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A refined monster: Triumph Rocket 3 review

By September 22, 2020General Posts

by Fraser Addecott from

It’s powered by an engine that’s bigger than the one in most cars, but Fraser discovers this behemoth oozes class and quality, and rides like a dream

The idea of fitting a motorcycle with an engine larger than that found in the average family car may seem bonkers – but thats exactly what Triumph has done in the shape of the Rocket 3.

Featuring a whopping 2,500cc capacity, this monster is truly impressive.

The bike comes in two versions – a touring-oriented GT and the more sportster-like R.

Both look fantastic, the proportions seem almost other-worldly, like something out of a superhero movie.

Yet the design and the way it all melds together around that giant engine is a thing of beauty.

The quality is superb, from the deep paint finish, to the distinctive twin headlights, the Monza-style fuel cap and the brushed aluminium shields on the triple header exhaust.

Internal wiring on the handlebars keeps everything looking clean and neat and the pillion footpegs fold twice so they tuck away into the fairing and seemingly disappear.

I really liked the layout on the TFT screen, simple and clear, and easily readable even in bright sunlight.

The main difference between the two models is the riding position.

The GT has forward mounted (adjustable) footpegs, a lower seat height and wider, higher bars, plus a brushed aluminium, height-adjustable pillion backrest.

It also comes with heated grips and a pretty effective flyscreen.

The R has a more aggressive stance thanks to the mid-mounted footpegs (also adjustable), higher seat and narrower bars.

With the keyless fob in your jacket pocket, fire up the 2458cc, liquid-cooled triple and you’re off.

For the largest production engine in the world, the sound is surprisingly muted, but, to my ear, not displeasing.

The Rocket offers four ride modes – Road, Rain, Sport and Rider-configurable.

Switch-Gear is illuminated and intuitive to use, employing a simple joystick on the left side.

Electronic wizardry includes cornering ABS, traction control, hill-hold control and cruise control.

With a dry weight of 291kg, this is clearly a heavyweight fighter.

Even so, the new cast aluminium frame and lighter engine components have contributed to a huge 40kg saving compared to the previous model.

And it shows.

The Rocket is surprisingly – and delightfully – rideable.

Oodles of torque across the band mean gear changing across the six-speed gearbox is minimal.

Power delivery is smooth and muscular via the low-maintenance shaft drive, and the torque-assist clutch offers light action, but precise, gear changes.

The big revelation is through the bends, where adjustable USD Showa forks and a Showa monoshock rear set-up, plus model-specific Avon Cobra tyres combine to provide precise, confidence-inspiring handling.

Braking is via state-of-the-art Brembo Stylema calipers and is progressive and super powerful.

As you can probably tell, I love the Rocket – it’s a monster, but it’s a refined and good-looking one – and an absolute joy to ride.

The Facts: Triumph Rocket 3

Engine: 2458cc triple

Max power: 165bhp

Max torque: 163ft lb

Colours: Red; black; grey

Price: £20,800 GT; £19,800 R