The Triumph Speedmaster is the perfect mix of the present and the past in one beautifully crafted motorcycle. You will get the classic lines that made Triumph the brand it is today and at the same time the technology from the 21st century. Read on to discover everything about this amazing bike and a couple of accessories that changed my life.
The story of this bike goes back to 2002, the year in which Triumph first released it to the market to great acclaim. The original motor was of 790cc in a twin-cylinder engine, and considering this it lasted on the model for the next three years. By 2005, the Triumph Speedmaster 865 saw the light and the public, as well as critics reception of it, made it an instant classic. By the year 2008, they even updated this model to fuel injection.
Due to the fact, they took the entire idea of the Triumph Speedmaster from the prosperous Bonneville America. Among the differences between them were the black finish to the engine and the shortened gear. Also, the handlebar was flat and supported by risers, and the wheels were cast alloy with twin front discs. The Triumph Speedmaster saw an increase in the power in the following years along with technologic upgrades. Finally, Triumph reintroduced the motorcycle to the world in the year 2017 with a revamped model featuring a bigger engine. The torque for 2017 and 2018 models went up to 1200cc.
In contrast, long behind are the Triumph Speedmaster 900 and all the smaller incarnations to make run for a bigger bike. Therefore this can become the new flagship motorcycle for Triumph and also one of the heavy-weight champions of the world. So, if you like the retro-inspired muscle big bikes with modern specs, this incarnation can be exactly what you need.
Days like the one I had trying the new Triumph Speedmaster 2018 make me think I have the best job in the world. Due to the fact I had a long and tiring day, all I could think of was trying this beautiful new Triumph Speedmaster to end it perfectly well. I had to meet with the agent, who would hand me out the key in the parking lot of the company. It was still the early afternoon and the sun was shining bright in the sky. I walked in a hurry since I was a little late and when I took the turn, I saw this gleaming new Triumph Speedmaster parked. My jaw fell to the floor immediately – I was in awe.
My model (my trying model) was the one with the white stripes over a black colour. I have to say that from a distance, it is one of the most beautiful bikes in the market. It retained those elegant lines from the classic 60s bikes from England while adding modern specs. Furthermore, the fat tires, the flat bar, and the round front light are a delight. In addition to that, the chrome accessories and the pinstripe leather seat is beautiful. Triumph made a great work in keeping such a big-engine motorcycle in a street-friendly size. However, the Triumph Speedmaster does look a little small for a 1200cc to be honest. The low seat feels very comfortable as well as the narrow waist-to-boot middle section.
Finally, the dealer handed me the key, so I started it, and the growl coming from the exhaust was accelerating for the heart. For those of you who have never been on a bike with more than 1000cc, it is quite an experience. For me, someone who has been riding big bikes for a lifetime, it was an experience too; thumbs up to Triumph.
I put in the first gear and gently rolled it down to the pavement to start my test. The clutch is wire-operated and very light, and not to mention that the throttle is a ride-by-wire and is very easy to twist too. To my benefit (and for all of us who have smaller hands) the levers of the clutch and front brake are adjustable. Although the Triumph Speedmaster is a big motorcycle, its design is perfect to suit city traffic.
Furthermore, slow-speed handling and start-stop dynamics is the bike´s natural habitat. And moreover, you can even make U-turns easily. Much of it has to do with Triumph´s engine choice for the bike. The HT1200 motor has significantly more torque and power than the HP motor in the RPM midrange. In conclusion to that, this extra push at 3,500RPM is crucial to have a better experience in the city and at low speed. Also, in this environment, the low seat is very welcome when you have to do full stops.
I was approaching the rush hour in the busy city streets and decided to go for something more entertaining. I decided to go for the highway and leave the blinding lights of the streets behind to give the bike more freedom too. The Triumph Speedmaster is between a bobber and a cruiser, and it surely can handle the city bobber style. Highway cruising, on the other hand, is quite different for it.
In other words, the T120 crankshaft is more massive than other bikes like the Thruxton. So, this feature makes downshifting optional (you can roll down on the throttle and pull away in almost any gear smoothly). Passing through cars and making smooth transitions on the highway was effortless.
