Secondhand Buyer’s Guide: Triumph’s Speedmaster
The Speedmaster was launched in 2003. Based on the America, the original model had a 790cc air-cooled dohc parallel twin engine, expanded to 865cc in 2005 and in 2007 it switched to fuel injection. Designed as a tribute to the ‘hot rods’ of the 60s it has a pared-back look, losing the chrome on the America.
We took out a 2014 example, featuring black teardrop mirrors and Triumph Short Slash Cut Silencers.
An 865cc, dohc air-cooled parallel twin engine puts out 53lb-ft of torque at just 3300 revs (maximum power 61bhp @ 6800 revs), housed in a tubular steel cradle frame that sits long and low (690mm seat height, 1606mm wheelbase).
Stopping power comes from a single 310mm front disc supported by a 285mm rear, both with two-piston calipers. The pair work best applied in unison.
Riding position is lovely. Pegs are forward set, the bars lean you gently forward into an engaged but comfortable position (you could ride in that stance all day; whether the soft saddle would allow is another question). Those girder-like handlebars could have come from Mr Bloor’s other business! But they work well and lend to the overall look of the bike.
The engine suits the bike perfectly. It doesn’t really want to waste time under 30mph, but it will trundle (when I got into traffic I stuck it in first and bimbled). Fun was setting up for an overtake then blipping the throttle and letting it punch forward. Motorway speeds were effortless and the riding stance seemed to avoid turning you into a sail.
Suspension is quite firm for the class, but still soaked up most stuff without fuss. The road into Trinity Buoy Wharf (where I took the photos) is poorly surfaced at present, but it trundled over that without hassle, although the uneven approach road to the roundabout that turns onto my back road test sent unwanted feedback rippling through the bars.
Handling is predictable. It holds a line perfectly, liking a dip of the hip to get it turning. The way to ride it is to keep your head up, look well into the bend and let it flow from one corner to the next.
Oh and the sound! The bark when opening the throttle for overtakes was addictive. Politically incorrect perhaps, but the Short Cut pipes sound fantastic.