123kW Triumph 3 Rocket blasts into SA
The Triumph Rocket 3 has arrived in SA with a big trick up its sleeve: it’s powered by the world’s largest production motorcycle engine.
The Rocket 3 shook up the motorcycle cruiser market when it was first launched in 2004 with a 2,300cc engine, and for 2020 this super-cruiser gets a growth spurt to 2,500cc.
The triple-cylinder lump delivers 221Nm to give it the highest torque of any bike engine, along with 123kW of power, to provide what Triumph describes as supercar-matching acceleration. The big engine perches in a motorcycle that’s shed more than 40kg to further improve the power-to-weight equation.
The Rocket 3 super-cruiser is available in two models: a 3 R performance roadster and a touring-orientated 3 GT with handlebars shaped for better long-distance comfort. The footrests can be adjusted to cater for different-sized riders, while the GT also has a height-adjustable pillion backrest.
The big engine perches in a bike with a muscular and imposing presence, accentuated by modern details such as twin LED headlights and daytime running lights.
New lightweight multispoke cast aluminium wheels enhance the bold look, with the Rocket 3 R’s wheels featuring a blacked-out finish, while the Rocket 3 GT model goes one step further with exposed machining on the rim and spokes.
The bike also comes in a limited-edition Triumph Factory Custom version, of which there are only three coming to SA and all have been sold.
Contributing to the Rocket 3’s clean, uncluttered styling are a single-sided swingarm, with offset monoshock suspension. The bike is finished with classy detailing including brushed stainless steel, an aluminium Monza-style cap, and machined fins on the crankcases.
Grunt is channelled to the thick rear tyre via a new high-performance six-speed helical-cut gearbox that’s smoother, stronger and lighter than a standard transmission, and is designed to cater for the bike’s increased torque.
There are four riding modes which adjust the throttle response and traction control settings: Road, Rain, Sport and a Rider-configurable setting.
High-performance Brembo Stylema brakes are designed to bring the hefty bike to a quick stop, and standard safety features are cornering ABS and Cornering Traction Control.
Additional rider-assist fare includes hill-hold control, cruise control, keyless ignition, and heated hand grips.
A colour TFT instrument panel rounds off the hi-tech features list, and the info panel can be personalised, allowing the rider to update the start-up screen message with their name. There’s a USB power socket under the seat for charging smartphones.
Rocket R — R299,000
Rocket GT — R315,000