The English made 2012 Triumph Rocket III Roadster is an extremely powerful and unique bike, not something that comes to mind when imagining the types of bike that would come out of England. The Rocket III Roadster uses a mammoth 2.3 liter, liquid-cooled, 2294cc, longitudinal three-cylinder, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine that pumps out a staggering 146 horsepower at 5750 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 163 ft-lb of torque at 2750rpm. Simply cruising down the street with this bike lacks complete satisfaction because you know what this massive 2.3-liter triple can do. However, there is one problem with this bike. Triumph has set the maximum speed on this bike to 120 miles per hour (mph), quite disappointing since this bike has so much more capability than only 120mph.
The Rocket III Roadster uses a five-speed constant mesh transmission with a final shaft drive. It is a smooth running transmission that produces minimal noise. The bike’s exhaust system in a 3-1-2 system that provides a good, aggressive idle sound but it is not one that fully encompasses the colossal engine it is attached to. However, once the throttle is twisted, there is no confusion about what kind of engine is running. The handling of the bike is tight and responsive and feels great when you lean the Rocket III into corners and turns. This is because the bike’s seat and footrests positions have been moved closer to the handlebar but also due to its suspension. Kayaba upside down forks with 4.7 inches of travel are in the front while a Kayaba twin sided swing arm with black spring twin shocks and 4.1 inches of travel are in the rear.
This massive bike accordingly needs massive tires and brakes. The front tire is 150/80-R17 and the rear is 240/50-R16. The front wheel has Nissin calipers and dual hydraulic discs and the rear wheel has Brembo calipers with dual hydraulic discs, both combined with a sophisticated anti-locking braking system (ABS) for substantially strong braking power.
The Rocket III Roadster is not for the faint hearted and, by design, it's made to intimidate. The look and the incredible engine specs put this bike in a category of muscle bikes that has a very short list.