The Rocket III was the first cruiser I ever rode. It created the unfair expectation that all motorcycles of that type would be utterly mad, way too heavy torque monsters that somehow managed to handle. I’ve been sadly disappointed that every cruiser I’ve ridden since hasn’t been any of those things. Well, except heavy. The 2010 Triumph Rocket III Roadster now makes 163 lb/ft of torque – twice that of an R1 — 146bhp and becomes a little less of a cruiser and a little more of a streetfighter. I’m scared already.
Just in case a bike with those power and torque figures and weighing
367kg/807lbs (wet) wasn’t bad ass enough for you, the Rocket III
Roadster only comes in two colors: black or black. That’s not a joke;
you can choose between either matte or gloss black paint.
As attention grabbing as the numbers are, it’s the revised suspension
setup that most piques our interest. The old Rocket III (the Roadster
supplants that model) was a serious handler that’d drag all its shiny
bits around corners in utter composure. The new model uses 43mm upside
down Kayaba forks with 120mm of travel, Kayaba twin shocks with 105mm
of travel and new mid-mount foot controls. Brakes are upgraded with
ABS, 320mm front discs with Nissin 4-pots (front) and a 316mm disc with
a 2-pot Brembo (rear). While that still sounds decidedly cruiser-ish
and there’s no details on geometry, we’ll let the Roadster call itself
a streetfighter if it wants to.
The 2294cc inline, liquid-cooled triple makes its max power at 5,750rpm
and max torque at just 2,750rpm. Up from 147lb/ft and 140bhp on the old
model. That engine lends the Rocket III its utterly unique character,
helping it defy categorization to become the best summation of
everything you wanted motorcycles to be when you were seven.