1964 Triumph Bonneville – Jay Leno’s Garage

Jay gives us an in-depth look at one of the most classically beautiful motorcycles of all time, his 1964 Triumph Bonneville. » Subscribe: http://bit.ly/JLGSubscribe …


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28 Comments to “1964 Triumph Bonneville – Jay Leno’s Garage”

  1. Bob Williams says:

    Brings back memories. I finally got a '68 Bonneville in the early '70's. I eventually put a Morego 750cc kit from England on it and changed the Amal Monoblocs to Amal Concentrics from my buddy's Norton Commando. Sold it to a friend when I moved from OC to Texas 25 years ago. Still missing it! Thanks for your sharing.

  2. Definitely still a cool bike. As I get older I have less and less time to work on my vehicles so I buy newer bikes that I can just get on and ride. But they don't have anywhere near the same feeling as a mid 60s or early 70s bike. Still fun, but not the same as a classic bike.

  3. Noggs Monney says:

    I had a '76 750 Bonney, would like to see Jay do a comparison check against a '76 Yamaha XS 650 which was/is very similiar, Honda 450 twin CB as well!!

  4. Sean Tripp says:

    The problem for motor cycles was the costumer demand for a more powerful engine… 250 cc is all you need or you might as well drive a car.

  5. Peter Fong says:

    I think the Bonneville is just timeless. Although, a classic in what it is, the bike is just still relevant.

  6. Maverick B says:

    I totally agree with you, these bikes have that sweet spot which leaves a smile on the face after the ride. I call them as "The Gentleman Bike" All my 20's life I have ridden Royal Enfiled and Yahama RX 100 while I was a kid. Im 40 now and I'm planning to return for riding and have shortllisted Triumph Street Twin.

  7. BillCompo says:

    363 pounds that's amazing even the Japanese 750 Cruisers today weigh 504 pounds dry.

  8. Fred Miles says:

    Back in 1965, I bought a new Triumph 500cc speed tiger, as it was called. I was 18 yrs. old at the time. I loved that bike. Actually it was my first vehicle before I bought a car. I never rode a motorcycle before and took it out of the dealership and taught myself how to ride. Mine was gold and white same color.

  9. I have a 72 triumph tiger with a single carb.   I bought it in 1974 for $700.   I love that bike.  I've since bought an 84 BMW 650 a 1956 Ariel Square Four, a 74 Norton Commando, and a 1300 VTX Honda.   I like riding them all.   It doesn't make any difference to me, I just llike to ride.  I'm 72 years old now and hope to be riding into my 80's or 90's.  Who knows

  10. This really brings back memories. I had one that was green/silver and I put over 90K miles on it to and back from work. I was a GM auto tech for 50 years and it was easy for me to repair as needed. I now am 78 years old and I can only look back now. I have
    had some 20 different motor cycles in my time , but the Bonneville was one I remember the most.P.S. I really enjoy your show and before I die I would really like to see your collections. I hope it becomes a reality and not just a dream.

  11. mtvroadglide says:

    I'm 42, not so young, but I have owned a 1972 CB750 and several modern bikes of different styles. But I yearn for my 1988 Honda Hawk 650. It was my first street bike. I saw it at the motorcycle show when I was about 15, and dreamt about it for years till I was old enough (and bold enough) to buy one when I was 19. I will have one again – a blue one. Then and only then would I be able to honestly answer your question if nostalgia is better than progress. But I can say for sure modern brakes and modern power are AWESOME. I just really wish all vehicles were still light like your Triumph – that is the terrible trade-off with all the modern technology, it creates so much weight. Light bikes feel better no question.

  12. mtvroadglide says:

    it is truly an all time classic design – beautiful. time warp to 2016 and now this is the hipsters dream bike.

  13. The other shoe had dog poo on the sole and was carried off by another mutt mistakenly thinking that it was an old friend. And now you know….the rest of the story, Jay.

  14. My dad Lex, is a big fan of yours. He is also a big Triumph fans as well. He has a 67 Triumph Bonneville, 52 Triumph Thunderbird and a 52? Triumph Tiger Cub? I may have the names wrong but I forward your channel over to him to watch. I wish I could add photos to show. I really enjoy watching your channel. I am 45 years old. I love the old cars. They are real classics. They have some of the best lines and character of any new car made. I restored a 69 Ford Bronco off the frame restoration. It was my first and hopefully not my last. Keep inspiring generations to love and appreciate cars and motorcycles. Thanks.

  15. hairycat says:

    i see shoes in the road too, i don't get it.

  16. Hello Jay and thanks again for sharing this nostalgic piece of our youth. I remember fondly seeing this bike go by me in High School, always driven by rich, cool kids. I remember most was the throaty sound of these machines, and the envy I had for guys who could afford these machines, and had parents cool enough to buy them for them! It seemed these were the guys with the cheerleaders, or the dolls of the school, the ones who would never look at one of us peons who walked to school. So to answer your question Jay, I think there is a lot of nostalgia going on with this bike, and of course there is a lot of bike going on too! TY!

  17. Dan H. says:

    Jay, I'm a good 20 years younger than you and got my first Honda street bike when I was 14. I now ride a Harley and I still tell myself that one day I'll get a classic Triumph. They have a timeless beauty to them that will always transcend generations.

