BEAUTY OF THE BEAST
The new motorcycle from Triumph rears
Unlike proponents of the minimalist genre that its aesthetic squarely fits in, the beauty of the Triumph Bonneville Bobber is hardly relative—this is a motorcycle that’s been engineered to look (and sound) absolutely ravishing. The new 1200 cc parallel twin engine—retuned on the Bobber for more power and torque—is silky and brutal all at the same time, while sounding as raspy as you’d hope it would.
But there’s a dichotomy at work here: just like a new pair of denims, it’s too new; too perfect. A custom with a factory-level finish; too blemish-free as it were. And therein lies the paradox: Bobbers—barebones motorcycles stripped off all expendable bits—are, by definition, old bikes that are re-built for speed (and tonnes of attitude) by gearheads in garages. There are a few universally accepted design cues to be sure, and the Bonnie Bobber ticks all the boxes, except the lived-in look. In this case the only motorcycle that will look better than the Bobber is a Bobber that’s seen some life, a bit of wear, a fade of paint, and embellished with little personal thingamajigs which riders will put on it. That acquired personality, a slightly rough-around-the-edges character, scars et al, is when it’ll look perfectly imperfect.