Bobber review: Triumph -vs- Indian

Boog

Traveling Story Teller
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Oct 17, 2013
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Location
Dumfries, Virginia
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2014 R3T, RAMAIR, Full Viking Dual exhaust
I went to Motorcycles of Dulles (MOD) today to test ride the two brands of bobbers they have in stock. Both bikes are the 2023 models.
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Let's start with the prices. The Indian is just over $15K and the Triumph is between $13K and 14K depending on your desires.

I do like both sets of grips on these two bikes as they are somewhat minimalistic. The Triumph Bobber does not have self-cancelling blinkers, but the Indian does not. As a bonus, the Triumph has cruise control.
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The power to weight feel of both bikes are very similar. And both stop extremely well when applying emergency brakes. The stock sound is better in my opinion on the Triumph. The Indian is sewing machine sounding. Another difference comes at 70 mph. The triumph is about 700 RPM less in sixth gear than the Indian is. Engine braking is better with the Indian though. I am not sure if that is due to the engine configuration or the higher RPM. The ride is better on the Triumph for my body. As I test ride along the road, I try to hit each manhole I find to judge the suspension. The Indian hurts my spine but the Triumph is more cushioned. Both feel well planted in the curves.

The Triumph has mid mounted pegs and the Indian has forward pegs.
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Both work for me. Both sets of handlebars though are two low for me. Higher bars are optional for both though.

Slow speed maneuvers are slightly better on the longer Indian, I was surprised by this. But, given a few tries, the top-heavier Triumph is easily turned at walking speed.

If you know me in person, you'll know I am 5' 9" and around 230 pounds. I may look better on the Indian, but if I were to pick between the two, I would go with the Triumph. Yes I know, I look out of place on it but it works better for my ergonomics.
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I had a brief affair with an Indian Scout but found it a bit on the small side for me (6'2" 250lbs) Maybe a Chief would suit you better too? The Scout's ride quality was atrocious until I replaced the shocks for Ohlins units which was a game changer. The Bobber is my preference but I have a soft spot for Triumphs in general (I've got an R3GT & Bonneville America)
 
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I own and ride a 2020 Bobber Black and the suspension was not suited to my 325 pound load. I opted for an Ohlins TR729 adjustable rear shock (to replace the non adjustable OEM unit) and then put a full Matris emulator set in the forks with 10NM/mm progressive springs and now the bike rides like it should have from the factory with my lard butt in the seat (which was swapped out for a Tom Hurley custom gel seat). I also put forward controls on it that moved the pegs 175mm forward. Now the bike feels and rides as good as it looks.
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