With the world’s biggest production motorcycle engine, the latest Rocket III Roadster builds on the huge performance of the original Rocket III but now with even more torque. The 2.3 litre, three-cylinder engine is designed to be an arm-wrenching thrill to ride, yet easy and unintimidating too, despite its thunderous roar. It’s sweet handling chassis, rigid frame and sophisticated suspension give you the confidence to sweep through corners and change direction with an agility that belies this Roadsters size.
The latest Rocket III features blackened components including radiator cowls, rear mudguard rails, airbox cover, fork protectors, and mirrors giving our Roadster an even more menacing look.
The Rocket III Project started in 1998, led by Triumph Product Range Manager, Ross Clifford, and started with a lot of research – especially in the US, where big cruisers were selling well.
The main competitors were the Harley-Davidson Ultraglide and the Honda Goldwing so the initial idea was to develop a 1,600 cc performance cruiser. The first engine was built in the summer of 2002 and tested in the autumn.
In 2003, the prototype was renamed the ‘Rocket’, following market research, continuing the heritage of the BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident motorcycles. It was unveiled in the US on 20 August 2003, in San Antonio, Texas.
The Rocket’s European launch was at the International Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy on 16 September 2003. Sold in the UK from the spring of 2004, it was awarded ‘Machine of the Year’ by Motor Cycle News at the 2004 NEC Motorcycle Show. The Australian launch was in Sydney in August 2004, with 230 deposits taken before any had been shipped into the country.