Factory-made Bobber with custom looks
2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber is a game changer
Custom motorbike builders here love to replicate classic motorcycles.
They strip them down to the bare essentials, achieving the bobber or the more stylised chopper look.
Such motorbikes have raw appeal.
But what happens when a manufacturer like Triumph decides to offer a stock motorcycle - namely the 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber - with looks rivalling the handiwork of skilled custom builders?
Here is why the Bobber could be a game changer.
LOOK & DESIGN
Its short front fender, dual low exhaust pipes, "floating" solo bucket seat, wire-spoked wheels, bar-end mirrors and braced rear fender evoke bobber nostalgia.
With less, the motorbike stands out more.
You will be mesmerised by its brushed aluminium and bronze engine parts.
Despite the garter-type fork rubber fork protectors, the single round speedometer and classic battery box, you will see subtle refinements characteristic of any modern motorcycle.
The adjustable speedometer is a functional design which helps get rid of the sun's glare.
Astride the 1,200cc parallel-twin, nothing blocks your view or gets in your way.
The six-speeder is low slung and exudes the "bad boy" posture, given the slight hunch you get from the low bars and propped-up seat position which is height-adjustable.
When pushing the Bobber, you will notice that all its weight is down low.
Unlike a traditional cruiser, this solo rider has foot pegs closer to the centre line. Space will be limited on the standard seat for riders with larger bums.
POWER & HANDLING
The fuel-injected Bobber pulls away from as low as 2,800rpm and reaches its maximum torque of 106Nm at 4,000rpm.
Granted, it is a small torque window but the fun starts low in the rev range. Getting up to speed is easily achieved with a twist of the throttle.
Horsepower figures are more humbling with a maximum of 76hp at 6,100rpm.
Sure, it can run with the big boys, but as speeds climb, its power begins to taper.
While the Bobber may look long, the low centre of gravity and the compact riding position mean it is easier to lean into bends with the slightest pressure from your hips.
Yet, its low ground clearance would certainly result in grazed foot pegs when negotiating negative camber turns.
The Bobber is comfortable to ride unless you go over nasty bumps.
Its KYB telescopic front forks and almost horizontal rear shock have a tendency to jolt, so choose your lines wisely.
Staying true to the image of past motorcycles, the Bobber has a single front brake rotor which requires more braking input to make the motorbike come to a stop.
The front brake lacks initial bite but for most city and low-speed riding, you'll get used to its braking demeanour.
It comes with anti-lock brakes, has rain and road modes, ride by wire throttle and switchable traction control.
Its looks are almost custom. The Bobber is for someone who not only likes a beautiful neo-classic motorbike but rides well too.
Make & model: Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Engine: Liquid-cooled, parallel twin-cylinder
Machine price: $25,000 with additional registration fee
For more details, contact Mah at 6295-6393