Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

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The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is the latest addition to the Bonneville portfolio. After the Bobber, this is the sixth motorcycle to come in the new Bonneville lineup. I must say that the cruiser looks stunning and promises an impressive performance from its high torque (HT) parallel-twin engine.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

We took the Bonneville Speedmaster for a short spin in the city and also on the open tarmac. So, after riding the motorcycle for a couple of days here is what we have to say about it.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

At first glance, the Speedmaster will leave many onlookers with their jaws wide open, thanks to its massive presence. The motorcycle is based on the Triumph Bobber platform and shares the same chassis. But like the Bobber, the Speedmaster does not get its parts stripped off. Instead, it gets some additional parts which make it one of ‘the' perfect cruisers.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

At the front, the motorcycle features a round headlight cluster which sits between the telescopic folks. The all-LED unit is quite bright even under the bright sun. The motorcycle also features an all LED tail light and indicators which help accentuate its modern nature.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The motorcycle features a single-pod instrument cluster with a large analog speedometer and a small digital screen. The cluster sits right on top of the headlight. The small screen integrates details such as gear-position indicator, trip meter, real-time efficiency, range, power modes and even the tachometer.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

Moving on, the 12-litre ‘teardrop' tank gets the chrome-finished Triumph badges on either side. The tank size is not the best in the class for a cruiser and you have to make fuel stops after every 160kms.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The Bobber was one of the most popular motorcycles from the British manufacturer and perhaps the most niche model of all. But it had some drawbacks; the lack of a pillion seat being one. The Speedmaster on the other hand, gets a pillion seat and luggage panniers for long rides.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

Our test motorcycle was fully equipped with additional accessories (the Classic Kit) which include a big windscreen at the front, a more-comfy rider and pillion seats with a backrest and panniers on either side. There is also a Maverick Kit.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

Another attention-grabbing design element of the motorcycle is the hard-tail look - the mono shock is neatly tucked below the saddle, thus enhancing its retro appeal. Other highlights are the faux carburettors, chopped twin-exhaust mufflers and the beach bars (handlebar).

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The retro-modern design of the Speedmaster looks amazing. The fit and finish of the motorcycle is also really impressive. Overall, the Bonneville Speedmaster is the perfect blend of a retro-looking modern cruiser.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

Powering the Speedmaster is a 1200cc HT (High Torque) parallel-twin engine. The engine produces 76bhp at 6,100 rpm and a peak torque of 106Nm which kicks in just at 4,000 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox that has smooth shifts but feels clunky sometimes.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

A gentle twist of the throttle can accelerate the 260kg behemoth to triple-digit speeds in a moment's notice. The clutch features torque assist and feels really light in stop-and-go traffic conditions. One drawback is that the motorcycle tends to heat up a little bit when stuck in traffic. The radiator fan diverts the hot air directly to the rider's legs.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The ride-by-wire throttle offers two riding modes: Rain and Road. In Road mode, full power is on offer. But in Rain mode (for slippery conditions), the throttle response feels a bit less in comparison. The motorcycle also features cruise control and comes equipped with ABS and traction control (switchable) as standard.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The Triumph Speedmaster has got one main disadvantage though - low ground clearance. With a pillion rider, the motorcycle will scrape its underbelly on almost every major undulations on the road. Though the Speedmaster can pull through corners, the low clearance make the footpegs often hit the tarmac. Hence, it's not an ideal motorcycle.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The suspension is on the stiffer side and the rider can feel even the slightest variations on the tarmac condition. People with back issues might find it hard to ride it for long distances.

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster rides on a set of fat Avon Cobra tyres wrapping the 16-inch wheels (130/90 on the front and 150/80 on the rear).

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

The cruiser returned us a mileage of around 17km/l in the city and 21km/l on the highway; decent figures for a motorcycle with such output. As I mentioned earlier, a full tank can give you a range of only around 160 - 170 kilometres.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

Promeet Ghosh Thinks!

Overall, the fit and finish of the Bonneville Speedmaster is really good and not just that, the motorcycle has a unique character to it. But, all of this does not come cheap, it carries a price tag of Rs 13.40 lakh on-road (pan India) and this does not include the price of the Classic or the Maverick kits.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Road Test Review — A Retro Looking Modern Classic Cruiser

DriveSpark Thinks!

Yes, the motorcycle has some flaws like a stiff suspension and a bit of engine heating. But other than that, if you're looking for something that will turn heads and has a retro appeal to it, the Triumph Speedmaster will be the perfect cruiser for such buyers in the premium motorcycle segment.

English
Article Published On: Thursday, August 23, 2018, 16:00 [IST]
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