First ride: Triumph Bobber Black review

BOBBERS have been promoting nearly as quick as Triumph could make them this yr.

Provides have been restricted within the first quarter however by midway by way of 2017, the Bobber was the fourth best-selling motorcycle over 125cc.

It outsold not simply each different Bonneville however each different Triumph. Solely Kawasaki’s Z1000SX and BMW’s R1200GS and GS Journey beat it.

No shock then that Triumph determined it was value making one other variant. It’s the Bobber Black, with a fatter entrance tyre, additional entrance disc, thicker forks and plenty of black the place earlier than there was chrome.

This is my verdict after driving it on the launch in Malaga.


Just like the existing Bobber, it is obtained the ‘Excessive Torque’ model of the 1200cc liquid-cooled Bonneville engine. It makes 77hp, 20hp lower than the ‘Excessive Energy’ variant discovered within the Thruxton R. Regardless of the declare to excessive torque, it additionally makes much less of that, at 78lbft in comparison with eighty two.6lbft.

It makes it decrease down although, with peak torque at simply four,000rpm and peak energy at 6,100rpm. A snap of the throttle releases an instantaneous burst of acceleration from method down within the vary, sufficient to shortly hearth you previous no matter it’s you are overtaking. ‘Extra Punch’ can be a greater description for this model of the parallel-twin than ‘Excessive Torque’, however ‘MP’ on the aspect of the cylinder would take extra explaining than ‘HT’ does. 

Among the many info that may be proven on the small digital show underneath the analogue speedometer is a numerical rev counter, however don’t be concerned about that. Simply change up for extra of the identical meaty low-vary punch, delivered with an aggressive rumble from the newly black-painted and slash-reduce peashooter exhausts.

You get traction management with two driving modes: Street and Rain. It rained in Spain, so I made use of the softer throttle response in Rain mode earlier than switching to Street because the skies cleared .

Dealing with

The Bobber Black is 9.5kg heavier than its non-black counterpart, at 237.5kg dry as an alternative of 228kg. The black paint’s not heavier; the additional lard is within the up to date entrance finish. The forks at the moment are 47mm in diameter as an alternative of 41mm.

The entrance wheel has shrunk from 19mm to 16mm, offset by a a lot fatter, one hundred ninety-part Avon Cobra entrance tyre, the place the Bobber has a one hundred-part. And it carries that additional entrance brake disc.

I feel the Bobber Black felt somewhat slower turning than I keep in mind the Bobber itself to be, a bit of extra sluggish tipping right into a lean – however it might take a again-to-again check to say definitively.

The Bobber Black nonetheless handles properly, feeling simpler to dominate and extra settled via turns than typical of cruisers.

It is acquired affordable cornering clearance, so you do not have to consider operating out of lean and crashing each time you see a bend. The driving place gives an unlikely degree of consolation, with only a little bit of a attain to the straight bars.

The seat is agency however nonetheless a pleasant place to take a seat for a number of hours, I think as a result of its form evenly distributes the strain.

The Bobber Black retains the centrally mounted pegs of the usual mannequin (now in black). It’s a greater place than ft-ahead for feeling in management. A slight annoyance was that if I attempted to journey with my toes on the pegs, my heels made contact with the silencers.

Tall riders can also want for extra leg room. I am solely 5’9” and my knees and hips have been bent at an acute angle. The room might be elevated marginally by undoing a bolt and sliding the seat backwards, however it additionally makes it decrease, and means an extended attain to the bars. The clock could be adjusted to go well with the brand new seating place.

Alternatively, you might all the time get ft forwards controls, a brand new choice on each this and the bottom-mannequin Bobber.


The KYB monoshock is identical because the Bobber’s, which suggests solely 77mm of journey. The brand new fork is from Showa, the place the Bobber’s is KYB, nevertheless it permits the identical quantity of wheel journey, at 90mm.

It might be the restricted suspension journey, allowed by the very fact the bike shouldn’t be designed to take a pillion, that helps make the Bobber Black adept at dealing with the countless corners of southern Spain’s well-known Ronda Street, AKA the A397. Carry your weight off the seat and also you’ll really feel the shock shortly reaching full extension with jolt. You possibly can’t have sloppy rebound when there barely is any rebound.

It’s agency, and I’d be tempted to say it could be much less likeable on metropolis streets, however I rode the Bobber itself by way of London earlier this yr and keep in mind no trigger for grievance.

Each ends are non-adjustable.


My preliminary thought on making use of the brand new twin-disc entrance brake with Brembo calipers was ‘Oh. It’s nonetheless not immensely highly effective.’

It is extra highly effective than the Bobber’s single disc and two-piston Nissin caliper, delivering extra pressure in response to a lighter pull, so making two-fingered braking simpler. However I feel the Brembo emblem had raised my expectations to a better degree nonetheless. They’re nonetheless solely two-piston sliding calipers, whereas the discs are the identical measurement because the Bobber’s single one, at 310mm.


You get all of the stuff the Bobber’s received: ABS (clearly), the traction management and driving modes I discussed earlier, plus a torque-help clutch for a lighter-to-pull lever.

You additionally get one thing new: cruise management operated with single button. Press it as soon as to modify on and once more to set your velocity. Triumph says it additionally takes ‘one press to cancel’ however I discovered I needed to press and maintain it to cancel. Alternatively, you’ll be able to in fact immediately cancel it by touching the entrance brake or turning the throttle.

It appears a good suggestion, decreasing button-finding associated distraction. It does imply you’ll be able to’t make positive changes to the velocity you’ve set. If you wish to change it, you must cancel and begin once more.

The Bobber Black additionally positive factors an LED headlight with a daytime operating mild.

A single button for cruise management.

We like

The Bobber Black gained virtually unanimous reward once we posted about it on social media from the launch, and it’s clear from feedback the place a lot of the attraction lies: within the seems to be.

There’s a pleasant degree of consideration to element within the Bonneville vary, for instance in the best way the gasoline injection has been made to seem like carbs. The fats entrance tyre and newly black elements, together with the levers, engine covers, handlebars and wheel hubs, add an fascinating new styling option to the Bobber line-up.

Right here’s an inventory of elements which have gone black, from Triumph’s press materials:

  • Black painted exhaust (silencers, headers and higher finned casting)
  • Black anodised brake pedal and footrests
  • Black anodised gear lever
  • Black plated gear linkage
  • Black anodised brake and clutch levers
  • Black painted handlebars, with black anodised risers and clamps
  • Black painted seat pan
  • Black powder coated engine covers, cam cowl and sprocket cowl
  • Black chrome plated headlight rim
  • Black painted wheel hubs

We don’t like

If there’s something just a little underwhelming concerning the Bobber Black, it’s that an fascinating new styling selection within the Bobber line-up is all it truly is.

You get a extra highly effective entrance brake however in any other case the expertise of driving doesn’t appear to have dramatically altered. It’s as if Triumph thought, ‘The Bobber’s promoting nicely. Let’s make it once more.’

The Speedmaster that’s on the best way, a Bobber you possibly can carry a pillion on – now that’s a brand new mannequin.