Triumph’s Bonneville Bobber is a retro classic combining stunning looks with modern performance and handling.

A motorcycle made for one, the Bobber does everything you need from this style of bike. Jeremy Webb bobs along on the Triumph to Brighton to take in the sea air.


Well, I wasn’t “bobbing along on the bottom of the sea“, as the song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks goes, but I was on the Triumph Bobber, thoroughly enjoying myself. You don’t buy a Triumph Bobber to go anywhere fast or to get from A to B. Buying a Triumph Bobber is a lifestyle choice and motorcycle scene—one where you ride for pure enjoyment and to show the bike to others. If you have one in mind, you aren’t worried about how long it takes you to reach your destination. You might hop on and ride without a plan of where to go.



The definition of a Bobber comes from an American saying that started in the 1920s when bike owners did a “Bob Job” on their Harley-Davidson machines. They stripped back the original bike removing various parts deemed superfluous. These lighter and simpler-looking machines soon became popular, which has continued.


Riding a Triumph Bobber, you sit on the bike and immediately feel at one with it. Your arms easily find the handlebars and the position feels great; you sit upright with a straight back and a good view ahead of the bike. The single seat is well padded and looks excellent; the tractor-style look first seen in the 1920s. You won’t be riding for hours on the Bobber because this is not what the bike is designed for or what you buy one for. You will hop on the Bobber for a jaunt to the coast or a cafe about an hour away. Meet up at a bike haunt and chat away with like-minded bikers.




The Triumph Bobber comes with the 76bhp 1200cc Bonneville twin engine, which gives you plenty of poke when you want and enables you to cruise happily at national Speed limits. Two riding modes, Rain and Road, alter the power to the wheel for safer riding in the wet. The Bobber handles well, with good agility and a low centre of gravity, meaning you can easily steer and fling the bike about if required.


I found filtering easy, and I was confident taking the Bobber through tight gaps in traffic. I got good lean angles when taking roundabouts and corners at speed, so when you want to push along, you can. The Bobber got a lot of attention when I parked up near Brighton Pier, and I was chatting away to admirers of the bike, sadly not me.




The 1200cc twin is not expensive to run; it returns over 88 KmpG and doesn’t go through tyres, chains, and brake pads rapidly. Insurance is reasonable, and you won’t put thousands of miles yearly on a Bobber.


If you are looking for a Bobber-style Cruiser, you should take a test ride on the Triumph. I had an enjoyable time with the one I had for a few weeks.



Competition from other manufacturers comes from: Indian Motorcycle has their new Sport Chief, Harley-Davidson has the Fat Bob, Honda’s take on the Bobber is the Rebel 1100.






Warranty & servicing

All modern Triumphs come with the firm’s now standard, two-year, unlimited mileage, manufacturer-backed warranty for parts and labour, which is also typical for the leading major motorcycle manufacturers, so you should have no concerns here. Servicing for the Bobber is relatively standard, too, with major services due every 16000 kms. It’s a reasonably straightforward machine to work on, too, so you shouldn’t fear any hefty bills.


Jeremy @Fueler

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