Stripped – Triumph Bonneville Bobber Review

Stripped – Triumph Bonneville Bobber Review

Sometimes less is more. That is the philosophy that the Triumph Bobber believes and excels in. This is the only motorcycle available in its class in India sans certain versions of the Ducati Scrambler and Harley Davidson, more notably the Iron 883. But none of them have the clean look of a floating seat, which makes this bike stand apart from everything else.

I rarely assign a superlative to a motorcycle, but I have no qualms in calling this one of the most charming motorcycles out there. Note that I do not use the often used word ‘beautiful’, because it is more than that. Triumph has managed to mate function and form into a rare synchronicity. From the neatly hidden catalytic convertor to the rear monoshock – the design language is consistent and fluidic, which pleases the eye. The prettiest angle would be the side view. The silhouette of this bike is unmistakable and unlike anything in the market. The fit and finish of the bike is top notch and there are pretty nifty mods which change the character of the bike and make it into a cafe racer and more. 

I admit that I was very excited to swing my leg over this bike and also photograph it. This has happened to me after a very long time. 

The Bobber falls under the Bonneville family and you might be wondering why I am talking about the looks so much. It is because the main selling point of the bike is its style. However, along with the style it’s a got a meaty motor to boot. A 1200cc mill that sounds good. Another thing which surprised me was the fantastic handling in the corners. Switch off traction control and you can do some great wheelspins and rolling take offs from red lights adding fun and character to your urban rides.

The bike does tend to get a tad hot and the positioning of the key warrants you being careful, especially in Indian summers. Another key aspect for you to consider is that this is an outright urban bike. You can probably create a sub frame at the rear to mount luggage or carry a heavy backpack yourself, but that’s like reverse engineering the Bobber to become a cruiser again! So this bike would be perfect if you want to stand out in a crowd and on the road, especially on weekend rides. Sure go ahead and do a long trip on it – just be ready to be very stingy with the things you carry or do some substantial modifications for it to be able to carry more stuff. And yes – keep re-fuelling! 

 

Overall it is a fresh new design for the Indian motorcyclists and I would have loved it to be a bit cheaper, after all it is going to be the secondary motorcycle for most people. For example a Triumph Tiger 800 with the Bobber in the garage would take care of most things in life.

Bobbers are for minimalists and those who like to meet the Spartans! The idea of customising one’s motorcycle to be called a Bobber or a ‘Bob-job’ (not to be confused with the other job that ramp models undertake!) has been around for some time now. The idea is simple enough. Strip off any and every thing on your motorcycle which adds weight and doesn’t help in going faster. That includes throwing off your pillion as well! Of course hacking parts off your motorcycle doesn’t guarantee that it will look good or even not becoming a motoFrankenstien! And this is where Triumph has done a fantastic job. The designers have given the motorcycle a minimalist look, without sacrificing an iota of its street presence. A lot of thought has gone into the smaller details to give it a classic bobber look. Though of course due to motorcycle norms, the front fender cannot be removed and rear covers the entire wheel, but that only gives an enthusiast the opportunity to try his hand at a hacksaw!

You realise how gorgeous the Bobber is only when you park your bike under a nice shady tree and sit to admire it. The floating seat is thanks to the rear suspension being concealed, giving it a hardtail look, without the discomfort of a hardtail. The saddle can also be adjusted to the rider’s preference. The slash cut stainless steel exhaust adds to the beauty when you look at it from the rear three quarters.

You realise how gorgeous the Bobber is only when you park your bike under a nice shady tree and sit to admire it.

Old school looks doesn’t mean old technology though. The Bobber is equipped with all the electronics that you would expect from motorcycles in this segment. Ride-by-Wire, torque assist clutch, switchable traction control and ABS are standard. Prospective owners would be happy to know that the bike comes with a 16000 km service interval.

Even though the Bobber looks very different from any motorcycle currently in the market, there will still be some who want to customise it further. To that end, Triumph has 150 aftermarket customisation parts for you to mix and match to give your bike the personality to match that of the rider. For others there are two inspiration kits, the ‘Old School’ and ‘Quarter Mile’ Bobber.

The 1200cc engine produces a healthy 77 Ps of power and 106 Nm of torque. The good thing is that peak torque comes in at just 4000 rpm. You needn’t push this bike hard, just a gentle roll of the throttle will have you moving in quick time. Interestingly, the chassis and suspension has been developed specifically for the Bobber and not shared with its siblings. That would have required quite some redesigning of this motorcycle from Triumph.

The 1200cc engine produces a healthy 77 Ps of power and 106 Nm of torque.

The Triumph Bobber is a wonderfully thought out and put together motorcycle. It looks great, handles well and is fun to ride. But it is motorcycle built for urban fun, rather than long hauls. If you can have two motorcycles in your garage, then one of them being the Bobber would make a lot of sense. If not, you can always get one of those 150 accessories to be able to carry panniers on a long ride. Either ways, you will love having this machine in your garage and on the road.

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1 Comment

  1. nfazombie
    May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm Reply

    Awesome photography.Loved the writing, As always!!XBhp rocks!

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