Sometimes it isn’t recommended to go ahead and buy the first motorcycle that looks perfect to fulfill your riding needs even though your every single cell tells you to do so simply because there can always be an even more adequate alternative. That’s why we have the competition heading in all of our reviews, but in this case that’s not going to be the solution.
Now, we’ve just wrote about the latest Triumph Speedmaster and that custom bike couldn’t have left you a bad impression, but people may want to go for the classic bike, and that’s where the 2010 Triumph America intervenes. So if you haven’t already made a deposit for the Speedmaster , the America can blink an eye at you as it is more comfortable without losing any of the British magic look.
60-bhp fuel injected parallel twin engine
Cruisers are all about smooth flowing lines, a symphonic engine and a laid back riding position so it is good to see that the bike has all that. But why are we saying this before even mentioning anything about the engine at all? Simply because we’re dealing with the latest Bonneville engine, a fuel-injected version of the unmatched 865cc, air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 270 degree firing interval unit now found at the greatest level of performance and reliability thanks to the recent shot of modernity that it gets.
Like all America models before it, the 2010 model year comes with a five-speed transmission and X-ring chain final drive so that the best of the engine would be smoothly transmitted to the rear 15-inch wheel which, by the way, has a 170mm wide rear tire. Up front, we’re talking about an 18-inch wheel and a 110 wide tire. Stopping power is delivered to the 12-spoke wheels through 2-piston calipers acting on a single 310mm disc brake so that the stylish front wheels would stand out properly and 2 piston calipers acting on a single 285mm disc at the back.
America’s 41mm forks are positioned at a rake angle of 33.3 degrees, which is just perfect both for creating that nice classic look and only needing a pair of pullback handlebars in order to achieve a comfy riding position. But, we shouldn’t forget that the Triumph America, like the veritable cruising two-wheeled machinery that it is, comes with the frame and swingarm made of steel and that has much to do with the 550 lbs wet weight of the bike.
Thanks to a low center of gravity and a 60bhp powerful engine, that weight seems like being lost when accelerating. Also, with torque at 53ft.lbf, we notice that despite getting fuel injection, the bike does not feature increased performance figures which can only mean that Triumph replaced the old carburetors just so that the bike would meet environmental regulations and be as modern as their contenders are.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low is a motorcycle built following the same idea as in the case of the Triumph America. The engine is what makes these bikes middleweight ones and in the case of the Sportster, it is an 883cc, air-cooled Evolution one that is as well fuel injected. The V-twin powerplant is capable of 55ft.lbs at 3,500 rpm so maximum torque is reached much lower on the powerband than the America’s engine does (4800 rpm). But the Sportster also weighs 563 lbs dry, so the overall performances don’t differ much. The rider’s taste is what makes the difference between the American bike and the America called bike, but the price is of great importance as well especially considering the $6,999 base MSRP of the Sportster 883 Low.
Earlier, we mentioned that the America is Triumph’s idea of a classic cruiser so it is recommended to mention a veritable one as an alternative for it. The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic features timeless looks in a category where mean should do the trick. Still, engineering is modern so Kawi manages to get 58.2ft.lb at 3,500 rpm from the fuel-injected 903cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valve per cylinder V-twin engine. The riding position is as comfortable as in the case of the Harley and Triumph, but we shouldn’t forget the $8,349 MSRP.
Just like Harley’s Sportster 883 Low remains basically a custom bike, but still the appropriate thing in relation to the America, and the Vulcan 900 Classic a never going out of fashion kind of bike, the 2010 Triumph America has a unique recipe for success, the combination between classic and custom, with the best from both categories being united in an unbeatable combination.
You may have noticed that the America doesn’t come with deeply valanced fenders, but neither with sharp ones. Also, the wheels aren’t the same custom ones as on the Speedmaster, neither standard spoked like we’d expect to find on a veritable cruiser, but a pair of stylish alloy 12-spoke ones. As a final and unique touch, the handlebars are pulled back, but still look close to drag ones.
The teardrop fuel tank fits the characters of a classic bike perfectly while the parallel-twin cylinder engine is the British’s own interpretation of the cruising style and not a bad one at all. In fact, fitting the America with the much needed fuel injection system, which brings a major contribution to it meeting Euro 3 regulations, didn’t change anything in what concerns the design factor as the throttle bodies actually look like carburetors. The exhaust pipes are individually directed on each side of the America so that the bike would look both the same from each side and from simplicity purposes too.
In this case, the seat is made out of two pieces for enhanced rider and passenger comfort so that’s a notable classic feature, just like the gas tank is. The side engine and transmission covers are chromed and not matt black painted, just to make a difference in relation to the Speedmaster .
