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Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster Review: The Best Value For Money Cruiser in India?

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Last Updated: September 21, 2018, 10:17 IST

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster promises to be just the kind of motorcycle you need if you are on the lookout for a cruiser that does not compromise on engine size and style.

We were one of the first few people in the world to get our hands on the Triumph Bonneville Bobber and had ridden it at the sweet sweet roads of San Diego, California. During our first ride, we were left mighty impressed with this motorcycle and had stated that if it is priced right in India, it might just be one of the best value for money cruisers for our market. Now that Triumph has launched it in India at an aggressive price tag of Rs 11.11 lakh (ex-showroom), we decided to revisit the Speedmaster and give it a go on the Indian roads.

Retro motorcycles have a charm of their own and getting them right is a task, as the term ‘right’ can have several different meanings for different people. Triumph usually manages to get it right with their Bonneville range of motorcycles and same seems to be with the case with the Speedmaster as well.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

Being a Bonneville, it needs to look contemporary and yet fresh. In order to do that, at first glance it seems that Triumph has combined two of their existing Bonnevilles – the T120 or the T100 along with the Bobber Black to make the Speedmaster. It seems so because the Speedmaster does carry over several elements from both of them, especially the Bobber black and that’s evident in the stance of both these motorcycles as they are really similar. But then, there are several unique elements to the Speedmaster as well. This includes the likes of the new headlamps which are all LEDs and come with a unique DRL design. The tail lamps and the indicators are LEDs as well.

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster sports all-LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

Then, there are the spoked wheels which sport the dual 310mm discs with Brembo callipers. There’s a new handlebar and the footpegs are now forward set for more cruiser-like riding ergonomics. The best part? The Speedmaster comes with a twin seat, unlike the Bobber siblings and thankfully, the rear seat, as well as the chrome-finished grab rails, are removable. So, if you want, you can still have a single seater look and yet have the option to switch back to a double-seater – something that a lot of people wanted with the Bobber. The fuel tank has grown to a 12-litre capacity and the dual paint finish on it looks fantastic. And yes, those lines on the fuel tank are painted by hand.

The finish and detailing on the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is fantastic. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

When you look closer, though, you will find some finely detailed elements in the Speedmaster – like, the retro-styled battery box, the carburettor styled throttle body, the drum brake inspired rear wheel hub and the finned exhaust clamps. So overall, the design looks familiar but still a bit different and with the neat and clean lines that the Speedmaster sports, it will age very well and look good even after years.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is a good mix of retro and modern. (Photo: Triumph Motorcycles)

On the mechanical front, the star attraction is the engine of the Speedmaster. It has the liquid-cooled 1200cc parallel twin engine which is the same as the one you would find on the T120 and the Bobber. But the engine comes over in the exact same state of tune as the Bobber. This means, the Speedmaster generates 76 BHP at 6100 RPM and a respectable 106 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM, and it comes mated to a 6-speed transmission. There’s ABS, switchable traction control and also ride-by-wire on offer which makes way for dual riding modes – Road and Rain. What’s new is the addition of Cruise Control which is operated through a single touch button, which makes it easy to use and the system works wonders when you need it to. Also, just like the Bobber and the Bobber Black, the Speedmaster gets the hardtail look too but it has a KYB monoshock suspension hidden underneath the seat. The rear suspension is preload adjustable which means carrying a pillion or luggage is going to be a bit easier on this one.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster has a hard tail look. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)(Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

When it comes to riding, the bike is actually a treat. No matter how you ride it, easy or hard, the bike feels confident and will commit to the line you take. The feedback from the brakes is just right and the bite is great as well. The transmission was smooth and never did we miss a gear or had a false neutral. No matter what RPM you lug the engine at, the power band is wide and very usable. The fuelling is good too which gives it a smooth and progressive throttle response and overall, the Speedmaster is very friendly to ride. Yes, at a dry weight of 245.5 kilos, it is not the lightest bike around and yes, the stubby front tyre and the beach bars demand considerable rider input but that’s the fun part as the bike always feels engaging to ride. But, if you ride it too hard, you will end up scraping the footpegs way too easily and the wind bursts that follow are enough to tire you out. We would highly recommend the adjustable wind deflector which comes as an accessory with this bike. And while the instrument cluster shows almost everything you would need to know, it is not tilt-adjustable like it is in the Bobber and that’s something we missed.

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster has an informative instrument clsuter. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)(Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

In short, the bike requires takes some input from the rider but it is also a pleasantly rewarding experience. Last but not the least, the heat coming from the motorcycle is something that you need to keep in mind if you are traversing through city traffic as the motorcycle does tend to get considerably hot. It’s not as bad as other cruisers in the segment, but it is something that you need to keep in mind before setting off for your ride. And while we loved just how capable the motorcycle can be, unexpected potholes do sometimes become a bit of a situation for the Speedmaster to handle.

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is a pleasant motorcycle to ride. (Photo Courtesy: Kingdom Creative)

Well, to wrap up the whole Speedmaster experience, it has a few traits that you would – and perhaps should – expect from a high capacity cruiser especially if you are riding it in everyday city roads and planning to use it for commuting. You need to plan your routes a bit in advance and if you are looking for a weekend bike that looks part-vintage, part-modern and does not compromise on essential electronic rider aids, then this is definitely a motorcycle that you need to consider.