cruiser motorcycles

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750: A Detailed Comparison

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750: A Detailed Comparison

Choosing between a Triumph and a Honda motorcycle can be tough because the former brand offers the best blend of modern aesthetics and performance, and the latter is renowned for impeccable reliability. When it comes to cruisers, both Triumph and Honda have their unique taste and sense of styling.

Triumph is a well-established motorcycle brand, distinguished for its modern-retro blend. One such example of a perfect intermediate-level Triumph bike, in the retro-modern cruiser category, is the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865. There are several retro elements on this bike which also carries the unique Triumph persona in its construction.

On the contrary, the Honda Shadow Phantom has truly become a game changer in the entry-level cruiser market with its redesigned 2024 look. It would be true to say that this bike has come to life again in 2024 with its new style and aesthetics that can attract any rider having even a little sense of motorcycling.

1. Specs Comparison: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

Specs Comparison: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750
Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Honda Shadow Phantom 750
General Info
Triumph Maker Honda
Bonneville Speedmaster Model Shadow Phantom
2017 Model Year 2024
Cruiser Motorcycle Type Cruiser
2005 (865 cc Model) Introduced in (Year) 2010
Discontinued in 2017 (865 cc Model) Current Production Status Still Being Produced
Jet Black
Matt Graphite
Colors Deep Pearl Gray
Orange Metallic
$8,400 Original Base MSRP Non-ABS: $8,399
ABS: $8,699
$6,000-7,000 Used Bike Price $4,000-7,000
865 cc Displacement 745 cc
Four-Stroke; Inline Twin/Parallel-Twin Engine with 270° Firing Interval Engine Type 52° V-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
Two No. of Cylinders Two
Air-Cooled Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
DOHC; Four Valves Per Cylinder Valve Train SOHC; Three Valves Per Cylinder
9.2:1 Compression Ratio 9.6:1
68 mm Stroke 76 mm
90 mm Bore 79 mm
Multipoint Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection with SAI (2008 Onwards) Fuel Delivery System Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
Digital Transistorized Ignition Digital 3-D Mapping
Electric Starter Electric
Stainless Steel Twin-Walled Headers, Twin Chromed Silencers Exhaust System Separate Blacked-Out Short Dual Exhaust Pipes
61 hp / 44.9 kW at 6,800 rpm Peak Horsepower 44.6 hp
72 Nm / 53 lb-ft at 3,300 rpm Peak Torque 64.94 Nm / 47.9 lb-ft
5.6 sec Acceleration (0-60 mph) N/A
55 mpg Fuel Mileage 56 mpg
Five-Speed Gearbox Five-Speed; Wide-Ratio
X-Ring Chain Drive Final Drive Shaft Drive
Wet, Multi-Plate, Cable Operated Clutch Standard; Wet Multi-Plate Clutch
Tubular Steel Cradle Frame Frame Steel Tube, Double Cradle Frame
310 mm Single-Disc Brake with Nissin Twin-Piston Floating Calipers Front 296 mm Single-Disc Brake with Twin-Piston Caliper
285 mm Single-Disc Brake with Nissin Dual-Piston Floating Caliper Rear 276 mm Single Disc Brake
No ABS Optional
41 mm Kayaba Front Forks Front 41 mm Front Fork
No Adjustability (Front) No
120 mm / 4.7 in Wheel Travel (Front) 129.54 mm / 5.1 in
KYB Chromed Spring Twin Rear Shocks Rear Dual Rear Shock Absorbers
Spring Preload Adjustable Adjustability (Rear) Five-Position Spring-Preload Adjustable
96 mm / 3.8 in Wheel Travel (Rear) 88.9 mm / 3.5 in
Wheels & Tires
Cast Aluminum Alloy Five-Spoke 19 x 2.5 in Wheel Front Wheel 17-inch Wire-Spoked Wheel
Cast Aluminum Alloy Five-Spoke 15 x 4.0 in Wheel Rear Wheel 15-inch Wire-Spoked Wheel
100/90-19 Front Tire 120/90-17
170/80 B15 Rear Tire 160/80-15
Dimensions & Measurements
250 kg / 550 lbs Curb Weight 246.3 kg / 543 lbs
509.3 lbs / 231 Kg Dry Weight N/A
27.2 in / 690 mm Seat Height 25.6 in / 650.24 mm
N/A Ground Clearance 127 mm / 5 in
63 in / 1,600 mm Wheelbase 64.6 in / 1640.84 mm
5.2 gal Fuel Tank Capacity 3.9 gal
6.7 in / 170.4 mm Trail 6.3 in
33.8° Rake 34°
93.1 in / 2,367 mm Length 93 in / 2362.2 mm
32.7 in / 830 mm Width 32.6 in / 828 mm
46.1 in / 1,170 mm Height 42.1 in / 1069.34 mm

