I am reviewing the Speedmaster 2004 790cc model. I am 6'1" and 16stone (100kg). These stats are highly relevant, and are seldom seen in test ride reports, I never worked out why they don't do that at the beginning of tests/reviews...
Anyway, since this system is based on 'out of 5 stars', I shall explain my results. First: Ride & handling - This is my first go at feet forward riding, it was strange at first trying to find pegs beneath me, but I only did that a couple of time before I adjusted. My first ride was for roughly 1.5 hrs (70 miles), and I really enjoyed it! The bike turned when I wanted it to, very fluidly and with no scraping drama! The only downside is the low-spec rear shocks, but Hagon do a replacement for only just over £100 What a bargain! I also have size 11 feet, which meant I neded to put the arch of my foot on the peg, and point my toes out slightly, so not to foul the controls. It was still comfortable, but I was concious of the possibility of say, resting slightly on the rear brake, but it didnt happen and you could say the same for a lot of bikes I guess.
Second: Equipment - I got a Tacho, but no fuel guage. I had a Bonneville before, and you soon get to know how many miles you will do between fills safely. You just have to remember to reset the trip every time. Other than that, it has everything it NEEDS.
Quality & reliability: It start well and soon settles into a solid tickover. The paint is poor as on all Triumphs and shows light surface scratches really easily. Also, due probably to the wafer thin paint, rust can apear under the paint, but this varies bike to bike I hear. Other than the paint, its all solid, machined - British goodness!
Value: Put against other bikes in this sector, the used values are conparable, but I would say the overall quality of this bike superceeds all the others in the middleweight cruiser market.
Engine: The engine is a peach! I had a 865cc Bonnevile, and very nice it was too, but the 790cc engine is just as good, and the 270 degree timing order coupled with TOR slash cut pipes, gives a not too loud, but amazing sound. Personally I love a few cracks and pops on the over-run, and with the said pipes, this bike delivers those too.
Overall - It has a stupid, stupid name, but then the 'America' is worse still. I wonder what market that bike was aimed at... subtle! Ignore the name, find a good used example, put Hagon shocks on the back and TOR pipes, keep it clean (which is quick and painless with the black engine), and you will have a very enjoyable road bike, that you can be proud to own. Not convinced? Take one for a test ride!