Retro Redux: Steve McQueen Bonneville Tribute Headlines IMS New York Show


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2012 Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen Tribute Bike
2012 Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen SE capitalizes on McQueen's enduring appeal and strong connection to the Triumph brand. Photo: Kyoicchi Nakamura. 

Ton up boys and Ace Café men welcomed Triumph’s highly-anticipated Steve McQueen Bonneville Tribute at Progressive’s New York International Motorcycle Show. Paying homage to the legendary actor and racer who helped cement Triumph’s status as a cultural icon, Triumph will be offering just 300 units for sale in the U.S. when it hits the market in June.  

Developed in cooperation with McQueen’s son, Chad, Triumph hopes to carry on its rich tradition with a retro rider that recalls its glory days in the competitive world of motorcycles. “We’re very proud of the fact that McQueen made a conscious choice to use and promote Triumph. We stayed in constant contact with his son. and the feedback has been very positive,” said Triumph Customer Relations Manager Peter Carleo.  

The 865cc fuel injected parallel twin takes style cues from McQueen’s TR6 that lit up movie screens in The Great Escape. The legendary jump scene inspired generations of new riders and aspiring racers worked to emulate McQueen’s fearlessness on the track. Available only in khaki matte green with simple console appointments, the bike aims to make a statement with less. Built on the Bonneville T100’s platform, the military-styled McQueen model feels lighter and more nimble. “We wanted to stay in touch with our heritage while modernizing it. There’s definitely a growing market of buyers craving their old machines while new riders wanting something different that stands out. All our bikes are assembled by hand and that’s a big difference,” said Carleo. The McQueen limited edition model will retail for under $10,000 and 1,100 units will be available worldwide.  

Manufactures are beginning to respond to the niche market of buyers seeking retro rides. Progressive’s International Motorcycle Show is best known for giving manufacturers the opportunity to unveil their newest, cutting edge designs to buyers hungry for the next big thing. Companies gather to present their latest riding accessories while industry representatives convene to discuss industry trends.  

The show also welcomed custom builders competing for prize money as they showcased their one-off builds to great acclaim. This year’s show attracted a growing audience of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, and the trend of custom builders paying homage to timeless designs met with great audience appreciation. Fans of sport bikes happily conversed with vintage owners as each traded anecdotes of what made their respective machines so special.  

2/9/2012 2:48:39 PM

I heard the McQ Bonneville is guaranteed to jump over tall barbed wire fences! Better watch out for any orders that includes a prison delivery address!

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