It’s safe to say the original 2016 Triumph Bonneville Bobber was pretty well received. Not only did the press like it, but it also became the fastest selling motorcycle in the 115-year history of the company. So it’s not surprising that the new 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black aims to expand on that success.
And it does look rather nice. The original Triumph Bobber does come in a Jet Black paint option. But the new Black model takes it much further. That includes a more aggressive stance on a fatter front wheel, chunkier front forks and plenty of black painted or anodised parts. Plus a choice of Jet Black or Matt Black finish for the tank, etc.
Let’s cover off the bit that hasn’t really changed. The new 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black will still use the same liquid-cooled, 8 valve, parallel twin 1200cc engine as the original model (tuned for more power and torque than the T120, but still with 10,000 mile service intervals). That will put out a claimed 77hp at 6,100rpm, and 78.2 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000rpm. So enough poke to get you out of corners rather rapidly.
It’s also more than enough power to make you glad there’s the same switchable traction control, plus road and rain riding modes. Which should help to keep you in line, as you make the most of the torque-assist clutch and ride-by-wire throttle.
The one big addition is that there’s now a single button cruise control, which is definitely handy for longer journeys. Just press it once to turn it on, once to set the speed, and once to press cancel. It was only an optional extra on the original.
So what else is different from the £10,600 Bobber on the new Black version?
So the new 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black continues with the standard ABS. But it steps up from the single front brake disc and two-piston Nissin calipers of the original to twin 310mm discs with twin Brembo two-piston calipers.
It also features new, chunkier 47mm Showa forks, although they don’t gain any more travel. And the front wheel has been switched to a fatter 16 inch wire spoke wheel. Which means it’s now using a bespoke 130/90 B16 Avon Cobra AV71. The result is that the bike still has the same rake and trail, but looks a lot beefier at the front. It’s more of a custom look than the post-war classic. And it’s still got the same low 690mm seat. Although the changes do mean the Bobber Black has gained a little weight. It’s now 21lbs, or 9.5kg heavier.
The other new technology change is the 5″ full-LED headlight, which apparently has a unique LED daytime running light pattern. So presumably people will not only see you coming, but will be able to tell what you’re riding with a Triumph triangle branding as part of it. LED lighting is continued for the brake light, indicators and number plate, meaning they’re more durable and efficient than traditional bulbs.
Obviously the reason for the model name is that the Bobber Black comes with a host of anodised or painted bits. Which means you get a black painted exhaust, seat pan and wheel hubs. And black anodised brake pedal, foot rests, gear lever, brake and clutch levers. Plus black power coast engine covers, cam cover and sprocket cover, a black chrome plated headlight rim, and a zinc nickel-plated gear linkage.
Basically Triumph has looked at every part you can see, and tried to make it black with the whole range of different processes.
There really isn’t much that isn’t black on this bike. Aside from details like the Triumph-branded locking fuel cap, some badges, the wheel spokes and brake discs. It’ll be a right pain to find it in a dark garage!
We’d certainly argue that it looks a bit cooler than the standard Bobber. And given the similarities, it should ride as well. And still be comfortable. It’s a bit hard to pick any problems with the new 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black, aside from the fact the price doesn’t seem to be confirmed yet. And it still does a great job of distracting you from the rear shock with the elegant rear end and floating aluminium seat pan. The biggest choice might be picking between the Jet Black and Matt Black paint options, as the difference is subtle but noticeable. And they both look good.
2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Gallery
See if you can spot the different between the Matt and Jet Black options on the new Triumph Bobber Black.
New 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black Accesories and Clothing:
If that isn’t custom enough for you, obviously there’s a wide range of more than 120 accessories to make your particular Bobber Black stand out. And that’s everything from short mudguards and mini-ape hanger handlebars to aluminium Vance & Hines exhausts.
Plus there’s a range of Bobber Black specific clothing. So you can get matching t-shirts, hoodies, riding jacket and more to go with your new Triumph.
You’ve got to go with a short mudguard, surely? After all, you want to show off that fat front tyre. Not sure about getting away from the black theme with the optional brown leather seat, or relying on bar end mirrors to see behind you, though…