The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster went under the radar somewhat in 2011.
While most of the interest in Triumph’s new models was focused on the Tiger 800s, Speed Triple 1050 and even the Thunderbird Storm 1700, the Hinckley firm’s significant revisions to its two entry-level cruisers, the America and Speedmaster, were largely overlooked - but they were worth shouting about.
The two Bonneville-powered bikes were always worthy, novice-friendly and well-priced takes on the mid-range cruiser market usually identified most with Harley-Davidson Sportster models. But if they were lacking in one key respect it was style, looking more like Dame Edna Everage had been at their wardrobe. Harsh, maybe - but true.
But from 2011, both received significant makeovers intended to bring their looks bang up to date and also to emphasise the differences between the two machines. So, while the America became, more than ever, the ‘mini Harley Fat Boy’, complete with retro, 50s influenced chrome and fat tyre styling, the Speedmaster got even more hot-rod attitude courtesy of shunning chrome for matt black and getting a refreshed, kicked-out chopper look.
Considering the price you get a lot of bike for your money. This ‘junior cruiser’ doesn’t feel like a lesser bike; it’s not underpowered, doesn’t feel budget, is cool and still has big bike appeal. So good and such value for money I’d question why you’d want anything bigger unless you’re a dedicated big custom fan.