As a true fan and long time owner of the Triumph Bonneville T100, it is hard for me to wrap my head around any other version of this bike. It’s perfect just the way it is. The body positioning is just forward enough to feel like you are connected to the bike but not so forward that it is uncomfortable on a long ride. The mid controls encourage a solid grip on the tank with your knees which helps maneuverability on technical roads . It all makes sense to me and has become a body position I am so familiar with that anything else just feels odd. When Triumph invited us to take a ride on their all new Triumph Bonneville Speedmasters I will honestly say that I had no idea what the model was all about.
As we arrived in sunny Carlsbad, California on a particularly beautiful January day I was greeted by a fleet of gassed up bikes ready to ride. Upon first glance I was pleased to see what it wasn’t such a far departure from the classic Bonneville styling. Sitting on the bike the first thing I noticed was the swept back beach style bars which positioned you more upright and felt quite comfortable. Once I put my feet on the forward controls I realized how different of a ride this was going to be from my old T100.
A wise person once said that a good motorcyclist can master any type of motorcycle. While I have never been much a cruiser type of rider, I found myself excited for the challenge of mastering a new riding position. Forward controls and beach bars are quite a stretch from the more café style riding position I am used to. There was a new Thruxton R and Street Scrambler in the fleet as well and I kept side-eyeing them throughout the day. But that would have been the easy way out. I wanted to get in the spirit of the cruiser!
The Speedmaster lived up to its name on the beautiful open roads and big sweeping turns of San Diego county. I found the comforts of a cruiser set-up changed my hold demeanor as a rider. Rather than pushing myself in to my usual thrill-seeker style of riding, I allowed myself to sit back and take in the gorgeous scenery and really relax. That’s what cruising is all about isn’t it? That was until we found ourselves is some super tight more technical mountain roads leading up to Palomar Mountain. The competitive side of me wanted see how smooth yet fast I could take the tight turns on the cruiser and still feel comfortable. While the fundamentals are the same, doing tight turns on a cruiser bike can feel very different then on a more aggressively positioned bike. It took a while to master but by the end of the day it felt like second nature. A few drag marks on the foot pegs never hurt anyone.
After an absolutely gorgeous 150 mile route from Carlsbad, up to Palomar Mountain and over in to Julian for some pie, we pulled back on to the beach. I felt energized after getting to spend some time on such a fun bike and stepping a little outside of my norm as a rider. A Triumph motorcycle has been responsible for some of the most thrilling moments of my life. The Speedmaster offered a new kind of thrill for me and proved to be a very versatile bike that can accompany you on any type of ride you want to have. I’m looking forward to the next cruise!
To read more about the Triumph Speedmaster click HERE
To find a dealer near you click HERE
And now on to the important stuff...SNACKS