Triumph Bonneville Bobber 2021 (bike review)
AUTHENTIC muscle styling with modern technology; the 2021 Triumph Bonneville Bobber ticks all the boxes. Once again, Triumph’s attention to detail and build quality is second to none, and this classic looking bike has a real premium feel.
With a hidden rear shock and an aluminum floating seat combined with big blacked out forks and chunky wire wheels, it really does have that hardtail bobber look. This is complemented by the latest technology, including a full LED headlight and cruise control.
You’ll also find a ride-by-wire throttle with switchable traction control, an integrated immobilizer and a multi-function LCD display. The Bobber shares the same engine as the exhilarating Thruxton RS we tested in January, but in this case there’s a catch.
Unfortunately it was detuned and given a lower compression ratio resulting in a power drop to just 56kW and 106Nm. It’s still a capable enough machine with plenty of torque to get you up to speed quickly, but sometimes it seems quite flat.
You’ll find yourself hitting the rev limiter, thinking “is that it?”. Luckily, it still sounds great and if you’re someone who likes to sail, it’s got plenty of grunt for it. Shifts in the 6-speed gearbox are also smooth.
We found the gearing to be good in a range of scenarios, from city to highway cruising. The torque assisted clutch is super light and also has a great feel, making it a dream to ride in heavy traffic.
The Bobber comes with dual 310mm discs and Brembo twin-piston axial sliding calipers up front. The rear gets a single 255mm disc and a Nissin single-piston floating caliper. Both are equipped with ABS and have very good stopping power.
We’d like to see a blacked-out front disc to match the rest of the bike’s styling, but that’s a minor appeal. Suspension comes in the form of 47mm Showa cartridge forks and a cleverly hidden RSU rear monoshock with linkage.
Both offer good damping on rough roads. Handling is very good, even with its low-slung styling, and it feels very stable and easy to ride. Push it too hard in the corners though, and the pegs are quick to keep you under control.
The instrument cluster sits nicely in a blacked-out bezel and features an analog speedometer and LCD display that can be easily changed to show digital RPM, trip, fuel economy, empty distance , and more. Everything is controlled from a single, easily accessible scroll button.
The screen also displays the selected riding mode (rain or road), and switching modes can be done on the fly with the handlebar-mounted switch. Each mode has varying degrees of traction control (which can also be disabled) and fly-by-wire throttle response.
The fuel tank capacity increased from the previous model to 12 liters and the mileage was very good. We averaged 4.9 litres/100km, with spirited driving. We also found the seating position to be very comfortable and user-friendly.
With a more upright position and a seat height of 640 mm, it facilitates contact with the ground for people with reduced mobility. The adjustable seat could be slightly wider in the front, because after an hour in the saddle it felt like sitting on the edge of a hard bar stool.
The handlebar-mounted switches are well positioned, making them easy to use. The one-button cruise control is a great addition. The handlebar-end mounted mirrors match the styling and don’t protrude too much either, making it easier to filter lanes.
At 251kg, it’s not a lightweight bike, but it feels very well balanced. Maneuvering is easy on the open road (despite the lack of power we talked about earlier) and it negotiates city traffic with little effort.
Over 75 different genuine accessories are available for the new Bonneville Bobber. Service intervals are 16,000 km or every 12 months, and it comes with a full 2-year warranty.
Starting at $22,090 drive-away, the 2021 Bonneville Bobber is available in three colors; Jet Black, Cordovan Red and two-tone Matte Storm Gray and Matte Ironstone (as tested).
Our test bike was supplied by Triumph Motorcycles Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Bonneville Bobber, contact your local Triumph Motorcycles dealer.