Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Triumph Rocket III

Tue, July 20th, 2010

Featuring a different large-displacement cruiser each day.

2004–10 Triumph Rocket 3
I resisted giving the Rocket 3 a perfect '5' because it's 2.3L motor is the roughly size of a chest freezer, which I find somewhat offensive. But smoothness a V-twin can't match, a great, unique exhaust note, and 140 horsepower paired with 135 lb-ft of torque (at just 2000 RPM!)? If that isn't a cruiser aficionado's dream mill, I don't know what would be.
Given the Rocket 3's nearly unimaginable mass, optional floorboards, and the short suspension travel dictated by its cruiser mission, a verdict of 'not bad' is really pretty good. 3 dual-piston calipers and floating front discs are seriously good...which is wise; they have to be with haul all this to a stop.
Considering the extreme design constraints imposed by the massive powerplant, little things like the severely asymmetrical airbox/tank unit and the homely exhaust system (which looks as if it was stolen from a municipal water treatment plant) can be forgiven. But elegant it isn't.
With this much mass, you can afford to go a little on the overbuilt side where it matters.
No one — NO ONE — needs a 2300cc motorcycle.
Like the Bride of Frankenstein, it's fascinating, but more along the lines of 'interesting' than 'desirable.'
The Rocket 3 is a remarkable achievement, but nothing more.