October 18, 2007 Triumph have finally presented the touring version of their hairy-chested 2.3-litre mega-cruiser that they’ve been promising for over 12 months. The Rocket III Touring was unveiled to dealers last weekend in Atlanta.
Rather than simply slapping a screen and a set of panniers on the original machine – which would have made for quite an acceptable touring bike – the British company chose to give it a full work-over.
The engine has been “re-tuned for lazy, effortless touring” – which we take to mean it’s been partially relieved of its crazed top-end rush in favour of a torquier power delivery… Not that the tyre-smoking original could have been accused of lacking torque. Final power figures are yet to be released, but we wouldn't expect the Rocket III's 140 horsepower peak to be maintained in the Touring version.
The mammoth 240-section rear tyre on the original has been slimmed down to make for a better cornering experience – although the teardrop-shaped footboards will start dragging on the road long before this bike troubles a sportier machine in the twisties.
The seat and riding position look comfortable enough for long miles; the pillion seat in particular is notably more friendly, and the adjustable foot levers should let most riders cruise in comfort. A large detachable windscreen will also help make longer trips much more palatable.
The frame, suspension, fuel tank, instruments, lights and exhaust system have also received attention in the update, moving from the muscle-cruiser looks and riding position of the original to something more closely aligned with the traditional touring cruiser look.
The large-ish standard panniers are both lockable – and there’s plenty of luggage upgrades available in the accessories catalogue, which features over 70 items including seats, backrests and various shiny bits.
The press and public will first see the bike at November’s Milan Motorcycle Show, and the expected price will be in the region of UK£13,000 including on-roads.