes. The Bonnie, the old Honda CB series from the 70's and the BMW Motorrad R 9T concept, for me, are the ultimate bikes to own. I've never been a fan of Harleys and never will. But no doubt the blue Iron with the brown seats looks awesome.
Whew! Iam wiping some sweat off my brow. I thought I was only sucker for Bonnie's simple and elegant lines and was almost thinking maybe i need to get my head examined. ......Nice to know you like how it looks

Yup, its beautiful to look at ( pictures dont do justice actually)

My only gripe with Bonny-Wish it was little bigger !!

Last edited by mobike008 : 28th January 2014 at 10:58.
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Old 28th January 2014, 10:56   #36
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Default Re: Unofficial Comparison Report : Harley Davidson Iron 883 Vs. Triumph Bonneville !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post

Since you have experience with both these bikes. Request your valuable inputs on both these bikes. It would be extremely interesting to know for me personally and for everyone else interested in these bikes. Thanks!!

Jokes apart, I respect both bikes but, at the end of the day its heart vs. head decision as rightly put by Haroon.

There are plenty of accessories for Bonny, maybe not as comprehensive as the Harley but, its almost there. My priority would be the following :-

If you have time and possibility, do a TD/TR of the T100 as well. I realised only last week that the current Bonnies are with 17" wheel on front and back whilst T100 has a 19" front.

Since you are tall person, you may find T100 more comfortable - at 5.5' I have absolutely no issues with my ride which has the same wheel size as T100. Of course the ride experience will be different with the wire wheels.

I think you should do this before the final call.

Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 28th January 2014, 11:00   #37
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Confusing comment Dkaile. You say Beemer is an ultimate thing and then in same breathe you say it cannot be compared to Sportsters and Bonnie.
I don't see anything confusing about it. The Beemers make earth conquering cruisers and are the ultimate bikes for me. We cannot even begin to compare them with these soft road cruisers. They are leagues ahead and if I had the 'mental' budget, I would have gone for something like the 1200GS.
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Old 28th January 2014, 11:05   #38
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
If you have time and possibility, do a TD/TR of the T100 as well. I realised only last week that the current Bonnies are with 17" wheel on front and back whilst T100 has a 19" front.

Since you are tall person, you may find T100 more comfortable - at 5.5' I have absolutely no issues with my ride which has the same wheel size as T100. Of course the ride experience will be different with the wire wheels.
I will surely do a TD of the T100 before making a final call as you say there is some difference in the GC and wheelbase.

But, I am personally not a huge fan of dual tone colors and for me the Black or Silver bonny looks awesome

Absythguzzler is taking delivery of his Black Bonny this evening. I may be there for that ceremony
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Old 28th January 2014, 14:19   #39
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Iam sure there must be plenty of modified Triumph Bonneville on the web. Till yesterday, never bothered to even search for them

However, a quick search got me these pictures.

Some simple modifications to Bonny makes it look much more appealing than its notorious "plain jane" reputation

Stock Bonny

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Modded Bonny

Name:  Modded Bonny.jpg
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Name:  Modded Bonny 2.jpg
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Size:  35.9 KB

Would be interesting to know the views of members on these changes.

Does it spoil its original look or these mods have actually made it more appealing?
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Old 28th January 2014, 14:24   #40
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Are all the Bonnies coming with this dull matte black finish to the engine casings or do some also come in buffed aluminium finish? I think its a lovely looking bike as it comes from the factory personally - the all black one you rode.
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Old 28th January 2014, 15:27   #41
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Iam sure there must be plenty of modified Triumph Bonneville on the web. Till yesterday, never bothered to even search for them
The images which you've attached (with the clip-on mirrors etc) make it look very cafe-racer'ish and IMHO, loses out on some of its native appeal. A Scrambler or Thruxton might prove better platforms for such modifications.

Also I thought that the normal Bonneville (non-T100) version (in your before pic) comes with mag wheels, unless you're referring to the T-100.

Last edited by mobike008 : 28th January 2014 at 15:56. Reason: Please dont quote images, vidoes and long text..Tks
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Old 28th January 2014, 15:55   #42
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Are all the Bonnies coming with this dull matte black finish to the engine casings or do some also come in buffed aluminium finish? I think its a lovely looking bike as it comes from the factory personally - the all black one you rode.
There are only 3 colors in Triumph Bonneville SE (Non-T100). Black, Silver and Blue/White Dual tone. Even the Silver looks very nice but, I liked Black the best.

The black bonny which i rode is the only version offered by Triumph. No buffed aliminium finish, all engine casings are dull matte black only

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInTheFold View Post
The images which you've attached (with the clip-on mirrors etc) make it look very cafe-racer'ish and IMHO, loses out on some of its native appeal. A Scrambler or Thruxton might prove better platforms for such modifications. Also I thought that the normal Bonneville (non-T100) version (in your before pic) comes with mag wheels, unless you're referring to the T-100.
Well, my opinion is different. Whatever vidoes or pictures I have seen of Bonny, most of them have that clip on mirrors and I personally like that, even though i know its cafe racer'sh and suits the Thruxton more. Since its such a simple add on, no harm in clipping it on as it can be removed in a jiffy if required.

If iam not wrong from 2013 models, even the basic Bonny which is known as SE version also comes with spoked wheels in western countries. However in India, Bonny SE is offered only with mag wheels and has an inch smaller front wheel and 10mm smaller wheelbase, i personally like SE mags but, it makes the wheel look smaller.
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Old 28th January 2014, 22:20   #43
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
Its worthwhile to check with the dealer about fuel grade required for the non-Bonnie Triumph range. Back in 2010 I found more bunks selling the premium unleaded, but in 2014, lesser bunks selling premium unleaded (I am not talking about speed97, but the one in between).
Thats a good point that you highlighted. I did check on the fuel grade for just the Bonny and its the regular petrol which is nice to know

Do you think the rest of the range may have a higher octane requirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
You didn't say anything about the ride quality of the Harley, but I'm sure its stiff considering the limited suspension travel !

For performance seeker, a more apt comparison would be with the Ninja 650Hope to see that soon.Having said that Bonnie is a great bike !
I thought that I covered the ride quality of the Harley, if not, here it is again :-

Due to the bulk of the bike, it feels more comfortable only in straight lines and perhaps after getting used to the bike, Iron can be thrown around the corners, maybe Shubz who owns it can throw more light on this aspect

Ride wise, you are right, its on the stiffer side and overall, Iron feels good when you riding in a straight line and you would need a lot of practice or guts to throw it around corner and yet feel comfortable

Well, Ninja 650 is in a different league. You wont beileve my interest in bikes started with sports but, due to the weight that I put on, i had to accept the hard fact that it's no longer the right bike for me. Having said that I still love sportsbikes and my current favorite being the new ZX1000 and ZX-14

Last edited by mobike008 : 28th January 2014 at 22:22.
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Old 28th January 2014, 22:30   #44
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Well, Ninja 650 is in a different league. You wont beileve my interest in bikes started with sports but, due to the weight that I put on, i had to accept the hard fact that it's no longer the right bike for me. Having said that I still love sportsbikes and my current favorite being the new ZX1000 and ZX-14
You look much younger than me bro. I came down to 80 kilos from close to 100 within a few months recently. BMI from well into the Overweight range to now well into the Normal range.

Its a lot easier to lose weight than make the wrong bike fit into your life.
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Old 28th January 2014, 22:41   #45
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Default Re: Comparison Report: Harley Davidson Iron 883 vs Triumph Bonneville

Could anyone throw light on the Tubeless tyres used on Spoked wheels in Tiger or BMW 1200 GS? How can they fit a tubeless tyre on a spoked wheel, if so this set up is far better than alloys which crack.

A spoked wheel can take up a lot more abuse than a alloy wheel. This virtue is particularly more important for our Indian roads and Ladakh tours.
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