On the brake section, the Triumph Speedmaster has a relatively primitive set up with the twin discs. The twin-pot Brembos float, unlike the rotors. Although this being the case, brakes feel adequate and at no time (despite me pushing it) the stock ABS had to do its thing.
Besides that, the one thing I was missing was the tachometer. The vibrations were noticeable once the engine was above (what I thought was) 7,000RPM. To feel them, I had to push it a little above its happy place. These vibrations were nothing to worry about, (it´s not like driving a Norton Commando) they are smooth and beautiful.
However, there were some things that I didn´t like so much. One of them was that all my weight was on the seat with the forward controls, which meant that there was no way to absorb a bump with my legs anticipating it. In addition to that, the seating position and the wide handlebar are a bit of a pain in the open highway. The Triumph Speedmaster Custom Highway version is the right choice for long commuters or cruising lovers. You’ll need the windshield after half an hour.
Furthermore, the bike pulls out fiercely after cornering, regardless of the revs. The Triumph Speedmaster has a rev limiter, but I never had to use it (still missed the tachometer, though).
Nevertheless, s great feature was the cruise control. You can operate it from the handlebar and can set it at any speed between 30 and 100 miles per hour. I used it several times on the highway and got outstanding results being able to relax way more than usual.
By the time I decided to make it back, the night had already come above us and the stars were shining in the sky. The looks of the Triumph Speedmaster are mesmerising in daylight and get even better in the night. The pinstriping of the seat plus the tank and the chrome parts are just perfect. The bike evokes a classic British Iron instead of the American V-Twin and if that is your taste, it represents it incredibly well. In addition to that, the lonely speedometer with the LCD is very good and easy to read at night and daylight. I loved the simplicity of it, although I missed having a tachometer.
When back at the dealer shop, I felt a little sorry about leaving the bike parked there. It happens to me only with some machines, and it is definitely a good sign. Considering that, I have to say the Triumph Speedmaster is a beautiful motorcycle with plenty of power and proper handling.
But as I walked away, I turned my head for the last time, and the light of the streetlamp lit up the chrome exhausts. I thought to myself: The Triumph Speedmaster truly is a beautiful machine and walked away silently to my car.
This accessory is for those who want to take the late-Friday getaway and leave the office to go somewhere else for the weekend. It is a strong aluminium piece that you can attach and detach from your Triumph Speedmaster easily. Locking it with your clothes inside allows you to store everything safely with no worries.
Undoubtedly this is an upgrade for your Triumph Speedmaster exhaust – a bespoke performance silencer. This part was the joint effort with Arrow Special Parts. It comprises of stainless steel with a titanium wrap silencer and a carbon fibre cap. EU regulations fully homologate it.
This little gadget changed my life. I know we are here to talk about the Triumph Speedmaster, but I would feel horrible if I wouldn´t share this info with you. SBM is a fantastic addition for any bike. The way it works is simple: it will engage your braking lights every time it senses you are losing speed. If you are riding a motorcycle with smooth transitions as the Triumph Speedster has, you can stay out of the brakes. And to make this safely, you need to have the gadget to inform other vehicles of your manoeuvre.
By the same company, this is another super smart gadget that changed things for me. If you ride and drive as I do, you´ll have the same issue as I do with not disengaging the turning lights. The car does it for me, and hence I tend to think that my bike will do the same. Leaving your turning lights on can cause accidents, and this small, easy to install gadget will solve that for you.
If you aren’t completely sure if the Smart Turn System and the Smart Brake Module are compatible with your motorcycle, you can easily find it out. You can enter your motorcycle specification to the form below, and prepare to be amazed.
The starting price of the Triumph Speedmaster is $13150 and comes with ABS and two seats as a factory standard. You can change colours, add features and buy different runs (like the Highway Edition) for extras.
On the one side, the Triumph Speedmaster is a one-of-a-kind bike, and on the other, it includes all the modern specs you will expect from a brand like Triumph. This model mixes that with the true heritage of decades of excelling at motorcycle manufacturing. Last but not least, it is a fun bike to ride that can handle the city, the highway and everything in between. If you like classic English lines, Speedmaster is the way to go.