Earlier this year, I decided to replace my trusty but ageing BMW R1100RS, not least because a few of my friends had decided to plan a trip to Spain from the UK.
My first stop was to a BMW dealership, but I was very unhappy at the standard of service I received, or lack of it, so my next stop was Triumph.
At 50 years of age, and not exactly lithe and supple in the bodywork department, my days of riding sports bikes are behind me, they just don’t “fit” anymore.
The dealer was friendly, and unlike BMW, seemed keen to sell, but was not at all “pushy”.
The machine turned out to be a Rocket 3, all 2300cc of it!
I have been riding bikes for many years and have had a good number of modern Triumphs, and have always been fascinated by the Rocket.
Sitting on it for the first time I felt somewhat nervous as this thing is just so huge. The first thing I noticed was how comfortable it is. The seat is quite low, so you feel like you are sitting in it, rather than on it.
Nervously I turned the key, pulled in the clutch and started the engine.
When I started it for the first time I instantly recognised that Triumph triple sound, and was surprised at how light the gear shift was.
Given the low seat and overall design of the bike with the engine running parallel with the gearbox, Triumph has done a remarkable job. Low speed stability is second to none, and the balance is fantastic.
Unlike my Honda Blackbird, the engine is not turbine smooth, nor does the bike feel like it wants to keep putting down the power.
In fact, the power peaks so low down in the rev band that the throttle feels very controlled at all times. Sure, if you open it more than a quarter of an inch you then find yourself going to warp drive, but if 50 -60mph is your thing, you never feel the bike is disagreeing with you.
This is one heavy bike with not a lot of ground clearance, so some care must be taken, but this was not designed for scratching, so comparisons with the Suzuki Hayabusa for example, (the bike journalists favourite for some strange reason), are really totally irrelevant.
However, it’s important to pay attention to the road as this is no sports bike. You need to think about the corner ahead and adjust your sped in good time as there is not a great deal of ground clearance.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this bike copes with the hairpins in the Pyrenees!
Zac knows how important is regular motorcycle maintenance and enjoys nothing more than working on his garage of bikes. He believes in using the right tools for the job including Harley Davidson motorcycle covers. For more free information and great deals visit www.harleydavidsonmotocyclecovers.net.