The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Ride impressions show several aspects of the latest Triumph that is set to launch in India in the coming months. We ride it in California to get a taste of what is to come.
And what a place it was to test out the new Speedmaster. We rode a distance of a tad bit over 170 miles, which is about 275 kilometres, in San Diego which threw a mix of sceneries at us. We had long flowy corners, sharp turns, switchbacks, highway, inclines, declines, a little bit of the city and of course, riding along the vast stretches of road that take us along the coastline. Such diverse riding conditions are more than enough to test the mettle of any motorcycle, no matter what kind it is.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-3Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
Let’s begin with the design of the Speedmaster. Now, this one is a Bonneville which means it needs to look contemporary and yet fresh. In order to do that, at first glance it seems that Triumph has combined two of their existing Bonnevilles – the T120 or the T100 along with the Bobber Black to make the Speedmaster. It seems so because the Speedmaster does carry over several elements from both of them, especially the Bobber black and that’s evident in the stance of both these motorcycles as they are really similar. But then, there are several unique elements to the Speedmaster as well. This includes the likes of the new headlamps which are all LEDs and come with a unique DRL design. The tail lamps and the indicators are LEDs as well.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-5The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster sports all-LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
Then, there are the spoked wheels which sport the dual 310mm discs with Brembo callipers. There’s a new handlebar and the footpegs are now forward set for more cruiser-like riding ergonomics. The best part? The Speedmaster comes with a twin seat, unlike the Bobber siblings and thankfully, the rear seat, as well as the chrome-finished grab rails, are removable. So, if you want, you can still have a single seater look and yet have the option to switch back to a double-seater – something that a lot of people wanted with the Bobber. The fuel tank has grown to a 12-litre capacity and the dual paint finish on it looks fantastic. And yes, those lines on the fuel tank are painted by hand.
When you look closer, though, you will find some finely detailed elements in the Speedmaster – like, the retro-styled battery box, the carburettor styled throttle body, the drum brake inspired rear wheel hub and the finned exhaust clamps. So overall, the design looks familiar but still a bit different and with the neat and clean lines that the Speedmaster sports, it will age very well and look good even after years.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-6The finish and detailing on the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is fantastic. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
On the mechanical front, the star attraction is the engine of the Speedmaster. It has the liquid-cooled 1200cc parallel twin engine which is the same as the one you would find on the T120 and the Bobber. But the engine comes over in the exact same state of tune as the Bobber. This means, the Speedmaster generates 76 BHP at 6100 RPM and a respectable 106 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM, and it comes mated to a 6-speed transmission. There’s ABS, switchable traction control and also ride-by-wire on offer which makes way for dual riding modes – Road and Rain. What’s new is the addition of Cruise Control which is operated through a single touch button, which makes it easy to use and the system works wonders when you need it to. Also, just like the Bobber and the Bobber Black, the Speedmaster gets the hardtail look too but it has a KYB monoshock suspension hidden underneath the seat. The rear suspension is preload adjustable which means carrying a pillion or luggage is going to be a bit easier on this one.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-2Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster has a hard tail look. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
When it comes to riding, the bike is actually a treat. No matter how you ride it, easy or hard, the bike feels confident and will commit to the line you take. And at this point, there’s a confession to make. The roads to the Palomar Mountain in Northern San Diego is filled with exciting turns and when it came to carving mountain roads, we just had to push the Speedmaster hard.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-1The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is an engaging motorcycle to ride. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
And when did, the bike was a pleasant affair. The feedback from the brakes is just right and the bite is great as well. The transmission was smooth and never did we miss a gear or had a false neutral. No matter what RPM you lug the engine at, the power band is wide and very usable. The fuelling is good too which gives it a smooth and progressive throttle response and overall, the Speedmaster is very friendly to ride. Yes, at a dry weight of 245.5 kilos, it is not the lightest bike around and yes, the stubby front tyre and the beach bars demand considerable rider input but that’s the fun part as the bike always feels engaging to ride. But, if you ride it too hard, you will end up scraping the footpegs way too easily and the wind bursts that follow are enough to tire you out. We would highly recommend the adjustable wind deflector which comes as an accessory with this bike. And while the instrument cluster shows almost everything you would need to know, it is not tilt-adjustable like it is in the Bobber and that’s something we missed.
Triumph-Speedmaster-Review-4The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster has an informative instrument clsuter. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)
In short, the bike requires takes some input from the rider but it is also a pleasantly rewarding experience. At least in California, how it performs in India – that we will have to find out once the bike is launched here and we do our road test.
Well, to wrap up the whole Speedmaster experience, we rode it for quite a substantial time and distance in California and it one has left us mighty impressed. It does come across as a complete motorcycle in almost every way but what remains to be seen is the kind of price tag that it comes with because that will be essential to its success in India. If they get it right, this one might just be the best Bonneville to make its way to our country. And perhaps, one of the best value for money cruisers in the Indian market.