Triumph is the largest motorcycle company in the UK today and it’s no surprise why. One after another, an array of desirable motorcycles keep rolling out of the factory and more so over the last few years. Whatever it is that they’re serving at the factory pantry, they better cook a lot more of that. 2017 has seen Triumph add five new models to the Bonneville family, including the T100, T100 Black, Street Scrambler, Street Cup and Bobber, as well as revealing a new Street Triple.
The most recent stunner to take sweep us off our feet is the brutally beautiful Bonneville Bobber, a genuine factory custom. It perfectly encapsulates the minimalistic styling principles, muscular stance and purposeful engineering attitude of a genuine Bobber. Bike Nation Magazine managed to get our hands on the first and the only Bonneville Bobber in the UAE right now and the whole team showed up on a weekend for the shoot, just to see this thing in flesh. After all, we had drooled over its photos for months now.
Triumph has stripped the Bonneville T120 back to its purest essence to deliver all the hallmarks of a real bobber. It has clean lines and low stance, single seat, wide flat bars, minimal bodywork and headlight, sculpted tank, wire spoked wheels, 150mm wide rear wheel and that all important hard tail look. One look just isn’t enough to soak all that in. However, for some that front end might seem a bit incomplete, for me; aside from having a smaller rake angle than I’d like; it looks good with its minimalist offerings.
It comes with a unique chassis, suspension and frame to deliver a supremely confident, dynamic and comfortable category defining ride. Combined with a low seat height of 690mm when in the low seat position, the Bonneville Bobber is truly accessible to all riders. It might feel a bit small for those who are taller than average though and there’s nothing much you can do about that. A taller handlebar perhaps and that’s about it. The slotted seat design system allows the rider to position the seat ‘up and forward’ for dynamic riding in a roadster position and ‘down and backwards’ for cruising in a more traditional riding position. This is complimented by a simple quick-release function for the clocks that enables riders to adjust the position to complement their seating and riding style. The ‘swing cage’ hard tail set-up and hidden mono-shock suspension make the bobber as dynamic and thrilling to ride as it is to look at.
Triumph has made sure to hide most of the electronic components from view so as not to compromise its clean lines. Rider focused technology and the signature Bonnie straight-line ‘hidden cat box’ exhaust run, are all neatly incorporated without interfering with the Bobber’s looks.
At the heart of the Bobber is a high-torque Bonneville 1200cc engine with a dedicated Bobber tune for even more torque and power low down and twin slash cut sawn off peashooter silencers and unique twin airbox and filters to surround the rider in a pure Bonneville hot rod sound. Just like all the new generation Bonnevilles, the Bobber engine delivers modern classic capability with ride-by-wire, for enhanced safety and control from twin classically styled throttle bodies, as well as a sensitively incorporated liquid cooling system with a unique radiator and larger fan. This brings better performance and cleaner, more fuel-efficient riding. Another thing to note is that the Bobber also has a high first major service interval of 16,000km.
The oldschool looks aren’t lacking any modern gizmos. The Bobber comes standard with a ride-by-wire throttle delivering enhanced rideability, feel, safety and control, from a single throttle body. Riding modes linked to the ride-by-wire system provide two selectable riding
modes; ROAD and RAIN. They are selectable via the new switch gear and command two dedicated throttle maps for maximum control and safety in different riding conditions. Switchable traction control via the instrument menu helps to maximise rider safety and comfort and last but no the least, torque Assist Clutch Designed to reduce clutch lever effort for the rider, bringing a lighter touch and feel to the clutch and making it easier to ride, and for longer.
Finally, to enhance the authentic look, the Bobber has classic wire-spoked wheels with stylish black rims and inner tubes fitted with Avon Cobra tyres developed specifically for the Bobber.
With a signature ‘wider rear wheel’ Bobber set up, it has a 19 x 2.5 rim on the front, fitted with an 100/90 R19 Avon Cobra AV71 for reduced mass for high-speed maneuverability, and wider wheel fitted on the rear, with a category-first AV72 50/80 R16 radial tyre with cobra tread pattern for class-leading stability.
With models like the America, Thunderbird and the mighty Rocket III, Triumph has always knocked on Harley-Davidson’s doors, asking for a fight. With the bobber, the fight just got more intense as a lot of Sportster buyers will take a good, hard look at the Bonneville Bobber if they are after the good old ‘retro’ look.
We are yet to find out the pricing of the new Bobber in the Middle East but the UAE dealer has reliable informed us that pricing will be within the AED 48-52,000 range.
Photography: Laura Huntley