2020 Bud Ekins Bonneville T120 and T100 Special Editions

In 2020, Triumph will launch two very special editions of the iconic Bonneville T120 and T100 that celebrate the iconic name and legend of Bud Ekins. A 1960s motorcycle icon, Bud was a professional Hollywood stuntman, top motocross and desert racer, and the rider who made arguably the most famous motorcycle film jump in history in the WWII film The Great Escape on behalf of his movie star friend and ISDT partner Steve McQueen. These two new beautiful special editions feature a one-off Californian inspired Bud Ekins paint scheme and a range of dedicated special details and touches.

Two very special editions: 

  • Each model comes with a dedicated two-colour paint scheme with hand-painted coach lining and heritage Triumph logo, used for the first time on a modern full production Triumph.
  • Unique California ‘flying globe’ Bud Ekins tank logo
  • Dedicated front mudguard paint finish with California ‘ flying globe’ Bud Ekins logo
  • Beautiful Bonneville ‘Bud Ekins’ side panel branding  

Higher specification details and finish:

  • Monza filler cap
  • Higher specification LED indicators (market dependent)  
  • Diamond knurled handlebar grips and bar end mirrors
  • Dedicated black engine badges 

Collector’s certificate

  • Each bike will come with a unique certificate of authenticity that includes an account of the incredible Bud Ekins story
  • These are signed by Nick Bloor, Triumph CEO and both of Bud Ekins’ daughters, Susan Ekins and Donna Ekins  

Based on the timeless Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100:

  • Both motorcycles feature advanced rider-focused technology for rider control, safety and confidence
  • Both with High Torque twin Bonneville engines, with exciting torque delivery and modern capability, delivering 80 PS on the T120 and 55 PS on the T100
  • Dedicated chassis and suspension set-up, for relaxed and refined riding every day, all day, alone or with a pillion
  • Original styling inspired by the legendary ’59 Bonneville, with iconic styling cues, detailing and features

Based on the timeless Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100, the new for 2020 Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100 Bud Ekins Special Editions celebrate Bud Ekins, a genuine motorcycle legend. A professional stuntman and top class motocross and desert racer, Bud also ran Triumph's biggest American dealership of the time in Sherman Oaks, California, where he became a close friend and the riding partner of a host of Hollywood stars from Steve McQueen, to Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood.

The 2020 Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100 Bud Ekins Special Editions take all of the classic style and modern capability of the standard Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100 and bring an even higher standard of finish, including:
            - Exclusive California-inspired tank design with striking California ‘flying globe’ logo
            - Unique Triumph heritage tank logo
            - Unique Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100 Bud Ekins logo on the side panels
            - Dedicated front mudguard paint finish with beautiful California ‘flying globe’ logo

In addition to their unique paint scheme, the T120 and T100 Bud Ekins Special Editions also feature a host of premium details that further enhance their individual style and one-off positioning, including;
            - Monza-style flip-up cap
            - Higher specification LED indicators (market dependent) 
            - Diamond knurl textured handlebar grips
            - Minimal bar-end mirrors
            - Dedicated black engine badges           

As these are official Triumph Special Edition motorcycles, each Bud Ekins Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T100 motorcycle is sold with a certificate of authenticity, which includes an exclusive account of Bud Ekins’ incredible story and is signed by Triumph’s CEO Nick Bloor and Bud Ekins’ daughters, Susan and Donna Ekins.

 

BUD EKINS – DESERT RACER.  STUNT RIDER.  GENUINE MOTORCYCLE LEGEND.

Born in Los Angeles in 1930, Bud Ekins learned to ride in the nearby Hollywood Hills, honing his off-road skills long before he could legally ride on the road.  Luckily, California was host to a thriving off-road racing fraternity and even by his late teenage years he earned a mighty reputation as one of SoCal’s top motocross and desert racers.

By the time US Triumph superdealer Bill Johnson provided Ekins with a TR5 Trophy, on which he won the Catalina Grand Prix, Ekins knows well that in Triumph he has found a manufacturer that builds the kind of strong, fast and light motorcycles with all the agility, responsiveness and power that he yearns for.

Ekins’ success in the mid-fifties coincided with Triumph’s emergence as a major player in world motorcycling, with both parties playing their roles in re-defining what a motorcycle was capable of. Triumph’s famous managing director and design chief, Edward Turner, continued to develop incredible Triumph twin engine motorcycles which were becoming increasingly powerful, efficient and reliable. Johnny Allen held the 1955 and 1956 motorcycle land speed world records using Triumph factory engines, and Ekins was forging a lasting alliance with Triumph motorcycles that would ultimately see him regarded as America’s top off-road racer and also a celebrated Triumph dealership owner.

