The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 is a bike that deserves your attention. You can watch our full review of the bike here, where we cover off the details of the bike. But before you do, here are five things we think you need to know about the bike.
1. It goes round corners better than you think.
Thanks to extensive weight savings and quality running gear. Everything from the Avon Cobra tyres, through the Brembo brakes and Showa suspension, to the lightweight aluminium chassis which is 50% lighter than the old Rocket frame. The shock is fully adjustable in every direction, the forks are adjustable for compression and rebound. This looks impressive on paper, but you need to ride it to understand just how good it is compared to the old Rocket.
2. The old Rocket 3 tried to kill me.
The in gear acceleration of the old Rocket was bonkers, but the gearbox just couldn’t cope and struggled to make up its mind a lot of the time. One time in particular was possibly the closest I’ve ever been to having a big one without actually having it. The details are irrelevant but the upshot equalled rolling down Crystal Palace hill in a false neutral. As I pinballed between the kerb and various car wing mirrors, I was unable to place the bike into any gear. The bike was gaining speed, I was losing a battle against mass. After I’d silently sailed across a mini roundabout and cleared the danger zone, the bike slid into gear easily. I had to pull over and smoke a cigarette, during which I decided that, regardless of the shove, the old Rocket 3 wasn’t for me. Thankfully the new one has an all new six-speed transmission, a finger light clutch and didn’t display a hint of a false neutral all day.
3. You think you want the R, but it’s the GT that floats our boat.
Lets face it, the R is a better looking bike. The attitude of the red bike is perfectly suited to being the largest production motorcycle money can buy. The shape of the bars really works with the twin LED headlights and, unlike other bikes out there, adding rider doesn’t ruin the look of the thing. Throw a leg over the GT though and you’ll find a more comfortable riding position, thats better suited to making the most of all that torque than the R. The GT has a marginally shorter ride height at 750mm than the 770 of the R as well. This tiny difference wont matter to most, what will matter is how the nature of the motor and what it’s capable of seems to suit the feet forward stance of the GT. The extra screen and taper of the bars also helps the rider enjoy more of what the Rocket 3 is good at, more of the time.
4. There are a stack of accessories available, but none of them add any power.
The official quick shifter is about the most exciting thing in terms of making the Rocket 3 go faster. You can buy adjustable backrest that the GT has and bolt that to your R for £240, or you can fit the sports bars from the R to your GT for £120 and a stack of other stuff, but as yet theres no loud pipes or anything else that will annoy the neighbours. We put a quick call in to TTS (they’ve supercharged a load of the old Rocket 3s) to see what they thought of the new bike or if anyone had been brave enough to order a kit yet. They were excited by the new bike but didn’t want to let on if they were working on the new one yet.
5. The Triumph Rocket 3 suits being a 2020 bike more than it did a 2004 one.
Of course I would say that, because the new bike is simply better than the old one. There’s more to it than that though. Back in 2004 cruisers didn’t have traction control or riding modes. They also weighed a ton and had tyres made of beards and danger. When the bike press talks about how MotoGP technology filters down to road bikes, it’s bikes like the new Rocket 3 that demonstrate that perfectly. Mass centralisation, software that keeps you alive, the use of lightweight materials and tyres that work are all features that the Rocket 3 benefits from.
Watch the full review here.
Words: John Hogan, Images: Kingdom Creative, Video: Bike World