The rumours floated around for months that something new was set to emerge from Triumph’s Hinckley factory. But nobody could quite guess what it was going to be, a new Daytona perhaps to satisfy the high-tech sport bike fans or maybe it was to be the company’s entry into the world of electric motorcycles? No, it was neither and almost nobody had guessed it until it was made absolutely official at the start of 2016, the factory that pays such brilliant homage to historic machines would be going back to the future with a Bonneville Bobber.
Both the press and public were salivating, but Triumph got it so right with the Bobber that we haven’t seen nearly as many custom examples as you might have expected. But always with an ability to make the best even more brilliant, French outfit FCR Original has developed a range of products that are perfectly shown off on this luxury yellow urban cruiser.
It’s easy to see why so many customers are happy with the factory offering from Triumph, with even the first 2017 models coming with the silky smooth liquid-cooled twin, a brilliant chassis and a hidden mono-shock that gave all of the stylings of a rigid, but without any of the back pain. Add high-end components, an excellent finish across all surfaces and a host of accessories you could spec from the dealer, and it made sense to simply keep it factory, warranty worries begone. A few workshops of course had the thing in bits and did some wild stuff, but now with prices coming down on second-hand examples, it seems it’s the perfect time to dive into a Triumph Bobber build.
In France, FCR has always been ahead of the curve and offers a range of parts for almost any modern retro machine you care to name. Their online shop has for a while had a full range of products for the Triumph Bobber, so they picked up a 2022 example to remind the world exactly what you can do with just your imagination and everything they have on offer. “Our design studio found inspiration for this 1200 Bobber by drawing on the codes of streetwear and skatewear. The Bobber Yellow Edition is a mixture of genres: combining finesse and audacity, it is the result of a harmonious marriage between English and American influences, thus creating a real bridge between two distinct cultures.”
Tapping into the urban culture makes a hell of a lot of sense, as these are the perfect bikes for bar hopping or a cruise to your favourite cafe. To set the stance and capture a more modern aesthetic, on what is one of the oldest styles of custom, the hubs were re-laced with new stainless spokes and both ends now sport a 17-inch rim. One of the benefits of shifting to a 17in front and rear, is the enormous range of high-quality tyres it throws open, and Michelin Road 6 rubber gets the tick of approval. Now that this change had been made, FCR looked at ways to maximise the extra grip this level of tyres offers, and that meant a few key changes were going to be needed.
The first of these was to switch the already good front suspension, to very good and fully adjustable inverted items that have been finished in a black anodising to match the rest of the look. To achieve this change a new upper triple clamp had to be machined, a trick new steering stem nut fabricated and the tubes have been finished in DLC for improved performance. Such a beefy front end with a sports bike tyre just wouldn’t look right with a small caliper and a single disc, so the solution was obvious, a pair of Brembo drilled dinner plates for discs and matching calipers for serious stopping power. To bring the rear up to standard, the factory location is retained and a black adjustable 2Win shock bolts into place.
Now the guys had a serious roller on their hands and it had to look trick, “A striking aesthetic, captivating the eyes and arousing the curiosity of muscle bike enthusiasts.” To achieve this the factory fuel tank has been cleaned up and fitted with an FCR black machined gas cap. The change to the rear is subtle, but telling, with the company’s seat shell fitted below the saddle and giving a more sculpted look. Now the lemon yellow could flow over these parts and the contrast colour brilliantly captures the flannelette shirt style so often seen in streetwear. A new set of fender mounts at the front swings an FCR Original unit, while the rear has been bobbed and then it’s all finished in satin black.
To really make things clean and give the minimalist look that any Bobber should have, the team then ditched the factory wiring, lights and controls and unleashed the FCR catalogue on the bike. LSL risers hold Roadster bars, and nothing says high-end like a Beringer master cylinder and lever combo. Motogadget comes to the party with bar end indicators, a mini speedo and switch gear, while the FCR 3 in 1 taillight combination sits on one of their side-mounted number plate brackets. To give the front on view an aggressive style, engine and radiator guards in black add to the bikes imposing presence, and the Bates style headlight gets grilled out for full effect.
Throw your leg over the beautiful Bobber and you find yourself sitting in comfort thanks to the reshaped seat which is finished in high-end Nubuck leather for a suede-like appearance. Of course, throbbing between those legs is that brilliant 1200cc Bonneville engine with 106nm of torque on tap. But who can say no to a little more, and the guys have kitted it out with their K&N intake setup and one of their FCR black line exhaust systems. The final change is an interesting one that may just prove popular, the chain has been ditched for a belt drive that was developed in-house and provides a smoother ride with zero maintenance.
You don’t have to be a regular dropping in at your local skate ramp to appreciate this Bobber and anyone with one of Triumph’s best bikes could surely do with a little help from France’s FCR, be it a few bits or a full build.
[ FCR Original ]