In 1956, when Ekins finished 2nd in the 153-mile off-road Californian Big Bear Motorcycle Run, the first-, second- and third-placed riders were all on Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycles.  Triumph’s racing domination was such that when Ekins won the same race the next year, 20 of the top 25 finishers were all on Triumphs.


TOP US DEALERSHIP

Shrewdly understanding the massive potential and performance superiority of Triumph motorcycles in the context of an emerging popularity for the more reliable, lightweight and powerful British bikes, Ekins’ racing successes led him to open a Triumph dealership in North Hollywood. 

It quickly became a magnet for many young up-and-coming movie actors including Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.  Ekins lived and breathed Triumph motorcycles and selling them seemed to come naturally, leading to considerable business success to go with his considerable racing achievements.


STEVE McQUEEN

One local motorcycle enthusiast at that time was Hollywood’s legend Steve McQueen. His favourite early bike was his TR5 Trophy, serviced by none other than Ekins’ dealership where the pair struck up an instant rapport. Ekins introduced McQueen to the burgeoning Californian desert racing scene and McQueen was instantly hooked on this exciting underground movement, spending as much time as he could either hooning across the dunes or just enjoying the anonymous normality of passing time with Ekins and his riding buddies back at the dealership.

In spite of the demands of running a successful Triumph dealership, Ekins was still racing, successfully competing in several off-road races including the Hare and Hound, Mint 400 and Baja 1000 (which he helped establish).  McQueen often joined him to race, often using another name to withhold his identity to organisers and other competitors.  He was a fast learner and a fast rider, and as Ekins was such a highly regarded rider who had previously represented the US in the incredibly high profile International Six Days Trial, regarded as the Olympics of motorcycling, he facilitated McQueen’s famous entry to ride for the US team in the 1964 East German ISDT – both on Triumphs. Ekins would go on to win an impressive four ISDT Gold Medals in just seven years.

 

THE GREAT ESCAPE

In autumn 1962, McQueen was preparing to fly to Europe for filming what would become one of the following year’s highest grossing movies, The Great Escape. McQueen pushed for motorcycle stunt riding in the film and recommended his good friend Bud Ekins to the producers. Ekins was employed on a four-month contract, though it took far less than that for McQueen (with Ekins’ help) to conceive of and rewrite the dramatic highlight to his character’s storyline.

McQueen’s character, Captain Virgil Hilts has escaped a prisoner of war camp, commandeered a bike, and is being chased through stunning meadows in an attempt to locate the Swiss border. As enemy soldiers close in, Hilts must desperately make a spectacular motorcycle jump over a high barbed wire fence, and thereafter reach the relative safety of neutral Switzerland.

Between them, using small trial and error practice jumps, McQueen and Ekins worked out the capabilities of their favourite off-road choice, a 650cc Triumph TR6 Trophy, to squeeze maximum dramatic effect from the scene. They calculated that an 80mph run-up was required to clear a raised twelve-foot barbed-wire fence onto an inclined landing area around 60ft away. All on grass. McQueen was sensibly prevented, by the movie’s insurers from performing the stunt himself, much to his frustration, so Ekins stepped in.

The jump is one of the most iconic moments in Hollywood movie history which still lives on in this way today.  In 1962 a TR6 Trophy would redline at 6,000rpm with peak power at around 42bhp, but the powerful Triumph engine’s responsiveness and the torque from the parallel twin made it McQueen and Ekins’s first choice, and the restored bike on which Ekins successfully completed the jump as seen in the movie is currently on show at Triumph Motorcycles’ Factory Visitor Experience at Hinckley, which is open free of charge to the public.

 

HOLLYWOOD STUNT RIDER

Bud Ekins’ racing success and friendships opened up a new career path. As ‘that jump’ gained distinction as the most famous motorcycle stunt ever seen in a movie, the demand for Ekins as a stunt rider increased. Considered one of the best in Hollywood, he’d continued performing movie stunts for the next 30 years or so, happily returning to continue his dealership business in between filming responsibilities.

 

BONNEVILLE T120

1200cc High Torque engine
The authentic character of the Bonneville T120 comes to life through the 1200cc high torque
8 valve, parallel Bonneville twin engine. 

Built specifically for the modern classic riding style, with immediate and exciting torque delivery, it produces a peak torque figure of 105Nm at a low 3,100 rpm – an amazing 54% more than the previous air cooled Bonneville T100 generation.

With the pinpoint accuracy and instant throttle response of Triumph’s next generation ride-by-wire fuel-injection and engine management system, the six-speed 1200cc Bonneville engine is engineered with a charismatic tone and 270° firing interval for characterful, linear power delivery.

The engine profile has been beautifully crafted to incorporate key heritage styling cues from the legendary 60's Bonneville bikes, sensitively incorporating contemporary components to maintain that iconic engine silhouette. 

