Custom – Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again – Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

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San Diego (United States),

Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

The Speedmaster is back in 2018 at Triumph, in a brand new version … very close to the Bobber Black which has just been released too! What is the new Bonneville cruiser from the English brand worth? ?

Site fetched the answer from San Diego, California (USA).

Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser goes the English way

With its 705 mm "at the withers", the most American of Triumph motorcycles is only 15 mm longer than the two English bobbers (standard and Black) and is therefore, so to speak, also accessible. At what point ? A 1.80 m rider can "put the knee" on the saddle when stationary! A 1.30 m pilot could therefore sit on it and put both feet on the ground…

The center of gravity of the bike is also extremely low, it is without great effort that the pilot takes off the Speedmaster from its side stand, with the long and essential lug. The weight of the beauty / beast (260 kg all full made with the MNC ladle) is present, but it is clearly less impressive, even destabilizing, than that of a maxitrail.

The saddle is welcoming – for small buttocks anyway – but more because of its well thought out design than its padding which could have been more generous. At the same time, the suspensions sag slightly under the weight of the pilot (in this case, 72 kg of muscles and modesty): this false "Hardtail" welcomes aboard !

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

Thanks to the custom-style handlebars – curved, wide and long, you can catch it without extending your arms too much – the pilot can easily turn his front wheel from one side to the other. Better, the geometry of the front axle and the profile of the tire does not lock the handlebars when turned to the maximum, as is the case on other motorcycles of this type.

Maneuvers at a standstill will only be painful for small riders: having both feet firmly anchored to the ground is not enough to manage the Speedmaster! It also takes thighs to move her forward and backward when her 1200 is cut !

Before starting, Site takes care to adjust its two levers, as well as the efficient all-round and sparkling mirrors under the Californian sun. The rounded handles surprise by their thickness and will not suit everyone: MNC admits to preferring the "standard" handles of the Bobber…

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

Commodos are not unanimous either: some will block on their plastic material not at all "classic", others will appreciate above all their very ergonomic design and the "modern" tools they control: engine modes, traction control, regulator speed, on-board computer, etc. (read the technical point on the third page).

As we saw on the previous page, the Speedmaster’s tank is larger than that of the Bobber but remains thin enough not to interfere with the knees, which naturally stick to it when the feet return to their supports, in front of the engine..

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

With its 3 additional liters of gasoline, its reinforced rear loop and its double disc, the English cruiser accuses about twenty kilograms more than the original "short" Bobber. Lucky for him, the target he’s looking to hit doesn’t care about the power-to-weight ratio. !

If we do not blame the Speedmaster for its weight gain, it is mainly because of its character … The front axle of this Triumph 2018 is pleasantly neutral: neither heavy, nor engaging, nor resistant, it allows the pilot to instantly feel at ease. No need for instructions, even for novices in custom.

Make America Speedmaster Great Again

At low and medium speed, the lever arm offered by the handlebars makes it possible to turn efficiently, while the fairly long wheelbase (1510 mm, see the technical sheet on the fourth page for all the values) ensures the assembly a appreciable stability.

By crossing sections of road made up of concrete slabs more or less well connected to each other, the Journal moto du Net is again seduced by the unexpected comfort provided by the suspensions of the British custom: the invisible rear shock absorber, in particular, cleaning well the lumbar. He should do the same on small cobbles in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, RĂ©mois, etc..

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

Excellent on smooth asphalt, the behavior of the bike remains very satisfactory on bumpy surfaces. Triumph has also not hesitated to integrate into our course quite stirring passages that highlight the quality of the damping. It is hardly except on potholes or speed bumps that the Triumph admits defeat.

During the photoshoots, Site notices that the turning radius of the Speedmaster allows you to turn around in one go on a small … Californian road! On our side of the Atlantic, the same operation would undoubtedly have required a short reversal, but nothing really disabling.

Presented to the world press in its adopted country (the North American market is the main target of this new model), the Speedmaster has a gearbox staging well suited to the huge intersections of American metropolises, which we approach and cross in second.

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

To cross small intersections and browse the alleys of our "large" French cities, it will however be necessary to play with the clutch, or even engage first gear to jointly maintain low speed and the balance of the machine..

Good point attributed to the passage: the assisted clutch greatly limits the effort to be provided to the left hand. No problem to face the "traffic jam" in Los Angeles or the traffic jams in Paris. Another asset for French "bikers" adept at climbing lines – unlike the majority of American and British bikers: the hazard lights that Triumph did not always install on its motorcycles a few years ago..

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

In built-up areas, the rear brake is another precious ally: biting, powerful and dosable, its sole use makes it possible to stop the Speedmaster at a red light and to stop at the stop. Bikers used to driving customs will therefore not be lost. !

At the same time, the old followers of roadsters, even sportsmen, also have an effective front brake. It is very useful in the event of a sudden slowdown in traffic … or to follow the rhythm imposed by comrades who have remained on more sporty machines. !

