AUTHENTIC muscular styling with modern technology; the 2021 Triumph Bonneville Bobber ticks all the boxes. Once again Triumph’s attention to detail and build quality is second to none, and this classic looking bike has a real premium feel.
With a hidden rear shock, and a floating aluminium seat combined with chunky blacked out forks and fat spoked wheels, it really does have a proper hard tail bobber look. That’s complemented by the latest in tech, including a full LED headlight and cruise control.
You’ll also find a ride-by-wire throttle with switchable traction control, an in-key immobilizer, and multi-function LCD display. The Bobber shares the same engine from the exhilarating Thruxton RS we tested back in January, but in this case, there’s a catch.
Disappointingly, it has been de-tuned and given a lower compression ratio resulting in a drop in power to just 56kW, and 106Nm. It’s still a quite capable machine with plenty of torque to quickly get you up to speed, but it sometimes feels quite flat.
You’ll find yourself hitting the rev limiter, thinking “is that it?”. Thankfully it still sounds great and if you’re someone that likes cruising around, it has plenty of grunt for that. The gear changes from the 6-speed gearbox are smooth too.
We found the gearing good across a range of scenarios, from city to freeway cruising. The torque assisted clutch is super light and has a nice feel to it as well, making it a dream to ride in heavy traffic.
The Bobber comes with twin 310mm disc and two piston Brembo sliding axial callipers on the front. The rear gets a single 255mm disc and Nissin single piston floating calliper. Both feature ABS and have very good stopping power.
We would like to see a blacked-out front disc to match with the rest of the bike’s styling, but that’s a minor call. Suspension comes in the form of 47mm Showa cartridge forks and a smartly hidden rear mono-shock RSU with linkage.
Both provide good damping on rough roads. The handling is very good, even with its low-slung style, and it feels very stable and easy to ride. Push it too hard in the corners though, and the pegs are quick to keep you in check.
The instrument cluster sits nicely in a blacked-out bezel and features an analogue speedo and an LCD screen that can be easily changed to display digital rpm, trip, fuel mileage, distance to empty, and more. It’s all controlled from an easily reached single scroll button.
The screen also displays which riding mode is selected (Rain or Road), and switching modes can be done on the fly with the handle bar mounted switch. Each mode has varying degrees of traction control (which can also be turned off) and fly-by-wire throttle response.
The fuel tank capacity has increased over the previous model to 12-litres and mileage was very good. We averaged 4.9-litres/100km, with some spirited riding. We found the seating position really comfortable and user friendly too.
With a more upright position and 640mm seat height, it makes touching the ground easy for the vertically challenged. The adjustable seat could be slightly wider towards the front, as after an hour in the saddle it felt like sitting on the edge of a hard bar stool.
The handlebar mounted switches are well positioned, making them easy to use. The single touch button cruise control is a great addition. The bar end mounted mirrors fit in with the styling and don’t stick out too far either, making it easy to lane filter.
At 251kg, it’s no light motorcycle, but it feels very well balanced. Manoeuvres are easily made on the open road (despite that lack of outright power we mentioned earlier), and it negotiates city traffic with little effort.
There are more than 75 different genuine accessories available for the new Bonneville Bobber. Service intervals are 16,000km or every 12months, and it comes with a full 2-year warranty.
Priced from $22,090 ride away, the 2021 Bonneville Bobber is available in three colours; Jet Black, Cordovan Red, and two-tone Matte Storm Grey and Matte Ironstone (as tested).
Our test bike was supplied by Triumph Motorcycles Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Bonneville Bobber, contact your local Triumph Motorcycles dealer.