Triumph Bobber gets Bonnie grunt

Triumph’s radical new bobber has been spied undergoing final shakedown tests ahead of a worldwide reveal at the end of this year.

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This is the second time this bike has been spied testing on the road but, unlike last time in the summer of 2015, it appears now to be in almost completely finished form except for a missing front mudguard. It all lends further weight to the next stage in the development of the Bonneville range.

We expect this bike to be officially revealed later this year at either the Milan or Cologne motorcycle shows in late Autumn before going on sale as a 2017 model.

This new factory-built bobber is an offshoot of the all-new Bonneville family, and comes at a time when modern-classic bikes are increasingly popular – while they have long been a key part of Triumph’s success both in the UK and overseas.

Triumph have invested five years of work and millions of pounds into the complete re-engineering of the Bonneville range, which uses a new family of water-cooled engines. The range has five models starting with the entry-level Street Twin, which features a 900cc parallel-twin motor, before moving up to four other models that use the a new 1200cc version of the engine in either ‘high torque’ or ‘high power’ variants. The four 1200s comprise standard and R versions of the Thruxton, a new T120 Bonneville, and a T120 Black. The bobber captured here appears to use the T120 engine option rather than the Thruxton engine option.

There are further missing variants of the new Bonneville, whose futures are as yet unconfirmed by Triumph. New versions of the America and Speedmaster cruisers are sure to follow – most likely using the 900cc engine, and there has been no confirmation of a replacement for the ageing Scrambler model, which falls foul of Euro4 in its current guise. All important models in the range, but any new versions are expected to be around another year away from arrival.

A tidy bit still to do
Near-finished elements like the front and rear lights, rear mudguard hangers, indicators and fuel tank finish give clues to how close this bike is to being production ready. However, there are various covers missing and exposed wiring, all of which will be tidied before production commences.

Single Disc
While the rest of the Bonnie range will be getting a new twin-disc brake set-up, this bobber only has a single front disc suggesting that this bike is more about show than go.

Bonnie boost
This bike’s fake carb throttle bodies and distinctive cylinder heads suggest the bobber will use the 1200cc engine from the new Bonneville family. It may look retro but the engineering is all-new and Euro4 compliant, with lots of low-down torque and good mpg.

Sound thinking
These slash-cut pipes appear aftermarket, but are standard issue for this bike. The open-pipe style is also an illusion, the silencers actually being firmly packed with sound-deadening material, while the slash-cut apertures create the custom look.

Soft option
The design is clearly aimed at giving the impression of having a hardtail chassis, with just a sprung seat to ease the rider’s discomfort. However, when viewed from the rear it’s clear that this optical illusion hides a monoshock softail set-up, with the shock unit nestling beneath the rider. The purple spring suggests that this test mule is using a British-built Maxton shock. 

Pictures: BMH Images

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter