2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber

January 15, 2017 at 2:29 am  •  Posted in The Bikes by

THE PREMIUM CUSTOM BONNEVILLE BOBBER Brutally beautiful, the new Bonneville Bobber is a genuine factory custom. It perfectly encapsulates the minimalistic styling principles, muscular stance and purposeful engineering attitude of a genuine Bobber. Stripping the Bonneville T120 back to its purest essence it delivers all the hallmarks of a real bobber. With clean lines and low stance, single seat, wide flat bars, minimal bodywork and headlight, sculpted tank, wire-spoked wheels, with wide rear wheel and that all important hard tail look.

An all-new chassis, suspension and frame deliver a supremely confident, dynamic and comfortable category-defining ride. With an innovative elegantly engineered adjustable seat and clock position to suit the rider and riding style. The stunning ‘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. All electronic components are hidden 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 stunning looks. At the heart of the Bobber is a category-leading, 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.

The Bonneville Bobber has over 150 additional accessories available to enhance its beauty further and make it truly unique. Triumph is going all-out with this one to conquer every sector of the motorcycle market. The Triples and Tigers are approaching icon status, and the new Bonnevilles are selling as fast as the factory can make them. The Bobber is even more retro than the regular Bonneville it embodies the bobber spirit more authentically than anything Harley or Indian have produced in recent years. It’s easy to forget that in many countries, especially the USA, there’s just as much interest in bobbers as cafe racers or scramblers. So it’s a potentially lucrative move for Triumph—and critical to get ‘right.’Let’s start at the back, literally: the Triumph Bobber has taken the classic ‘softail’ route, hiding the rear shock under the seat. It’s similar to the setup that Harley-Davidson has been using since the FXST of the mid 80s, but with a more appealing ‘swing cage’ in view. Triumph’s approach is authentic straight out of the box, eschewing the enormous rear fenders of its stateside cousins, for a simpler 1940s-style treatment. The simplicity of the styling and packaging is striking.

In the years after WWII, such simplicity was easy to achieve. But modern motorcycles are much more complex, so Triumph have packed everything tightly behind the engine. The same sort of trickery extends to the exhaust system, which appears to be a classic 2-into-2 job terminated with slash-cut mufflers. But there’s actually a catalytic converter box nestled into the bottom of the frame. The engine is the new 1200cc unit used in the T120, but retuned for more torque lower down in the rev range and a richer exhaust note. Triumph is pitching the Bobber as a ‘T120 stripped down to the essence,’ but every other part aside from the motor is new. The frame is new too, with more relaxed geometry and a considerably longer wheelbase.

Chief Engineer Stuart Wood said that even ancillaries such as the radiator have been modified. The black wire-spoked wheels are 19’’x2.5’’ at the front and 16’’x3.5’’ at the back, shod with custom Avon Cobra tires specially developed for the bike. Helping to keep this rubber on the road are switchable traction control, ABS and two riding modes—‘road’ and ‘rain.’Despite the vintage styling, there’s plenty of modern engineering to be seen—if you know where to look. The seat, for example, is adjustable both fore and aft, and up and down. You can choose a more sporting ‘forward’ position for spirited riding, or slide the seat back and down to a 690mm (27 inches) height for a cruiser vibe. The clocks can also be adjusted to match. Not surprisingly, there’s going to be a big catalog of accessories for the Bobber. Notables include an uprated Fox shock, shorty fenders, a Vance & Hines exhaust system, and a side-mounted number plate setup—which is homologated for the US only. Other modern niceties such as heated grips, different seat trims and cruise control will also be on offer. Service intervals are a reassuring 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers).

Visually, the new Bobber ticks all the boxes for riders who want vintage (rather than merely retro) style. It has the clean hardtail styling you’d expect to see from a Lowbrow Customs build—not a major factory bike. It’s a brave move on Triumph’s part, but the brand has the heritage to pull it off. After all, the first successful British parallel twin was the rigid-framed Speed Twin of 1937.



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