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.



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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.


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.

The new Bud Ekins Bonneville T120 and T100 special editions will be available from March at £10,900 and £9,200.

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