The new Hyde Harrier Bonneville is in every way a 21st century take on a 1960s British café racer format
Hyde Harrier Bonneville
Claimed power: 83hp @ 7,200rpm (rear wheel)
Top speed: 145mph (est.)
Engine type: 902cc air-cooled DOHC parallel twin
Weight: 407lb (185kg) w/oil, no fuel
Fuel capacity: 4.2gal (16ltr)
Price: $6,400 (base kit / $27,300 as tested)
Although Triumph’s born-again Bonnie clocked up its 10th birthday in 2010, Triumph revivalist John Bloor’s men still haven’t delivered the sharp-handling, powered-up version that its name demands. After all, the Bonneville became synonymous with performance after its introduction a half century ago, the epitome of British two-cylinder engineering. Fast, sweet-handling and stylish, it was in every way the Yamaha R1 of its era.
Fortunately, there’s no reason to despair, for Britain’s leading Triumph specialist Norman Hyde has gone and done it for them. And just as he did 23 years ago when he offered a Harrier chassis kit for the classic Triumph twins and triples, Hyde has teamed up with Harris Performance, Britain’s leading practitioners of the black art of frame design, to create the new-generation Hyde Harrier. After almost two years of development, the bike is finally available from Hyde’s shop, just a stone’s throw from Triumph’s historic Meriden factory where he formerly worked.
The bike-building gospel according to St. Norman entails a successful blend of old and new testaments of Triumph R&D, resulting in the traditional twin-cylinder British café racer concept expressed in a modern manner. Complete with Öhlins suspension, AP Racing radial brakes and forged aluminum Dymag wheels, the Hyde Harrier is in every way a 21st century take on a 1960s format.
Norman Hyde needs no introduction to dedicated Triumph enthusiasts. A development engineer in the Meriden factory’s experimental department, he also worked on the Rob North 750 triples and other race bikes under the company’s late, great technical guru, Doug Hele. A parallel career saw his weekends spent drag racing on a succession of supercharged and/or twin-engined Triumph speed missiles of awesome performance and unlikely cubic capacity, all of which Hyde created himself with the aid of accumulated factory knowledge. This included the trio of Roadrunners and the six-cylinder Dr. Jekyll rocket ship created by linking two Trident T160 engines together. All this earned Hyde the World Sidecar Land Speed Record in 1972 at 161.80mph, which remained unbeaten for more than 35 years. MC
Order the January/February 2011 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Hyde-Harried Bonneville, including a road test by Alan Cathcart. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.