Rocket III Touring
Tuned to go the distance
2004 marked the year when Triumph achieved a mould-breaking feat of engineering. Designed to lead where others could only follow, the revolutionary Rocket III was born – a cruiser that combines massive performance, impressive physical presence and sheer usability. Three years on and it still holds the record as the largest capacity production motorcycle in the world. The Rocket III earned Triumph a place in history and for 2008 we are pleased to introduce the latest member of the Rocket III family – the brand new Triumph Rocket III Touring .
Combining classic touring cruiser style with awesome performance and effortless long-haul ability, the Rocket III Touring is designed for those who demand the best. Although built around the same incredible engine platform as the Rocket III, the only chassis parts on the Rocket III Touring that are not brand new are the rear light and the mirrors. Everything else has been designed, styled and engineered from scratch to make the Rocket III Touring the ultimate touring cruiser.
Climb aboard and you will find attention to detail and high class finishes everywhere you look.
Design and Development
The concept for the Rocket III Touring hit the drawing board in February 2004, just before the launch of the Rocket III. The aim was simple – to create a purpose-built, no-nonsense touring cruiser. The project to turn concept into reality – to design and build this mighty machine – kicked off in December of the same year.
The choice of engine wasn’t hard, as the hugely capable Rocket III engine is just perfect for a touring cruiser.
As September 2005 approached, so did a pretty hefty styling buck. The full scale 3-D replica meant the styled surfaces could be visually assessed and revised as necessary. Once perfected, the buck was scanned to allow the engineers to get to work on turning the hand-sculpted clay and body filler into reality. Detailed analysis through computer modelling and
FEA (Finite Element Analysis) allowed Triumph to lay down the correct tooling for key components at an early stage in the development cycle.
The following seven months saw Triumph developing and testing the prototype to optimise the engine characteristics and develop the chassis before the bike’s geometry was finalised in April 2006. The final suspension settings and the choice of standard tyres were signed off in May 2007, while the EFI calibration, the last step in the development cycle, was finalised and approved in September this year. Volume production commences in November 2007.
The Rocket III Touring shares the same engine platform as the Rocket III. The fuel-injected, twelve-valve, in-line, three-cylinder, 2294cc engine makes an impressive 154lb-ft of torque at a lazy 2,000rpm. Roll open the throttle in top gear from as little as 30mph and there’s an irresistible wave of torque at your disposal.
E ven fully loaded and two-up, the Rocket III will accelerate effortlessly for easy overtaking.
The engine management system uses twin butterfly valves on the throttle bodies, a sophisticated Engine Control Unit and sensors for throttle position, engine speed, engine position, engine temperature, air temperature, air pressure, gear selected and road speed to determine the correct fuelling and ignition at all times and to tailor the torque curve for each gear ratio. As a result the Rocket III Touring responds quickly, cleanly and strongly at any speed, in any gear.
As with the Rocket III the main airbox and filter is under the rider’s seat. Fresh air is drawn in through a ducting system moulded into the seat base to the main airbox, then on to a second plenum chamber (which is under the chrome cover on the left hand side of the fuel tank), which then feeds the throttle bodies.
The Rocket III has met Euro 3 Emission Standards since its launch in 2004 and features two catalytic converters in the exhaust collector, located just in front of the rear tyre, converting the pollutants in the exhaust gas before it gets to the three silencers. The advantage of this layout is that the catalysts are close to the engine, giving fast, efficient ‘light off’ and therefore reducing emissions more effectively.
The massive 17kg (39lb) forged crankshaft runs in four bearings with the individual crank pins set at 120°, firing the three pairs of sparkplugs in cylinder order, 1-2-3 front to rear. The balance, input and rear drive shaft contra-rotate against the crankshaft, which makes for minimal torque reaction, though the mass of a big engine spinning up can still be felt at standstill – a measurable part of the Rocket III’s appeal. The crank itself is also placed extremely low in what is already a low-slung engine; contributing to the bike’s overall low centre of gravity.
The engine is solidly mounted in the frame and used as a stressed member, as this gives the stiffest connection between the headstock and swingarm pivot. Being a three-cylinder engine vibration is minimal, thanks to perfect primary balance.
The Rocket family’s sheer presence has always been a fundamental part of its appeal, but at the heart of the bike is its usability. The Rocket III Touring was designed first and foremost to be ridden and an essential part of the initial specification for the project was that the bike should be easy, comfortable and confidence-inspiring to ride at all speeds from walking pace up.
The tubular steel twin-spine frame is all new, as is the twin-sided steel swingarm, which houses the drive shaft. The chosen steering geometry makes low-speed manoeuvrability remarkably easy, helped by the new 16×3.5 front wheel with a 150 section tyre. The new 16×5.0 rear wheel, wearing a 180 section tyre, helps maximise pannier volume without making the bike too wide, but also helps the Rocket III Touring take corners smoothly and easily.
The new wheels are 25 spoke machined cast aluminium and are housed by new mudguards front and rear.
New, shrouded forks and preload adjustable suspension at the rear keep the ride supple and controlled, with braking taken care of by twin 4-piston calipers on the front and a single two-piston caliper on the rear. Hand and foot controls are all new, with a fully adjustable heel/toe gear lever, chunky hand levers and teardrop footboards.
