2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Bonneville | 1200cc | Traction control | ABS | Specifications
▲ The battery sits in a "traditional" battery box. You can see it behind the primary cover. Meanwhile, Triumph evidently felt that a single front disc was adequate. But shouldn't that 19-inch front wheel be a 21-incher? That saddle, by the way, is engineered to slide forward and backward thereby changing the height. But with it, the ergonomics are compromised.
▲ Triumph hyped this bike under its "Brutal Beauty" banner with press launches in London and Los Angeles. We're not crazy about the silencers, the fuel tank looks like an afterthought (less so from this angle, but check the images below), and the ape-hangers look ... well, impractical. But then, practicality ain't everything. Overall, it's not a bad attempt at an instant showroom bobber/chopper, and it's growing on us. There's no pillion provision for this bike, take note. But no doubt that will follow.
▲ There are five colours for the 2017 Bobber: Jet Black; Cranberry Red/Frozen Silver: Competition Green/Aluminium Silver; Morello Red; and Ironstone. Where applicable, hand-painted coach lines have been applied. Triumph's "high torque" SOHC 1200cc engine is expected to remain unchanged, subject to a few tweaks. You'd think Triumph would have done something to put a smile on the rider's face. But maybe only mean expressions work on this mo'sickle.
2017 Triumph Bobber 1200
Engine: Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
The bobber scene is still strong, and in hindsight we might have anticipated a Hinckley version any time over the past ten years. Hence our comment about the factory also being way behind the curve. But with this new machine, the company has made up a lot of ground, and we're glad its finally joined the party.
Triumph Bobber features
Additionally, a large range of accessories is planned for this bike including full-blown ape-hangers straight out of the 1960s. With its low riding position (27-inches/690mm), its macho/urban looks, and the Harleyesque front end, it's pretty obvious which bikes are looking to be taken down by this factory bobster—and a lot of rival bikes will undoubtedly lose out in the showroom wars.
This, for a large chunk of the market, will be viewed as a pretty cool looking motorcycle that's going to draw in some big bucks for Hinckley.
Bobber custom scene
But wait a minute! Doesn't the idea of a factory custom kinda kill much of its appeal? Well for some guys and girls it might. And with all the weight that's piled on to ensure everyday practicality (and legality), you can argue that it's not really much of a bobber anyway. Certainly not in spirit. And some might even call it a cynical attempt to (belatedly) cash-in on a fad that really belongs with the everyday folk looking to express themselves in their own way and thereby demonstrate some kind of rebellion against conformity.
Well we can recognise the arguments, but we don't really see it like that. Triumph has simply responded to fashion and has produced another motorcycle that thousands of motorcyclists are going to want. And if these bikers want to take a hacksaw and a blowtorch to this newcomer in the comfort of their sheds and garages and re-interpret it, that's their business.
Certainly, at the very least, this machine is going to frustrate a few custom bike builders looking to produce something different to the stock roadster T120s.
Other features of the Bonneville Bobber include a neat adjustable saddle that slides up and down on a runner thereby varying the height and attitude. The electrical stuff has been cleanly tucked away, and there's a large and fairly stylish flip-up speedometer that's adjustable for whatever seating position you choose.
We don't yet know what pillion provision is being offered, but we're fairly confident that Triumph would have looked that far ahead.
If you're looking for another reason to buy British (albeit produced in a foreign factory) this could be it.
Copyright Sump Publishing 2017