Whether it is car or
bike, Triumph has a
building stylish trans-
portation in the British
tradition not only for
Europe but the United
The car is a 1965
TR6 and the bike is
a Bonneville motor-
cycle. Both are a
blast to operate, however, which Triumph is best to drive on back roads?
If you are like me, anything that goes zoom is of interest! And if the
mechanical bug has bitten, it is likely that a garage will have a classic
car and motorcycle.
The Bonneville, originally produced in 1959, was known as one of
the most powerful bikes at the time. In 2001 Triumph Motorcycles
Ltd. brought the Bonneville name back to produce a thoroughly
modern bike. However, they started with a fully restored 1969
Bonneville as a starting point for the new bike. Thus, the new
Bonneville is a continuation of the original.
As enthusiasts well know, the classic British sports car has
always evoked strong emotions not because of its refinement
but often because of its unique features and its lack of refinement.
Motorcycles do much of the same thing as classic cars
but they add even more of an image component. In the 50’s,
bikes signified the image of a rebel and independent that did
not care to conform. Consequently, motorcycle gangs and
comradery became the concern of law enforcement. And
today, if it is a gang member or an orthodontist on his Harley,
Both the Triumph TR6 and the Bonneville being compared
are very high on the style and ‘cool factor.’
And regarding the fun factor in this car bike comparison,
keep in mind that the bike rider will likely by dressed in
many safety items (helmet, boots, heavy pants, leather jacket,
gloves, etc.) that are removed when the riding stops for lunch
or other breaks and put back on before the riding starts again.
Also, the bike will not hold anywhere near the cargo that even
a small classic sports car can provide. Also, when the weather
gets bad, the car’s top is welcome. On the other hand, the bike
rider just has to deal with the elements.
With the top down on the TR6, the outward view is very
much like the Bonneville as only the windshield edges
interrupt the car’s outward visibility. And with the wind
rushing past, the car invokes the five senses that the bike
brings to life but in a more extreme manner.
Driving the Bonneville means a more fully invested activity
that could be compared more to driving a race car that a car.
Like the Bonneville, the TR6 compels the driver to be in touch
with the road as the pavement surface is transmitted through the
steering rack and through the sport seats. Also, the pilot’s focus
is required to push the engine to high revs and click off shifts.
However, it is a bit more relaxed focus than when on the car’s
Which piece of machinery wins? Well, they both provide
highly rewarding drives on the road. The Bonneville experience
is more extreme but the TR6 provides a number of exclusive
conveniences and depending where you live, possibly a longer
Owning six wheels in your garage ensures you of the best
of both worlds and at the time and place of your choice. And
who can argue with having the most motoring fun and doing it
in legendary Triumph style!
Have an auto question or comment? You can email it to me at
[email protected] Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best
for the Price…” www.DriveTheBestBook.com.