Triumph has revived its monster Rocket 3 power cruiser with two all-new, 2458cc, versions which will go on sale by the end of the year.
Having announced a premium new Rocket 3 TFC (Triumph Factory Custom) bike back in May, the announcement of the ‘standard’ models is no major surprise, however Triumph have not only introduced one new Rocket 3 but two, the R and the GT for 2020.
The Rocket 3 R is a the muscular, streetfighter styled variant while the GT takes a step towards the traditional cruiser style with a lower seat height, adjustable feet forward footpegs and a slightly different handlebar position.
At the heart of the new Rocket 3 (as opposed to the old Rocket III) is a 2458cc three cylinder motor (the largest mass production motorcycle engine in the world), pumping out 165bhp (the highest output of any production Triumph motorcycle) and 221Nm of torque (more than any other mass produced motorbike). While based upon the old, 2.3 litre Rocket III powerplant, the new engine features new crankcases, balance shafts and a dry sump lubrication system, which contributes to an 18kg weight saving in the engine alone. The old Rocket III’s clunky five speed ‘box has been swapped for a helically cut six-speeder which promises to offer a better action and the strength to cope with the massive torque and power from the engine.
The entire motorcycle, while still no lightweight, weighs 291kg (294kg for the GT). That’s 40kg less than the old Rocket.
Much of that also goes down to the all-new aluminium frame on the latest generation Rockets. Showa provide the suspension, with high spec 47mm upside down forks up front and a fully-adjustable rear monoshock with a piggyback reservoir. Brembo Stylema calipers grip 320mm discs to provide the stopping power, with a new design said to increase air flow around the brakes for excellent cooling performance. British company Avon has provided the tyres for the new Rocket 3s, with the rear running a chunky 240 section version of their Cobra Chrome rubber, which has been developed especially for the big Triumph.
Although not a big selling sector, the lucrative power cruiser market has a number of breathtaking competitors in it, including Ducati’s Diavel range and a number of big cc models from Harley-Davidson and Indian. No prices have been announced yet for the new Rocket 3s, however we’re expecting them to be the thick end of £20,000 when they go on sale in December. That’s a big wedge of money, but the spec sheet of the new models suggest that the new Triumph will be able to make its mark against its high-end rivals.
Triumph has retained the Rocket’s trademark twin bug eyed headlights, albeit updated with LED rings, and the hydroformed triple exhaust headers look like a real work of art which, according to Triumph, will contribute to a signature three cylinder growl. Electronic aids and riding modes are almost too many to mention, but include IMU controlled cornering ABS, traction control, four riding modes, hill start, cruise control and keyless ignition. There are also new, second generation, TFT instruments, and USB charging sockets on both models. The GT version features heated handlebar grips (an optional extra on the R) while the options list includes the Triumph Shift Assist system for clutchless gear changes, sat-nav, tyre pressure monitors and an integrated GoPro control system.
With hidden pillion pegs and a removable pillion seat, the Rocket 3 has been designed to look good as a solo cruiser or two-up tourer and there are over 50 official accessories which includes 20 litre panniers, tank bag, tail pack and a range of optional handlebars and seats.
|ROCKET 3 R||ROCKET 3 GT|
|Engine Type||Inline three-cylinder, water-cooled, DOHC|
|Bore/Stroke||110.2 mm x 85.9 mm|
|Maximum Power||165 bhp @ 6,000rpm|
|Maximum Torque||221Nm @ 4,000rpm|
|Fuel system||Ride-by-wire, fuel injected|
|Exhaust||Stainless 3-into-1 headers with 3 exit silencer|
|Final drive||Shaft, bevel box|
|Frame||Full aluminium frame|
|Instruments||TFT multi-functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and rider modes (Rain/Road/Sport/Rider-configurable) –
Triumph TFT Connectivity System can be added with accessory fitted Bluetooth module
|Swingarm||Single-sided, cast aluminium|
|Front Wheel||17 x 3.5in cast aluminium|
|Rear Wheel||16 x 7.5in cast aluminium|
|Front Tyre||150/80 R17 V|
|Rear Tyre||240/50 R16 V|
|Front Suspension||Showa 47mm upside-down 1+1 cartridge front forks, compression and rebound adjuster. 120mm travel|
|Rear Suspension||Fully adjustable Showa piggyback reservoir RSU with remote hydraulic preload adjuster, 107mm rear wheel travel.|
|Front Brake||Dual 320mm discs, Brembo M4.30 Stylema® 4-piston radial monobloc calipers,
|Rear Brake||Single 300mm disc, Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc caliper, Cornering ABS|
|Dry Weight||291 kg||294 kg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||18 litres|