The Triumph Bonneville Bobber, an eye catching hardtail lookalike with boisterous looks and ingenious engineering.
Walking across the Triumph Showroom at Fowlers Motorcycles, with the offer of “ride what you want”, it was the Bonneville Bobber that drew my attention. The striking features of the downward sweep from nose to tail, the bulge of the polished crank case and the flick of the seat, it’s all part of Triumph’s ‘bob job’ styling that will draw you to this corker.
The seat appears to ‘hover’ over the arch of the fat rear wheel, and it hides the reason why you can ride the Bobber for more more miles than its hardtail predecessors. It covers a ‘swing-cage’ rear suspension and gives a good cushioned feel on the road. The rear wheel pushes 77hp from the 1200cc twin parallel engine and it’s a delightful ride. It comes with all the good thump of a shorter stroke twin and takes you confidently up to questionable speeds in the delightful sweep of the single speedo dial. On a modest 9 ltr tank, you’ll get plenty of steady miles and respectful nods from fellow retro riders.
I took her for a spin in a very wet and windy Bristol, getting obligatory paps under the Clifton Suspension bridge. The moody atmospherics of the day made the Bobber even more appealing and the wet weather wasn’t intimidating. It gripped well either ‘rain’ or ‘road’ mode and I trusted the handling when I pushed the throttle on the dry patches. It reaches max torque at a mere 4,000 rpm but at 78ftlbs, its perky enough. My favourite bit has to be the ‘brap brap’ out of the pipes, ripping echoes in a concrete car park I found. Slow speed throttle control became a lot more fun – check out the video to hear it!
It’s got black bits in all the right places and chrome detailing that won’t intimidate you when it’s time for that all important clean. It is a classier bike than its garish competitors, made unique with a side mounted ignition key, retro battery cover and a well polished crank case, shrouded by prominent down pipes. If you want a beefier look, then the Black edition has darker aesthetics, proper ‘phat’ wheels and a slick LED headlight up front.
For the full review, check out the video here below. I make no apologies for the terrible Bristolian accent and many mentions of handing the ‘Dirrrrty Bobberrrr’ back to the Fowlers team, it caused us immense amusement!
Photos by @shaolinmike