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Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster revealed

4th Oct 2017 12:00 am

A handsome, premium and more cruiser-like Bonneville based on the Bonneville Bobber platform.

The Speedmaster is not a new name for Triumph. The first Speedmaster made its debut in 2002 and was based on the Bonneville America, which was a longer, lower and more cruiser-like Bonneville. We never got the last-gen Speedmaster in India, but there’s a good chance the new one will make it here. The original Speedmaster was designed as a factory custom machine and the new one retains that identity, but the motorcycle itself is a quantum leap forward. Triumph says the Speedmaster is aimed at riders who like the Bonneville T120, but who want more laidback style and some more touring capability. Another group of interested customers could be fans of the Bobber, but those who need a twin seat setup.

Based on the Bobber platform, the Speedmaster shares the same wheelbase but gets different steering geometry with a slightly smaller rake angle and a bit more trail. It uses the same hidden rear monoshock as the Bobber, which gives the rear a much cleaner look and helps it stand out from the Bonneville T120 which uses dual rear shocks. The Speedmaster gets a twin seat layout, but the rear seat and chrome grab rails can be easily removed to give the bike a more Bobber-like look.

The Speedmaster is fitted with a full-LED headlamp housed within a pretty nacelle, which adds to the retro charm along with the contrast piping on the seats. Finish details are higher than the standard Bonnevilles, and as with the Bobber, a lot of attention has been paid to cleaning up all the exposed mechanicals. The riding position, with the pulled-back beach bars and forward-set foot controls, is relaxed. I briefly sat on the bike at the press unveil and found it quite accommodating for my 6ft 1in frame. Shorter riders should find it friendly as well thanks to the low 705mm seat height. 

The Speedmaster’s 12-litre fuel tank is smaller than the T120’s 14.5-litre tank but is definitely more practical than the 9.1-litre tank in the Bobber. With 16-inch wheels on both ends, the Speedmaster uses the same wheel and tyre size as the new Bobber Black; that means a fat 130/90-section front tyre and a 150/80-section at the rear by Avon. Fork size remains 41mm, but gets an open cartridge design.

The rear shock has slightly less travel than the Bobber (73.3mm vs 77mm), but Triumph says the shock setup is more sophisticated with a dual-rate spring that should help handle the extra forces offered by a pillion or luggage. Special attention has been paid to the seat padding as well to boost comfort. Still, the Bonneville T120 has a more generous 120mm of rear suspension travel, so it will be interesting to see how the Speedmaster handles our roads. The Speedmaster is low, but Triumph says it is no lower than the Bobber, so it should be able to traverse speed breakers and poor roads with some care. Braking is taken care of by twin 310mm discs and dual piston Brembo calipers, just like on the new Bobber Black. The Bonneville T120 also uses a 310mm dual disc set-up, but with Nissin calipers.

The Speedmaster uses the 1,200cc parallel-twin in Bobber tune. This means it offers slightly more torque, with a focus on mid-range punch while sacrificing 3hp of peak power to the T120. Maximum power is 77hp at 6,100rpm, while peak torque of 106Nm arrives at a low 4,000rpm. Triumph claims 10 percent more power and torque than the Bonneville T120 at 4,500rpm. The Speedmaster gets similar slash-cut exhausts like the Bobber and they belt out a rich, powerful soundtrack. With a dry weight of 245.5kg, the Speedmaster is 8kg heavier than the Bobber Black and a good 21.5kg heavier than the Bonneville T120.

You get two riding modes, ABS and switchable traction control. These are similar to the T120, but the Speedmaster goes one step further by offering Cruise Control as standard.

Triumph offers three colours, Jet Black, Cranberry Red and Fusion White/Phantom Black with twin-coach line. There are also two ‘Inspiration packs’ on offer which essentially offer a collection of accessories to mod the bike in a certain flavour. The 'Highway'kit adds a large, adjustable windscreen, leather panniers, comfort seats and a smattering of chrome trim. The second kit is called the 'Maverick and this adds a meaner, pared-back look with a single seat, flatter and lower handlebars and a blacked-out Vance & Hines exhaust system.

Triumph’s current cruiser line-up in India starts with the pricey Thunderbird range. The Speedmaster will definitely make it to India and you can expect it to go on sale by early next year, or even earlier. The bike will come in as a Completely Knocked Down unit and, as a result, pricing will be competitive. The international pricing hasn't been released yet, but the Speedmaster exists at the premium end of the Bonneville family and the pricing will reflect this. Given the extra kit on offer, including the new front end, we expect it to be positioned higher than the standard Bobber’s price of Rs 9.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) 

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