Caro­line Bar­rett

Editorial as­sis­tant

RiDE (UK) - - Welcome - Words Bruce Dunn Pic­tures Mark Man­ning

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

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