2. Design & Aesthetics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

2.1 Design & Aesthetics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865

Design & Aesthetics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865
Photo credit:

What makes the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 easily identifiable in the cruiser category is its unconventional inline-twin engine. The parallel-twin is a widely installed engine in adventure touring, naked, and sports bikes for various reasons, mainly due to its high power-to-weight ratio. However, cruisers are most commonly referred to as V-Twin bikes thanks to Harley Davidson and other notable companies. Apart from its distinguished engine, the Bonneville Speedmaster 865 boasts both retro and trendy looks with its uniquely built and assembled engine and machinery in a typical Triumph style and the matte black and dull chrome finish.

Towards the front, there is a long-stroke skinny front fork, making the Speedmaster 865 look taller. The bobber-style front fender is also a small piece of equipment, ensuring a sporty cruiser stance. As you move towards the mid-section, there is a sharp curve, ensuring a low seat height which is also made possible by using a skinnier single-piece two-up saddle. As you move further back, the passenger sits relatively higher due to the high-mounted chopped and light rear fender.

Regardless of its distinguished elements, it is still a notable cruiser that is low to the ground, long, and heavy. The headlamp attached comes in a black round-shape cover and is sufficiently extended outwards so as not to look oversized. There are two round-dial gauges on this bike, one is installed on the triple clamp and the other is mounted to the gas tank along with the other indicators and fuel cap.

Being fitted with an inline-twin engine, the Triumph Speedmaster 865 boasts a balanced look with two separate extended exhaust pipes with a slash-cut tail design on both sides. This bike also features nice-looking rough-style tires with treads on them wrapped around black painted, star-shaped, five-spoke wheels.

Even after the fuel injection system was added to the Speedmaster 865, the company decided to continue using the fake carburetors and air cleaners on either side of this bike to maintain its retro look. Meanwhile, the fuel injector system was installed below the fuel tank. This is the reason why the gas tank was modified to make it flat and wide.

2.2 Design & Aesthetics: Honda Shadow Phantom 750

Design & Aesthetics: Honda Shadow Phantom 750
Photo credit: @Ultimate Motorcycling

Introduced in 2010, the Shadow Phantom has been in the motorcycling scene for more than 13 years now with several upgrades over time. This bike has remained one of the simplest base-level cruisers in the market, best-suited for beginners and city traveling. However, the makeover this bike received in 2024, including the paint job, and fit & finish, has completely transformed the look and persona of this bike. The stylish dual-tone paint jobs, graphics, and accents have made it more beautiful than ever.

The Honda Shadow Phantom is one of the most planted bikes in the market with a remarkably low seat height. This bike is long and heavy too, but the weight factor vanishes as you start riding it. This bike has a neat-looking engine and parts that are nicely fitted with each other to ensure a compact look. The whole bike has received a matte black finish, including the stylish separate dual exhaust pipes, providing a trendy vibe. There are bobber-style, lightweight, and chopped front and rear fenders and a mid-size round headlamp enclosed in a blacked-out cover.

The Shadow Phantom has also received a smooth and sleek teardrop-shaped gas tank with gauges mounted on top of it. The most impressive part about the 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom is its stylish and neatly stitched solo rider seat.

3. Engine & Performance: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

3.1 Engine & Performance: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865

As promised by the top British motorcycle manufacturer, Triumph yet again provided another high-quality two-wheel machine with great performance capabilities, called the Bonneville Speedmaster 865. This bike was initially a 790 cc bike and was modified to an 865 cc in 2017. Later in 2017, the Bonneville Speedmaster’s engine size was increased to 1,200 cc to make it more exciting and to make it suitable for a vast number of riders with diverse riding skills. However, due to being produced for almost 12 years, the Speedmaster 865 is still a highly preferred choice among riders looking for a used cruiser with top-notch quality.

