ROCKET REVS UP
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.