Since these spy shots from BMH Images will be the third set of Triumph Bonneville-based photos we’ve published this year, we had to pause for a short discussion about whether we were being gamed by Triumph into actually paying to do PR work for them. However, the bike in question is so cool that we decided our readers need to see it. Other than the styling cues (which we’ll get to next), the photos confirm what we already know, don’t answer the questions we already have, and open up a host of new things to ponder. Such is the nature of crystal ball-gazing…

New Triumph Bonneville Spied!

First things first, though: A Triumph bobber? Who would’ve thought? Well, a quick trip to your favorite web search engine reveals tons of photos of homegrown and kit Triumph-based bobbers. Seems like Triumph wants to cut out the middleman by offering bobbers directly to customers. Maybe, however, this is a sign that Triumph has plans for beefing up its Classic and Cruiser lines with the release of the new liquid-cooled mill in 2016. Regardless, this bobber shows that Triumph is looking at all aspects of its retro families perhaps with an eye on expanding it further.

2016 Triumph Bonneville: Spy Shots

Our two previous collections of spy shots have clearly shown two Bonnevilles – though with slightly different running gear (single vs. dual front discs). This set, however, with what looks to be a 19-inch front wheel appears as on the Speedmaster, though spoked instead of cast. (While the wheel could be the 18-inch Thruxton component, the bobber’s visually smaller disc, when compared to the wheel, leads us to believe this is not the case.) The radiator featured quite clearly in a couple shots show that liquid-cooling is certain for 2016. How the cooling liquid will be circulated remains open to speculation, with an electric pump seeming like the most logical solution. The parallel-Twin motor has surely grown in size from its present 867cc, though we’ve yet to confirm its actual displacement. Bet on something between 1000cc and 1200cc.

Triumph Bobber Prototype engine

While this is the best shot we’ve seen of Triumph’s new liquid-cooled engine, we still can’t be certain what the new displacement will be.

The tractor-style seat for the rider follows current customizing trends seen in options for the BMW R nineT or in more classic designs, like the BMW R27. Toss in a hardtail-looking swingarm with a skinny fender supported by stylish tubular brackets, and you’ve got a formidable bobber package. The midships peg location slots them between the standard location of the Bonnie and the forward location of the Speedmaster.

Several clues point to the bobber being more than just a styling exercise. First, the overall polish of the bike makes it appear to be a development project nearing completion. Take a look at the brake pedal and the slot to presumably to allow testing varied pedal locations prior to beginning the production of the final parts. The photo from the rear shows a seat badge plus brake and signal lights that lack much of the cobbiness frequently seen in early product development. (For an example, take a look at our Street Tracker Spy photos.) Additionally, the bar end mirrors are not currently in the Triumph accessory catalog.

Triumph Bobber Prototype front action

The Triumph bobber appears to be well along in its development, but we have no hint as to when or if it will be officially revealed.

Still, there are signs that the bobber isn’t ready for prime time, yet. The shorty mufflers don’t look finished. Note the yellowing of the chrome and the melted boot rubber that calls out for some additional heat-shielding. Also, the swingarm pivot has threads for a cover, but no cover is currently present.

So, bobber fans now have another reason to look forward to the show season later this year. Will, Triumph officially reveal the bobber at EICMA? Or will we have to wait until Intermot 2016? We’ll bring you the news as soon as we get it!

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  • Auphliam

    It looks like we’re being duped into believing its water cooled. Where’s the plumbing? That radiator isn’t flowing anything unless it’s both entering and exiting through that same wonky hose sticking out the bottom.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    But it wont be authentic? Isnt that the appeal to hipsters and Triumphs? The authentic experience. Isnt yellow pipes a good thing know that the fuel mixure is running rich instead of lean or is it vice versa. You should write an article about the myths of blue and yellow pipes. Rich or Lean.

    Anyways if Triumph actually builds that bike you have pictured, then they might sell alot. It takes a lot of cajones to mass produce something that looks straight out of a custom shop.

  • Old MOron

    They’re not as bad as they could be, but pity the pegs are so far forward.
    I am interested to see how Triumph responds to Ducati’s Scrambler.
    Thanks for posting this.

