Blacker than black, the new Tiumph Bobber tested
Less than a year after the launch of the Triumph Bonneville Bobber, the English brand is back with its successor.
Is the standard bobber unsuccessful and is Triumph trying to get the sales up to standard?
On the contrary; the sale of the standard bobber is twice as large as Triumph had initially imagined at the launch of the standard bobber.
The Black version is therefore not an attempt for an extra sales boost, but the answer to the question that Triumph asked its customers earlier in the development of the complete Bobber line.
“What does a real Bobber need to satisfy your needs?” The black version was therefore also developed together with his standard brother to meet up with the growing demand for retro models and fulfills the wish of a large number of Triumph supporters who just want something more than a retro appearance. Whether this version is really something different than the standard Bobber had to be tested. And where better is this better than on one of the five most beautiful roads in the world.
With the melting snow still on the rooftops I boarded the plane to sunny Marbella to test the new bobber on the legendary “Ronda Road”.A road that runs from the coastal town of Marbella and almost 800 meters higher ends at the old Moorish town of Ronda. A concatenation of superb curves over perfectly landscaped asphalt is truly a dream for every motorcyclist. In the meantime you will also be treated to a decor that many travel brochures would be jealous off. In short, the perfect place to test a sporty motorcycle or a sturdy tour buffalo; but certainly not for a bobber?
The fact that the new Bobber is certainly in its place here, is soon apparent in the press presentation by Head off Brand Management; Miles Perkins. With the words “Darker, Meaner, Stronger” he is not only refering to the looks but also to the strong driving characteristics of the Bobber. The standard Bobber was already made for sporty driving but the Black Triumph does a little scoop on top off that charasteristics. In addition to a large dose of black equipped parts, alsoa number of mechanical changes have been made to the Black version, which should further increase the driving pleasure.
The frame developed by the Brothers Lopez has remained unchanged in this version and offers a great deal of stability under all circumstances. It also determines for the most part the tight line of the bike. By hiding the shock absorber under the saddle and making the swingarm look like a hardtail frame, the bike looks very tight and low. Just like with the standard bobber, the required power comes from the spicy 1200cc HT Bonneville engine. HT stands for High Torque and is an improved version of the standard Bonneville powerhouse. Together with it’s 6-speed gearbox and fuel injection this engine ensures that every horsepower is neatly transferred to the specially for Triumph modified Avon Cobra rear tire. The Spanish mountains do not look like a match for the very smooth running engine and bring the Bobber Black to the top of the mountain without any problems. Because of the short mufflers, the Bobber now also gives a nice roar when you open the throttle and you imagine yourself back in the sixties on its older predecessor.
But what makes this black version different from the standard bobber? In addition to the aforementioned black appearance, the Bobber Black is equipped with a firmer 47mm front fork instead of a 41mm fork like the standard bobber. Combined with a set of 2 piston Brembo calipers, this fork helps you to go through the corners at great speed and also to ensure that stopping, even under these extreme conditions, does not cause any problems. To emphasize the dark look, the Black version is also equipped with a 16 inch front wheel, in contrast to the 19 “version that sits on the standard bobber. To ensure that the shiny side stays up, the ABS helps to dose the powerful brakes in all conditions. Halfway through our ride through the Spanish mountains, the Spanish sun suddenly changes into a bit more Dutch weather and I decide to switch the on-board computer to “Rain” mode. This keeps the full power but make the ABS and traction control just a bit more sensitive so you can still enjoy the Bobber Black on a wet road.
The most eye-catching detail of the bobber line is the beautifully designed saddle. Due to its single suspension, the saddle seems to float above the classic ribbed mudguard. Due to its slightly curved shape, he also ensures that you can not only make a long ride comfortably but also that you stay firmly in the saddle if you give the 1200 HT block a good pass. In the standard position, the saddle gives you a lot of control over the bike by combining it with the mid-controls and the standard drag bar. However, if you want to sit further back then the bobber line has the possibility to move the saddle backwards. If you want a different look, Triumph’s extensive accessories line will most likely offer a solution.
The new Bobber Black is available in a gloss black and a matte black finish. Unfortunately, however, only the matte black version is coming to the Benelux. Fortunately, Triumph has also introduced a whole series of aftermarket parts that bolt straight onto your new Bobber. From the dealer you can have your own Bobber equipped with a specially designed short mudguard, apehanger, a set of new mufflers and even a illegal sidemount. In short, more than enough accessories to give your own look to the standard already very beautiful Bobber. The overall driving impression of the Bobber Black is nothing but positive. The engine has more than enough power to bring you anywhere with a smile without being bored for a moment. In addition, regardless of the weather type and road type, you do not have the feeling that you do not have the engine under control. The HT engine is perfectly dosed and the thick front fork gives the bike the stability that many sports bikes will be jealous of. Going up or down the Mountain, rain or shine, with the Bobber Black, Triumph has certainly distinguished itself from the standard version. After a day of infinite curves, we all together decide to decorate the streets of Marbella with some black stripes during a number of stoplight prints. With the traction control to an impossible task, but fortunately the Bobber changes with a simple push of a button in a burnoutmachine. After also having decorated the sixth traffic light we arrive at the hotel again and with a slight hesitation I finally return the keys. I lovingly give the Bobber a stroke over his LED headlight and get ready to go back to the land of cold and snow. In the plane I quickly close my eyes and I drive in my mind once more the legendary road while in the light roar of the Bobber Black keeps me company. This was an introduction that makes even my V-twin heart beat faster.