Triumph Bonneville Bobber revealed

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Triumph will release a whole new range of heritage models over the next two years, all based around a new large- capacity water-cooled parallel-twin engine, which MCN has spied being used in a wide variety of test mules. This factory-built bobber version, scooped testing on the roads near Triumph’s Spanish research and development base last week, is an entirely new addition to the range of modern classics, and looks almost completely production-ready.

This final-stage test mule has almost every element you would expect to see on the finished bike in your local Triumph dealer; right down to bar-end mirrors, indicators, numberplate holder and the newly-required side reflectors that will now be fitted to all new bikes as part of Euro 4 certification rules. But despite the apparent readiness of the bike, MCN expects that it is still nearly two years off production, and isn’t likely to arrive at your local dealer until mid-2017.

MCN has already revealed details of the all-new water-cooled, more powerful Bonneville range, the first models of which we believe will be unveiled at the Milan motorcycle show this November. The new classic range has been in development now for at least three years, with the first rough test prototypes spotted two years ago, also in Spain, but this is the very first time that a Bobber version has been spotted, or even rumoured to exist.

While Triumph have understandably refused to confirm the existence of this model, along with the rest of the new water-cooled Bonneville range, MCN understands the bikes will use a new 1100cc parallel-twin, combined with  updated chassis and running gear.

While this bobber incarnation was unexpected, the rest of the new
Bonneville range is likely to be a little more predictable. In addition to a base Bonneville model, we expect to see a near direct replacement for the wire-wheeled T100, with higher specification Thruxton and Scrambler models to follow. We also expect the America and Speedmaster, which are popular Stateside,  to be released soon after. 

In addition, MCN has spied the firm testing a more sports-orientated high-spec café racer, believed to be called Street Tracker, which will feature a large diameter inverted fork, high-spec rear shocks, more aggressive geometry, and powerful brakes – all aimed at taking on the likes of the BMW R nineT boxer roadster and the Norton 961 Commando.

It’s hard to overstate how important the modern classic range is to Triumph. While the firm has become synonymous with three-cylinder roadsters like the Street and Speed Triples in recent years, the classics comprise around half of all their sales, and appear to be growing in importance as those who want classic styling opt for modern equivalents rather than the potential unreliability of real old bikes.

Clever pipework

A seriously clever bit of design. The pipes look straight-through but are in fact diverted into an under-
engine catalytic converter and then back out through the silencers. The gap is bridged by a cover. We expect these to be standard exhausts.

 Power surge

Triumph have maintained the classic air-cooled look while producing a modern fuel-injected, water-cooled engine. Capacity is expected to be up from 865cc to 1100cc with power at 100bhp from 68bhp.

Single minded

While the rest of the new Bonneville range will be getting a new twin-disc set-up, this bobber version appears to only have a single disc, suggesting that this bike is more about show than go. 


These appear to made of billet aluminium and the brake lever is adjustable. This kind of part is normally used early in the process to set the measurements of the production bike. While the bobber looks largely finished, this detail fits with a 2017 release date.

Bobber styling

In keeping with the bobber look, Triumph designed the new bike to look like a hard-tail. However, comfort and road manners are a priority, so this bike does have rear suspension. The pivot is clear, and a horizontally mounted shock is likely to be under the seat.

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter