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If you ever wanted to end up in command of an aircraft carrier, there’s no better job training than riding Triumph’s new Rocket III Roadster.
It will get you used to operating a huge, slow-turning piece of motorised metal. And once the Triumph eventually comes to the end of its life you can always employ it as the ship’s anchor.
Jokes aside, this British brute is one seriously big and heavy piece of rolling metal. Built around a gigantic 2.3-litre engine (a three-cylinder unit with coffee tin-sized pistons) with a super-sized frame to match, it’s more of a two-wheeled road ship than a motorcycle.
The new Roadster is the naked, streetfighter version of the Triumph Rocket III tourer that has been around for several years. Minus fairings, windscreen or luggage panniers, it’s a cruiser stripped to its bare essentials and designed with the purpose of looking as badass and menacing as possible - especially in its black-and-chrome colour scheme (matt blue is also available).
Though it weighs a scale-busting 367kg without rider, this super-sized “British Harley” nevertheless has no shortage of muscle to lug it around, with that monster engine producing 109kW and, more importantly, 221Nm.
We took the Roadster for a spin between Johannesburg and Sun City last weekend and the riding experience is all about three things: torque, torque and more torque. Although there’s a five-speed transmission pairing the monster engine with the rear wheel through a shaft drive, there’s so much low-down grunt that you only really need two or three gears.
In any gear, at any revs not much above idling speed, grabbing a handful of throttle generates burly forward momentum. Not in a livid, superbike kind of way with the front wheel lifting skywards, but with a relentless runaway-train kind of characteristic. Thankfully this runaway-train can be brought to a halt in a hurry, as it has serious stoppers in the form of huge ABS-assisted discs front and rear.
CHECK OUT THE SCENERY
The bike has high speed cruising capability, but with no wind protection it’s uncomfortable to ride at more than 140km/h for sustained periods. It’s more about cruising along at medium pace and checking out the scenery.
The new Triumph Rocket III Roadster costs R179 500 and comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty. - Star Motoring