Bonnie spied

Bob­ber be­comes cruiser

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

The ram­pant suc­cess of Tri­umph’s Bob­ber, which has even man­aged to eclipse the firm’s own suc­cess with the T120 Thrux­ton, looks to have al­ready spawned a new model spin-off that will re­place the Amer­ica and Speed­mas­ter.

This bla­tantly Us-fo­cused new cruiser, spied last week on the roads in Spain near Tri­umph’s test fa­cil­ity, uses the clever hard-tail mim­ick­ing monoshock Bob­ber chas­sis and T120 par­al­lel-twin en­gine, but wraps them in far more tra­di­tional cruiser pack­ag­ing. And far from be­ing an early pro­to­type lash-up de­signed to test rider po­si­tion­ing, parts fit and per­for­mance, the bike that was spot­ted looks ab­so­lutely pro­duc­tion­ready. There are no rough pro­to­type brack­ets, bodged pan­els or duct tape com­pen­sat­ing for el­e­ments still un­der de­vel­op­ment.

There’s also only the bare min­i­mum of eval­u­a­tion para­pher­na­lia at­tached, sug­gest­ing that the test team have al­ready an­swered all the ma­jor ques­tions over sta­bil­ity, han­dling, per­for­mance and emis­sions. There may be no badges on the tank – the mount­ing holes are clearly vis­i­ble – but there’s no ques­tion over the bike’s brand­ing, with the sissy bar pad clearly dis­play­ing Tri­umph’s tri­an­gu­lar logo, which is also re­peated on set of ex­treme for­ward-mounted footrests.

There’s no doubt about the en­gine, ei­ther. While the de­sign and fake carbs are clear enough give­aways alone, the ‘1200 Bon­neville’ badge is also just vis­i­ble be­hind the rider’s right leg, con­firm­ing this isn’t the 900 unit.

Sig­nif­i­cant changes are led by the ad­di­tion of a rear sub­frame with pil­lion and lug­gage pro­vi­sion, the switch to a 16in front wheel and the sig­nif­i­cant repo­si­tion­ing of the main rider foot con­trols – which have now slid for­ward from the mid po­si­tion to a more tra­di­tional for­ward po­si­tion. Even more ex­treme is the large chromed front bar, which sports a set of for­ward-mounted cruis­ing footrests. The seat is now a plush all-day comfy item re­plac­ing the Bob­ber’s ad-ad­justable sad­dle, and the head­lamp boasts a deeper bowl, at­trac­tively- styled day­light run­ning lights and ap­pears to be all-led.

With this new cruiser ap­pear­ing pro­duc­tion-ready, and the Amer­ica and Speed­mas­ter be­ing non-euro4 com­pli­ant, we’d ex­pect to see it re­vealed at the end of the year as a 2018 model.

The stan­dard Bob­ber looks skele­tal by com­par­i­son

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