Two Wheels

Triumph announces limited-edition Bobber, improved Thruxton cafe racer

It's also paying homage to racer and stuntman Bud Ekins

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The EICMA show held annually in Milan, Italy, is the biggest date on the motorcycle world's calendar; it's like the Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt and Los Angeles auto shows rolled into one. Triumph traveled to the event to unveil a series of new models headlined by the limited-edition Bobber TFC.

The Bobber is the third motorcycle to receive the Triumph Factory Custom (TFC) treatment. The British firm added carbon fiber body panels to keep weight in check, while a gorgeous, leather-upholstered adjustable saddle and several parts made from machined aluminum help the TFC stand out from the standard Bobber. Eagle-eyed motorcycle spotters will also notice the black wheels, which are specific to the TFC, and the knurled handlebar grips.

Power for the Bobber TFC comes from a water-cooled, 1.2-liter two-cylinder engine that delivers 86 horsepower -- 10 more than stock -- at 6,250 rpm, and 81 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The twin revs until 7,500 rpm, which is 500 rpm higher than the regular Bobber's. In the automotive world, you could safely assume these changes are the result of a simple ECU tune; not here. Triumph replaced the crankshaft, the clutch, the balance shafts, the dead shafts, and the header pipes with lighter components. It also fitted thin-walled engine covers, and a magnesium valve cover. Finally, the twin exhales through a custom exhaust with titanium silencers and carbon fiber end caps.

That's not to say electronics aren't part the equation. Riders have three riding modes to choose from, called rain, road and sport. Each mode corresponds to specific throttle response, ABS, and traction control settings dialed in to maximize riding enjoyment without compromising safety.

Triumph will cap Bobber TFC production at 750 units, but it hasn't revealed how many have been earmarked for the American market. Buyers will receive a specific handover kit consisting of a custom build book detailing how their bike came to life, a document wallet, and a leather rucksack. Pricing starts at $17,500, a figure that places it near the top of the Triumph range.

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The Thruxton, Triumph's turn-key café racer, gets an RS variant that brings more power and better handling. The same set of modifications made to the Bobber TFC's engine allowed engineers to squeeze eight additional horsepower from the Thruxton's 1.2-liter twin, bumping its output to 103. Torque stays flat at 83 pound-feet, but it's available 700 rpm lower than in the stock bike, and the twin's redline has increased by 500 rpm. The end result is a quicker, more versatile motorcycle.

Brembo brakes and Metzeler Racetec RR tires help riders make the most of the power hike. Design updates are part of the package, too. Triumph applied black powder-coating to the engine covers, the valve covers, and the sprocket cover, it added gold accents to the engine, and it installed black wheels. Buyers can choose from jet black or a two-tone silver and grey paint job.

Pricing starts at $16,200, a figure which represents a $3,200 increase over a regular Thruxton 1200. The RS is a regular addition to the company's range, not a limited-edition model.

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Finally, the Bonneville T100 and T120 each spawned a limited-edition model built as a tribute to stuntman, racer and all-around legend Bud Ekins. They receive a two-tone paint job, vintage Triumph emblems, a flip-up Monza fuel cap, plus an array of badges and decals that honor Ekins.

There are no mechanical modifications to report. The T100 carries on with a 900cc two-cylinder engine that delivers 54 horsepower at 5,900 rpm, and 59 pound-feet of torque at 3,230 rpm. Stepping up to the T120 unlocks a 1.2-liter twin with 79 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque on tap.

Triumph hasn't revealed how many Bud Ekins-inspired bikes it will make, though it noted each one will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by its CEO as well as Ekins' two daughters. Pricing starts at $10,950 for the T100 and $12,350 for the T120. To add context, the standard T100 carries a base price of $10,450, while the T120 starts at $11,850.

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