RIDE’S month in bikes
Cruiser version of the Bonneville leads Triumph’s 2018 new models
TRIUMPH’S RAPIDLY EXPANDING family of Bonnevilles welcomes another member this month in the guise of 2018’s new Speedmaster. It’s the most laidback of all the modern Bonnies, with feet-forward pegs and wide, pulled-back handlebars, plus chrome-heavy styling that puts it squarely in the cruiser camp.
Beneath the relaxed, retro look, the Speedmaster shares much with the enormously popular Bobber (reviewed on p46). It has the same 1200cc parallel twin making 76bhp and 78lb•ft of torque, its liquid cooling and fuel injection cunningly camouflaged by engine fins and neat carb-style throttle-body covers. The chassis is similar too, with short-travel forks and a faux-hardtail swingarm, the rear shock hidden under the seat.
The Speedmaster differs by using 16in wheels at both ends (the Bobber has a 19in front), with a wider 130-section front tyre. The front end also benefits from having twin brake discs, where the Bobber has just one.
Other mods suggest the Speedmaster will be more practical, more comfortable and better suited to longer rides than the Bobber. It has a larger fuel tank (12 litres rather than nine), standard cruise control, and twin seats with a sturdylooking chromed pillion grabrail.
For those who want to give the Speedmaster even more long-range ability, Triumph’s ‘Highway’ accessory kit adds a screen, comfort seats, pillion backrest and waxed-cotton and leather panniers. There’s also a ‘Maverick’ kit that pushes it in the opposite direction, removing the pillion seat and adding flatter bars and a black Vance & Hines exhaust.
Triumph has also taken the covers off a blackedout version of the Bobber called… the Bobber Black. As well as its monochrome colouring the Black differs by using a fat-tyred 16in front wheel and larger 47mm forks.
Speedo sits at a more upright angle to suit relaxed riding position Handlebar is wider and more pulled back than the Bobber Speedmaster shares Bobber’s DNA but adds laid-back cruiser comfort
Highway accessory kit includes tall screen
Bobber Black has chunkier front tyre and forks