For decades now, the Triumph Bonneville has been considered by many as the ultimate jack-of-all-trades machine. In recent years, the good old Bonnie has taken a more lifestyle-centric approach. More and more people are buying Triumph Bonnevilles because of the aesthetic that they offer – and that's not really a bad thing.
It goes without saying that when something is popular and successful, a lot of people will try to imitate it. The Triumph Bonneville is no different, and while we've seen lots of other bikes inspired by the Bonnie's ethos, there's a new model in the market that seems to be a blatant copy of the British Twin. It's called the Brixton Cromwell 1200, a Chinese-made retro-inspired machine, that does little to hide its Bonneville inspirations. Indeed, we've talked about this bike before and when it was launched in China. This time around, it's making its way to other markets, with the most recent being Malaysia.
Priced at RM58,888, or the equivalent of $12,559 USD, it's substantially cheaper than the Triumph Bonneville T120, which carries a price tag of RM73,500, or about $15,674 USD. On the outside, the Cromwell 1200 is the spitting image of the British Twin, and offers riders the same road presence as the Triumph. Now, Brixton Motorcycles is headquartered in Austria, but unsurprisingly, has its machines manufactured in China. The Cromwell is the latest addition to its global lineup, and it's themed as a "New Old School" machine.
On the performance side of the equation, the Cromwell 1200 is powered by a 1,222cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine. It delivers a maximum power output of 83 horsepower at 6,550 rpm and 72 pound-feet of torque at 3,100 rpm. This means it has nearly identical performance figures as the Bonneville T120. As for its underpinnings, things are equally similar. The Cromwell 1200 gets barebones underpinnings consisting of a telescopic fork and twin rear shock absorbers. It tips the scales at 235 kilograms, as against the Bonnie's 236 kilograms – again, nearly identical.
Brixton has equipped the Cromwell 1200 with a rather comprehensive array of electronics for a retro bike. It gets two riding modes consisting of Eco and Sport, and is equipped with dual-channel ABS and traction control as standard. On top of all that, the bike can be outfitted with a variety of accessories such as a skid plate, headlight guard, wind screen, and various luggage options. When fully decked out, the Cromwell 1200 gives off a scrambler aesthetic, although it's nowhere nearly as burly as the Triumph Scrambler 1200.
With all of this on the table, it can be all too easy to label a bike like the Cromwell 1200 as a Triumph Bonneville knockoff. Indeed, just from the way it looks, the way it's set up, and its performance and tech features, there's no denying that Brixton was building this bike with the Bonneville as its bullseye. That said, as with all things in life, the test of time will show what this bike is really made of, and whether or not it really has the chops to be an option worth considering in the retro segment.