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

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