The new chromed aluminium footboards are an example of the attention to detail that has gone into this bike: With bushed pivot pins, rubber bumpstops and cornering wear plates, they have been engineered to both look great and feel great. And the new passenger footboards get the same level of detail, giving a high quality look and feel that will last.
Comfort for the rider and passenger is of course fundamental for a touring bike, so the Rocket III Touring seat is designed to give luxurious accommodation to both. The seat is constructed with two separate layers of cushioning of different densities, with the passenger getting the extra benefit of a gel pad to make sure the bike is as comfortable 500 miles later as it was when you set off. All seams are fully taped, so a ride in the rain on Sunday doesn’t mean a wet seat on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday!
Mounted on top of the all-new seamless fuel tank is a large, handsome speedometer with an integrated analogue fuel gauge. All-new switch cubes house an instrument scroll button so you can check out the clock, trip and fuel range functions on the speedometer’s display window without taking your hands off the bars.
A quick-release “look-over” screen comes as standard, again with great care paid to the details: The polished stainless steel mechanism and Triumph’s unique spring-loaded mounting bobbins lock the screen solidly in place, while lower air deflectors work with the main “blade” of the screen to keep turbulence at bay.
Quick-release 39 litre (10 US gallons) colour-matched panniers come as standard and are lockable using the bike’s ignition key. Take them off for cleaning and you’ll notice that they have been helpfully designed to sit up on their own on the garage floor. Take a ride in the rain and you’ll notice something else – they’re fully sealed and your stuff stays dry.
A new, 7” chromed, clear lens, multi-faceted reflector headlamp provides great night time vision, and front and rear indicators are mounted in stylised chromed cast aluminium “wings” front and rear. Twin silencers run long and low under the panniers, one per side.
Choosing the colour schemes was a difficult task, as the bike looked great in just about everything we tried! In the end we decided on a sleek Jet Black with hand-painted silver coachlines, a stunning Jet Black/New England White combination, the beautifully contrasting Jet Black/Tornado Red and the eye catching Eclipse Blue on Azure Blue.
With nearly 70 new accessories designed exclusively for the Rocket III Touring, the options for making the bike unmistakably yours are endless. Accessories include a range of seats, a selection of backrests, a variety of luggage options and a multitude of chrome parts.
The quick release Roadster Screen is the choice for comfortable, long distance touring. Manufactured using only the highest quality Quantum TM coated polycarbonate, the quick release mechanism makes for easy fitment or removal in seconds. The screen adds an additional 152mm (6”) of height for extra protection against the elements.
Added security is available with the accessory windshield lock kit which can be matched to the ignition key for convenience.
The quick release Boulevard Peak, with its chrome base, smoked visor and subtle branding, is all about style. It can be added or removed with ease and creates a very distinctive look for the Rocket III Touring.
The patented Adjustable Rider Backrest, with its unique thumbwheel adjuster, is a proven success for the Rocket III range and works equally well with this Rocket III newcomer. For the Rocket III Touring Triumph have designed a Long Haul Touring Seat that is compatible with the Adjustable Rider Backrest and is designed with just one thing in mind – rider and passenger comfort.
Featuring an 18” wide rider seat profile, the long haul option has a premium finish and a distinctive stitch pattern, so it looks as good as it feels. This seat is the luxury choice for long distance touring.
Offering flexibility, comfort and control the Quick Release Sissy Bar is a must for two-up touring. The passenger benefits from a comfortable, relaxed ride, and when it’s just the two of you (you and your bike) removal via the secure lock and key system is easy. Additional luggage capacity is available via the traditionally styled, polished, Chrome Rack.
When it comes to cruisers and chrome, it’s not where do you start, it’s where do you stop? Our range of chrome accessories means the Rocket III Touring is no exception. The new Highway Pegs – with a rubber tread and a subtle chrome logo – not only look great but are designed for use with either fixed or fully adjustable mounting kits, allowing the rider to tailor the peg position to their exact leg room requirements.
Chrome embellishers are available for both front and rear fenders, panniers, side panels and pillion footboards. How much more can you add? How about chrome fender rails, side panels, not to mention brake and clutch levers and switch cubes.
Last but not least, Triumph’s new range of chrome mirrors adds the finishing touch to your motorcycle: Choose from drilled or solid stem, oval or teardrop heads, all finished with a subtle laser etched Triumph logo.
The Rocket III Touring is Triumph’s first purpose-built touring cruiser, with an all-new chassis and re-tuned engine. The suspension is tuned for touring and provides sumptuous ride quality, while the low seat and centre of gravity make for easy handling. The quick release screen, huge 39 litre panniers and clean-as-a-whistle shaft drive help you arrive relaxed yet ready to go. What does it have in common with the rest of the Rocket III family?
The astonishing 2.3 litre triple engine. Effortless overtaking, solo or fully loaded. And the cornering ability of a bike half its size that lets you glide through the bends.
The Rocket III Touring. Engineered to go the distance.
Rocket III Touring Specification:
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