Triumph Bonneville Bobber Vs. Harley 48 Sportster

Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48, both roadsters are pretty unique in their way. These bikes are built for speed, and you can use them on your daily rides for commuting or running errands. And when it comes to joy riding, these bikes are second to none. Triumph Bonneville Bobber can touch a top speed of 93 mph, while Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster can reach a top speed of 118 mph.

We will compare two of the best-looking roadsters that the market has to offer. So, let’s begin!

Industry History


Triumph had been one of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the UK since its inception in 1983. Considering it one of the younger companies in the motorcycle industry globally, it has still managed to produce high-quality bikes that riders love to ride due to their comfort and reliability.


Harley-Davidson is one of the best USA motorcycle manufacturers and has been actively making quality riders for its riders since 1903. H-D is the name of the class, and the brand has a cult following across the globe.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 Sportster- An Overview

The Bobber 2021

The 2021 Bobber is one of the best-looking motorcycles that pays homage to the designs that originate from the 1950s. The single-seat design of this bike looks very different, and it is undoubtedly going to turn some heads when you are riding it. But this ride is not all about the looks. It is extremely fast as well. And the best part is that you won’t have to compromise on your riding comfort either.

The 48 Sportster 2021

The 48 Sportster has a very aggressive look with a bulldog stance and a single-seat design. This bike is all about speed and better suited for the riders who like to pulverize those little cafe racers. This roadster is designed for some high speeds, and you won’t have to compromise in ride comfort either, though you will have to get used to the seating position on this bike. But more on that later.

Comparison Chart

FeaturesThe Bobber 2021The 48 Sportster 2021
Fuel and vehicle typePetrol roadsterPetrol roadster
Fuel tank capacity3.2 gallons2.1 gallons
Engine typeSOHC liquid-cooled parallel-twin engineDOHC air-cooled V-twin engine
Maximum power77 HP @ 6100 RPM67 HP @ 6000 RPM
Maximum torque78.2 Lb-ft @ 4000 RPM70.8 Lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
Seating capacity and type1, standard1, standard
Seat height27.2 to 27.6 inches26.2 inches
Weight553 lbs556 lbs
Gear transmission6-speed wet clutch w/ multi-plate5-speed wet clutch w/ multiplate
Front and rear suspensionCartridge forks and mono-shockSpring forks and mono-shock
Front and rear brakesTwin disc with 2-piston caliper and a single disc with single-piston caliperTwin disc with the dual-piston caliper on both ends
Front and rear tiresMT90B16 and 150/80 R16MT90B16 and 150/80 R16
Wheelbase59.1 inches58.9 inches


Engine of Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber and Harley 48

Let’s start this comparison of Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 Sportster with the engine. The Triumph Bobber 2021 features a SOHC liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that is for some consistent speeds.

You will notice that the acceleration is a bit slow, but this roadster gains speed quite fast with a consistent throttle. If you are looking for a swift speed with the twist of the throttle, perhaps Bobber isn’t the right bike for you.

In that scenario, the 48 Sportster should be your choice because it is more designed like that. It comes with an air-cooled V-twin DOHC engine which packs incredible power. This bike is designed to gain speed as soon as you hit the throttle. This is precisely why its top speed is way better than what the Bobber has to offer.

Although both the bikes come with a powerful 1200cc engine, the Sportster is way better at gaining quick speed than the Bobber. However, Bobber puts you an advantage when you are more consistent in your throttle.

It can comfortably manage 77 HP @ 6100 RPM as compared to the 67 HP @ 6000 RPM of Sportster. The Bobber is again ahead of the Sportster when it comes to maximum torque as it can manage 78.2 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM as opposed to 70.8 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM of Sportster. So, for the overall speed and performance, we will give this round to the Bobber.


The next round in this comparison of Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 is about the weight. And there is not much difference between these two roadsters when it comes to weight. The Bobber is only three pounds lighter as compared to the Sportster.

The Bobber weighs 553 lbs while the Harley 48 weighs 556 lbs. And no, people, it’s not about the fuel tank because the Bobber has a large 3.2-gal fuel tank compared to a 2.1-gal peanut fuel tank on the Sportster.

So, with the full fuel, the Bobber will become heavier, which is precisely why the Sportster becomes much speedier even at full tank because of the wet weight with a full fuel tank.

But there is a catch!

The Sportster has a small fuel tank, so you will waste some time refilling the tank as it will empty relatively quickly. And if you are in a race with someone on a Bobber, you will lose some edge because the Bobber will continue to go with a much larger fuel tank. And as it goes empty, the bike will become lighter and pick up some speed.

Things are pretty much in favor of the Bobber because with a full tank, the Bobber becomes heavier, and it already has a much lower top speed. The Sportster is only better when it comes to quick acceleration.

Suspension and brakes

Suspension of Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber and Harley 48

Bobber comes with a front suspension featuring cartridge forks and a rear suspension featuring mono-shock. Both the ends can handle the road bumps exceptionally well.

