The Bobber. Instantly the name invokes images of clean lines, minimal equipment and a stripped-back riding experience. For Team TFC1, a group who count three Bonneville customs and a chopped V8 pickup amongst their own personal vehicles, this was definitely the route they wanted to follow. However, a traditional Bobber wouldn’t cut it for these passionate enthusiasts. The team’s desire was to take the Bobber ethos and really push the boundaries. A twin tubular hardtail frame with a single-sided rear end. A contemporary girder front end running twin Fox Factory shocks with remote handlebar adjustment. A reverse cylinder engine with completely reworked internals. Just three examples of the incredible engineering that the team have integrated into the showstopping TFC1: The Bobber.
With a low, sinuous stance, The Bobber is simply too much to take in at first glance. Completely redesigned girder forks, eliminating all of the traditional poor handling and lack of damping issues associated with this design, four pot caliper and wire wheel combine a complete hybrid of modern design and classic style. The startling single-sided hardtail rear is an engineering marvel in its own right, and the reverse cylinder engine presents the bespoke bell mouths to the rush of oncoming air and allows the elegantly simple exhaust to snake out and create the rear lines.
stepping closer brings even more detail to drink in. The bonding of the frame elements, using a bespoke adhesive created by partners ThreeBond, gives a clean, weld free finish with incredible beauty yet unparalleled function. The traditional solo seat that utilises a purpose-built Fox shock absorber and linkage, allowing the rider to adjust comfort at the flick of a lever. The minimal lines of the Radianz LED light incorporated into the seat pan are just another example of the team’s perfect attention to detail.
Nowhere is the obsessive attention to detail more apparent than in the final details that you don’t see. A challenge of customising any contemporary motorcycle is the numerous electronics, sensors and looms that need to be integrated into the build. The Bobber is no different, and presented a number of challenges to the team. The initial thought of abandoning the stock EFi system and reverting to flat slide carburettors seemed at odds with the desire to build the ultimate contemporary Bonneville, so the team developed a plan to incorporate all of the modern electronics. Key to the plan was a ’69 Bonnie US Export tank. The tank was split in two, with one half being used for the electrical components and the other being used for fuel. Start and kill buttons were added to the dummy half, which now contained a shortened loom and bespoke electronics board, along with a Motogadget speedo. A Motogadget keyless ignition also handles the starting requirements. The other side of the tank houses the fuel, the fuel injection pump and filters and is finished with a pop up fuel cap.
Also out of sight – within the striking reverse cylinder engine – are hours and hours of re-engineering, modifiying the repositioned cam chain tensioners and oil ports, rerouting oil ways, and modified cam timing for the contra-rotating camshafts. Even the exhausts have been subject to this attention, with the twin wall construction allowing them to maintain the brushed finish without discolouring due to temperature.
Countless other details combine with these incredible engineered elements to create TFC1: The Bobber – a Bonneville that echoes Triumph heritage whilst providing a breath-taking showcase for our contemporary custom excellence.