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Triumph America


2012 Triumph Review

Lots to like the British-made cruiser called By Pete Brissette, Jan. 05, Photography by Alfonse Palaima

of cruisers, and the usual suspects to mind: Harley-Davidson, various from Japan’s Big Four, – in fact, nearly every OEM a bike to tap into the lucrative market. Triumph. better for its hooligan-making … roadster Triple or its GS-inspired big trailie . wasn’t a name that much in cruiser circles.

But changed in 2004 with the of the Rocket III . powered by a monstrous cc (140.0 cu in) inline-Triple. The big, power cruiser had cruiser heads spinning. Then in the British bike maker caught the attention of cruiser with the introduction of the Thunderbird and its (1597cc) vertical-Twin, a bike impressed us so much that we it our Cruiser of the Year in 2009 .

before these bruisers onto the scene, Triumph had a model entered in the cruiser

The likeable Triumph America has sat in the lineup since 2002.

The Triumph America is but a blip on the when cruiser riders to talk shop. Even Triumph’s world the America quietly in the background while the Street Triple 675 (and R and other sports bikes the limelight. Admittedly, even we given the America much in the past 10 years.

But a recent ride on a current year America revealed shoppers in the cruiser market overlook this cruiser-ish bike.

Despite being a middleweight, the America has many that make it feel and like a bigger cruiser. of that bigger bike is a very roomy, comfortable layout.

Triumph America: Not Daddy’s Cruiser

In a world of V-Twins, the America’s smooth-running, 865cc vertical-Twin is a unique with cruiser engine If you’re looking for a rumbling, ride – one that causes the bike to shudder – take that the America’s 270-degree interval has endowed the engine a quiet-as-a-mouse character when to most Harleys and many cruisers.

But if you’re more with enjoying the scenery about how many passersby are your thundering exhaust, the gentle Triumph Twin your attention.

The America’s 865cc vertical-Twin is the basic mill found in the Bonneville, but with a 270-degree order rather than order used in the Bonnie. The behind the 270-degree was to give the a little more cruiser-typical and yet the engine is remarkably smooth.

the humility of the America’s engine it is by no ill-suited to motivating the bike’s ready-to-ride weight. The America’s 50 hp at 6500 rpm and respectable 47 ft-lbs at rpm accelerate the English-made cruiser with smooth, predictable across the rev range. And while I the engine could easily an additional cog in its gearbox, the 5-speed nevertheless shifts slickly and is by a light-action clutch.

The first-gen rolled on cruiser-classic wire but the most current issue 12-spoke cast-aluminum wheels project a more muscular Attached to the front wheel is a 310mm brake disc by a Nissin two-piston caliper, a 285mm disc and Nissin caliper slow things the back. The front caliper slows the bike from with crisp, authoritative action.

Applying both calipers to retard the America’s forward left me wishing that cruisers in the market offered the degree of feel and power as the America provides.

With a front tire (130/90 x 16) the doesn’t strike the impression of a cruiser. And the 33.0-degree rake, inches of trail and rangy wheelbase don’t exactly “Snappy steering!” Despite lazy figures the America is but sluggish between turns – the long wheelbase does tight-radius U-turns challenging at

A notably wide, pull-back allows plenty of steering and once set into a corner the is wonderfully stable and tracks throughout the arc of a turn. While the is a cruiser, it doesn’t suffer ultra-restrictive lean angle it will drag a peg, but not as as you might expect.

Carbs on a production-level cruiser? Nope. Keihin carburetor look-a-likes are throttle bodies and an EFI system.

The 41mm Kayaba fork has 5 inches of road-imperfection-gobbling suspension A set of dual coil-over-spring, preload shocks have 3.77 of travel (considerably more almost any Harley) but provide a firm ride over freeway expansion joints and Generally, though, ride is better than average, on surface streets or peeling off the on the interstate.

Triumph America
Triumph America

In his 2002 review of the America, Burns said that he the America wasn’t “trying hard to look like a Ten years later that statement is still valid, but for I can’t quite nail the America’s styling (with the of its engine) strikes me as similar to a cruiser.

Perhaps the America’s seen and inexpensive-looking stamped-steel holding the speedo, or the poorly clutch cable that against the inside of the left pipe, are what remind of budget-saving tactics I’ve time and again on other On the other hand, the judicious use of chrome in all the right places some of the less attractive

The America has generous lean for a cruiser, and its chassis performance for spirited rides on canyon

The America’s ample engine more than adequate force and friendly handling a compelling package. But it’s the roomy and relaxed ergonomics and feel and look that out as this cruiser’s two most qualities. You’ll sit mostly in the large, wide saddle passenger seat is also and the sweeping-arced handlebar makes for a easy reach.

The footpegs are mounted forward enough to complete the relaxed triangle, yet you never feel you’re slouching in the seat a scant 27.1 inches off the

The analog speedo’s prominent is handy, mirrors provide a useful field of view, and the and brake lever have a reach adjustment. The layout of the environment is such that jaunts of 50-plus miles off with minimal effort. A windscreen from the aftermarket optimize comfort during on the SuperSlab.

Finally, the large wide seat, wide and voluminous 5.1-gallon fuel all work to create the sensation aboard a much larger without making the America overly big or cumbersome.

With a MSRP of $8299 ($8599 for colors) the Triumph America is priced to Kawasaki’s Vulcan 900 ($8299 – $8499) or Harley’s SuperLow ($7999 – $8499) and the V 950 ($8490) from Star.

The America hits most of the cruiser notes but also something a little different the usual crowd of Harleys and clones.

But each of those cruisers fit roughly within the mold. The America hits of the right cruiser notes, but its vertical-Twin power source is atypical in this class.

If looking for something a little without straying too far from the cruiser path, make to give the America a first, and second look.

Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America
Triumph America


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