2010 Triumph Rocket III Roadster Review- Triumph Rocket III Riding Reviews

17 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2010 Triumph Rocket III Roadster Review- Triumph Rocket III Riding Reviews
Triumph Rocket III

2010 Triumph Rocket III Roadster – Riding Impression This Roadster’s inline-Three engine packs a wallop of torque like nothing on two wheels.

Tired of performing a tap-dancing act on your shift lever every time you want to speed things up? Are you so over having to rev your engine to the moon just to summon some decent get-up-and-go? If your answers are yes and yes, step right up, Bubba, you’re shopping in the right aisle. Triumph’s new Rocket III Roadster may be just what Dr.

Roll-On ordered.

Okay, maybe a $13,999, 758-pound behemoth of a motorcycle isn’t on your short list; don’t flip the page just yet, though, because what you really need to know about is the Roadster’s 2294cc, dohc inline-Three engine. Never mind that it made “only” 120 rear-wheel hp on the CW dyno; focus instead on the fact that this beast grinds out a mind-bending 140 ft.-lb. of peak torque at just 3200 rpm.

The torque remains above the 130 ft.-lb. mark from 1500 to 3900 rpm and doesn’t dip below 120 until 5200 revs—and that’s on an engine that signs off just 600 rpm later at 5800. Hell, it makes more than 110 ft.-lb. at 1000 rpm, which is just barely above idle! In the world of two-wheel earthmovers, the Rocket III Roadster is, literally, the 800-pound (with its 6.3-gallon gas tank topped) gorilla.

For the most part, the Roadster is a mild remake of the original Rocket III we first saw in 2004. Same basic longitudinal engine, steel-tube chassis, shaft drive, inverted fork, super-fat tires (150/80-17 front; 240/50-16 rear), Speed Triple-inspired dual headlights and aforementioned super-tanker gas tank.

What’s new are anti-lock brakes, recalibrated dual shocks, one muffler per side rather than two on the right, foot controls moved rearward and a blacked-out treatment on the engine, fork and quite a few other pieces, all complemented by lots of additional chrome. And last but far from least, Triumph claims a retuning that yielded an 11 percent boost in torque and a 4 percent increase in horsepower. Sorry, we’ve never run a standard Rocket III on our dyno in stock form, so we can’t verify that claim.

Not with dyno numbers, at least. But we can tell you this: You’ve not ridden a production bike that accelerates so hard, so easily, so willingly, without even a single downshift, no matter what gear it’s in or how fast it’s revving. Several times during our testing, for example, when rounding tight, steep, uphill corners at or near a mere 1500 rpm in fourth gear, simply rolling the throttle open “rocketed” the Rocket from around 30 mph to 60 mph in just a couple of seconds.

To pass slower vehicles on the highway, we’d just dial the twistgrip open in fifth gear and blast past everyone like they all were stuck in dried cement. Merging into fast traffic on the freeway? Same thing: Turn the loud handle to the max in fifth and hang on.

Kinda makes you wonder why the five-speed Rocket even has a gearbox. You could ride a winding country road all day at a very brisk pace without ever shifting out of fifth, and never would you feel like you were hurting for power. The Roadster is “fast,” make no mistake about that, but it’s not the typical repli-racer type of fast that requires a dragstrip, a racetrack or miles of open road to experience; it’s the kind of fast you can feel and use and enjoy just about anytime you ride the bike and anywhere you ride it.

Another surprising aspect of the Roadster’s performance is its handling. For a bike with the mass of a big-rig tourer, the wheelbase of a chopper, the steering geometry of a stretched custom and tires wide enough to work on some cars, it scoots around corners remarkably well. You’d never describe it as “flickable,” but it nonetheless turns in quite easily and carves through corners with amazing composure.

The steering remains neutral at all lean angles, and there’s even a decent amount of cornering clearance before the footpeg feelers autograph the asphalt. Gixxer riders won’t tremble in fear when they see you approach, but you nevertheless might make them work a little harder than they anticipated.You can thank the placement of the inline-Three engine for most of that cornering ease and competence.

Even though the engine is massive and heavy, its longitudinal orientation and narrow width allow it to sit way down in the chassis, helping to keep the center of gravity very low. Plus, whereas as an east-west (transverse) crankshaft such as those on inline-Four sportbikes can offer considerable gyroscopic resistance to leaning, the Triumph’s north-south crank does not. These factors combine with a high, wide handlebar to bless the Rocket with deceptively light handling and maneuvering, even at lower speeds.

Triumph Rocket III
Triumph Rocket III

It’s an ergonomically comfortable bike, too, with a bolt-upright, copbike-like riding position—knees bent at 90 degrees, hands at elbow height reaching out to that exceptionally wide, semi-buckhorn handlebar. Though the gas tank is huge, it tapers down at the rear so your legs don’t have to splay out at an uncomfortable angle; but at the front, the tank is so wide that from the rider’s viewpoint, it looks like you’re staring down at the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Hey, those 6.3 gallons have to fit somewhere, and there isn’t room anywhere else. But with the Roadster’s 34 mpg average fuel mileage, at least they allow a range of around 215 miles between fill-ups.

Besides, if the road you’re traveling is bumpy, you may welcome a gas stop well before the tank nears empty. The Roadster’s 30.8-inch-high seat is wide, fairly thick and well-contoured, and on smooth surfaces, it can keep your buns happy for most of a full day. But throw some broken pavement into the equation and the taut rear suspension will hammer enough thumps through the seat’s padding to have you squirming in only an hour or two.

The inverted fork also is on the stiff side, but it doesn’t contribute to the often-harsh ride.

This choppiness no doubt is the result of the Roadster’s considerable rear unsprung weight (a 240mm-wide tire on a massive alloy wheel; a large, 316mm brake rotor pinched by a chunky caliper; and don’t forget the final-drive’s bevel gears and case). Combine those factors with the stiff spring and damping rates needed to keep the Rocket’s copious mass under control in corners, and it’s easy to see why the ride is far less than plush.

Really, that’s the only poor grade on the Rocket III Roadster’s entire report card. Despite its XXXL size, it’s surprisingly agile, hides its mass well and is truly fun to ride. Not all of that joy, of course, comes from the 2.3-liter engine’s relentless supply of brute, breathtaking, instantly available torque.

Well, actually, most of the time, it does.

Triumph Rocket III
Triumph Rocket III
Triumph Rocket III

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