Almost a year has passed since I got a chance to put my hands on the Triumph Bonneville Bobber, and I remember how excited I was to review the bike of its class. And more than a year down the line, here we are, getting to ride a bike which can be said as a derivation of the Bobber, and that is a good thing of course.
Bonneville Speedmaster is not a new name, it has been around for longer than you might think. But for 2018, the bike has received a major makeover. And like all the modern day bikes, it too has received its fair share of electronics and technical bits (while still carrying over the originality of the Speedmaster) which makes it a worthy successor.
Being based on the Bobber and sharing some very major components means that the Speedmaster may have a similar visual appeal as the latter but the answer is both yes and no at the same time. From certain angles, it does remind of the Bobber, but looking at its silhouette it comes out as a fairly new bike. It still reminds of the original Speedmaster bikes with super low riding stance, pulled back beach style handlebar, forward set footpegs and the small round headlight which still looks as classy as it can be.
Talking about the instrument panel, it packs an analog speedometer with an integrated digital display. This display packs enough information such as rpms meter, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, and range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, 2 x trip, average and current fuel consumption display. This display is surely informative but I wish it had the dual clock type meter as seen on the Bonneville T100, I’m sure that might have looked nicer on it.
How about the engine?
Coming down to the engine, it packs 1200 cc Liquid cooled, 8 valve, parallel twin engine which is the same as the Bobber. It delivers 76 Bhp of maximum power arrives at @ 6,100 rpm and 106 Nm of peak torque kicks in @ 4,000 rpm. The engine works along the 6-speed transmission which is slick and precise to use.
The company has tuned this unit for a smoother delivery in every sense. Be it in the lower band while trying to squeeze out from the daily city traffic or be it cruising at around 4,000 rpm in the top gear on the wide open highway, the engine remains relativity vibration free and pushes the motorcycle forward with a calculated buttery push, which makes it a delight to ride. Also, the bike can be ridden mainly in two modes Rain and Road, which can be selected with a push of a button added to the ride side of the handlebar.
Even though its looks on the outside may give it an old-school appeal, but on the inside, it packs bits that blurs its old timeline connection with modern features such as Ride-by-Wire throttle, riding modes, ABS, and switchable traction control that allows you to have fun in the dirt.
The bike weighs close to 245.5 kg (dry), and has a super low riding seat height of 705mm. It feels tremendously stable in straight lines but is a slouch to take quick maneuvers. It leans in a slow and steady manner but doesn’t lean in too far because of its foot pegs which starts scraping at a relatively medium leaning angles, ruining all the fun.
Braking on the Speedmaster doesn’t disappoint, it packs twin 310 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating calipers brakes at the front and single 255 mm disc, Nissin single piston floating caliper at the rear. Even though Speedmaster carries quite a momentum due to its overall weight, but these brakes anchors down the bike in no time, maintaining composure and confidence.
How comfortable is it?
One area in which it truly excels over the Bobber is in its ergonomics. The pulled back beach-style handlebar allows it’s rider to sit comfortably on the bike, and that along with the wide seat and front forward set footpegs makes for a decently comfortable riding position. And at the same time, its suspension has been set up to soak all the major undulations on the roads, delivering a highly plush and comfortable ride.
Over the Bobber, having an extra pillion seat certainly makes it a complete bike and for a market such as India rear seat is of high significance, but at the same time we did manage to check the comfort on the pillion seat, and it was nothing impressive, even on short rides. And that’s mainly because the seat has been set on the rear tyre hugger (without any suspension support), also it is a bit tiny for the cruiser standards. So if you think you can take your wife along on that long highway trip, think again!
The last word –
Speedmaster carries a certain charm, an aura of glamour. It looks classy, is functional, and rides on a gem of an engine. Probably nothing much can be written in disfavor of the Speedmaster, as it is thoughtfully put together using the right riding elements. It retails at Rs 11.11 lakh, and at this price, it completely smashes everything which stands against it in competition and is your best buy in case you want a cruiser with sophistication and brilliance dripping down from its every part.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir