Triumph's 2016 Bobber
By Ross Sharp - 20 Oct 16
So, the cat is now completely out of the bag, in a big way. I don't think we've seen social media explode quite so quickly after an embargo has been lifted. These images then are unlikely to be fresh to your eyes but feel free to click on them for a full screen, high-res view and make your own mind up. We were lucky enough to be invited to the official press launch and got the chance to swing a leg over the fruits of Triumph's labour, the all new Bobber. It's no secret that we have a working relationship with Triumph but we're not about to sit here and regurgitate a press release and sprinkle it with sycophantic hyperbole. This is a brand new motorcycle built for the mass market, albeit not as mass as some think, Triumph's Hinckley HQ is still relatively modest in size in relation to their competitors. Therefore the mainstream media are perhaps better placed to draw comparison between the Bobber and other offerings on the market. Here in the Bike Shed we are predisposed to look at any bike (any object for that matter) and see what can be removed, chopped-off and refabricated. As a whole Triumph has done a great job of delivering on their brief of creating a modern day Bobber and manufacturing it within the constraints of regulations across global markets. There are of course parts that the designers would rather be different but the beancounters and fun police are an evermore powerful force.
We're pleased to see that the crew at Hinckley clearly read custom bike features and spend an awful lot of time poring over photos of the creations produced by others who use Triumph's as donor motorcycles. The new Bobber has an adjustable clock that allows a simple change in angle and an adjustable floating seat that's not only to aid comfort but also enables reduction of the seat-to-tank gap. Admittedly not game changers but small touches that make for a real world difference, even if only to satisfy motorcyclists' innate urge to tinker.
As with the last batch of new models from Triumph a huge amount of attention has been paid to fit and finish. Chat to the technical team about the linishing machine used to obtain the perfect satin finish on the aluminium and stainless parts or open a discussion about why a particular fastener is the shape that it is and why it's positioned just so and you'll draw the conclusion that if these guys and gals didn't have Triumph written on their shirts they'd be beavering away in a shed somewhere with a sign reading Something Something Customs hanging above the door.
We only had the briefest of sits on one of the Bobbers and spent the rest of the evening watching Dimitri Coste, Gary Inman, Carl Fogarty, Freddy Spencer et al ragging a fleet of stock bikes down an indoor drag strip. A fun night for sure but perhaps not long enough to come a conclusion about what we'd change, a few hours in the saddle will help, which we look forward to but for now we'll do what you lot are doing, staring at the photos and letting creative juices flow.
After all we're about taking something and changing it to how we think it should be. With the caveat that we are all individual and rarely agree on the minutia. What Triumph have demonstrated with the Bobber is that they know how to build motorcycles that that people want to own, the sales charts categorically prove that. And anyone who's been trained in sales knows that you sell with your ears, not your mouth.
Would we ride around on a stock one? Not for long. Would we take one apart and customise it? Yup. Are we looking forward to seeing the first email titled Triumph Bobber Custom? Absolutely!
For the tech info and colour options check Triumph's official Bobber Press Release.
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