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865’s inline-twin engine exhibits a smooth and admirable performance. The midsize-displacement engine makes the bike run smoothly with a quick throttle response. The 865 cc engine delivers a dynamic peak power of 61 hp at 6,800 rpm and a decent torque of 72 Nm at 3,300 rpm. Above all, the exhaust note produced by the inline-twin engine is also quite soulful. With such power figures, the Speedmaster 865 can confidently touch the top speed of 110 mph.

Another prominent feature of the Speedmaster 865 is its smooth clutch operation and gear shifting. This bike has a multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection system and also comes with the chain final drive to deliver power to the rear wheel. The 865 cc engine may sound small on a cruiser bike, but this bike can happily cruise at 85 mph without a problem. The added flexibility is due to the unconventional parallel-twin engine in a cruiser which brings a more fun element to the ride.

3.2 Engine & Performance: Honda Shadow Phantom 750

The 745 cc 52° V-Twin engine installed on this bike is familiar equipment to the motorcycling world. Honda has been using the same engine platform for a very long time in the Shadow 750 class. This mid-size V-Twin engine is widely known for its reliability, simplicity, and smoothness. When coupled with the bike like the Honda Shadow Phantom, it seems like the engine was made for it.

Though there is nothing extraordinary about the 745 cc engine and you must not expect a top-end power output from it; however, the smoothness it offers throughout the power band is impressive. The throttle response is also quite smooth and it may not make you feel excited, but it can put a smile on your face if you do not prefer high-speed performance.

The Honda Shadow Phantom 750‘s engine makes a swift horsepower of 44.6 hp and a decent torque of 64.94 Nm. This bike is not designed for quick rides and rapid acceleration as you would expect from a sporty or naked bike with a similar engine size. Being a base-level cruiser, it is a perfect entry-level bike for light cruising and city traveling. Undoubtedly, the Shadow Phantom can serve as an ideal partner for daily commuting. If you want more speed and grunt, you should probably go for the Honda Rebel as it is lighter and sportier than the Shadow Phantom and has a better power-to-weight ratio.

The Shadow Phantom can touch a top speed of around 110 mph, but it is designed to be ridden at a 65 mph constant pace on highways and open roads. Being a simple low-powered bike with a programmed fuel injection system, this bike can provide a satisfying fuel mileage of 56 mpg.

4. Comfort & Ergonomics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

4.1 Comfort & Ergonomics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865

Comfort & Ergonomics: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865
Photo credit: @Motorcycle News

Apart from its spectacular performance and ride quality, the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 offers a comfortable riding position that suits most riders. The seat height is 27.2 inches which is not ideal in the cruiser segment but the distance between the seat position and the forward foot controls guarantees a commodious legroom, allowing riders to comfortably stretch their legs while riding. Your knees will fall below the hip level while riding the Speedmaster 865 if you are an average-sized person.

Despite being a cruiser, the Triumph Speedmaster 865 boasts a modern-style sporty look thanks to more or less flat handlebars with a little pulled-back angle, resting on top of small risers. A short rider must lean forward to a certain extent to grab the bars. However, if you have a good height, you can maintain a straight-back posture while riding the Speedmaster 865. The overall ergonomics of this bike are comfortable for relaxed cruising and city traveling.

4.2 Comfort & Ergonomics: Honda Shadow Phantom 750

Comfort & Ergonomics: Honda Shadow Phantom 750
Photo credit: @Motorcyclist Online

One of the lowest bikes in the modern-day cruiser segment, the bobber-style Shadow Phantom is light and a comfortable bike. This bike features a seat height of only 25.6 inches and has satisfactorily forward-mounted foot controls. The low seat height is one of the biggest advantages of this bike. However, if you are a taller rider with a bigger inseam, you may find this seat and foot control setup uneasy. The extremely low seat placement results in a small vertical height between the seat and footpegs due to which the rider’s knees are positioned a little above the hip level. This can be the only loophole in the Shadow Phantom’s ergonomics for some riders. Otherwise, it is a pretty comfortable bike and suitable for both shorter and taller riders alike.

The handlebars on the 2024 Shadow Phantom 750 are a bit far from the reach of riders compared to the 2023 model because previously, the bars were adequately swept back. Nonetheless, the bars still ensure an upright back posture.