    • Kevin Duke

      This bobber is really just a slice of a slice of the market. The platform development is for the Bonneville – the big seller. All the rest (Thruxton, Scrambler, Bobber) are just different ways to carve up the market.

  • Michael Mccormick

    Bobber,Street Tracker, whatever. They need a twin with 75 to 80 rear wheel HP. I love my 2014 900 Scrambler but just fifty horsepower. Almost makes me wish I bought the Ducati Scrambler. And no local Ducati dealer made me get the Triumph.

    • Kenneth

      Motorcycle consumer news, in April, did an extensive comparison of the two, and while the Ducati Scrambler won the contest objectively (much more power, stronger ABS braking), the test riders agreed the Triumph is more rider-friendly, subjectively.

      • Michael Mccormick

        So what, the Triumph is still underpowered. I own one and it has nothing to do with subjectivity or a one day test.

  • VForce

    Would have been really cool about 10 years ago when British Customs started building parts to turn Bonnies/ Speedmasters into bobbers. Now they are commonplace and how many “factory bobbers” can they really sell?

    Besides, hipsters are so 2015.

    But what does the public really want from Triumph? Do they really want a bobber?

    Most fans would rather see a Daytona 1100 triple to show what Triumph can really do with the 3 cyl platform vs. Ducati twin/ Japanese-BMW inline 4 and Aprilia’s V-four.

    Unfortunately Hinkley appears to have cried uncle against the rapid development of the open class sportbikes…risk vs. reward, and won’t step foot in that circle of fire breathing 200hp electronic traction/wheelie/ track ABS/ auto downshift blipper monsters.

    Which is too bad, a triple would certainly be quite interesting against the status quo.

    • Kenneth

      “But what does the public really want from Triumph? Do they really want a bobber?”

      Whether “the public” wants a bobber or not, Triumph has 2 different classes of buyers: Those who desire a “modern classic,” and those drawn to sport bikes. That you prefer open-class sport bikes has little to do with the wants of Triumph’s other large group of appreciative owners who don’t have much interest in owning a triple (but certainly wouldn’t object to more power if the radiator can stay relatively unobtrusive).

      • VForce

        Actually, wrong Kenneth. There are at least 3 different Triumph buyers. The sport (Tiger all the way to Trophy and Daytona/ Speed-Street Triples), the classics, and as you have forgotten, the cruiser riders. The cruiser riders probably make up the smallest percentage of Triumph owners. Triumph never seems to have been able to quite figure out the cruiser market, which even they will admit.

        My point is that Triumph is now tripping over themselves with their classic range. A bobber is not going to add much in the way of sales or market share. All it will do is cannibalize the sale of another model, like a Bonneville or T100 or Scrambler.

        Now that the sport bike business is starting to come back around, there is a bigger opportunity to gain sales from all of those Triumph fans that have been longing for something to 1) replace their older Daytona 595/955 or 2) move up from their Daytona 675/ Street Triples or 3) move over from an inline 4 cyl Japanese bike to something with more character. At the moment, since they have nothing at all in that segment, Triumph sends those customers over to the competition.

  • Luke

    This is a great move. It’s a factory look that few are doing now (none truly, but you could argue for a couple). I wouldn’t be surprised if the next “Bonny” follows the R-Nine-T model of a rap-ton of accessories as well – and not just luggage…

    I just hope it loses some weight. Such a porker.

  • LS650



    The bonnie needs to at least “feel” lighter if not be lighter and more power.

  • Blake Newton

    Like the idea of liquid cooling, but 1000CC? Come on. Triumph makes a cool bike that is in my mind better than anyone else. I loved the old Ducati Monster, but the new 821 and 1200 looks good from only one angle. I for one like a mid sized bike too. More fun, a lighter handle and not the Hawgs and GSXR 1000s that are so ridiculous. My favorite bikes are mid sized. Bonnies and Street Triples and the old Monster 796s. I ride bikes to enjoy them, not be killed by them.

    • Sean Alexander

      All CCs are not created equal. The chances of this new 1,000cc Bobber making anywhere near the power of a Monster 796 are… remote at best.