Looking to give the U.S.-styled performance cruisers a run for their money, Triumph offers the Speedmaster for 2015 as an entry-level ride in the big-bike cruiser field. The bike, though, has plenty of snappy acceleration and handling to keep experienced riders happy. With a rider triangle that let’s you adopt that easy-cruising posture, the Speedmaster is comfortable for your trip, but your passenger may have a different experience. A quick peruse through the accessories catalog maybe be in order if you plan to take a friend.

(Continue reading for my review of the 2015 Triumph Speedmaster.}

  • 2015 Triumph Speedmaster
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Air-cooled, parallel-twin, 270º firing interval
  • Displacement:
    865 L
  • Price:
    8399
  • Price:

Design

2015 Triumph Speedmaster High Resolution Exterior
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A low 27.2-inch seat height and 63-inch wheelbase give the Speedmaster that long, low profile that goes along with the custom look afforded by the fat rear tire, skinny front tire, and blacked-out theme. Tank-mounted instrumentation provides indicator lights that are hard to see in the daylight and a speedometer that is hard to read while underway with its small numbers and moderate vibration. With all the blacked-out components up front, including handlebars, foot controls and headlight surround, the chromed instrument cluster seems out of place.

Chassis

2015 Triumph Speedmaster Exterior
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Triumph kept to its classic British style for the Speedmaster, albeit with a decidedly custom flavor. Frame design is of the traditional steel cradle construction, and the engine serves as a critical component in the frame’s rigidity, which is typical of the ’stressed-engine’ design. Steering-head geometry is set at a remarkable 33.8 degrees, making the bike look long and low, and furthering the custom hot-rod look Triumph was going for. In spite of this generous rake on the front end, the 6.7-inch trail keeps the steering manageable for greenhorns and experienced riders alike, as well as help the bike track nicely at highway speeds. KYB suspension components with 4.7 inches of travel up front and 3.8 inches in the rear support the rig.

To help keep your kidneys from taking a beating when tackling poorly maintained roads, the rear shocks come with an adjustable preload to allow for changes in passenger and cargo weight. Cut-down fenders afford a view of the wheels and the single 310 mm front and 285 mm rear brake discs. Braking isn’t as spot-on as the Thunderbird Storm or LT; but it’s a smaller, lighter bike, so it is adequate. If it were a sport bike, I’d have a different opinion. A 170-series fat rear tire and skinny front tire ride on blacked out, cast five-spoke rims. The front and rear rims are 19 inches and 15 inches in diameter, respectively; this asymmetrical arrangement falls right into the custom bracket.

Drivetrain

2015 Triumph Speedmaster High Resolution Exterior
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The powerplant strikes a balance between the looks of the iconic parallel-twin engine from the 1950s and the performance afforded by modern engineering. It pushes out a respectable 62 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, and the torque maxes out at 53 pound-feet at 3,300 rpm, which gives the rider plenty of roll-on for passing and plenty of grunt for pulling holeshots from the light. Triumph blacked the engine out and machined the cooling fin edges, drawing the eye to the air-cooled, 865 cc centerpiece.

Just fire this baby up to hear evidence of the 270-degree crankshaft that trades the ’twingle’ sound of the old ’Trumpets’ for something with a sexier lope and less vibration. Dual overhead cams replace the old pushrod-style valvetrain, and the electronic fuel injection is cleverly hidden within throttle bodies that look like the carburetors that fed the previous engines. The engine is smooth under fire — not as snappy as its bigger brethren the Thunderbird Storm, the Speedmaster does have plenty of get-up-and-go and it nails the holeshots better.

Pricing

2015 Triumph Speedmaster High Resolution Exterior
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MSRP on the Speedmaster is $8,399 for Jet Black or $8,599 for Matt Graphite. Triumph gives you a two-year unlimited mileage warranty with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty on replacement parts.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "I like the looks of this bike and I love that they stuffed some new guts into the skin of the iconic ’Trumpet" engine. One can definitely regard this as a direct competitor to the Harley Sportster 883 models in both displacement and price range. Definitely a good entry-level bike for someone interested in that classic British look."

She Said

"It’s not a bad price for a cruiser, and should be fun to ride on winding roads as it corners quite nicely. It could use a little wind protection, though, so an optional windshield might be a good idea before you hit the highway. If you want a little beefier ride, check out the Thunderbird Storm or LT with a 1699 cc engine.

Specifications

Drivetrain:
Engine type: Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin, 270-degree firing interval
Displacement: 865 cc
Bore: 90 mm
Stroke: 68 mm
Max power: 62 horsepower at 6,800 rpm
Max torque: 53 pound-feet at 3,300 rpm
Fuel system: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI
Exhaust: Stainless steel twin-walled headers, twin chromed silencers
Final drive: X-Ring-Chain
Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate
Gearbox: five-Speed
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Wheels: Cast aluminium alloy, five-spoke 19 x 2.5 inches
Rear Wheels: Cast aluminium, alloy five-spoke 15 x 4 inches
Front Tires: 100/90-19
Rear Tires: 170/80 B15
Front Suspension: Kayaba 41 mm forks with 4.7 inches travel
Rear Suspension: KYB chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload, 3.8 inches rear wheel travel
Rake: 33.8 degrees
Trail: 6.7 inches
Brakes front: Single 310 mm disc, Nissin two-piston floating calipers
Brakes rear: Single 285 mm disc, Nissin two-piston floating caliper
Dimensions:
Length: 93.2 inches
Width at handlebars: 35 inches
Height without mirror: 46.1 inches
Seat height: 27.2 inches
Wheelbase: 63 inches
Details:
Instrument display and functions: Analogue speedometer and tachometer with odometer, clock and trip information.
Tank capacity: 5.1 Gallon
Oil capacity: 1.2 Gallons
Wet weight: 551 pounds
Dry weight: 509 pounds
Fuel Consumption: city: 57.3 mpg - at 56 mph: 71.1 mpg - at 75 mph: 55.5 mpg
Service Interval: 6,000 miles
Warranty: Two-year unlimited mileage warranty, 12-month unlimited mileage warranty on replacement parts.
Color Options: Jet Black, Matt Graphite
Price: Jet Black - $8,399, Matt Graphite - $8,599
What do you think?
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