Skip to content

Meet the all-new Triumph Speedmaster | Manufacture News | News

Triumph wants a piece of Harley’s pie with the 2018 Speedmaster

Triumph has launched its new Bonneville Speedmaster and the finished machine is the most impressive Harley-Davidson rival the British firm has created so far.

It comes on the heels of the Bobber, an impressive bike that looks astounding but is perhaps too niche to really trouble the cruiser mainstream. With the Bonneville Speedmaster, Triumph takes the Bobber and adds a healthy dose of practicality without diluting the style.

The key change is the addition of a rear subframe to the softtail-esque frame, which is otherwise similar to the Bobber’s, right down to the rear shock under the seat. As well as adding a removable pillion seat, the subframe means that optional luggage can be fitted to add practicality.

Speaking of options, by the time the Speedmaster reaches dealers in March next year, there will be a range of more than 130 bolt-on bits to personalise the bikes. Added to that are a brace of Inspiration Kits. The first – Highway – transforms the Speedmaster into a tourer, with panniers, a tall screen and a comfort seat, or there’s the Maverick, which strips it back to a single-seat machine almost like a bobber.

In terms of spec, we get the 57kW version of the 1200cc parallel twin engine, with 106Nm at 4000rpm. It’s a little heavier, at 245.5kg (dry), but all that torque means it should have far more performance than the outgoing Speedmaster, which struggled to live up to its title.

Suspension is by KYB at both ends, and the wheels are 16in wires – the Bobber uses a 19in front rim.

There’s lashings of tech to play with too; the single analogue speedometer gives little clue, but there’s an inset LCD screen and a scroll wheel to flick between its displays.

As well as the usual trip computer stuff, it can tell you about the bike’s riding modes (rain or road), its traction control settings, its heated grips. The more you seek, the more you find.

Elsewhere, there’s full LED lighting, cruise control operated by a single button, and ABS. The seat is adjustable, with a base height of just 710mm, and there will be a selection of optional seats, bars and pegs to tailor the riding position and comfort.

Prices won’t be revealed until nearer the bike’s on-sale date, but it’s sure to be up a bit on the old Speedmaster. But it looks like it’ll be worth it though.

And a Bobber Black

TRIUMPH HAS ALSO added a ‘Black’ version to the Bobber range – as a stand-alone model rather than just a paint scheme option.

As well as black paint, black exhausts, black engine cases and black wheels, there are mechanical alterations too. Speci cally,

it gets the Speedmaster’s wider, 16-inch front wheel, which could well add up to a noticeable handling improvement over the Bobber’s spindly 19-incher. Braking is better too, using the Speedmaster’s twin Brembo calipers up front instead of the single- disc Nissin a air of the normal Bobber. No word just yet on when, or how much.

By Ben Purvis

As printed in AMCN Vol 67 No 08