Friendly. That’s probably not the first word that Triumph would use to describe its low-slung, 1,200cc Bonneville Speedmaster, but let me explain.
There are some motorcycles that you ride that take a long time to get to know. They have quirks or idiosyncrasies to which one must adjust.
The Speedmaster, on the other hand, is the antithesis of that concept. Within 5-minutes of leaving our hotel in Carlsbad, California the Speedmaster felt completely familiar and intuitive.
It was a maneuverable and fun partner in urban riding, smooth and comfortable on the highway, and dare I say nimble and easy to ride in the twisties.
It is much closer to a standard motorcycle in function than a typical cruiser.
Are you ready for another flavor of Triumph Bonneville? We hope so, because the British marque is teasing a new model: the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster.
Set to debut on October 3rd, Triumph’s social media channels are boasting that the new Speedmaster will have “classic custom style” and “class leading capability” – along with “British attitude” which either means a stiff upper lip, or passive-aggressive social graces…we can’t be sure.
In seriousness though, we can assume from the name and attributes that the new Speadmaster will be getting the same liquid-cooled upgrades that we have seen come to the Bonneville line in past few model years, following in the footsteps of the Thruxton and Bobber.
If you own a Triumph Bonneville T120, and have heated grips, this recall from Triumph Motorcycles America should be on your radar.
The British marque is recalling 1,390 units from the 2016 and 2017 model years because the heated grips might expand, which can then cause the throttle to stick open.
Obviously, being unable to close the throttle can create a serious safety issue, so it is not surprising to see the motorcycles recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
With the salt conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats finally improving, land-speed racers can once again flock to the Utah locale for their high-speed pursuits.
One such effort will be the folks at Triumph Motorcycles, who are resuming their bid to be the fastest motorcycle on earth, with their now-named Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner project.
The mark they must beat is 376.363 mph, and Triumph hopes that they can be the first two-wheeler to break the 400 mph barrier. To help them in that effort, they have enlisted road racer and daredevil Guy Martin to aid their cause, picking up where their LSR project stalled in 2015.
Racing seems set to return finally to the Bonneville Salt Flats this year, as the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) has found the conditions favorable to run its Speed Week event next month (above is a photo taken of the salt flats, just two weeks ago).
This is good news for land-speed racers, as racing at Bonneville has seen a two-year hiatus because of deteriorating salt conditions in 2014 and 2015.
Now, the SCTA says that it sees the Bonneville Salt Flats as being suitable for three courses – an 8-mile “long course”, 5-mile “short course”, and a 3-mile “rookie course” – and has begun prepping the salt for its Speed Week event next month.
That headline is a bit of a misnomer, since the new liquid-cooled Triumph Bonneville has been “spied” for some time now in the media.
Triumph is at least capable of admitting that its hipster machine is getting an update now, releasing this teaser video that hints at “something big” coming our way – if liquid-cooling an engine is something big, then we couldn’t agree more.
After being a tentative “go” for racing last week, the 2015 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials has now been canceled because of conditions on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The announcement comes after rains in the Salt Lake City, Utah area put water on the salt flat racing course, and now currently half an inch of water sits on what the BMST calls its “Mountain Course” area.
Racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats has been a tumultuous affair for 2015, with the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) forced to cancel its Speed Week event for the second year in a row, just to see the AMA now proclaim its Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials event a tentative “go” barring more weather in the Salt Lake City area.
One of the teams we hoped to see competing on the salt flats was Triumph, with its Triumph Rocket III Streamliner and Guy Martin at its helm. With Guy Martin’s savage crash at the Ulster GP leaving the Lincolnshire-man with a broken back, sternum, and ribs, Triumph has had to re-think its 2015 land-speed record program.
As such, Triumph is calling this year a wash, and will return to the salt flats in 2016, where hopefully conditions, and more so fate, will allow the team to race towards its 400 mph goal.
UPDATE: The 2015 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials has now been canceled, due to salt conditions.
The conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats are worrying, to say the very least. Each year the conditions of the salt flats are worse and worse, and 2015 marks the second year in a row that Speed Week has been cancelled by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) because of the conditions.
Last month, when Speed Week was cancelled, there was a lot of doubt cast on the rest of the land-speed record season, but the AMA says that its Speed Trials event has found a suitable course its motorcycle-only land-speed racers.
Set to run August 29th thru September 3rd, as of right now the “AMA Land Speed Grand Championship” that is the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials is a tentative “go” for racing.
Bad news continues from the Bonneville Salt Flats, as the SCTA has officially cancelled its upcoming Speed Week event — an event that was cancelled last year as well.
As we reported earlier, Speed Week was put into serious doubt because of the conditions of the salt flats, which were shown to have a thin salt layer and wet/muddy conditions that made the historic site unsuitable for land speed racing.
Spending Tuesday morning at Bonneville looking for a suitable stretch of salt for a 2.25-mile course, SCTA President/Race Director Bill Lattin & the BNI Chairman Roy Creel deemed the conditions unsafe for a race course, and thus dashed any hopes of the event being salvaged.
Perhaps the only silver-lining to today’s news is that if the salt dries out, future land speed racing events might be possible at Bonneville this year.
Conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats continue to deteriorate with each passing year, and 2015 is no different. Testing for the upcoming Speed Week, put on by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), has been cancelled, and the salt conditions for the August 8th event are questionable, at best.
Readers will remember that last year’s Speed Week was cancelled, after torrential rain flooded the salt flats. This year, the salt layer is so thin that the uneven desert floor is poking through in some spots.
Out surveying the salt flats last week, Russ Eyers from the SCTA told the Salt Lake Tribune that he couldn’t find a 7-mile stretch of land suitable to land speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats, with some portions still underwater and others where the salt is mixed with mud.