By John Burns
Best Cruiser/Bagger Motorcycle of 2020: Triumph Rocket 3
There was a lot of racket in the cruiser/bagger world this year, and this thing could’ve gone several ways. But we like a little performance with our cruisers, and it was Triumph‘s audacious Rocket 3 that blasted off to the win. The previous version was a hoot to ride, but the new one’s less like the world’s biggest-engined production motorcycle, and more like the world’s biggest Speed Triple. It likes to party. From the 2294 cubic centimeters of the original Rocket 3, to 2458 cc, now there are three 4.3-inch pistons producing a claimed 163 ft-lbs of torque and 167 horses at 6000 rpm. More to the point is the additional lightness; Triumph says the new Rocket’s 88 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, at just 642 pounds (claimed dry weight). It definitely looks way more svelte than the old bike; the new seamless gas tank doesn’t hurt in the looks department. Neither do the brushed alloy intake and hydroformed exhaust header balancing the left and right sides of that big engine, totally reminiscent of a Supermarine Spitfire.
Triumph seems incapable of building a motorcycle that doesn’t handle really well, and the Rocket got the usual treatment in development. A huge 47mm fully-adjustable inverted fork carries the gigantic, 150/80-R17 front tire, and a fully adjustable Showa shock with a manual preload adjuster is tucked just out of sight under the left sidecover. Putting a 240-section tire on back can make for unique handling, but the front custom-built Avon’s well-matched to the rear: You won’t mistake it for a sportbike quite, but a lot of the Rocket’s weight melts away in the curves. Alternatively, you can just flick on …read more
Source:: Best Cruiser / Bagger of 2020