Mastering the art
The Triumph Speedmaster looks stylish, has a retro feel to it, and makes both daily commutes and long rides comfortable
Travelling back in time with a generous sprinkling of chrome, a chunky nameplate and scalloped paint with hand-done pin-striping on the tank, the Triumph Speedmaster looks gorgeous. Painting the picture of a traditional American cruiser, the bike could be termed as a Bobber with a pillion seat, but there’s more to it than just sharing certain bits and pieces with the Bobber.
With its chrome exhaust pipes glinting in the sun, the Speedmaster flaunts some nice details, for example, the fuel injector made to look like vintage Amal carbs, or the mock pre-unit transmission that houses the rear brake fluid reservoir. Apart from upholding the iconic style of the Bonneville, the bike with its low-set, wide handlebar is not only unintimidating, but is also inviting. Powered by a modern 77bhp 1,200cc, eight-valve, SOHC, parallel-twin engine, the Speedmaster is supported by a wide range of accessories along with the rear fender and pillion.
The plush seat feels welcoming with the feet-forward stance. Though mildly laborious in peak traffic, it rewards in a pleasant ride. This one’s propped up with a ‘highway’ kit that includes a comfortable rider’s seat, a wider pillion seat with a backrest, adjustable touring screen, waxed cotton and leather panniers, a pannier rail kit, engine crash bars and a luggage rack. The kit adds approximately Rs 1.25 lakh to the basic price and is perhaps the costliest of them all. The other kit, ‘Maverick’, costs Rs 1.16 lakh approximately, and offers a quilted leather single seat and other accessories that point towards minimalism.
Flaunting details that can be consuming, the Speedmaster exerts a smooth pull when the clutch is released. With a good deal of low-end muscle, the bike quickly accelerates to good speeds. The run from 0-100kmph is done in a shade over five seconds, and the bike with its 12-litre tank manages to run a good distance between refills. The six-speed gearbox is slick and the wet clutch with torque assist is light and friendly. Weighing 245kg, the Speedmaster is a pleasure to ride.
Daily commutes and long rides
If it is easy to do good speeds on the highway, the Speedmaster inspires confidence even when riding on twisty mountain roads. The suspension supports a plush ride by working overtime, and by keeping the road shocks from filtering through. The fat 41mm telescopic forks do a good job, and does the linkage-type preload-adjustable KYB monoshock (which is out of sight). Feeling comfortable and soft in the quality of ride that it presents, the bike feels composed and predictable, and well-engineered.
Extending a certain sense of being plush and expensive, the Speedmaster comes with a braking system that is very effective. It gets the bike to decelerate quickly. The setup consists of twin-310mm discs at front and a single disc at the rear. ABS is standard. The Speedmaster makes daily commutes as comfortable as long rides.
At Rs 11.11 lakh ex-showroom, the bike is both contemporary and premium in the way it presents itself, and also feels sophisticated and well-engineered.
Pros: Stylish, retro, performance, ride and handling, premium feel