5. Ride Quality & Handling: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

5.1 Ride Quality & Handling: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 is a cruiser-style bike and is not designed for superb flickability and sweet handling. However, the ride quality this bike offers will not disappoint you. Being an established and one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers, Triumph always ensures supreme quality in its motorbikes. The linear performance is commendable with the stock suspension and wheel setup.

The non-adjustable front and small wheel travel rear suspensions are quite basic but capable enough to make the ride comfortable on paved roads. However, as soon as you shift to a bumpy road or face imperfections, the ride becomes highly uncomfortable and your back can start to hurt.

5.2 Ride Quality & Handling: Honda Shadow Phantom 750

The Honda Shadow Phantom is a smooth-running cruiser and it offers a plush experience while riding on paved roads. Having a lower-to-the-ground build with one of the lowest seat heights in the category, this bike balances quite remarkably. It stays stable throughout the ride even while turning corners.

The Shadow Phantom also offers light steering and excellent maneuverability due to being lightweight. This bike makes slow-speed turns quite easier and it does not shy away from entering tight corners with ease. However, the only problem you will find while leaning this bike to turn a tight corner is its low ground clearance. The footpegs do not approve of extra lean angle as they start to scrape. Overall, the Honda Shadow Phantom 750 is the perfect first bike to boost your confidence and become a better rider.

6. Pros & Cons: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

6.1 Pros & Cons: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Pros Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Cons
Precise handling No ABS
Reliable stopping power Non-adjustable front suspension
Quick throttle response Stiffer rear suspension
Unconventional parallel-twin cruiser Uncomfortable pillion seat
Stylish design Not ideal for two-up riding
Admirable linear performance Air-cooled engine technology
Neutral handling Accessories and aftermarket parts are difficult to find
Balanced look
Large fuel tank size
Perfect built quality

6.2 Pros & Cons: Honda Shadow Phantom 750

Honda Shadow Phantom 750 Pros Honda Shadow Phantom 750 Cons
Planted design Low ground clearance
Easy to ride and maneuver Low cornering clearance
Lightweight Small leaning angle
Low seat height Footpegs start to scrape when turning tight corners
Suitable for riders of all sizes Base-level performance
Stylish bobber look Low fuel tank capacity
Appealing paint job options Base-level suspensions
ABS is available as an option Not an ideal bike for two-up riding
Extremely reliable
Neutral handling
Easy to turn corners
Better slow-speed handling
Good fuel mileage
Perfect for beginners

7. Final Verdict: Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 Vs Honda Shadow Phantom 750

Deciding which bike is better, the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 865 or the Honda Shadow Phantom 750 is tough. Both these bikes are equally admirable and performance-wise smooth and neutral. There are only a few drawbacks both these bikes have but they are not as major to discard one from the list. The Triumph Speedmaster 865 is a discontinued model after being replaced by the 1,200 cc variant. However, you can still find a 2017 model in perfect condition. On the other side, the Shadow Phantom 750 is still being produced successfully and is expected to continue for more years to come. Both these bikes are great beginner bikes.

Look-wise, the 2024 Shadow Phantom 750 is more attractive if you prefer the bobber styling on a cruiser. Though there is no question raised against the Triumph Speedmaster 865’s reliability, still there is no match with the reliability offered by Honda.

Also, if you want to stick to the classic cruiser vibe and sound, the Honda Shadow Phantom comes with the tested 745 cc V-Twin engine technology, unlike the unconventional Triumph Speedmaster 865 that comes with a parallel twin.

8. Customization Options and Motorcycle Storage Solutions

There is no way you can think of touring on a motorcycle or going long miles without carrying adequate necessary stuff. To help you with this, Viking Bags, a leading motorcycle luggage bag manufacturer, provides you with dozens of unique luggage options to fit your motorcycle and suit your needs. If you ride either the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster or the Honda Shadow 750 Phantom, we have specially made saddlebags for both these bikes available at the online store. On top of that, the company offers a range of other luggage options for cruisers, including Tank Bags, Backpacks, Handlebar Bags, Windshield Bags, Sissy Bar Bags, and much more. Viking Bags also has backrests available for both Triumph and Honda bikes to make your touring experience more plush.

Featured Products

Related Readings

Reading next

Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Vs Honda VTX 1300R
Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Vs Honda VTX 1300R

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.