Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last year, you’ll know all about Triumph’s latest offering. It’s all over the news right now like it’s the second coming, and why not. It’s a beautiful looking tribute to the Hardtail Bobber of yesteryear, with its clever mix of retro looks and hi-tech workings, it’s even got a single saddle for goodness sake. But before you go all misty-eyed, I think it’s only fair to look at the real Triumph Hardtail Bobbers that inspired it.
It has to be said that this first Hardtail Bobber is no oil painting, but for me it’s is all the better for it. The owner Christophe is from Toulouse, France, and being a well- known BMX rider, when it came time to move on to powered wheels he wanted his motorcycle to reflect some of the qualities he found so appealing in BMX.
Originally thinking he would have to place the build with a custom shop on the other side of the Atlantic, the guys from local outfit South Siders Motorcycle Club said that they had enough contacts to handle everything right there in France.
So as soon as Christophe found a unit construction T120 engine, front forks and hubs, the engine was re-built by ace spanner man Henri Lao Martinez. A custom-built frame from Factory Metal Works in N. Carolina finally arrived and then all the ancillary components, exhaust fabrication and painting were taken care of by local legend, Momo. The South Siders crew took care of the rest, such as the roller skate chain tensioner and BMX pedal machined to fit the kickstart.
Christophe loves the bike to bits and drives the crap out of it every day on both tarmac and dirt which, after all, was the whole point of the original Bobber.
And just to prove that these articles aren’t just thrown together, the second of these classic looking Hardtail Bobbers was built by the very shop that supplied the frame to Christophe. Factory Metal Works of Salisbury N. Carolina built the 5-speed 750cc engined Triumph bike to showcase its bike building skills and range of Bobber accessories that, say FMW, use modern methods to create beautifully crafted vintage look parts, such as the 3” under chrome springers.
Apart from gracing the covers of Custom Bike magazines around the world, ‘True Vintage’ as the bike is called, took the Editor’s Choice Award at the Easyrider Bike Show as well as being exhibited at the Playboy Mansion. Not bad for a Bobber eh.
There’s an old saying that goes, ‘what has been, will be again, there’s nothing new under the sun,’ and even though the new Triumph Bobber is full of hi tech, you don’t have to look very far to see exactly where it came from.