2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber First Ride Review

By now you must’ve heard the bobber backstory: Restless GIs home from WW2 self-treated their PTSD by bobbing the fenders off their heavy old motorcycles to make them lighter, faster and generally more obnoxious to the populace. Triumph was right there from the beginning, supplying Marlon Brando’s bike in The Wild One, and now it’s back with the brand-new 2017 Bobber, the stripped-down, elemental variation on the new Bonneville theme the company’s been furiously rolling out for about a year now.

Unlike all the other dual-shock Bonnes, the Bobber gets a distinctive hardtail-looking frame that actually has 76mm (3 inches) of rear-wheel travel controlled by a single shock under the solo seat – and a solo seat is all it’ll ever be. There aren’t any optional passenger seats in the catalog (though there are more than 150 other things), since the rear fender’s going to be moving up and down with the wheel. Given that there will never be a 150-pound passenger added onto the rear of the bike, the rear shock doesn’t even have preload adjustment; Chief Engineer Stuart Wood says it just isn’t necessary and in fact there are no suspension adjustments (though a Fox shock with adjustable rebound is an available accessory).

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