Reinventions of an existing model don’t get much more dramatic than this, the all-new T120-based Bonneville Speedmaster, giving existing owners and a whole new audience a serious reason to reach for their wallets.
The now defunct 865cc air-cooled model has been languishing at the back of the range for years, and while its supporters have been very loyal, it gave few potential owners much to inspire action. The new-for-2018 model changes all that, and some.
- All-new Speedmaster model
- T120 high-torque engine
- Bobber chassis
- 130 custom options
- Two ‘Inspiration’ versions
Using the wildly popular Bobber as its base, along with the high-torque version of the beautifully smooth 1200cc parallel-twin T120 engine, the new Speedmaster is transformed by just a few key changes that nonetheless give it a style and purpose all of its own.
The headline changes are immediately obvious, with the biggest being the addition of a rear subframe that offers a pillion option for the first time on the Bobber platform, as well as the scope to carry bike-mounted luggage. Its more laid-back style is continued by the attractive ‘beach bars’, which sweep gracefully back from the mounts and which are reminiscent of American cruisers of the 50s. The seat is deeper and softer, and set 15mm higher, at 705mm, while the mid-position footrests are replaced by a set of forward-mounted controls for distance comfort.
There’s also a bigger – 12 litre – fuel tank that adds significantly to the Bobber’s 9.1 litre offering, affording greater range between fill-ups for a more useable touring range. It also gets the top-spec DRL-enabled LED headlamp, complete with nacelle details that hark back to the golden era of Triumph cruisers.
There are other more modern additions too, like the firm’s new single-button three-touch cruise control, ABS and traction control, rider modes and ride-by-wire throttle, complimenting the classic English/American styling. Available in Jet Black, Cranberry Red and Jet Black, and Fusion White and Phantom Black, complete with hand-painted coachlines, there’s a style to suit both modern and classic fans.
The Speedmaster’s swept back beach bars control a new 41mm cartridge fork that holds an equally new 16-inch front rim and 310mm twin disc front brakes with two twin-piston Brembo calipers. Under the seat lurks a heavily reworked shock, now able to cope with subframe weight, and that of luggage and a pillion, which also now has preload adjustment.
With over 130 custom accessories available you can change pretty much anything you like, but Triumph have created two ‘inspiration’ kits if you want a one-stop custom option. The ‘Highway’ kit includes a full waxed cotton and leather pannier set, adjustable touring screen, comfort rider seat, matching wider pillion seat, and a host of chrome features including engine bars, passenger back rest, luggage rack and a polished machined oil filler cap.
The ‘Maverick’ kit gives a more stripped back look, closer to the original Bobber, with a brown quilted single seat set up, flatter raked out handlebars, black Vance & Hines silencers and other blacked out details.
Triumph aren’t able to confirm prices yet, but expect a serious jump for the outgoing model’s £7599 – which would be more than justified by the colossal improvement in spec, fit finish and quality. In dealers before March 1.
2018 Triumph Speedmaster Tech Specs
Engine 1200cc liquid-cooled 8v parallel-twin
Power 76bhp @ 6100rpm
Torque 78ftlb @ 4000rpm
Frame Tubular steel twin cradle
Seat height 705mm
Suspension F: 41mm non-adj KYB fork, R: preload-adjustable KYB monoshock
Brakes F: twin 310mm discs, Brembo 2-piston calipers, R: single 255mm disc, single-piston Nissin caliper
Tank 12 litres
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