• Test Drive: Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber vs Triumph Bonneville Bobber

    Harket SuchdeMumbaiJul 23, 2017, 12:41 IST

    (L)The Moto Guzzi is quick off the block, but it doesn't feel as rapid as the Triumph and Both bobbers are attractive in their own right, but the Bonnie has the more distinctive design. Pics/Saurabh Botre
    (L)The Moto Guzzi is quick off the block, but it doesn't feel as rapid as the Triumph and Both bobbers are attractive in their own right, but the Bonnie has the more distinctive design. Pics/Saurabh Botre

    Two heavyweights of the motorcycling world go head-to-head for all the plaudits. In the Morello Red corner, the brutal British beauty, Triumph Bonneville Bobber. And, in the Girgio Sport grey corner, the feisty Italian, Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber.

    The Guzzi's fuel tank is sharper, and holds nearly six litres more than the Triumph's
    The Guzzi's fuel tank is sharper, and holds nearly six litres more than the Triumph's

    The Triumph has a retro-styled motif running across its design philosophy. The classically round headlamps, flat handlebars, minimalist circular bar-end mirrors, sculpted tank, wire-spoke wheels and chromed-out twin pipes all look the part. The absolute standout element has to be its floating single seat. The Moto Guzzi too has classic bobber aesthetic traits. You get a more modern interpretation of spokes, with 16-inch cast-aluminium wheels wrapped in oversized tyres. Trimmed mudguards, a spherical headlamp, an all-matte paint job, drag-style handlebars and the offset instrument cluster bring in the visual appeal. The grey paint job with red chequered flag embellishments ramps up its kerb appeal.

    Both bikes come with a single-pod instrument cluster with an analogue speedo and digital info for everything else. The V9 Bobber gets points for the traditional black lettering on white background design. However, the Bonneville Bobber steps in with a quick one-two combo for providing riders with a fuel indicator and rev-counter, neither of which the Guzzi can boast of. It also shows distance to empty, and doesn't have the confusing two-layer speedo with readouts in both kilometres (km/h) and miles per hour (mph). Switchgear quality is pretty even on both bikes and of a high standard. The Guzzi gets a swift right hook in for providing a conveniently placed USB charging port, and for providing the bigger fuel tank at 15 litres as opposed to the Triumph's 9.1-litre tank.

    The V9's dial is retro cool, but the Bonnie has rev-counter and fuel indicator
    The V9's dial is retro cool, but the Bonnie has rev-counter and fuel indicator

    Both bikes have an upright riding position. The V9 has slightly more forward-set pegs and results in your shins knocking against the cylinder-heads that jut out on either side. Seat comfort isn't a highlight on either bike. However, the V9 is more comfortable of the two.

    The Triumph comes out of the corner fighting, as it is powered by a 1,200-cc liquid-cooled, SOHC parallel-twin engine. The acceleration is urgent and the bike pulls comfortably till it hits its 6,100-rpm threshold. The six-speed gearbox is slick and the gear ratios are pretty well-sorted as well. The Moto Guzzi is powered by an 853-cc, air-cooled, 90° V-twin. While the Guzzi is quick off the block, it doesn't feel as rapid as the Triumph. The six-speed shaft-drive transmission isn't as smooth through the gears either.

    The V9's seat is comfortable, but the Bonnie's floating design is better looking
    The V9's seat is comfortable, but the Bonnie's floating design is better looking

    Easier to flick around corners, the Triumph shines through on the handling front. Braking performance on both bikes is decent, but the Triumph feels little bit more urgent when compared to its Italian rival.

    The Triumph has got the Guzzi on the ropes with its superior performance, and lands the knock-out blow with its price. Carrying a sticker of Rs 11.85 lakh (OTR, Pune), it is just over Rs 5 lakh cheaper than the V9. This means the winner of the battle of the heavyweight bobbers is the Triumph, and takes home the championship for the ultimate bobber available in India today.

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