The fastest-selling Triumph ever produced is going dark, as Triumph introduces the new Bonneville Bobber Black. The 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black is more than just a new color option, as Triumph has added a fat front wheel, dual disc brakes, thicker forks and a number of other upgrades.

Related: 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Review

The Bobber has been a big success for Triumph, with more than 6,000 units sold worldwide to date since it arrived in dealerships in the Spring. Those who are still on the fence about the Bobber may want to wait for the Black version to arrive.

The most noticeable difference with the Bonneville Black is the more muscular stance created by a thicker front wheel and heftier fork. Instead of the regular Bobber’s 100/90-19 front tire, the Bobber Black uses a 130/90-16 tire. Triumph also swapped out the Bobber’s 41mm KYB fork for a 47mm Showa unit, offering the same 3.5 inches of travel.

The front brakes also receive an upgrade, with the Black receiving a second 310mm rotor and two-piston Brembo calipers replacing the Nissins on the regular Bobber.

Outside of North America, the Bonneville Black also receives a full LED headlight with daytime running light (also found on the new Bonneville Speedmaster). The 5-inch circular headlight maintains the Bonneville family’s classic feel while the LED gives it a distinct modern look. Unfortunately, the LED and DRL is not homologated for North American streets.

Related: 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

The Bobber Black also receives a new, simple-to-use cruise control system. Mounted to the left controls by the horn, the system uses just a single button. Press once to activate, press it again to set the speed, and press it again to turn it off.

The engine remains the same high-torque 1200cc parallel-Twin powering the Bobber. Triumph claims a peak output of 77 hp at 6100 rpm and 78.2 lb-ft. at 4000 rpm. The Bobber Black does receive new blacked-out slash-cut sawn-off peashooter silencers. Ride-by-wire throttle control offers Road and Rain ride modes, while switchable traction control and ABS are offered as standard equipment.

The Bonneville Black will be available in a choice of Jet Black or Matt Black paint, both offering these blacked-out components:

  • Black painted exhaust (silencers, headers and upper finned casting)
  • Black anodized brake pedal and footrests
  • Black anodized gear lever
  • Zinc nickel plated gear linkage
  • Black anodized brake and clutch levers
  • Black painted handlebars, with black anodized risers and clamps
  • Black painted seat pan
  • Black powder coated engine covers, cam cover and sprocket cover
  • Black chrome plated headlight rim
  • Black painted wheel hubs

One downside for those deciding between this and the regular Bobber: the Bobber Black’s upgrades do add to the weight, raising the claimed dry weight by 21 pounds to 524 pounds. But if you dig the Bonneville Bobber Black’s look, extra stopping power and other changes, it might be worth it. The deciding factor may be price, which hasn’t been announced but will be higher than the Bobber’s $11,900 MSRP.

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  • HeDidn’tWeDid

    I don’t understand why LED lighting is not available for the US market. It would seem to be cost-effective to run one lighting system on this motorcycle for all markets. Does HD not have LED lighting on their new range?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      HDs have had LED headlights for many years.

      • Knott Kantachuvesiri

        Former Triumph engineer here to help.

        The US market bikes WILL have LEDs, but they will not be switchable to DRL mode (low beam off, LED on high). US bikes are forced to run low beam in conjunction to the LED at all times, whereas for the rest of the world it is switchable between the two modes.

        All the previous water-cooled 1200cc Bonnevilles have this setup as well.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          This is not entirely true. My KTM 1190 Adventure R has LED daytime running lights which come on during the day while the low beam stays off. You can turn on the high beam during the day but the low beam only comes on at night.

          • Knott Kantachuvesiri

            That’s really interesting insight. I figure that Triumph didn’t see it as worth the investment to design functionality that would let the bike determine when to switch between DRL and low beam whereas KTM did.

            BTW, congrats on your choice of bike. I’ve always regarded KTM as hitting the best balance between cool, performance, technologically advanced and reliability in the European OEMs and the R is definitely my favorite out of the Adventures.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I love my KTM. The challenge is to ride it in the dirt the way it deserves to be ridden. I am getting better at it. The bike will take you anywhere as long as you have confidence in it. My only fear is going down hard and hurting myself and the bike. The tall 35″ seat height makes holding up the bike on uneven ground difficult. The 518 lb wet weight also makes it unwieldy in rough terrain.

  • BDan75

    Guess my style-o-meter is miscalibrated, because I’ve thought these things were funny-lookin’ since day one. It’s the whole seat-hanging-in-midair thing. But whatever…glad people are buying bikes.

    • RMP52

      You’re right — seat seems a little odd to me also, other than that it’s a beautiful bike.

      • RMP52

        Was just looking at the new Speedster: if you could take the seat/fender from a Speedster and graft it on the Bobber, I think you’d have a pretty good looking bike.

        • Kevin Duke

          The Speedmaster is essentially a Bobber with a passenger seat and fender.

          • RMP52

            Yes pretty much, except for the coloring, more forward controls, and a few other design elements to set it off. They are both good looking, nice to see Triumph making great bikes.

  • mog

    I do not care at all for the bobber bike look.
    The Triumph though, is pure bobber done correctly and should eat a massive hole in a portion of Harley-Davidson’s potential customers.
    Pure sex, being able to see significant daylight between engine and frame.

  • Jens Vik

    Hurray! Finally all black! Not.

    I dont get the all black thing. 15 years ago all black was entry level, now its the coolest thing around? Details are lost in the black hype. Easier to hide bad cabling I guess, like the entry HDs.

  • Old MOron

    Ha ha ha, “bold new blackness”.