Behind the 1200 engine’s stylish exterior sits a cutting-edge liquid cooling system, carefully integrated to minimise its visual impact whilst achieving cleaner emissions and enhancing fuel efficiency – 13% better than the previous air-cooled generation. This, combined with an extended service interval of 10,000 miles (16,000km) dramatically reduces the overall cost of ownership.

Finally, elegant peashooter style exhausts follow a clean ‘straight line run’ achieved through an ingenious twin skin design that covers the pipe run through the cat box and out again. It delivers the true sound of a British twin, with a deep and rich exhaust note that truly matches the T120 character, tuned to a level you would want and expect.


Modern capability
 
The Bonneville T120 Bud Ekins Edition shares all of the T120’s advanced standard of capability, with a wealth of rider-focused technology to deliver exceptional control, safety and enhanced rider confidence - integrated sensitively and without compromise to maintain the authentic Bonneville style and character.

Including:

ABS

Triumph’s variable anti-lock braking system brings a new level of safety and control to the Bonneville.

Ride-by-wire

For enhanced throttle responsiveness, safety, feel and fuel economy

Traction control

Taking advantage of the ride-by-wire system the switchable traction control system offers increased and optimised control.

Two riding modes

Linked to the ride-by-wire system the two selectable riding mode options 'Road’ and ‘Rain' provide the rider with greater control and safety.

Torque assist clutch 

Bringing a light touch and feel to the clutch to make it easy to ride, and ride longer.

DRL Headlight

Incorporating the latest in daytime running lights (DRL) that delivers a distinctive light pattern and enhanced power efficiency for long term durability (where legislation allows).

LED rear light

Built into the classically inspired tail set-up, bringing a distinctive rear light pattern and power efficiency, with an integrated
number plate light.

USB charge socket  

Underseat USB socket provided so riders can charge their essential devices.

Engine immobiliser

Transponder integrated into the T120 key.

Stylish twin clocks

Feature packed clocks (speedo and rev counter) with beautiful 3D dial faces, cleverly incorporating a digital menu system.

Key features include:
- Riding mode setting – Road or Rain
- Gear position indicator
- Odometer
- Two trip settings
- Service indicator
- Range to empty
- Fuel level, average and current MPG
- Access to turn off traction control
- Clock

Additionally riders can add accessories which would also then be accessed via the clock display, including cruise control.

Switchgear

Elegant switchgear presents simple fingertip controls for easy access to the key features on the twin clocks.

 

Relaxed and refined handling

The Bonneville T120 features a chassis and suspension set-up developed for relaxed and refined riding every day, all day, alone or with a pillion.

Combining Triumph’s signature ride dynamic of neutrality, agility and stability with comfortable seat and suspension travel for an engaging, yet easy-going ride. With its relaxed riding position, centre stand and passenger grab rail, the Bud Ekins Bonneville T120 Special Edition is fully equipped for maximum comfort and real world practicality.

 

Original styling

Inspired by the legendary ’59 Bonneville, the new Bonneville T120 has been crafted to incorporate more of the original’s DNA and iconic styling cues, detailing and features.

From the overall Bonneville silhouette, to the sculpted flowing lines of the fuel tank, the intricately detailed badges, lights and stunning twin clocks, the T120 is a timeless icon, beautifully evolved.

 

 

BONNEVILLE T100

 

900cc High Torque engine

Offering all the quality, performance, capability and comfort expected of the modern Bonneville family, the T100 is powered by the critically acclaimed Bonneville 900cc, ‘high torque’ 8 valve, parallel twin engine that offers more torque, better fuel economy and a richer, deeper exhaust note than the previous air cooled generation.

Specifically tuned to achieve high torque low down, it produces a peak torque figure of 80Nm at 3200 rpm – an increase of 18% on the previous air cooled generation Bonneville T100 for a more thrilling and engaging ride.

With enhanced throttle response from Triumph’s ride-by-wire fuel injection and a slick five-speed gearbox the T100 is engineered to deliver a 270° firing interval for a smooth, linear power delivery. A cutting-edge liquid cooling system, carefully integrated into the distinctive character of the Bonneville, reduces fuel emissions and significantly improves fuel efficiency by up to 29%. This, combined with an extended service interval of 10,000 miles (16,000km) dramatically reduces the overall cost of ownership.

The T100 distinctive twin pea-shooter silencers are crafted in a classic style and come with the Bonneville’s ingenious twin skin design for a superb finish and clean line, delivering a unique rich exhaust note for the unmistakeable sound of a British Twin.

 

Modern capability

The Bonneville T100 Bud Ekins Edition shares all of the standard T100s high quality detailing, finish, matched by its modern capabilities, which includes a host of rider-focused technology for maximum control and safety.

