Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Triumph has returned the Speedmaster name to the Bonneville range, targeting customers who want a light, lithe and low cruiser.

Triumph has returned the Speedmaster name to the Bonneville range, targeting customers who want a light, lithe and low cruiser.

It’s based on the popular Bobber, so it has the mono-shock, “hard-tail-look” rear, which is neater than the traditional twin shocks of the rest of the Bonneville fleet. However, it doesn’t have the floating solo “tractor” seat, drag bars or bar-end mirrors. Instead, it has a removable pillion seat, anchored rider’s saddle, forward foot controls, twin front brake discs, larger tank and wide pullback “Beach” handlebars for a very relaxed cruise.

While the Bobber costs $18,000 (plus on-road costs), the Speedmaster costs an extra $1500 like the Bobber Black.

It’s powered by the 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin in the same high-torque tuning as the Bobber with 56.6kW of power at 6100rpm and 106Nm of torque at 4000rpm. Together with the fly-by-wire throttle, it is smooth at low and high revs with a linear midrange power delivery.

The 1200cc version is a lusty and flexible unit with a low rev limiter so you find yourself short shifting and riding the midrange torque. On the highway, it will cruise efficiently at 2700 revs at 100km/h in sixth gear. You will have to drop it back to fifth for overtaking, though.

It’s not just a Speedmaster by name, but a speed master by design and nature. The ‘Speedy’ can be pushed much harder into corners than the Bobber, thanks to its 16-inch front wheel and dual brake discs with Brembo callipers. Brakes have plenty of bite, feel and progression, and the cruiser has more clearance than the Bobber thanks to its forward controls, so you can keep up your corner speed.

For a cruiser, it’s light at 245kg (about 260kg fully fuelled) and quite lithe with 41mm cartridge forks and mono-shock rear.

It has more precise steering than the Bobber thanks to the 16-inch, 130mm front tyre, rather than the Bobber’s 19-inch, 100mm rubber. Like the Bobber, the near-horizontal rear shock has almost no sag load, so you extract full use of the shortened spring.

Ride feels plusher than the Bobber, probably due to the thicker seat. For my 185cm frame, the seat feels a little close to the front, but that could be because of the easy-reach Beach bars.

The on-board computer returned average fuel consumption on my test at 3.6 litres/100km. That means about 300km range from the 12-litre fuel tank. Triumph officially claims fuel consumption is a more realistic 4.3 litres/100m, which is still pretty good.

Like the Bobber, it comes with two engine modes for “road” and “rain”, plus traction control which you can switch off when stationary.

The Speedmaster features the same single pod instruments as the Bobber with a classic analogue speedo and LCD screen with a host of valuable information. It comes with all-LED lighting and a daytime running light which is very bright and attracts a lot of road attention.

Fit and finish on these new Bonnevilles is exemplary with neat cabling, nice brass touches on the engine, a discrete radiator between the cradle frame struts and attention to detail.

There are two accessory kits available: a Highway Kit with a tall screen, comfort seat and panniers; and a Maverick Kit with flat handlebars and solo seat. It comes in Jet Black, Cranberry Red and Fusion White and Phantom Black.

Fast facts

  • RRP: $19,500 (+on-road costs)
  • Engine: 1200cc liquid-cooled 8-valve parallel twin
  • Power: 57kW @ 6100rpm
  • Torque: 106Nm @ 4000rpm
  • Final drive: chain
  • Gearbox: 6pseed
  • Fuel consumption: 4.3 litres/100km

Story by Mark Hinchliffe.