By pulling sharply on the right lever, the front tire ends up being overtaken. This exceptional lack of grip – the Avon AV71 Cobra has also fulfilled its role perfectly – results in the intervention of the ABS, very thin and which does not significantly increase the braking distance.

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

At the rear, the Cobra AV72 kept traction control in a standby state: not once in the 145 miles traveled (233 km) has the "TTC" had to control the cruiser’s traction. The good driving conditions undoubtedly helped the Anglo-American rubber (as a reminder, Avon is the property of the company Cooper Tires and Rubbers).

In winter or in a downpour, riders with little reassurance, skill or confidence can always select the "Rain" engine mode, smoother in low and mid-revs, but as powerful in revs as the standard "Road" mode..

A good – small – road bike

In the winding, the Speedmaster only held two turns without rubbing the lugs of its footrests … Not surprisingly – neither good nor bad – the ground clearance on the angle is quickly exceeded, even without rolling like a fanatic, a degenerate or worse, like a journalist – who does not pay for the filed parts, what a beautiful job…

To limit the angle taken while maintaining a good speed of passage in curve, the pilot is thus requested to leave the chest and to tighten the head. Every gram, centimeter and tenth of a degree counts. The opener Triumph gave us an imperial demonstration, he who was instructed not to damage the black pots of his Speedmaster Maverick !

Also in the middle of a curve, the Triumph cruiser accepts late front brake releases or unforeseen times. In turns that suddenly close, when the footrest already scrapes the ground generously, MNC has no choice but to lick the front lever. Avoiding a stray pig on a Corsican road should not lead to an off the road. Reassured ?

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

Out of bends, the Speedmaster also masters the revivals, as sharp as they are. For a custom, the compromise of suspensions found between rigor in fast piloting and comfort in casting is sharply appreciable. Overall, the performance of the cycle part of the Triumph is really flawless. !

Ditto for the engine, exactly the same as that mounted in the two versions of the Bobber "short" and Black. The sound in slow motion is always so attractive and the tone of the pots during small strokes of the accelerator – electronic – are catchy !

The flexibility of the Twin is always appreciable: it starts again without jolting from 1500 rpm on the first three reports, and 300 revs higher at 1800 on the three higher speeds. The docility of the machine is more open to criticism: a slight but sensitive jerk occurs when the go-around is carried out. To eradicate it, you have to handle the right handle gently..

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

Volunteer under 3500 rpm, the acceleration then becomes more expressive. The weight of the Speedmaster (about 10% more than the Bobber) inevitably affects the performance of the mill, but these remain perfectly adapted to the program of the motorcycle: long rides and small arsouilles.

The switch, which intervenes around 6900 rpm, is unlikely to be triggered by future bikers in Speedmaster. During the vast majority of this test, the Journal moto du Net contented itself – got off and filed down its support! – while sailing between 3000 and 4500 rpm.

The soundtrack that accompanies the pilot is inspiring, never boring or tiring. But this is unfortunately not the case with the saddle, which wears out the buttocks after a hundred kilometers. We would then like to change position, but we cannot: the "Beach Bar" handlebars, the forward controls and the hollow saddle freeze the pilot..

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

By climbing at a standstill and a few seconds on the fine saddle the narrow passenger folding seat royally granted by the English, MNC instantly understands that the "co-pilot" is much more to be pitied. Under these conditions, traveling in duo over long distances seems inconceivable: you will have to go through the accessories box or the "Highway" kit….

On expressways precisely, the Speedmaster has a gadget that may become very useful: a cruise control reduced to a simple button on the left stalk! Basic, it allows you to select a speed – but not to change it – and to avoid being stupidly aligned for a few km / h too much…

Next to the cruise control button is the information displayed in the digital window of the speedometer. At the end of our 145 mile loop, the on-board computer estimated our average fuel consumption at 66.2 mpg (miles per gallon), or a tiny 3.8 l / 100 km. Unbelievable ? To be checked during a next duel or MNC comparison !

Custom - Triumph Speedmaster test: on the road again, again - Speedmaster test page 2: the cruiser runs in the English way

One last point has been tested and unfortunately disapproved by Site: the behavior of the Speedmaster 2018 on the motorway, which turns out to be as unpleasant as it is disappointing: vibrations descend into the feet and rise in the hands when the motorcycle is stalled at 130 km / h in sixth. It’s very unfortunate from a motorcycle belonging to the cruiser family and whose name literally means: master of speed…

The Triumph makes up for it on the road – it should have been called Routemaster, like the "famous" London double-decker buses ?! – where the crackling is perceptible, of course, but quite bearable: at 90 km / h, the engine purrs at 2350 rpm (approximately, the digital tachometer is far from being precise).

Better yet, the tingling becomes perfectly negligible at 80 km / h, 250 laps lower. At this speed, we don’t get too much wind in the face and we can still have fun in the turns … The new speed limit on French roads would therefore be good. ?!

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