Triumph is pushing into uncharted territory with the release of their 2017 Bonneville Bobber. This stylishly retro bike was just introduced to the world press in London.
The new Bobber is considerably more retro in look and feel than the regular Triumph Bonneville, which has been met with critical acclaim. Harley-Davidson and Indian are sure to take note, as the newest member of the Triumph family embraces the spirit of the Bobber in a much more authentic way than anything either of them have produced recently. The universal retro craze appears to be as strong as ever. Cafe racers and scramblers have been all the rage recently, but apparently so have Bobbers. Their popularity, particularly in the USA is difficult to overestimate.
The Triumph Bobber has taken the classic ‘softail’ route, hiding the rear shock under the seat. It’s similar in design to the Harley-Davidson, but with a more appealing ‘swing cage’ in view.
Harley’s Softails look more like chunky cruisers, rather than true, cut-down bobbers. Triumph’s approach is more authentic, with a simpler 1940s-style treatment. The simplicity is striking. In the post WWII years, this simplicity was easy to achieve. Modern motorcycles however, are much more complex machines, and so Triumph had to pack everything neatly behind the engine.
The exhaust system appears to be a classic 2-into-2 job with slash-cut mufflers. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find a catalytic converter box creatively tucked into the bottom of the frame. The engine is the 1200cc unit used in the T120, with additional torque lower down in the rev range and a richer exhaust note.
The frame is new too, with a considerably longer wheelbase. 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 monster on the road are switchable traction control, ABS and two riding modes—‘road’ and ‘rain.’
The seat is adjustable both fore and aft, and up and down. You can choose a more sporting ‘forward’ position for aggressive riding, or slide the seat back and down to a 690mm (27 inches) height for a cruiser ride. The clocks can also be adjusted to match.
The Triumph Bobber will likely take a share of the Harley Sportster market. Pricing and full specs will be available in mid-December and the bike goes on sale in the first few weeks of 2017.
To us it looks like Triumph has another bike of the year on its hands.