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BIKE REVIEW | Triumph launches its new Rocket 3 in SA

2020-02-14 14:39

Dries van der Walt

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Image: Triumph

Triumph South Africa took the covers of the new Rocket 3, which sports the world’s largest production motorcycle engine – a whopping two and half litres, delivering 11% more power than its predecessor, and the highest torque of any production motorcycle (221Nm @ 4000r/min). 

The Rocket 3 comes in three flavours – the R, a muscle roadster, the GT, with a laid-back cruiser riding attitude and some touring accoutrements, and the very limited-edition TFC (only 750 of these will be made, of which the three allocated to South Africa have already been sold). 

The new Rocket is awash with rider-focussed technology, with full-colour TFT instruments, Cornering ABS and Cornering Traction Control (compliments of an advanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) developed in partnership with Continental), Road, Rain, Sport and Rider-configurable riding modes, Hill Hold Control and keyless ignition.

It also features electronic cruise control, heated grips and a five-volt USB power socket under the seat.

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Image: Triumph

Twin LED headlights combine with the 3-header exhaust to endow the new Rocket with an imposing stance, which is enhanced by newly-designed lightweight multi-spoke cast aluminium wheels, sculpted single-sided swingarm and internally wired handlebars (roadster-style on the R, and touring-oriented on the GT. Both models come with a sculpted rider and pillion seats featuring cast aluminium finishers to create a flowing line through the bike. 

The huge engine boasts several mass optimised performance enhancements; including a new crankcase assembly, new lubrication system comprising dry sump and integral oil tank and new balancer shafts - together saving 18kg over the previous generation. 

There is also a new torque-assisted hydraulic clutch to provide a light clutch action. The six-speed helical-cut gearbox is claimed to be smoother, stronger and lighter than a standard gearbox, and is designed specifically to allow for the increase in engine torque.

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Image: Triumph

Like all current Triumphs, the Rocket 3 engine features a ride-by-wire throttle, as well as a subtly incorporated liquid cooling system. 

A fully adjustable Showa monoshock rear suspension unit with piggyback reservoir (adjustable rebound, compression and preload), and 47 mm adjustable Showa front forks (with adjustable rebound and compression) take care of touring capability and handling, with top-specification Brembo Stylema calipers to supply the stopping power.

Triumph says the new design allows increased airflow around the brake pads to help the calipers cool quicker.

The options list includes Triumph Shift Assist, integrated GoPro control system, turn-by-turn navigation system, integrated phone and music operation and tyre pressure monitoring system. Triumph also offers over fifty genuine Triumph accessories that enhance the Rocket 3’s luggage, comfort, practicality, style and security are all available from the global network of Triumph dealerships.

The Rockets’ launch prices are R299 000 for the R model and R315 000 for the GT.

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Image: Triumph

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

Type: Inline 3-cylinder, water-cooled, DOHC

Capacity: 2458 cc

Max Power: 123kW @ 6000r/min

Max Torque: 221Nm @ 4000r/min

Final Drive: Shaft, bevel box

Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist

Gearbox: 6-speed

CHASSIS

Frame: Full aluminium frame

Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminium

Front Wheel: 17 x 3.5in cast aluminium

Rear Wheel: 16 x 7.5in cast aluminiumFront Tyre: 150/80 R17 V

Rear Tyre: 240/50 R16 V

Front Suspension: Showa 47mm upside-down 1 1 cartridge front forks, compression  and rebound adjuster. 120mm travel

Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa piggyback reservoir RSU with remote hydraulic preload adjuster, 107mm rear wheel travel

Front Brakes: Dual 320mm discs, Brembo M4.30 Stylema 4-piston radial  monobloc calipers, Cornering ABS

Rear Brakes: Single 300mm disc, Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc caliper, Cornering ABSInstrument Display: TFT multi-functional 

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS

Width (handlebars): 889mm

Height (w/out mirror): 1 065mm

Seat Height: 773mm

Wheelbase: 1677mm

Dry Weight: 291 kg

Tank Capacity: 18 L

Fuel Consumption: 6.82-l/100km (claimed)

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Image: Triumph

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