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ROCKET III ROAD­STER PRICE: $22,990 EN­GINE: Liq­uid-cooled, DOHC, in-line, 2294cc, fu­elin­jected three-cylin­der POWER: 109kW@ 5750rpm TORQUE: 221Nm@ 2750rpm TRANS­MIS­SION: Fivespeed, shaft drive WHEELS: 17 x 3.5inch; 16 x 7.5-inch al­loys TYRES: 150/80 R17; 240/50 R16 SUS­PEN­SION: Kayaba 43mm up­side down forks; Kayaba spring twin shocks BRAKES: Twin 320mm float­ing discs, Nissin four pis­ton fixed calipers (front), 316mm fixed disc, Brembo two pis­ton float­ing caliper, ABS DI­MEN­SIONS (mm): 2500(l), 970(w), 1165(h), 750 (seat), 1695 (wheel­base) KERB WEIGHT: 367kg FUEL TANK: 24 litres HEN too much power is not enough ... Tri­umph launches the Rocket III Road­ster. It hit the launch­pad five years ago with a 103kW 2.3-litre en­gine which is big­ger than most small cars.

Now the Road­ster ver­sion ar­rives with a 6 per cent power boost to 109kW at 5750rpm, while torque is up 15 per cent, from 194Nm to 221Nm at 3250rpm.

It re­places the stan­dard and clas­sic Rocket III mod­els and the price re­mains at $22,990.

There is still a Rocket III Tour­ing model avail­able with pan­niers, foot­boards and wind­screen at $25,990.

The Road­ster not only gets the power boost, but new er­gonomics to over­come the dif­fi­culty in turn­ing the orig­i­nal beast with its 240mm rear tyre.

The Tour­ing has a 180mm tyre to al­low for more space in the pan­niers and con­se­quently han­dles much bet­ter.

How­ever, the Road­ster re­tains the mas­sive rear tyre in an ef­fort to woo those who watch too many episodes of Amer­i­can Chop­per.

The foot­pegs have been moved back and up for more clear­ance while the seat has been raised 10mm and moved fur­ther for­ward to re­duce the reach to the han­dle­bars.

This re­sults in be­ing more ‘‘in con­trol’’ of the bike and a feel­ing of sit­ting on it rather than in it like a nor­mal cruiser.

WIn fact, the Road­ster doesn’t feel like a cruiser any more, ex­cept for the wide han­dle­bars. It feels more like a power street bike. It’s still com­fort­able, though, thanks largely to a bet­ter padded seat.

Steer­ing is a lit­tle eas­ier, but that rear wheel still makes the bike sit up in cor­ners as soon as you ease the hefty pull-and-push on the bars.

An­other update is that the twin pipes are on ei­ther side, like the Tour­ing ver­sion, in­stead of on one side.

Tri­umph claims the pipes have been de­signed to in­crease power and torque.

But for many the most im­por­tant fea­ture is that they sound awe­some.

They are not il­le­gal and don’t sound loud and of­fen­sive, but have a deep roar like a V8 mus­cle car.

Road­ster gets new rear sus­pen­sion units, but it still crashes through bumps, rather than rid­ing through them. Af­ter­mar­ket Gazi shocks should sort that out.

For the first time, a Rocket gets Tri­umph’s anti-lock brak­ing sys­tem fit­ted as stan­dard.

They work just fine and don’t spoil the look of the wheels.

The Tour­ing is ex­pected to get ABS later this year.

The Road­ster re­tains the stan­dard and clas­sic 24-litre fuel tank rather than the sur­pris­ingly smaller and in­con­gru­ous 22.3-litre Tour­ing tank.

But it’s that stonk­ing en­gine that will have most rid­ers sali­vat­ing.

The hulk­ing three-cylin­der unit has ef­fort­less torque, wind­ing on in fifth gear from 100km/h to 160km/h in less than four sec­onds.

Road­ster is avail­able in metal­lic black and matt black, while the forks, yokes, ra­di­a­tor shroud and rear springs are blacked out.

There are more than 50 ac­ces­sories avail­able for the Road­ster, in­clud­ing a va­ri­ety of screens, sissy bars, tour­ing seats and leather lug­gage.

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