2020 Triumph Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT: 2458cc Triple!
UPDATED October 28, 2019: Triumph has officiallyannounced pricing:
Rocket 3 R: $21,900
Rocket 3 GT: $22,600
You had to know this was coming when Triumph showed us the limited edition 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC (750 examples) back in May.The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT are the big triples for the rest of us, and the two nearly identical twins are big triples, indeed. They also share a large number of features with the exclusive Rocket 3 TFC, so the Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT are not poor relations. Let’s dive in!1. There are two versions of the Triumph Rocket 3—the roadster R and the cruiser/tourer GT. The adjustable footrests are feet-forward on the Rocket 3 GT, and mid-position on the Rocket 3 R. The Rocket 3 R gets a sportier handlebar bend, compared to the touring-style handlebar on the Rocket 3 GT.The GT gets roomier seating, a seat height nearly an inch lower at 29.5 inches, a backrest for the passenger, adjustable passenger pegs, a slightly taller flyscreen, and heated grips. Both versions come in Phantom Black, with the Rocket 3 R also available in Korosi Red and the Rocket 3 GT having a two-tone Silver Ice & Storm Grey option that includes a Korosi Red pinstripe decal. There are also some additional cosmetic differences, but essentially the rest of the two motorcycles are the same.2. The new 2458cc DOHC inline-3 puts out insane amounts of power. Well oversquare, the Rocket 3’s displacement is 164cc larger than the Rocket III. Its 165 peak horsepower comes at 6000 rpm, with a redline of 7000 rpm. This is an 11 percent boost over the previous generation, though down 14 horsepower compared to the Rocket 3 TFC. Along with this comes a mind-bending 163 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. Numbers like that don’t merely mean blistering acceleration and a way to impress your friends. That sort of power means that when you add a passenger and luggage, the motor won’t even briefly take note.3. The new big triple powerplant is 40 pounds lighter than the old Rocket III powerplant and significantly redesigned. Major changes include the new crankcase, balancer shafts, and dry-sump lubrication system (with integrated oil tank). The six-speed transmission is new, and the hydraulically actuated clutch now has torque-assist for a lighter pull at the lever.4. There’s a new chassis to handle the Rocket 3’s power. The frame is aluminum, as is the swingarm, and it’s lighter than the Rocket III frame. The high-end suspension is provided by Showa. The beefy 47mm inverted fork has full damping adjustability (though not spring preload), while the piggyback shock is fully adjustable. There are high-end Brembo calipers all around, with the new Stylema monoblock graspers taking care of the twin 320mm discs in the front. Newly mined Avon Cobra Chrome tires corral the power and weight, with a 150/80 x 17 in the front and a boisterous wide and low-profile 240/50 x 16 rear. Overall, the Rocket 3 is 88 pounds lighter than the Rocket III.5. With that much power, the chassis numbers skew toward stability. There’s no word on the wheelbase, but the rake is a stretched out to nearly 28 degrees and the trail a lengthy 5.3 inches.6. There’s a full suite of useful electronic gizmos and doo-dads. The five-axis Continental IMU enables cornering ABS and cornering traction control. There are four riding modes, one programmable, that modifies throttle response and traction control on the fly. Cruise control is standard.The ignition is keyless, as is the steering lock. To help you keep track of the motorcycle’s functions, there’s Triumph’s latest TFT display, which can is configurable with personalization. Lighting is all LED, and there are DLRs. With a massive motorcycle as the Triumph Rocket 3, a hill-hold function is crucial—and standard. Under the seat, you’ll find a USB charging point.7. The rider footpeg positions are adjustable on both Triumph Rocket 3 models. The R has two positions—standard, and dropped down 0.6 inches. The GT allows vertical movement—a standard position, and backward or forward an inch.8. Triumph proudly boasts a high level of finish and detail. We’ll let Triumph list its favorites: “These beautiful features include a muscular, sculpted fuel tank with Triumph’s signature design DNA, brushed stainless steel tank strap and beautiful aluminum Monza-style cap, brushed aluminum air-box cover, brushed aluminum Monza-style coolant and oil caps, machined fins on the crankcases, head and cam cover, brushed exhaust heat shields and end caps, and elegant hidden folding pillion footrests with unique foldaway design.”9. There are many upgrades available. Electronic options include an integrated GoPro control system (exclusive to the Triumph Rocket 3), Google-powered navigation, Bluetooth smartphone integration, as well as MyTriumph app for iOS and Android. Clutchless shifting is available via a bi-directional quickshift system, as is a tire pressure monitoring system.10. Triumph accessories can be used to focus the Triumph Rocket 3 for the ride. There are plenty of touring accessories, and Triumph has a Highway inspiration kit to get your creative juices flowing.11. Be patient—the Triumph Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT won’t be available until January 2020. However, watch for a test in the December 2019 issue of the Ultimate Motorcycling app and on this website. Pricing in the US has been announced at $21,900 for the ‘R’ model and $22,600 for the GT.
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.