First Impressions From A New Bobber 2022 Owner

Discussion in 'Bonneville' started by lapinobel, Apr 27, 2021.

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  1. lapinobel

    lapinobel New Member

    Apr 10, 2021
    #1 lapinobel, Apr 27, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
    After about 500km, I though it could be interesting to some people here to view my first impressions on the 2022 Bonneville Bobber I picked up a few days ago. I was initially looking for a cruiser-like bike to complement my Kawasaki Z900Rs to take the wife on trips, but she decided that if I buy a second bike, I should definitely go for something *I* want instead of buying something that would suit her since she rarely rides as a passenger anyway. So I started looking around for Harley's, Indians and the Triumph Speedmaster or Bobber.

    Test drove a few Harley's, like some quite a bit (SportGlide for example), some less (Low Rider S). Didn't get a chance to drive the Indians but when I visited a Triumph dealer, I was initially sold on the Speedmaster. Sat on it, but immediately felt the forwards and handlebars were not to my liking so decided to take a gamble on the Bobber. Love the looks, had no possibility to testdrive one but though ordered it from the showroom floor and took it home one week later.

    So now after 500km, I can kinda give some first impressions. Mind, I need to keep it below 3000rpm for the first 1.000km so haven't felt the power yet, although I have put it a bit higher from time to time when it was warmed up well enough and love the power delivery.

    So the positives... of course, it looks like a dream although some small details kinda stand out as 'cheap' like the tacky stickers on the sides. But overall a very nice looking bike. Also got the diamond-stitched Triumph seat which looks amazing. The bike feels great, very nice to handle, don't feel like I'm on a 250kg bike which is good. Seating position is fine for me too, being 173cm tall and weiging 72kg. It's just a great bike to ride, although I expected a bit more power in lower rpm's especially since I thought it would be same-ish as the Harley (it isn't, the HD have WAY more power down low). It just feels cool riding along, definitely a very different feel compared to my Z900RS.


    The negatives... this thing is very had when it comes to suspension. Both front and rear is very uncomfortable to me. On nice roads it's ok, and even the occasional bump or hole is soaked up ok'ish. My Z900RS isn't exactly the softest bike too, but the Bobber is at least twice as bad. When I go over a road which is in lesser shape (there are a lot in Belgium), mostly not holes but just uneven surface, it feels like every dent, bump, unevenness is sent straight to the chassis. The bike seems unable to smooth these out. It's ok at lower speeds, but once I go over 70kph it seems downright unsafe from time to time and takes away a lot of fun. Yesterday went at about 50kph over a large pothole cover and even the traction control came on, because the bike lost grip on the back due to the bump. Drove my Z900RS back to back with the Bobber yesterday, and while I immediately loved the sound/engine/seating position more on the Bobber, the suspension is just terrible to me. In fact, I'm planning to drive it for a few weeks more but if this doesn't improve, I guess I'll be taking it back and take a loss in re-selling it and it would hurt me, since I really REALLY love everything else about it. Oh yes, the front brake sucks compared to my Kawa too but I can live with it.

    Also read the gear box is smooth... well, not mine. Every gear change has a very loud and hard 'clunk'. It's precise and I don't miss any gears, so good for that but on my Kawasaki I hardly hear the gearbox except when putting it in 1st. On the Bobber, every gear chance is a hard "bang". Doesn't bother me, was the same on the Harleys, but read some reviews where they said the gearbox is 'smooth as butter'...

    So all in all... love the bike, it handles great, looks great, has a nice engine and sound and looks amazing for someone my size and posture. Oh and the dealer experience was spot on! But that suspension is a big NO for me. To be honest, if I would have had the chance to test-drive it, I think I would not have bought it and would've gone for a HD SportGlide or Low Rider (2019) which I both drove and loved, but the looks/brand and tbh price of the Bobber appealed to me more.

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  2. Dougie D

    Dougie D Crème de la Crème

    Jan 30, 2016
    Blairgowrie Perthshire
    HI lapinobel,welcome to the forum,i hope you can get the suspension set up to your liking,if not i'm sure there will be suspension upgrades you can get. hopefully the gear box will get smother after time
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Dartplayer

    Dartplayer Crème de la Crème

    Aug 8, 2018
    New Zealand
    Hi Lapinobel,
    With bobbers having a hard tail history, generally the rear suspension is secondary, but you can upgrade.:cool:
    I have upgraded front and rear on my Speedmaster which had rear adjustments not available on the bobber. Mine being for rider weight :p
  4. lapinobel

    lapinobel New Member

    Apr 10, 2021
    Thanks, is it normal for the gearbox to sound this clunky?
  5. wkevinm

    wkevinm Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2021
    Lions Head, Ontario
    Hi lapinobel, My new Speedmaster gearbox sounds just as you described yours. Also my suspension is firm, and was suggested to me it could be adjusted which I have not checked out yet. I never test road mine either before buying but I was sold on it regardless. The area I am in is full of Harleys, so much so I wanted something that was not so typical.
  6. Ducatitotriumph

    Ducatitotriumph Crème de la Crème

    Apr 25, 2019
    Hi @wkevinm . I think he's probably sold it as I don't think he's on here now.
    Very informative review he did as I was looking at one but it's definitely a test ride on different types of road beforehand.

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