The ginormous Rocket III
gears up for long-distance touring. It can now take you across the country to the sweet sound of its massive triple-cylinder engine.
The 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring has all the ingredients to make the experience memorable: slightly stiffer frame, longer wheelbase, revised engine maps, narrower rear tire (down from 240 to 180 mm), generous windscreen, powerful headlight, instruments mounted on the large, 22.3-litre tank, and two lockable saddlebags.
I'm talking about looks and size, here. The road-hungry 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring boasts premium fit and finish, as well as superb styling. A cross between a power cruiser and a full-fledged touring motorcycle, it puts on quite a show with its big 2.3L block.
While this machine appears impressive on paper, the real thing is downright scary at first -- consider the length of 2,603 mm and weight of 395 kg. Once you throw a leg over it, though, the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring turns out to be a docile, easygoing beast that displays reassuring balance and stability. Even at low speeds, like parking manoeuvres and stop-and-go traffic, it handles like a more reasonably sized cruiser.
Despite the excess weight, changing directions at speed doesn't prove to be a problem. Sure, the long wheelbase somewhat limits agility, but the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring dances its way forward with rock-solid footing. The nicely calibrated suspension and frame help deliver linear braking, even in emergency situations, while the ABS lets you apply plenty of braking power to the rear without fear of locking the wheel, thereby considerably reducing stopping distances.
|The road-hungry 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring boasts premium fit and finish, as well as superb styling. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Both the suspension and seat of the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring remain comfortable after several hours on the road. The frame (very rigid) combines with the forks and shocks (just soft enough) to deliver an excellent mix of ride quality and handling precision on rough country roads.
The ergonomic riding position is equally comfortable on long trips, and really makes you feel like you own the road.
|The seat of the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring remain comfortable after several hours on the road. (Photo: France Ouellet)
More than the looks or riding dynamics, the liquid-cooled, 2,294cc triple-cylinder engine of the 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring is the definitive piece de resistance
The new maps make this model softer at higher revs than the Rocket III Roadster, but power delivery proves much more linear and predictable. The end result is smoother operation, with absolutely no bucking or jerking.
With tons of torque, the engine never runs out of steam -- like a real locomotive. The 150 lb-ft at just 2,500 rpm make up for the loss of power (105 hp vs. the Roadster's 146 hp), thrusting the burly 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring forward with remarkable efficiency. All the while, it lets out a deep roar that reminded me of an American V8 engine -- seriously. I got a real kick out of twisting the throttle at medium revs to feel the phenomenal rush of torque.
|The 150 lb-ft at just 2,500 rpm make up for the loss of power (105 hp vs. the Roadster's 146 hp), thrusting the burly 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring forward with remarkable efficiency. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Clearly, Triumph did all its homework before developing the new, larger-than-life 2013 Rocket III Touring, which beautifully embodies the concept of a big bagger and offers unprecedented mechanical thrills.
Surprisingly friendly for such a massive bike
Competent brakes with ABS
Exceptional engine with tons of torque
Softer at higher revs than the Rocket III Roadster