Triumph Rocket R review: does a crazy 2,500cc bike work?

What within the title of suck, squeeze, bang, blow is that?
Behold the Triumph Rocket R. And that’s not some namby-pamby advertising and marketing title, both. It’s really extremely related. Specifically, as a result of this two-wheeled whopper presently holds the 0-60mph manufacturing bike document, finishing the dash in simply 2.73 seconds.
However that’s simply the beginning of an unimaginable CV. As a result of, identical to the Dodge Demon, that is the bike stuffed with ‘firsts’, ‘mosts’, ‘biggests’ and ‘fastests’ – making it probably the most wanted card in pub High Trumps.
See, in addition to being the quickest two-wheeled sprinter on the earth, having a 2,500cc motor additionally means it’s the largest-capacity manufacturing bike on the earth. In addition to additionally being the torquiest manufacturing bike you should purchase, so it’s a little bit of a monster.
And one imposing mother-clucker, besides, particularly because it weighs 291kg dry, and over 320kg when stuffed with fluids. Quite a bit for a bike.
Two and a half litres! That’s greater than most automobile engines.
Yep. The place the general public’s notion of an enormous bike is the hefty watermark of a 1,000cc sportsbike, the Triumph seems at that lot, shrugs and says ‘that’s cute’ earlier than bulldozing by with an inline three-cylinder with the capability one and a half occasions the dimensions. For context, 2.5-litres is similar capability that you simply get in a Porsche Cayman S. And it is a bike. Let that marinate in your mind for a minute.
When did this insanity start?
The concept of placing large engines in small issues dates again to the existence of humankind. In actual fact, there’s most likely a cave portray someplace in Australia with somebody ‘sizzling rodding’ a shrub or one thing. The kernel for the thought of the Rocket dates again to 1998. Nevertheless, it was solely in 2004 when a manufacturing model arrived; a 2,294cc cruiser that snatched the crown of the largest-capacity manufacturing bike within the world.
It was caught between two markets. So for the Rocket 3, Triumph made it extra highly effective, quicker, 40kg lighter and – crucially – made two variations: the ‘R’, a unadorned roadster mannequin aimed head-on at Ducati’s Diavel, and the ‘GT’, a touring model with a extra relaxed driving place (the handlebars are pulled again by 125mm, whereas the foot controls are set additional ahead), a 23mm decrease seat, a display, heated grips and a again brace for whoever you wish to plonk on the again. Belief us, they’ll want it.
Appears cool.
Positive does. It has a type of industrial stylish to it – with every little thing being large, brutalist and muscular but in addition softened off because of swooping curves and people sculpted triple-header exhausts. Fitted with specifically developed Avon Cobra Chrome tyres, the 240mm rear wheel width reveals folks you imply enterprise and have oodles of torque to try to get down. Then there’s a single-sided swing-arm with monoshock suspension and unbelievable aluminium detailing littering the entire bike.
What’s it wish to experience?
Intimidating at first, primarily as a result of there’s a lot of it. The gas tank is the dimensions of a Barbadian twerking champion, the engine is sizzling and heavy and the wheelbase lengthy. Being such a heffer, low-speed manoeuvring is a chore. And scary. As a result of should you’re something however Popeye, should you drop this factor you’ll want a small military of helpers that can assist you get it again up. Which is much more folks to level and snigger at you for dropping it within the first place.
However the virtually magical ingredient is that as quickly because the tyres begin rolling, it shrinks in measurement and its imposing nature falls away. A bit like when a fitness center hardo has a gin and tonic and watches a rom-com. That is largely because of intelligent weight distribution and my lack of knowledge of physics. However Triumph labored arduous on it, giving the Rocket 3 an all-new body produced from two aluminium sections which can be bolted across the engine, relatively than welded so the central core is hole, which permits Triumph to make use of the central backbone of the bike as an airbox.
It’s keener to show than you’d assume, too. Taking a look at that engine you’d assume it’d be a straight-line torpedo that simply wished to fireside itself on the horizon when you clung on and cried for assist. However it’s not. It needs to hit the twisties and transfer round. Once more, that is helped by the very fact Triumph lopped off a load of lard from the previous engine, shedding 18kg and lowering the circulation mass, permitting for 7,000rpm to be unlocked and a brand new peak energy determine of 164.7bhp – an 11 per cent improve over its forefather. However it’s the torque that blows you away…
Why’s that?
Effectively, should you’ve ever been in an electrical automobile that’s gunned it away from the lights, you’ve felt the curdling pressure of torque. Now think about that ultra-responsive pressure being unleashed with a crack of throttle when you clutch your thighs round a tank utterly uncovered to the weather, whereas the induction noise beneath your gussets intensifies. It’s a wild experience that by no means will get any much less hilarious.
Numbers simply begin to roll round on the TFT speedo such as you’ve gained the jackpot. Then you definately rapidly realise you don’t wish to be thrown in jail. Or be useless. So that you wind it down a notch. We simply want it’d sound higher in any respect speeds. As a result of with an engine this measurement you need it to throb and scream, however it’s docile and comfortable. You’ll be able to blame the EU and their emissions regs for that.
However the Rocket – even in R type – isn’t any one-trick pony. It’s really extremely snug to cruise on. You simply choose one of many much less aggressive driving modes, and given it’s acquired all of the torque, you possibly can choose any of the highest cogs within the six-speed gearbox and it effortlessly pulls by them. It’s even acquired cruise management should you’re feeling actually lazy.
How a lot is it?
Quite a bit. £19,500 for the Rocket 3 ‘R’, with the sledgehammer cruiser retailing at £20,200. And also you’ll want to avoid wasting pennies for gas too, because it’ll down no matter gas is within the 18-litre tank rapidly should you’re liberal with the throttle. However if you wish to be the king of High Trumps within the pub, that is the value you’ll need to pay. Which to some is all the rationale they want.