Including:

Ride-by-Wire

Delivering enhanced rideability, feel, safety and control, from a single throttle body.

ABS

The latest generation anti-lock braking system – introducing a new level of safety and control yet remaining unobtrusive and with minimal visual impact.

Switchable
Traction Control

Switchable traction control via the instrument menu helps to maximise rider safety and comfort.

Torque Assist Clutch

Designed to reduce clutch lever effort for the rider, bringing a lighter touch and feel to the clutch and making it easier to ride, and for longer.

LED Rear Light

Incorporated into the classic design, it creates a distinctive light pattern with enhanced power efficiency and excellent visibility.

Engine Immobiliser

Thatcham-approved immobiliser incorporated into key with high value Triumph badge.

USB Charging Socket

Mounted underneath the seat for convenient charging of essential devices.

Stylish Twin Clocks

Feature packed clocks (speedo and rev counter) cleverly incorporating a digital menu system for fingertip control while riding. With:

- Gear position indicator
- Odometer
- Two trip settings
- Service indicator
- Range to empty
- Fuel level
- Average and current fuel consumption
- Clock
- Traction control settings

From the extensive optional accessory range, cruise control and heated grips are available.

 

Great accessibility

One of the key highlights of the T100 is the chassis and suspension set-up designed with a low seat height for advanced comfort levels for the rider, giving a great overall riding experience whether for long distance journeys, every day use or with a pillion.

The T100 features a unique longer rear suspension unit and cartridge front forks which work together to offer the rider an engaging yet easy-going riding experience.

The T100 is lighter than the T120 and also has a shorter wheelbase, rake and trail than the previous generation T100. This combined with the low seat height and relaxed riding position, make it more accessible and easier to ride than ever before for every rider.

To further enhance the superior handling of the T100, the bikes is fitted as standard with custom developed Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp tyres, designed especially by Pirelli for the Bonneville family with stiffness and profile changes to the front tyre, and deeper tread on the rear for secure handling and improved durability.

 

Inspired styling

Inspired by the legendary ’59 Bonneville and styled to incorporate more of the iconic design, silhouette and character of the original, the T100 has its own distinctive character, enhanced by the premium finishes and signature touches of a genuine motorcycle icon.

 

 

Specifications

 

Bonneville T100 Bud Ekins SE

Bonneville T120 Bud Ekins SE

Engine Type

Liquid cooled, 8 valve SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin

Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin

Capacity

900cc

1200 cc

Bore/Stroke

84.6mm x 80mm

97.6 x 80 mm

Compression Ratio

10.55:1

10.0:1

Maximum Power

55 PS / 54 HP (40.5kW) @ 5900 rpm

80 PS / 79 BHP (59 kW) @ 6,550 rpm

Maximum Torque

80Nm @ 3230 rpm

105 Nm @ 3,100 rpm

Fuel system

Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection

Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection

Exhaust

Chromed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin silencers

Chromed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin silencers

Final drive

X-ring chain

X-ring chain

Clutch

Wet, multi-plate assist clutch, cable operated

Wet, multi-plate assist clutch, cable operated

Gearbox

5-speed

6-speed

Frame

Tubular steel cradle

Tubular steel cradle

Swingarm

Twin-sided, tubular steel

Twin-sided, tubular steel

Front Wheel

32-spoke 18 x 2.75in

32-spoke 18 x 2.75in

Rear Wheel

32-spoke 17 x 4.25in

32-spoke 17 x 4.25in

Front Tyre

100/90-18

100/90-18

Rear Tyre

150/70 R17

150/70 R17

Front Suspension

KYB 41mm cartridge forks, 120mm travel

KYB 41mm cartridge forks, 120mm travel

Rear Suspension

KYB twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel

KYB twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel

Front Brake

Single 310mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS

Twin 310mm discs, Nissin 2-piston floating calipers, ABS

Rear Brake

Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS

Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS

Width (Handlebars)

715 mm

785 mm

Height Without Mirrors

1,100 mm

1,125 mm

Seat Height

790 mm

785 mm

Wheelbase

1,450 mm

1,445 mm

Rake

25.5 º

25.5 º

Trail

104 mm

105.2 mm

Dry Weight

213 kg

224 Kg

Fuel Tank Capacity

14.5 L

14.5 L

Instruments

LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, analogue tachometer, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, throttle mode status display, heated grip status (accessory) and cruise control ready - controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button (accessory).

LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, analogue tachometer, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2x trip, average & current fuel consumption display, traction control status display, throttle mode status display, heated grip status (accessory) and cruise control ready - controlled by a handlebar mounted scroll button (accessory).

Fuel Consumption

3.8 l/100km (74 MPG)

4.5 l/100km (63 MPG)

CO2 Emissions

89 g/km        

103.0 g/km