Reviews 2012 Triumph America Review

2012 Triumph America Review Hot

2012 Triumph America

2012 Triumph America
Photo © Andrea Wilson

2012 Triumph America Review
2012 Triumph America Review
2012 Triumph America Review

Motorcycle Info

Engine Size
865 cc
550 lbs
Seat Height
Phantom Black, Eclipse Blue/Crystal White

New Triumph America

The folks at Triumph want you to know that the America was designed as a British-style bike with American spirit. As the most junior bike in their line-up, it has a low-scooped seat, slightly forward foot controls and bars that sweep back towards the rider.

An air-cooled 865cc parallel twin engine powers this mid-sized cruiser. The bike has lots of chrome, including a chromed single headlight and chromed engine covers. It’s got a twin reverse cone pipe exhaust, machined cast wheels and 170 section high wall tires.

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2012 Triumph America Review
2012 Triumph America Review
2012 Triumph America Review

Editor reviews


2012 Triumph America Reviewed by Jan Plessner   

#1 Reviewer   -   View all my reviews    Written: July 11, 2012 | Last updated: July 24, 2012
Overall rating 
Rider Comfort 
Power Feel 
Handling & Shifting 
Features & Controls 
Confidence Inspiring 

Pros & Cons

1. Pulls strong through all gears
2. Torque monster, especially in 1st & 2nd
3. Solid at high speed
1. Tank-mounted lights difficult to see
2. Difficulty finding neutral

2012 Triumph America Satisfies the Need for Speed

The Triumph America uses a traditional British parallel twin. It comes stock with a low seat and an even lower accessory gel seat may be purchased to bring it down another inch. For some riders, you just can't offer too many "low" choices.

All that chrome looks great, but this bike is far from just a looker. This bike has muscle and it can move! It's relatively light and that is much appreciated by smaller and lighter riders.

All this power, comfort and fun for under $8,600, if you pick the two-tone look over the Phantom black. The Triumph America is a solid package. With a few bolt on bags and a windshield (if you must), and you've got yourself a motorcycle that is quite capable of a multiple-day or cross-country adventure. The Triumph America comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, so relax and go ride.

Rating Details

Rider Comfort

The 2012 Triumph America has a very comfortable and low seat. At just 27.1 inches, it's easy for a smaller person to plant both feet and move the bike around while seated. I am 5'3" and the balls of my feet are easily on the ground when I am relaxed. I can plant the whole foot if I stretch a little bit.

Additionally, the seat is shaped in a way that keeps you from sliding backwards. You don't have to work at staying in the cockpit. I expected a lot more wind in the face, but I didn't even notice the wind until I was up to speed with the freeway speeders.

Power Feel & Engine

I like how the bike sounds, although I was a little disappointed that my 865cc engine was completely stifled by a neighboring Harley-Davidson that rolled up and stopped a couple car lengths away. This baby has a stated 60hp and tons of torque. You can feel this power in every gear. It never goes away.

Handling & Shifting

This bike is quite agile and handles extremely well. I felt very comfortable during tight turning maneuvers at slow speeds. The bike feels like it has a low center of gravity.

The clutch is adjustable with four different settings. This helps bring the lever in for smaller paws. I tried all four settings and preferred the one for smaller hands. The drivetrain is smooth and the bike shifts up and down effortlessly. I never experienced a missed shift, but I did have a little trouble nudging it into neutral after I had stopped at some of the busier intersections in town.

Features & Controls

Combine the 5.1-gallon gas tank along with a hearty mpg average and you've got the opportunity to cover some serious distance between fill-ups. The Triumph America has a simple analogue speedometer with trip information and it is easy to read at speed.

Kayaba suspension front and rear keep the bike planted through the curves and over the bumps. There is no tachometer. I would have liked one to see where my rpms were. My biggest pet peeve is that the tank-mounted indicator lights (blinker, neutral, low oil and high beam) are very hard to read in the sunlight.


It may take your eyes a minute to adjust, but once you do you'll appreciate top-notch paint and a high level of attention to detail on this cruiser. I love the chrome and I love the two-tone paint scheme, too. With a model name like America and a two-tone blue and white design, all this bike needs is a rider with a red jacket or lid.

Confidence Inspiring

Overall, the 2012 Triumph America does inspire confidence, however, this bike has a lot of grunt down low. If you are a first-time rider and intimidated by a lot of low-end torque, this may be a great second or forever bike. With adequate power pulling all the way through the gears, experienced motorcyclists should not get bored. This bike packs a punch.


You are going to save a bundle of cash when you trade in your keys to the family SUV for this daily commuter. It averages 48 mpg in the city and 59 on the highway. If you relax your throttle hand a bit, you may be able to wander up to 250 miles between fuel stops.

I think that's a respectable range for such a small yet powerful cruiser. Overall, I think the price for this bike is a good value. It's not just an around town bike. It's not just touring bike. It's not just a bike night bike. It's everything and anything you want to do with it. Add a couple of accessories and go!

2012 Triumph America Options

There are a number of options available so you can personalize the bike to better suit your needs. Twin 18-liter leather saddlebags will hold your gear. An auxiliary lamp kit up front will help you stand out and see the road. Chrome rider footboards, a passenger sissy bar, highway pegs and a rear luggage rack are also available.

There is even an accessory seat that is a full inch lower than the standard stock seat for those who want it as low as it can go (26.1”). This lower seat features an integral gel comfort pad that is especially nice for long-distance touring.

And when you compare this model to Americas of years past, Triumph talks about improved handling and an improved ride. I guess we will just have to hear from past and current Triumph America owners to let us in on how they like the newest model.
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