I spent last year riding an Indian Scout Sixty – my first taste of a cruiser. Maybe it’s left a mark, because I’ve noticed Triumph’s Bobber several times this year and wondered how it feels to ride. This month’s Road Test should have all the answers.
ONCE THE NICHE preserve of bandanna-wearing bearded blokes wielding welding equipment, extreme custom bikes are now so mainstream that manufacturers have started mass producing them. The paradoxically named ‘factory custom’ class sees models that look like they are from a chop shop gracing the pages of manufacturers’ brochures, meaning riders can have all the style of a custom machine without having the headaches, cost and creativity needed to build or commission one. Triumph has now muscled in on the act with its new Bonneville Bobber.
For the yet-to-be-initiated into the world of custom parlance, a ‘bobber’ is a bike that has been stripped of its dual seat and rear subframe, and features sawn-off mudguards, all in the name of lightness. A low-slung seat is key to bobber style and to achieve the look, most forgo the rear suspension too, meaning riders literally had to suffer for their art with a crashy, ill-handling ‘hardtail’ ride.
Triumph’s new Bobber rolls off the line with the necessary design elements wrapped around the ultra-modern 1200cc parallel-twin from the Bonneville. But it also features creature comforts such as traction control, switchable throttle maps, ABS… and even a hidden rear shock. Dripping with neat design touches - and with a bulging accessories catalogue - the Bonneville Bobber offers a mix of authentic style and real-world rideability. So how does it perform?
The Bobber blends custom cool with realworld convenience
SEATING There’s only a single seat, but it can be moved to alter the riding position