• HJC IS-2 Helmet
• Triumph Portman Leather jacket
• Scorpion Black Top Gloves
• Harley Davidson Boots
• Scorpion EXO 100 Tribal Helmet
• Triumph Trinity Leather Jacket
• Harley-Davidson Boots
Ostensibly, the Triumph Rocket III power plant hasn’t changed since it was launched in 2004. One-hundred forty horsepower (2,294cc’s of pure adrenalin) and a tire-shredding 147 lb-ft of torque propel a Triumph Rocket III to this day. The 2013 Triumph Rocket III Tour weighing in at 869 pounds wet, this liquid cooled in-line triple is pyrotechnic, Bilmey! You haven’t lived until you’ve ridden a rocket.
The sheer width and breadth of this beast is awe-inspiring.
Recently I put several thousand miles on the 2013 Rocket III Tour. Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz to San Francisco, the Rocket makes freeway miles fly by. Highway 101 north skirts the California coast in San Buenaventura then Hwy 154 splits eastward towards Lake Cachuma. Sweeping mountain curves posted at 50 mph (implying 70) allow long languid lean angles; the Rocket III is home here. While riding a Rocket, several truths become self-evident: first is its astounding power. Reaching freeway speeds from onramps is exhilarating. Glancing at the oncoming traffic, a window of opportunity appears, grabbing full throttle you become ballistic and within seconds own the fast lane at 85 mph. And, there’s still head-snapping acceleration left! Traversing mountains? No grade is steep enough to allow gravity to tug at this big triple. Thunderous compression allows engine braking to literally growl down mountain descents without touching the brakes. Dual overhead camshafts, multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection, and the Rocket III’s phenomenal power plant assure a smooth ride.
Secondly, the engine’s low center of gravity makes this 869-pound bike surprisingly manageable, flipping through the twisties with relative ease. With an impressive lean angle before pavement finds the floorboards, a massive 150/80 R16 front tire gnaws at the curves. The Rocket III Touring actually has a smaller rear tire (180/70 R16) than the Rocket III Roadster (240/50 R16), creating a nimbler motorcycle.
Seating triangulation is extremely comfortable for both rider and passenger and the KYB chromed spring twin shocks with five-position adjustable preload and 105mm rear wheel travel are downright luxurious. Triumph offers several sizes of windscreens: small, medium-sized summer screen, and larger touring shield, which is a full 6 inches taller than the summer screen and makes a huge difference in long-haul protection. I also had the quick-lock sissy bar for my passenger. Planning a 1,500-mile journey, I used Dowco’s Iron Rider bag which conveniently attached to the optional sissy bar rack. The broad metal gas tank surface easily accommodates any size magnetic tank bag for camera and maps.
As mentioned, the engine’s low center of gravity makes this massive motorcycle feel much nimbler in motion. It’s when the beast is at rest that its bulk becomes apparent. The Rocket III is not for the faint of heart or frail in stature. My 6-foot frame was solidly planted at stoplights but this is definitely not a motorcycle for low inseam riders.
The lack of cruise control, even as an expensive option, is a pain in the wrist. This is a touring motorcycle, which should include the creature comforts touring enthusiasts crave. I used the Go Cruise Throttle Control. It’s an amazing, inexpensive, easy-to-install device that actually works.
Boasting a 5.9-gallon gas tank, the gas gauge swings to E deceptively fast. The low-fuel light came on very prematurely between 105 and 110 miles, which renders it pretty much useless. Bollocks! I learned to ignore it. I lived by the cruisers credo “never pass gas.” Triumph claims 27 mpg city/43 mpg highway. When all was said and done, I averaged 36. Granted, the first few days with this beast I rode her like a sport bike hammering the throttle past every dodgy cager, because it was so fun. Finally, I settled into a far more sensible, less throttle-happy approach.