The world had never seen such power in a motorbike before the Triumph Rocket 3 arrived. This fantastic piece of engineering boasts an amazing 2,299cc of raw power. The Triumph Rocket 3 is hands down the most powerful production bike in the market and one of the most menacing-looking one. Yes, I had the pleasure to try one and can tell you all about that adrenaline rush.
Whether you are a bike fan or not, Triumph Rocket 3 is something else. Let me take you for a ride on one of the biggest two-wheel machines on the planet. Read on to find out the details, my impressions, and how this monster behaves in the city and the open road. Also, I will tell you about a couple of accessories that blew my mind, and you should definitely try. Put on your helmet and your leather jacket, and this is going to be quite a ride.
The year was 1998, and Ross Clifford, Triumph Product-Range manager Ross Clifford started a new project. It was a secret one, and the competition to beat was Harley Davidson Ultraglide and Honda Gold Wing. Obviously, the two bikes had been the go-to choice for the riders who want the ultimate cruiser experience.
In-house designer John Mockett joined forces with David Stride, Rod Scivyer and Gareth Davies. They started working to come up with the 3-cylinder engine. The secret project got the name of C15XB.
The design of the bike was in charge of Mockett, and he went futuristic in the concept. He even included some raygun mufflers and a chrome rear mudguard that was larger than life. With the combined effort, the team came up with the model 1, but it got rejected by the market-research team. They thought the design was too bold and futuristic for the time.
Mockett didn´t give up so quickly and simplified the design to come up with the S2 model. Fortunately, the large back mudguard was gone, and several things that made it to the final design were there. Still, the market-research team rejected it for being a little too bold and futuristic.
By the year 2002, the first engine went into production after the smoothed and simplified lines Mockett designed got approved, and this was the birth moment of the Triumph Rocket 3. The bike´s public presentation was on August 20th 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Predictably, the public liked the preview, and the International Motorcycle Show in Milan was its official European presentation. The plan that started in 1998 saw the roads of the world five years later.
The Triumph Rocket 3 won the “Machine of the Year” in 2004 and is still today a benchmark.
It was a gloomy day, and the streets of my hometown had this moisture on the asphalt we bikers hate. I walked down to the place where I was supposed to meet my Triumph Rocket 3. A soft rain started pouring from the sky, and I thought to myself “What a day to try a bike!” Well, all the gloomy weather in the world wouldn´t stop me from smiling as soon as I saw it parked. I don´t know if it was the shiny chrome parts, the matte black or the menacing looks, I was super excited immediately.
I put on my helmet, my leather jacket and put my leg over the 750mm seat and put my rear comfortably on this beast. Without a doubt, my first impression was that the comfort in the design was terrific. The seat is very comfortable, and you feel that you can seat on it for many hours. The Triumph Rocket 3 2018 and Triumph Rocket 3 2019 are the best versions so far in my opinion. There I was, sitting on a 2,299cc English engineer marvel, and my thumb was on the electric starter. It was an intimidating moment, but I did it, and a low growl put a smile on my face.
I slowly rolled this big bike into the pavement and opened up the throttle just a little to test the pull. I was super impressed with the amount of torque for such a big machine. Also, for the smoothness, the three-cylinder engine is surprisingly flowing. I thought I was going to feel the road and the vibration of such a big engine, but I didn´t.
The first impression of the Triumph Rocket 3 is that you are not driving such a big bike. The weight, according to Triumph, is 334kg, but you don´t feel it is such a heavy object. The balance is perfect. I´m not such a big guy and stopping at a traffic light was easier than I thought with both feet on the ground. I was in everybody´s eyes, of course, because you don´t see a Triumph Rocket 3 every day. People were staring at me, well, not at me, at the gleaming black bike. It was a nice feeling.
The only thing I can say about the throttle in the city is that it is great to have a strap for your helmet. This motorbike has some incredible pull and will make your body lean back at the least, so hold on tight on the handlebar. Don´t get me wrong, it is not an unmanageable pull, but it is a mighty torque for going forward.
In the city, the size of the Triumph Rocket 3 is not the most recommended. You will be a little cramped. I had a hard time going through downtown traffic not because of torque, but because of space. In fact, you feel like you are holding back a wild animal that wants to run to its natural habitat. Still, I wanted to test the brakes, and I was delighted to find that they work very well. Braking a bike this size is not an easy thing to do. The power in the front brakes of the Triumph Rocket 3 is entirely accurate for it. Finally, in the city ride and as a thumbs-up to Triumph, the mirrors didn´t vibrate. This is because the bike is not going high on revolutions; the slow speeds are a piece of cake for this beast.