  18. Fox Creek says:

    I rode a 1970 Bonneville. For me, the perfect motorcycle. Just a pleasure to ride.

  19. NED4LIFE says:

    Jay why don't you give me that toy for my birthday i will pray for you everyday I promise-Neville

  20. I had a Triumph Tiger 100 in 1965.  It was a 500cc and would do 95 plus and was not too bad for some off road riding.  I was in the Army stationed at Ft Bliss in El Paso, Tx.  Plenty of open roads and space.  I was coming home for Easter on a 2 week leave and made it to Johnson City, Tx. before a rod broke and knocked a hole in the crankcase.  My Dad and a friend came and picked me and the pieces up, and finished the trip to Houston.  After a trip to Vietnam I made it back home and one of my first projects was to get the crank case welded up and have the crank turned.  Went back together and rode it off and on for about 2 years.  Let a co-worker talk me into selling it to him and have been kicking myself ever since.  If I had it I could still ride it comfortably.  My son has a 750 Suzuki and it is miserable to ride.  Has plenty of power and love the engineering, but it and most of the Harleys and other bikes are too heavy for me with my worn out knees.  Like you say they are real motorcycles and still look good today.

  21. Brian Glove says:

    It's simply a gorgeous bike. One of my first bikes was a '67 T120. I've had Japanese bikes, and they were all much more reliable than my Bonneville. But, they all seemed to lack one thing, soul. The Triumph had soul. Two years ago when I bought my current bike I went back to my roots. I had been looking a modern Triumph for a number of years and decided to get a '14 T100 Black. It has the reliability of my Japanese bikes, and it still has the soul of my '67. It reminded me of why I loved riding…

  22. Seth Thomas says:

    I'm 46 so I was a kid in the 70's and 80's when these were used bikes that could be bought CHEAP. Sure wish I had bought one. I knew older guys that had chopped them and lowered them etc. My first bike that wasn't a mini bike was a 1979 DT250 Yamaha that I bought when I was 14, that was my transportation; no car until I was almost 17( Yes I "fudged" the age requirement of 16 for over 40cc :)). The old Enduros were what a lot of us started on. Light, cheap and easy to work on. Bought mine for $175 and rode the hell out of it, you hit it spot on Jay, bikes HAVE changed. Great review. BTW I live in Iowa so when I said the DT was my transport I can give you a honest opinion that riding in 35 deg. and snow is really not that fun, and teenage girls don't dig it. Thanks for letting me borrow the car dad!

  23. Matt Admire says:

    Jay, I think you hit it right on the head. And what I mean by that is simply this. It's nostalgia carries it forward into this day and age. Myself I had an old 71 Hodaka ACE 100 growing up. Yes it's a dirt bike/ trail rider, but still. Comparatively it will always hold a warm spot in my heart. Smooth classic styling and chrome all metal beautiful workings will always make a bike or car for that matter age well. The Triumph Bonneville especially with its pedigree will solidify its rightful place amongst beautiful and exciting bikes for all time. Not be cause your and older guy, but because it has permanently engraved its place as a fun exciting ride. Now saying this and mentioning i owned a classic bike growing up, I am not as old as I may seem. Only 31, but anyone weather a bike lover or car enthusiast that can appreciate the finer subtitles of classic styling and great craftsmanship over raw power and large horsepower numbers will always pick the Bonneville over any comparative modern motorcycle. Sorry I ramble….

  24. Hi this bike has always been a icon. I was a teenager in the 80's i have always wanted one even with all the Japanese bikes that were available at the time. proud to say i now own one. ride safe and stay upright :-)

  25. trimphbsa says:

    In 19'69 I bought a 1964 650 BSA Thunderbolt. My buddy had a 1959 Triumph 650. I've been riding bikes for 50 years now and I can honestly say that my Brit-bike era was the most memorial. England put the 'motor' in motorcycle.

  26. Clyde Cessna says:

    My father, Edward Turner, used to say that style and beauty was free, so why not make a bike with as much of it as possible.

  27. maxsmodels says:

    I want to address Jay's question so bear with me as I go on this little journey but please go with me. In the TV show Madmen, Don Draper gives a speech to some Kodak execs who are trying to market the new carousel slide projector. He starts off by talking about the word nostalgia; how it is Greek and that it means the pain of an old wound. He goes on to say that it is subtle but potent. Whoever wrote that speech should have gotten an Emmy. So to Jay's question: Yes, Jay, nostalgia absolutely nostalgia colors your opinion of the bike, it colors it very much BUT that does not diminish the validity of what you had to say about the bike's technical merits. It is a gold standard bike and when that is married to the potent imprint of fond memories it becomes so much more than the sum of its parts, it takes you back in time to a point where you ache to be again. That is some powerful mojo, especially when teamed up with such a solid, fun ride.

    I will add that I find that the Triumph 650 is the iconic image of the word motorcycle just as a dresser Harley is the iconic image of a police or military bike. So to sum it up you asked "Is is the bike or is it nostalgia" and the answer (not to be a wise-arse) is "YES".

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