The iconic 1968 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle ridden by Steve McGarrett on the original Hawaii Five-0 TV series has become one of the most famous bikes in television history. If you’re a fan of the show, you’re probably curious to know more about this classic British bike and its history both on and off screen.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s a quick summary: Steve McGarrett’s 1968 Triumph Bonneville 650 was customized by Von Dutch and appeared regularly during the show’s 12 season run. After the series ended it was sold multiple times before being reunited with original cast member James MacArthur shortly before his death. Today it resides in private hands and is still an instantly recognizable symbol of the original Hawaii Five-0.
The History of the Triumph Bonneville
The Origins of the Bonneville Name
The Triumph Bonneville is a legendary motorcycle that has captured the hearts of riders around the world. But where did the name Bonneville come from? It can be traced back to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. These salt flats have long been a popular location for land speed record attempts due to their flat and expansive surface. In 1956, Triumph motorcycles set out to break the 214 mph land speed record at Bonneville with their new model, and they succeeded. This achievement led to the birth of the Triumph Bonneville, a motorcycle synonymous with speed and performance.
The Rise of the 650cc Bonneville
One of the most iconic versions of the Triumph Bonneville is the 650cc model, which was introduced in 1959. This bike quickly gained a reputation for its smooth power delivery and reliability, making it a favorite among riders. The 650cc Bonneville featured a parallel-twin engine, which provided ample torque and a thrilling riding experience. It became a symbol of the British motorcycle industry’s dominance in the 1960s and 1970s and was often seen as the benchmark for other manufacturers to strive for. Today, the 650cc Bonneville is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The Triumph Bonneville has a rich racing heritage that spans several decades. In the 1960s, the Bonneville dominated the Isle of Man TT races, with riders like Mike Hailwood and Gary Nixon achieving great success on these iconic motorcycles. The Bonneville’s racing pedigree continued into the 1970s, with riders like Malcolm Uphill winning the Production TT on a Bonneville. This racing success not only solidified the Bonneville’s reputation as a high-performance machine but also showcased its durability and reliability on the track.
Today, Triumph continues to build on the racing heritage of the Bonneville with modern iterations of the motorcycle. The current Bonneville lineup includes models like the Bonneville T120 and Bonneville Bobber, which combine classic styling with modern technology. These motorcycles not only pay homage to the original Bonneville but also offer riders a thrilling and enjoyable riding experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Triumph Bonneville, check out Triumph’s official website at https://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/bonneville.
McGarrett’s 1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
One of the most iconic motorcycles in television history is McGarrett’s 1968 Triumph Bonneville 650 from the hit show Hawaii Five-0. This classic motorcycle was chosen for its sleek design, powerful engine, and timeless appeal. Let’s dive into the fascinating details of this legendary bike.
Custom Paint Job by Von Dutch
One of the standout features of McGarrett’s Triumph Bonneville is its custom paint job done by the legendary artist Von Dutch. Known for his unique style and attention to detail, Von Dutch transformed this motorcycle into a true work of art. The custom paint job features intricate designs, bold colors, and a touch of Von Dutch’s signature pinstriping. This one-of-a-kind paint job adds to the overall allure and mystique of the bike.
On Screen Fame in Hawaii Five-0
The Triumph Bonneville 650 made its debut on the small screen in the original Hawaii Five-0 series, which aired from 1968 to 1980. It quickly became synonymous with the show and its main character, Steve McGarrett, played by Jack Lord. The motorcycle was often seen speeding through the beautiful Hawaiian landscape, adding an extra level of excitement and adventure to the show. Its presence on screen further solidified its status as an iconic motorcycle.
Ownership After the Show
After the original Hawaii Five-0 series ended, the Triumph Bonneville 650 found its way into the hands of motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors. It became a sought-after piece of television history, with fans wanting to own a piece of the iconic show. Today, there are still a few lucky owners who cherish and maintain these bikes, keeping the legacy of McGarrett’s Triumph Bonneville alive.
Later Appearances and Where It Is Now
Since its iconic role on the television show, the Hawaii Five-0 motorcycle has made several appearances at various events, captivating fans of the show and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Its popularity has led to it being showcased at numerous conventions and exhibitions, where fans have the opportunity to see it up close and personal. The motorcycle has become a symbol of the show’s lasting legacy and has even been featured in other television programs and movies.
Displayed at Events
The Hawaii Five-0 motorcycle has been a star attraction at events such as Comic-Con, where fans eagerly line up to catch a glimpse of this legendary ride. Its sleek design and distinctive features continue to draw attention, making it a favorite among attendees. The bike has also been showcased at motorcycle shows, where it stands out among other unique and customized motorcycles. Its appearance at these events serves as a reminder of the impact the show has had on popular culture and its enduring fan base.
Reunited with James MacArthur
In a heartwarming moment, the Hawaii Five-0 motorcycle was reunited with its original rider, James MacArthur, who played the character of Danny “Danno” Williams on the show. This reunion took place at a special event organized to celebrate the show’s legacy and honor its cast and crew. MacArthur, who was known for his love of motorcycles, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to be reunited with this iconic piece of television history. The reunion was a nostalgic moment for both MacArthur and fans of the show, highlighting the lasting impact of the Hawaii Five-0 motorcycle.
Current Private Ownership
After its time on the show came to an end, the Hawaii Five-0 motorcycle found its way into the hands of a private owner. While the exact details of its current ownership are not widely known, it is believed to be in the possession of a dedicated collector who cherishes its historical significance. The motorcycle continues to be well-maintained and preserved, ensuring that its legacy remains intact. Although it may not be accessible to the general public, the knowledge that it is being cared for by a passionate enthusiast brings comfort to fans who have grown to love this iconic machine.
The 1968 Triumph Bonneville 650 motorcycle from the original Hawaii Five-0 series has cemented its place in television history. Its iconic custom paint job by Von Dutch and regular appearances during the show’s long run have made it one of the most famous bikes on the small screen. After passing through several hands it was reunited with original cast member James MacArthur and now resides out of the public eye in a private collection. For fans of the classic show, Steve McGarrett’s Triumph Bonneville will always be an instantly recognizable symbol of Hawaii Five-0.