‘Bob’ and ‘Speedy’ both Tri­umph

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Stuart Wood­bury

Tri­umph is renowned for cre­at­ing new mod­els from its ex­ist­ing range (just look at the many T100 Bon­nie vari­ants of a cou­ple of years ago).

So it’s no sur­prise they have taken the one plat­form, in this case the mus­cu­lar Bonneville T120, and given us two to­tally dif­fer­ent bikes — the Bob­ber Black and Speed­mas­ter.

The Bob­ber Black is for the cafe rid­ers who want some mus­cle on tap, even if they only use it ev­ery now and again; the Speed­mas­ter is for the tour­ing rider who wants to travel our big brown land with­out the bulk of a big cruiser. For the launch of these two bikes, we did a city ride and some drag rac­ing, for the Bob­ber Black, and went to the Hunter Val­ley on the Speed­mas­ter — a per­fect way to show what these two bikes are all about.

Both bikes run on bor­rowed power, the T120 Bon­nie par­al­lel twin. The “HT” High Torque tuned en­gine is bang on the right choice for both bikes.

A mas­sive 106Nm of torque at 4000rpm gets you punch­ing along hard from a stand­still, as a cer­tain Har­ley rider who thought he could smoke the Black from a set of traf­fic lights found out.

Blacked and bad ass is the con­cept for the Bob­ber Black.

The stan­dard Bob­ber be­comes the Bob­ber Black with a sub­tle dif­fer­ence that makes a world of dif­fer­ence to the ride, and that’s the front wheel.

The Bob­ber Black has a fat 16inch front ver­sus the 19 on the Bob­ber, as well as larger 47mm forks as against the Bob­ber’s 41mm. The re­sult is su­pe­rior handling and more com­fort. The name of the game with the Black is ag­gres­sion and mus­cu­lar­ity, and the smaller front wheel and larger forks are helped by black­ing out the en­gine and al­most ev­ery­thing else. It all gives the Black an air of pur­pose.

You can get the Bob­ber Black in two colours — black . . . or black. Gloss or matte, that is, and why would you want any­thing else? This is a mean mother that will tear up the street.

The previous Speed­mas­ter was a pretty pop­u­lar model, more so than its sta­ble­mate, the Amer­ica.

I was look­ing for­ward to see­ing what the new Speed­mas­ter would be like; the previous model was light and easy to ride.

In a nut­shell, while the new model is still pretty easy to ride, it feels like a much larger bike.

Hav­ing rid­den the Bob­ber Black the day be­fore, the first thing that left me a bit cold was the “beach”style han­dle­bar. It was too hard to hold onto at high­way speeds as it’s an­gled al­most straight back.

Low speed rid­ing was fine, but get up over 90km/h and it was tir­ing.

As a laid­back cruiser, the Speed­mas­ter fits the brief pretty well.

It’s got a bucket load of torque and is easy to fit up with a screen and pan­niers. Tri­umph has also made up two ac­ces­sory kits to make things eas­ier — the “High­way” comes with pan­niers, screen, com­fort seat, wider and far more com­fort­able pil­lion seat and chrome en­gine bars, back­rest and some other bits and bobs.

The “Mav­er­ick” kit strips the bike back to some­thing more along the lines of the Bob­ber with a quilted brown sad­dle and a flat­ter raked out han­dle­bar, which is some­thing that re­ally made it for me.

I don’t mind the for­ward pegs of the Speed­mas­ter and hav­ing a han­dle­bar I could com­fort­ably hold onto for long pe­ri­ods was nice.

The Mav­er­ick also has Vance & Hines ex­hausts and other tasty items. I see the Mav­er­ick tak­ing the place of the Bob­ber for those who don’t like the float­ing sad­dle.

Oth­er­wise, the Speed­mas­ter is es­sen­tially the same as the Bob­ber Black. Big brakes, a high torque en­gine and all the other de­light­ful in­clu­sions, although the Speed­mas­ter is fit­ted with smaller 41mm forks from the stan­dard Bob­ber.

The Speed­mas­ter does have that time­less Tri­umph char­ac­ter and I reckon it would suit those com­ing from the previous T100 Bon­nie and look­ing for just a bit more all round.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Tri­umph’s Bob­ber Black is all about mas­culin­ity.

The Speed­mas­ter has that time­less Tri­umph char­ac­ter.

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