Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster – Classic Style Modern Day Performance

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster - MOTORESS
Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster / Photo: Bill Petro

You can’t beat a classic! The 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster arrives from authentic, classic, Triumph heritage. It’s an old-school cruiser with new-school performance abilities – the best of both as I see it.

The Speedmaster, a new model to the 2018 Triumph portfolio, but not new to Triumph. I’ve never ridden a Speedmaster before so I dug up a little info. The “Speedmaster” name first appeared in 1965 for the Bonneville T120R by American importers. The model was first launched in 2002 as a 790 cc (48 cu in) twin-cylinder engine. Released again in 2005 as the Speedmaster 900 with an 865 cc (52.8 cu in) engine and then an upgrade to fuel injection in 2008. This year, its reintroduction features the all-new Bonneville’s 1200cc High Torque (HT) engine.

Cruiser or not?

It’s slotted within the Triumph cruiser range, but I liken the Speedmaster to a “standard” motorbike with what the Triumph folks refer to as – “laid back”. It’s clean-styled, with sporty attitude and features true to the Triumph mark.

Ergonomics enrich your laid-back ride

It’s an easy bike to throw your leg over when you consider this is a Bonneville 1200cc High-Torque (HT) engine. My first words were “Wow! Comfortable!” Speedmaster’s ergonomics give you that sense of control. I can say, it’s a manageable ride for both the advanced new rider, and intermediate rider while offering ample thrills for the experienced rider.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster - MOTORESS
Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster – Photo Credit: Bill Petro

Height, width, weight and confidence.

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is narrow. The indented tank tapers in towards the seat allowing your knees to fall in to grip the tank. Its slimness is an advantage allowing for a better reach to the ground, where often larger cc chassis tend to be wide. Off the side-stand it feels centered and easy to balance. The seat height is on the lower side at 705mm (28 in) and its weight at 245.5kg (541 lb) easy to handle. The “Beach Bar” handlebar brings the grips closer to your body. This added a lot of comfort in the steering as well as easy access of the controls. The foot pegs sit slightly forward, but still allowed excellent weight distribution and balance from foot to seat.

When you fire up the Speedmaster you’ll note the smoothness of its twin-engine and a nice rich, raw exhaust note. Moving off feels light and agile which I attribute to its “torque assist clutch”. This is a huge benefit when riding at slow speeds where you have to clutch often.

Favourite Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Features

  • Handling, comfort and power.
  • Two riding modes: road and rain.
  • Switchable traction control; cruise control for touring and ABS for quick stops.
  • Bright lighting with full LED headlamp.
  • Classic Triumph styling.

Round Up

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is a fun all-round, agreeable, laid-back ride. The Speedmaster caters to diverse rider physiques and experience levels. It’s ideal for day-to-day, long distance or commuter rides.

The fuel tank is small at 12 litres so you’ll have to tank up more often when touring. But, the smaller capacity tank also means a lighter bike when the tank is full. At $14,950. CAD I find it a little pricey for a new rider, but with all the features, well worth it.

Visit Triumph Motorcycles to Book a Test Ride or find a dealership near you.

Vicki Gray,  The MOTORESS


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