When Black is Cool. Very Cool.
If looks could kill, then the Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black 1200 is guilty of murder. Just the mere presence of it oozes with attitude. To paraphrase the great Mae West: “When I look good I’m very, very good, but when I look bad, I’m better”. We’ll take bad anytime.
Seeing it for the first time at Autohubs’s Triumph dealership along Ortigas Ave., it gave us shivers – but in a good way. Never was testing a motorcycle more exciting than with this black beauty. And for good reason: with the dragstyle handle bar, big tank and single saddle, and fat tires, you know it will be quite a ride. Although a decades old design, it’s still influences a distinct rider’s lifestyle.
The Bobber style gets its inspiration from the post war motorcycle bobber culture. Ex- soldiers had a couple of bucks to spare, made their own version of the motorcycle and just rode around the country. Big tractor-style solo seat., big tanks and self-confidence made the bobber image that still rings true to this day.
Improved for 2020
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black 1200 is all that, and more. Although an improvement from its predecessor, the enhancement are on the mechanical side. The much-appreciated additions are the now dual front discs that added much needed stopping power, a front suspension that now sports a bigger 47mm cartridge Showa fork. Also, a new headlight assembly with DRLs, and the single button cruise control – are standard.
With the same triangular faux-rigid frame unchanged for 2020, it still houses the muscular 1,200cc, eight-valve SOHC twin engine. The frame also places the single saddle as low as possible. Although height adjustment is available, its still is minimal.
The author managed to rack a respectable amount of kilometers in the metropolis, mainly in side roads and avenues. The continued quarantine in some provincial areas discouraged long highway trips. But hey, we can’t be choosers!
The Bobber behaved very politely; no excessive heat and building clutch pressure. Shifting was quick and precise, and the brakes were strong and precise. The torque was very impressive; engine revs never rose above 2500rpms, even in 4th gear. Even gradual twisting of the accelerator in 1st gear yielded a spirited acceleration. There are also two drive modes: Street and Rain– no difference in power, just when and how power is applied (rain mode has gradual release)
Traffic was also a cinch, thanks to the lowered 27.2-inch seat height placement, making both feet planted on the road during complete stops. The headlight was a tad too bright, making oncoming drivers flash their light. For a medium height guy, the foot pegs were placed just right, but may pose a problem with taller riders 6ft and above.
The ride is firm but comfortable. Turning at speed is made with confidence, but wary of the pegs scraping the road. Well, it is still a cruiser after all. Surprisingly, the exhaust note is not loud, but the thumping staccato of the parallel twin means serious business. Big tires fore and aft, makes the bobber more stable, whether crawling or at speed. And it looks cool too!
As for long trips, the author wishes to have another jab with the Bobber, although the 9-liter fuel tank makes it mandatory to meticulously plan the trip.
Do we recommend the Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black 1200? Hell, yeah!
Price and Availability
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black 1200 starts at PHP995,000.00.
Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black ABS is priced at PHP1,005,000.00.
ENGINE: 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE: 6-speed/chain
HORSEPOWER: 77.0 hp @ 6100 rpm
TORQUE: 78.2 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
FRAME: Tubular-steel double-cradle
FRONT SUSPENSION: Showa 47mm fork; 3.5 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION: KYB shock; 3.0 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE: Twin Brembo two-piston calipers, twin 310mm disc with ABS
REAR BRAKE: Nissin one-piston caliper, 255mm disc with ABS
RAKE/TRAIL: 25.8°/3.5 in.
WHEELBASE: 59.4 in.
SEAT HEIGHT: 27.2 in.
FUEL CAPACITY: 9 liters
CLAIMED WEIGHT 524 lb. dry
For more informtion, visit Triumph Motorcycles Philippines Inc., (An Autohub member company) 324 Ortigas Ave, San Juan, 1503 Metro Manila
text/images Earl Manalansan