The original Triumph Rocket III was originally launched in 2004 and quickly became the definitive muscle cruiser, boasting the largest capacity production engine of any motorcycle manufacturer. The 2019 Rocket 3 - a production run of the ultra-limited TFC version presented earlier this year - retains both the original bike’s inline three-cylinder configuration and its record-breaking status. Engine displacement has now increased from 2294cc to an unfathomable 2458cc for even more superlatives.
The new Rocket 3 develops 165bhp at 6000rpm and a tidal wave of torque: 221NM from 4000rpm. No news yet on how quickly it bludgeons the 0-60mph sprint, but our exclusive video does at least inform us how good the traffic light grand prix will sound on stock pipes.
Thanks to an aluminium ‘spine’ frame and alloy single-sided swingarm, the new Rocket 3 is 40kg lighter than its predecessor. The engine, which benefits from lighter internals, has also become a stressed member of the chassis. Triumph says the result is a riding experience that’s now more akin to a sports bike than a cruiser.
Two versions of the Rocket will be offered from launch. There will be a sports-orientated 3R version with a 773mm seat height yet still hefty 291kg (dry) kerbweight. The touring-friendly 3 GT will tip the scales at a slightly heavier 294kg (dry) yet feature heated grips, screen and more relaxed geometry. Triumph’s optional ‘Highway Inspiration’ kit will also provide lockable and detachable panniers, adjustable pillion back rest and a bigger screen for the GT.
Both bikes will offer plenty of standard equipment, too, including keyless go, cruise control, a quickshifter, hill-hold assist, cornering ABS, traction control and multiple rider modes. There’s also a new TFT screen and connectivity system that supports an integrated ‘GoPro’ camera for filming on the move, as well as Triumph’s ‘turn-by-turn’ navigation system.
Both versions will be available in Phantom Black from launch, while the 3R will also be offered in Korosi Red and the 3 GT will feature a two-tone silver and grey colour scheme with a Korosi Red pinstripe. Prices are expected to start from £19,500 for the 3R and £19,900 for the 3GT when the Rocket heads to UK dealerships later this year.