After the Bonneville engine’s fuel injection upgrade, virtually all classic/custom motorcycles in the Triumph lineup have been revised in that concern. This implied the Speedmaster too, but what’s really the strong point of this motorcycle is attitude, so the only thing that the new model year brings is more grunt to back those bad boy looks up.
But is that really so? By what we’ve come to find, the fact that the 865cc, air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 270 degree firing interval
60-bhp fuel injected parallel twin engine
engine got fuel injection didn’t influence the bike’s performance figures in a striking way. Let’s take torque for a first example; it is what cruising-type motorcycles engines are all about (just like Diesel engines are too) and yet it remains pretty much the same, but in a different range - 53ft.lbf at 3300 rpm compared to the previous generation model’s 51ft.lbf at 4800rpm. Although it is slightly increased, the best “detail” is the fact that the maximum torque kicks in 1200 rpms earlier and makes a crucial difference between the previous and present model year.
Also, while maximum output on the anterior model meant 54bhp at 6,750rpm, this year’s 60bhp at 6800 rpm is clearly a step further. Triumph didn’t retune the engine in this concern, but simply made sure it would remain a potent middleweight contender.
Given the way this bike looks and the other goodies apart from the engine, we’re sure it won’t lack pretenders. The seat has a height of only 28.3 inches, making the Speedmaster the choice of those small sized, especially female riders. There’s an 18-inch front wheel and a 15-inch rear one, the first being supported by the 41 mm forks and the rear by a twin-sided, tubular steel swingarm. Also, that custom front wheel gets a pair of 310 mm discs with two piston calipers and the rear one a 285mm disc and two piston caliper.
Overall, the Triumph Speedmaster weighs 550 lbs wet (note that the frame is made of steel), but the low center of gravity makes for an ideal choice for beginning bikers. Triumph’s emblems are all over the place, from the stylish front wheel to the right side chain final drive and the clean look indicating that fans of this brand won’t be disappointed.
Apart from the displacement increase from 790cc to 865cc, the addition of fuel injection is the most important upgrade that the Speedmaster could feature for 2009. Color schemes are also new and mark the change.
Because the Speedmaster is being powered by the Bonneville engine, the bike happens to get a share of its sibling’s competition. The Harley-Davidson 883 Custom might feature standard spoked wheels, but that 21-inch front and 16-inch rear one clearly indicate for what this bike stands. Long, low and sleek, the Sportster is a veritable cruising motorcycle, one that is powered by an air-cooled Evolution 883cc engine which, like the Speedmaster, develops 55ft.lbs at 3,500 rpm. This Harley’s dry weight is 565 lbs and the seat only 28 inches from the ground. Also, with an MSRP starting at $7,999, the Sportster 883 Custom is the ideal alternative and it is powered by a V-twin motor.
In the same register, Kawasaki sells their Vulcan 900 Custom (for an $8,349 stating price). This Japanese bike here is as well powered by a fuel-injected V-twin engine, a 903cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valve per cylinder one, to be more precise. This translates in 58.2 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm which is just what a middleweight cruiser is all about. The Kawi has a 27-inch seat height while the most distinctive feature of it is most likely that quiet belt final drive.
In what concerns design, the Triumph Spedmaster starts with the disadvantage of not featuring a V-twin engine. Most cruiser/custom motorcycles have that, but not the British ones so those who fell for the Speedmaster are most often enthusiasts of the brand and of the parallel-twin engine. This bike has its own recipe for success and it is all about bold looks completed by Triumph characteristic fit and finish as well as plenty of chromed pieces.
A 33.3 degree/153mm rake and trail help for the 18-inch custom front wheel with two brake discs and complemented by a sharp fender to stand out and so give a clue this is a middleweight performance cruiser even though not in the true meaning of the word. The average sized headlight is just right for the bike’s dimensions, but so are the drag-style handlebars and instrumentation. What really makes a difference is the teardrop tank, especially in the case of the two-tone painted Speedmaster.
Most of the engine and transmission is matt black painted and we’re really impressed by how the bike still looks like being fed through a pair of carburetors even though fuel injection is the bike’s key feature starting last year. The slash-cut exhaust pipes – one on each side – are as beautiful as they are simple, but chromed so that they both distinguish and lighten up the scene.
As we mentioned before, the seat is low and we can’t help noticing how being a one-piece unit completes the overall look of the bike by creating a smooth pass between the gas tank and the stylish rear fender.
The colors available for the 2010 model year (Phantom Black, Phantom Black/New England White) enhance the aggressive look.
"The Speedmaster is equipped with Triumph’s 865cc fuel-injected parallel twin. It is silky smooth in operation, sounds like a vee twin due to its 270-degree camshaft and performs well at any speed, offering plenty of torque. It’s nice to see the fuel injection stills looks like the old carburetors, maintaining that old-school look." – roadrider
"Though the rev limiter asserts itself at 7500 rpm, a few hundred rpm later than the America’s, the engine is otherwise functionally the same as the America’s, with the same exhaust note and cadence. There is good power from about 1500 rpm and, according to Triumph, it’s making 90 percent of its torque by 2750 rpm. At an indicated 60 mph, the tachometer is reading 4000 rpm in fifth." – motorcyclecruiser
"The Triumph Speedmaster is a kind of cruiser variant of the Bonneville 790, with the 2005 onwards Speedmaster getting an 865cc motor for more grunt. It has a low seat height in its favour, but the Triumph Speedmaster’s oddball styling, low power and poor pillion accommodation make it poor value." – MCN
Painted with a simple color scheme, the 2010 Triumph Speedmaster starts at $7,999 and the two-tone paint scheme begins at $8,199. Triumph does not offer two different models, but the color difference is just as good to make a point in such a competitive class.
Considering the unique cruiser look and the modern engineering behind this motorcycle, we can truly refer to the Triumph Speedmaster as being not only a distinctive British middleweight contender, but a very competitive one as well. Still, the great thing about this bike is the cool look achieved despite the parallel-twin engine type which comes as a handicap in these cases.
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 electonic fuel injection with SAI
- Final Drive: X ring chain
- Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
- Gearbox: 5-speed
Performance (masured at cankshaft to 95/1/EC)
- Maximum Power EC: 60bhp @ 6,800 rpm
- Maximum Torque EC: 53 ft.lbs @ 3,300 rpm
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: Tubular steel cradle
- Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
- Front Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy, 5-spoke 18 x 2.5in
- Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy, 5-spoke 15 x 3.5in
- Front Tyre: 110/80 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: Twin 310mm discs, Nissin 2 piston floating calipers
- Rear Brakes: Single 285mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper
- Length: 95.2 in
- Width (Handlebars): 32.7 in
- Height: 45.6 in
- Seat Height: 28.3 in
- Wheelbase: 65.1 in
- Rake/Trail: 33.3 degree / 153mm
- Wet weight: 550 lbs
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.1 US gals
Features & Benefits
- At the heart of the Speedmaster lies a fuel injected, 865cc, air-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin engine with a 270º firing interval. Peak power of 61bhp arrives at 6,800rpm, with maximum torque of 55ft.lbs available at just 3,300rpm.
- The Speedmaster is updated with a new fuel injection system to meet Euro 3 legislation. Cleaner running than a carbureted 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.
- Flat drag bars with high risers deliver a more aggressive riding position.
- The Speedmaster’s seamless, teardrop-shaped tank gives plenty of capacity and looks great with its chromed badges.
- Twin 310mm front discs – gripped by twin-piston calipers lets you haul the Speedmaster up as hard as you want.
- The Speedmaster gunslinger seat supports and ‘cups’ the rider ready to launch at the horizon.