We can’t help mentioning how much we appreciated the also chromed round headlight and mirrors, but what really makes the 2010 that cool are the special color schemes available: Phantom Black and Pacific Blue/New England White.
"For a start the Triumph Bonneville America feels substantial, not spindly like the Harley 883, and sitting on the sculpted rider’s seat you feel like you’re on a ’proper’ cruiser, not a 883cc wannabe. Well, until you start the engine, that is." – motorcycle
"The vibration-free engine and respectable highway power might make you think about traveling on an America, and the bike will prove an able touring companion. Our sole comfort complaint concerns the rear suspension, which is not as responsive as we’d like over sharp bumps." – motorcyclecruiser
“Where the bike endeared itself to me was in the handling department. When the road curves, this is one cruiser I’d want to be on. Steering may not be light, but it is reassuring and the bike tracks through high-speed corners without wallowing.” – cycleworld
"Any journey over 45 minutes and your lower back will ache, the nape of your knees will be crying out for normal footpegs and your arms – which suspend most of your upper bodyweight against the windblast – will be calling time. Keep local, at around 60mph max, never stray onto a motorway, and you’ll be fine." – visordown
“…the Triumph America’s not regarded as a Harley clone or copy like so many Japanese cruisers. It’s a competent motorcycle too. It’s not particularly rapid or sporty but the Triumph America is a pleasure to ride and well put together." MCN
Among the bikes mentioned above, the Triumph America is the most expensive mostly because of the amazing build quality as well as fit and finish. This statement is sustained by the fact that the bike’s MSRP varies depending on the color scheme elected; $7,999 for the single color painted bike and $8,199 for the two-tone color America.
Overall, what’s the most interesting about the 2010 Triumph America is that you come to discover new and interesting features every time you circle around it. In what concerns the engine and the fuel-injection system that this gets as this year’s model, we have nothing but good references: fuel consumption is improved and emissions are lowered while the bike’s classic carbureted engine look remains the same.
Engine and Transmission
- Type: Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 270 degree firing interval
- Capacity: 865cc
- Bore/Stroke: 90 x 68 mm
- Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
- Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI
- Final Drive: X ring chain
- Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
- Gearbox: 5-speed
Performance (measured at crankshaft to 95/1/EC)
- Maximun Power EC: 60bhp @ 6800rpm
- Maximun Torque EC: 53 ft.lbs @ 3300rpm
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: Tubular steel cradle
- Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
- Front Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy 12-spoke 18 x 2.5in
- Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy, 12-spoke 15 x 3.5in
- Front Tyre: 110/90 R18
- Rear Tyre: 170/80 B15
- Front Suspension: Kayaba 41mm forks with polished stainless steel shrouds and polished lowers, 130mm travel
- Rear Suspension: Kayaba chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload, 96mm rear wheel travel
- Front Brakes: Single 310mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
- Rear Brakes: Single 285mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
- Length: 95.2 in
- Width (Handlebars): 37.8 in
- Height: 46.0 in
- Seat Height: 28.3 in
- Wheelbase: 65.1 in
- Rake/Trail: 33.3 degree / 153 mm
- Wet Weight: 550 lbs
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.1 US gals
Features & Benefits
- The America’s 865cc, air-cooled, DOHC, twin cylinder engine shares its basic architecture with the Bonnie, but the 270º firing angle provides a loping exhaust note and smooth power delivery that’s big on easy-going drive and full of character.
- The America has a fuel injection system to meet Euro 3 legislation. Cleaner running than a carburetor engine, the fuel injected engine is also easier to fire up from a cold start and runs more smoothly when cold. The cool retro styling remains uncompromised though, as the fuel injectors are cleverly concealed by throttle bodies designed to look like carburetors.
- The America’s seamless, teardrop-shaped tank holds more fuel as well as looking great with its chromed badges and hand painted pin stripes.
- Riders from every experience level will appreciate the sure-footed ability of the chassis and the confidence-inspiring handling. The riding position is relaxed for both rider and passenger and offers a supremely comfortable ride, thanks to the large, low seat, forward set pegs and pulled-back handlebars.
- The cast, aluminum alloy 15 inch rear rim is crowned with a fat, 170/80-section rear tire. While the front, an 18 inch cast wheel, wears a 110/90 tire. Durable, wide-set telescopic forks add substance and a solid look to the America’s raked front end, while twin-piston calipers and front and rear disc brakes take care of stopping duties.
- The America’s engine fires out through a pair of deep-chrome reverse cone exhaust pipes.