The Triumph Rocket III project dates back to 1998, when the Brits decided to take the Americans on at their own game – and start work on a super cruiser that was bigger than your average US state. The resulting 2004 Rocket III had the largest-displacement engine of any production motorcycle at 2,294 cc. That’s bigger than your average Audi saloon in a bike that’s a third of the weight.
Two decades on from that original idea, Triumph hit reload with the Rocket 3 TFC (Triumph Factory Custom). Not only was this the British firm's most powerful model ever, at 2,458 cc, it’s engine had again set the record for the largest engine of any production motorcycle.
The only issue was Triumph made just 750 models, and they all sold out before you could say ‘hot damn’.
But fear not: Triumph has announced the Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT. The triple engine has the highest torque of any production motorcycle – at 221 Nm @ 4,000 rpm. The power is up, too: 167 PS @ 6,000 rpm means its gained 11% on the previous generation. New hydroformed exhaust headers make sure you hear every gurgle and growl in HD sound.
Despite all the big numbers and bragging rights, the Rocket 3 is really quite the charmer – the top spec Brembo Stylema® Monobloc brakes and adjustable Showa suspension mean it’s easy to ride, and there’s plenty of electronic trickery to keep all the power in check.
A digital dash that syncs to your phone, GoPro connectivity, keyless ignition, LED headlights, heated grips, and a USB charging port all ensure that despite the Rocket 3 resurrecting the recent past, it’s very much driving into the future.
The Triumph Rocket 3 R and 3 GT will be in dealers in early 2020 and will cost in the region of £19,500 and £19,900 respectively.