On the other hand, the Sportster comes with spring forks and mono-shock both at the front and rear ends. So, the riding confrontation is going to be there as well.

However, we have noticed that the Bobber is still more comfortable in terms of riding experience than the Harley 48 Sportster, and that is because of its seat. Its seat is fully adjustable and designed to absorb shocks as well. So, the Bobber gets the lead here.

The Bobber comes with dual disc brakes with 2-piston caliper on the front and a single disc brake with a single caliper at the back in terms of brakes. The Sportster has dual piston dual disc brakes on both ends. So, it not only can speed up briskly but can stop on a dime as well.

Both the bikes have the right kind of brakes on them that are suitable according to their speed and acceleration. So, there’s pretty much a tie in this area between these two bikes. But overall, the Bobber takes this round because of its better suspension system.


Ergonomics of Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber and Harley 48

Now let’s have a little bit of discussion about the ergonomics in this comparison of Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48. Seating is much comfortable in the case of Bobber, so things are already looking a bit shady for the Sportster here, and they are not going to improve much.

First, let’s talk about the Bobber. The seat of this bike is detached from the rear wheel and is more connected with the tank. Therefore, there will be some shock-absorbing support that will contribute a lot towards the overall seating comfort. The bike’s handlebar is in a comfortable reach as well so are the footpegs.

On the other hand, the seating that is there on the Sportster needs some getting used to. Initially, you will notice that you are a bit far too reached out in the front due to the handlebars and the footpegs.

You will have a forward seating position which is more common with the Harley-Davidson bikes. It’s not that you have to get used to the forward seating position. It’s the overall comfort that is not there as it seems that you are sitting on a slab with your feet on the ground.

But once you place your feet on the pegs and start riding, things do get a lot better. It is as if you get into the right position. But still, we are going to give this round to the Bobber because the overall ride comfort and the seating position feel a lot better here.

Looks and aesthetics

Looks and asthetics of Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber and Harley 48 Sportster

One of the best things about the Bobber is that you can conveniently customize it and make it your own. It’s the perfect canvas to try out different things. There are more than 75 different accessories available for you to alter the design and detailing features.

This feature is not there in the 48 Sportster, designed to ride with speed and adrenaline. If you are looking to add some more accessories for various purposes, you need to go with the Triumph Bobber. However, if you want a viscous roadster that can rage on, then the Sportster is the right option for you.


Both the Bikes come with different electrical items. They both come with LED head and tail lamps as well as turn signals. They both also feature electronic ignitions and don’t have that traditional kickstand ignition.

But you won’t find many infotainment features on them because they are designed to be roadsters. So, for that, you will need your smartphone. These bikes are designed in the layout of old 1950 models and pay tribute to them. Of course, the upgrades are there, but not in terms of electronics.


In terms of price, we will say that if you are a budget buyer, you need to seal the deal with the Sportster because you won’t find many bikes out there with this much power and with such a price tag on them.

However, if you are looking for stability and reliable performance with customizability and seating comfort, you will need to spend a little more and get the Bobber. It’s something that you will never regret if you are looking for quality.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 – The Similarities

Fuel and vehicle type

Both the machines run on petrol, and they both are roadsters. Both bikes have a very aggressive style with the bulldog stance. However, they both are unique. The Sportster being more aggressive with that 6-spoke wheel design, while the Bobber has a detached seat design which makes the rear wheel pop out. And it’s a real head-turner when you will take it outside for a ride.


Both the machines come with the same displacement, which is 1200cc. So they are made to compete with one another. However, the Sportster’s overall top speed is much higher, while the max power and torque of the Bobber are way better.


Seating of Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber and Harley 48 Sportster

The Bobber, as well as the Sportster, come with a single-seat design. However, you will need to get used to the seat on the Sportster. At the same time, the Bobber seat looks just stunning as it makes the rear wheel come out of the design and make it different from the rest of the bikes that will be around you.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 – Pros & Cons

Triumph Bonneville Bobber 2021


  • Higher power and torque.
  • Better seating comfort.
  • Larger fuel tank.


  • Slow to accelerate.

Harley Davidson 48 Sportster 2021


  • Quick to accelerate.
  • Aggressive 6-spoke wheel design.
  • Forward-facing seating position.


  • Small fuel tank.


Overall, the winner of this comparison roundup of Triumph Bonneville Bobber vs. Harley 48 Sportster is the Triumph Bonneville Bobber. It has a much powerful engine with superior torque, and it is built to last. There is a large fuel tank on it which will prevent you from refilling again and again.

The seating position and the seat itself are comfortable, and you can conveniently take this bike on longer rides as well. It might be that great to accelerate quickly, but it gains power and speed over the course.

The Bobber has an aggressive-looking design that is unique in its way, and the best part is that you can make it your own with a range of different accessories available. The bike is comfortable to maneuver and handle.

Featured Image from Flickr © UK in Japan – FCO – The original image was not changed

Featured Image from Flickr © Nate. Stevens – The original image was not changed

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