I decided it was enough and then I took on the open road. My mission was to test how the engine behaved at higher speed, so I put my turning light on and exit the city to go on the highway. This was the moment I discovered that my testing bike had some fantastic additions. The turning light went off on its own. This was a huge discovery, so I overpassed a car, and the same thing happened.
I don´t want to cut the thread of the test, but I have to share this discovery with you. Fast forward to the moment I asked the bike lender what it was. The accessory is called STS, and it stands for Smart Turn System and works the following way. It senses the turn is completed and disengages the turning lights for you. Yeah, I know; such a simple idea that can change your experience with your bike, however, once you get the habit, you will want to use it on any other bike as well.
I highly recommend to any rider to check, if the Smart Turn System is compatible with their bikes, and I promise, you will not regret installing this device to your favourite bike. Submit your motorcycle details in the form below and the STS team will send you a special offer along with the compatibility confirmation.
Since that discovery, I checked the company and found they have another great accessory called SBM. This Smart Brake Module will automatically engage your stop light when it senses you are losing speed. This way, those smooth transitions on big bikes by just letting go of the throttle are safer. This device will inform other vehicles that you´re slowing down and this way you can avoid accidents.
Okay, back to the test. It is effortless to go fast on this bike. You have to be careful with the throttle because the power at hand is enormous. If you are an experienced rider, you know that big bikes grow on you. It took me very little time to find the sweet spot on the Triumph Rocket 3 because it is so smooth. It takes on the low speed and the high speed almost with the same ease. I didn´t notice any vibrations even when I went high on revolutions. This bike is a fantastic cruiser, it takes turns like butter, and without a doubt, the manoeuvrability is excellent for such a big bike.
I had a lot of fun testing the way it went from the small revolutions to the higher speeds. Coming out from a curve and hitting the throttle is an experience that you want more. The adrenaline rush is quite high when a 2,299cc engine between your legs pushes you forward. Arguably, the only drawback I could find in this dream machine is that it is a little too much. Although Triumph made the Rocket 3 a road-friendly bike, you feel like you are riding a monster.
Rolling it back to the place I had to deliver it, I felt a little sad because it is a considerable experience. I don´t recommend this bike for beginners, but I do for experienced bikers. Not only you can have more fun than with many other bikes with similar prices, but it will also take your breath away from the aspect of performance as well.
The roadster version of the Triumph Rocket 3 is a road-ready motorcycle that can take you long miles. It was designed for short, medium and long distances. The chromed parts, twin headlamps and finishing touches make it an eye-catcher. This is the friendliest version of the Triumph Rocket 3 and the most multi-purpose oriented one too. Don´t get me wrong; it is still a huge motorcycle and is not for the faint of heart. Perhaps, Triumph idea was to make this the best-seller of the line.
This is the ultimate queen of the road and a complete version of the Triumph Rocket 3. You will find a different look, less menacing, perhaps but with lots of beautiful details. The highlights for me are the teardrop footboards, full windshield and tank-mounted instrumentation. A note apart goes for the swept-back bars and the triple chrome front headlamp, which is impressive. The top-loading panniers are handy, trendy and beautiful. When it comes to powerful touring motorcycles, it doesn´t get any better than this.
The Roadster model – $15,700
Touring edition – $17,500
Limited edition TFC – $29,000 (only 750 made for the entire world)
The Triumph Rocket 3 is not a motorcycle for the faint of heart since it is a big bike with a huge low-growl and more power than you are used to. I loved the adrenaline rush you get by just looking at it standing in the garage under the sun. The gleaming black, the exaggerated engine and the beautiful curves make it an ecstasy of a bike. If you are into big bikes and love to ride the biggest in the market, don´t miss out on the Triumph Rocket 3. To ne honest, I expected the best from one of the most prestigious brands in the market, and they didn´t let me down. My “thumbs up” go to John Mockett and all the team for creating this beautiful beast.
Did you like our review on the Triumph Rocket 3? Would you like to add some of your insights about it? Feel free to comment and pass this post to fellow riders.
We´ll see each other on the road; happy riding!