Being semi-retired, I have lots of time to ride. But also having a close friend who is National Service Manager for Triumph Motorcycles is a blessing. I get to do break in miles for the press fleet, riding 25-30 new bikes each year. I get them out of the crate with zero miles, and hand them back with 500-1500 miles on them. I get the bikes before the dealers get them, and many one off bikes. I am riding my second 2017 Bonneville Bobber, the first two on the road, with dealers telling me “it’s not fair you get them before I do.” But after 1200 mile on the first two, I can say it is not the bike we assumed it would be-it is far better. And maybe the best overall Bonneville package to date. And I have ridden them all!
First, it doesn’t ride like it looks. Sitting on the bike everything fits, the pegs are just right, not in the birthing position, the bars angle you just right into the wind. No windshield available, keep that one for your Buick. Fire it up, and ride off, the bike sits low, feels small, center of gravity is low, but it doesn’t ride like it looks. Going down the road you would never know you are on a Bobber, it is that comfortable. And it handles, most of the feelers on the foot pegs are gone after 600 miles on the current one, it handles. But isn’t that what Triumphs are all about? Whoever did the engine mapping, road and rain, has it spot on, immediate power, over 100 in third. Amazingly enough it doesn’t like to go 80, it prefers 90, which is 3800 rpm on the digital gauge, clocks in Triumph speak. It has two trip meters, current and average miles per gallon, miles to empty, time, and odometer, that pivot as needed. When I had the first one, I wanted to stop and show it off, but was having so much fun I said “that can wait, I’m going riding.” So I did. This is an amazing bike, with awesome power, that handles and is cooler than anything you will see on the road. A Harley dealer gave me a compliment, “please don’t park it with my new bikes, no one will look at mine.” And he threw a leg over it and had his picture taken. Seems he has the same disease a lot of us have, motorcycles.
Pros and cons, pro-it is fast and comfortable. And no one else will have one, unlike the same black Sportster. It will tromp one in a roll on or standing start. It is fast! The six speed trans shifts easily, has a slipper clutch with a light pull, and you can downshift like a race bike. It is water cooled, the thin radiator is hidden well, the engine is a thing of beauty with cooling fins. Fuel mileage is mid 40’s still, getting better, just cruising at 80 you can get 55-60 consistently, but you will want to twist the throttle, which is ride by wire. Cons are the tank is only 2.4 gallons, every 90 miles you need to refuel, but then you get to show it off while getting gas and enjoy the accolades. Be warned, all ages will want to tell you their Triumph stories, and love your bike. Personally I would want the Brembos like on the Thruxton, but that is just me. Otherwise, color choice is up to you. Black, green with silver, a muted silver, and deep red with gold metalflake. My favorite. As it sits, $11,900 plus userous dealer profit add on, and they are presold. Bonneville sales were up 68% last year and two models were named Bike of the Year. If you cannot be the first, get in line now. Add in Triumph’s two year unlimited mileage warranty, 10,000 mile oil changes, and fair priced servicing, the money you save for service can be spent riding, my personal preference. I was not prepared to like this bike, but it is now in the plans to get one. And remember, I ride them for free, I need one! Think of it as Chino’s Triumph, from the Wild One, “storm the Bastille!”
My son is taking off now on it, I can hear the exhaust note, loud but tasteful. Grab the throttle, and hang on tight, check out the Triumph website, Triumphmotorcycles.com. There is cool and there is cool, you will never know until you ride a Bobber. I know, I was the first. From the fake Amol carbs housing the fuel injectors to the solo seat, to the rear master cylinder hidden behind an engine cover, it has the looks, and the power to back it up. Question is, are you man enough to ride one? It fits my lifestyle, everything I need, and nothing I don’t. At just over 500 pounds. Triumph calls it brutal beauty. A custom look from the factory, with over 150 accessories to add to it. Personally, give me the red and a full tank of gas and I am happy. It goes back next week, the new Street Scrambler will be in, I will report on that later. If you are what you ride, I choose to be a Triumph. Steve McQueen, the King of Cool rode one, next question. As for now, I’m going riding….somehow it just doesn’t seem fair.