Triumph Rocket III is a premium cruiser motorcycle that was introduced in 2004 by Triumph Motorcycles. It has the world’s largest displacement production motorcycle engine. Powering the Triumph Rocket III Roadster is a 2294cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder engine that produces a maximum power of 148PS at 5750rpm with a peak torque of 221Nm at 2750rpm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The Triumph Rocket III Roadster is known for its strong torque and comfortable ride for cruising long distances. The cruiser is treated with distinctive styling. A first look at the bike and it has a characteristic just like the liger, a liger is what you get when a male lion mates with a female tiger. The liger is supposed to be the biggest cat in the world, and can weigh up to 350kg. Ligers, which do not exist in the wild, are an experiment to push the envelope, and the Rocket III, too, appears to be driven by a similar philosophy. After all, it’s not every day that a manufacturer drops a 2.3-litre engine into a motorcycle.
Rev the Rocket at standstill, and you will notice the bike rocks every so lightly to the right. Nothing to worry about, though, as we notice it’s all smooth as silk once the bike is in motion. Kudos to Triumph for making such a big engine, it behaves so well in a motorcycle. The asymmetrical 24-litre fuel tank curves up beautifully like a crouching feline moving in for the kill. The twin headlight up front with the 150mm-wide tyre and 4.3mm-wide front forks gives the Rocket a menacing look. But that large motor is the bike’s showpiece, and it exhales through those two large chrome exhausts. The motorcycle features a tasteful mix of chrome and black paint, and Triumph has resisted the temptation to go overboard with the chrome. Overall, it’s a design that will appeal to men looking for something unique and less flashy than your big Indians or Harley's.
When it comes to cubic capacity, the three-pot 2,294cc engine is larger than, say, a Skoda Octavia’s motor. At 145.5hp, its output might not sound too impressive, but it’s got a crazy amount of torque. It’s the 221Nm, which is unleashed at 2750rpm and managed by a shaft drive. Sharing the responsibility of pushing all that power to the rear wheel is a five-speed gearbox. The first thing to do with the bike is rev its engine and you will be greeted by a purr instead of the roar that anyone would expect from a big bike. It’s sort of like a silent missile. The Rocket comes into its own on the highway and its fun to play with all that torque that comes gushing out. Open the throttle, and the Rocket blasts off regardless of the gear you are in. The acceleration and top speed are not in the league of litre-class-bikes, but its goose-bump-inducing stuff nevertheless. At 180km, riding the 367kg bike feels, similar to being strapped onto a rocket. The lack of a windscreen and an upright riding position means you are exposed to wind buffeting, and while that can be unsettling for a rider at high speeds, the Rocket itself feels planted. The 43mm-wide Kayaba suspension has a travel of 12cm, and ensures the Rocket III rides over most bumps like a tank. The rear suspension comes with five preload settings, and along with the well-padded seat, it isolates your spine from, ground realities. The broad tyres front and back provide ample grip, and you feel confident taking those long sweeping corners.
You would be left with mixed feelings after a ride on the Rocket III. As much as you would appreciate the engineering that has gone behind the motorcycle, it somehow doesn’t translate into a lot of fun on the road. With the Rocket, you would feel as if you were operating a piece of heavy machinery rather than riding a motorbike. It might be big and intimidating like the liger, but, like the hybrid cross, it is by no means a super predator. The cost of this powerful simple bike, disguised in a beasts dress is ₹23.5 Lakhs