2018 Triumph Bobber Black
Bonneville | 1200cc | 16-inch wheels | Traction control | ABS | Specifications
▲ If this bike was any blacker, it would be playing reggae. But we've got nothing against reggae, and black is exactly our kind of colour. That fuel tank, incidentally, is just 9-litres; 3-litres less than the 2018 Speedmaster. So as with the Harley-Davidson Sportster, you'll just have to stop at filling stations a little more often and enjoy whatever attention you can get.
▲ Over the years we've looked at thousands of home-brewed Triumph Bobbers. T120s. T140s. T150s. TR6s. The list goes on. But this factory Bobber, in our opinion, offers a far more attractive and credible package. If bikes are built to be ridden, this liquid-cooled 1200cc parallel twin engine is a pretty cool ticket. With mudguards, ABS, traction control and powerful up-to-the-minute LED lighting, you've got little excuse for putting-off that ride you've always promised yourself.
▲ That's a genuine fake carburettor body hiding the fuel injection gubbins. It's a deceit that most of us are happy to accept, not least because the payoff is traction control and 69mpg. At least, that's what Triumph is telling us—and we think that's realistic under the right conditions. Beautifully engineered, bikes such as this make us glad the British motorcycle industry collapsed.
2018 Triumph Bobber Black 1200
Engine: Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
The "Black" name pretty much speaks for itself. Check out the black powder-coated engine, the black exhaust, the black (twin skin) slash cut silencers, the black anodised footrests, the black fuel tank, guards and side panels, the black radiator surround, the black wheel hubs—and a lot more black sprayed pretty much everywhere else.
Bobber black front fork and wheels
To enhance the macho looks and stance, Triumph has replaced the
41-inch front fork with a new 47mm Showa item fitted with dumpy gaiters and what looks like perilously little travel to keep the mean and low look. It's obvious, but it works. And that travel, incidentally, is 90mm. Not great. But not unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the 19-inch front wheel of the standard Bobber has been switched for a 16-inch wheel to accentuate the kick-ass, back street bruiser look.
To haul the bike to a faster stop, a pair of Brembo twin-piston calipers operating on 310mm discs have been fitted—and the bike needs 'em. It weighs a massive 522lbs (237.5kg) dry. So you're not likely to be out performing stoppies on this; not if you want to keep that front fork straight. At the rear, a Nissin two-piston caliper squeezes a 255mm disc.
If you buy one of these bikes and you'll also be rewarded with:
Overall, it looks a pretty compelling package. As with the standard Bobber, there are nice touches everywhere such as the raised seam on the rear mudguard, the look and feel of the bar end mirrors, the quality of the welding, and the subtle flourishes on the petrol tank and side panels.
The designers have obviously worked extra hard throwing this lot together, and Harley-Davidson, in particular, now has some very VERY serious competition in this sector of the laid-back cruiser market.
As with the standard Bobber, there's no pillion perch for this bike either. It's intended as an uncompromising purist bike, so no hitchers, groupies, lovers, friends or dogs. Consequently, if you need tandem seating, take a look at the 2018 Speedmaster. Or take a bus or something.
Colours, extras & price
Colours are Jet Black or Matte Black. And we figure that blackness will extend onto the Triumph accounting books.
A "Highway Kit" (screen, panniers and backrest) is optional. Or choose a "Maverick Kit" (flat 'bars, single seat).
No prices as yet (Oct 2017). And there's no delivery date at the moment. But if you think you might want one, you probably do. Expect a waiting list.
Copyright Sump Publishing 2017