QUIKSPIN: Triumph 111 Touring ABS - It’s A Rocket Man

26 December 2012

My buddy Captain Bryce is a ship pilot ushering coal carriers in and out of Mackay. I’ve been out with him staring in awe from the bridge to the bow 250 metres away. Those things take four kilometres to stop and even more to turn around. Bryce is one cool guy in charge of something so huge, deliberate and powerful. No wonder he always has an idiot grin on his face.

The Triumph Rocket III Touring would be the perfect motorcycle for him if he wasn’t already laughing his face off, on-land with his Tiger 800. I too stare out across the vast expanse again. This time it’s the massive tank, I reach for the ’bar and ask for life to breathe into the 2.3L three-cylinder donk. It starts, then idles and wheezes like something between a kettle and a turbocharged marine diesel.

The take off is a real take off. Forget the clichéd ‘surfing the wave of torque’ as this leaps off with a creamy smooth hit like a tidal wave of tsunami proportions. The dream of king of the road does get shattered with loud clunking on every upshift through the gearbox. The heel and toe change, however, is the best I’ve kicked, so I’ll excuse the Rocket’s loud ’box as it only showed 800km on the well proportioned instruments.

Steering is not in the 15-foot runabout class, although it’s light and positive, especially considering its dimensions. The rear brake out does the front for feel, power and sensitivity, and the ABS could be cashed-in for better less ‘manly’ (read chunky) hand controls and a cruise control. Boris with his ‘man’ hands may suit, but I’m just normal, so something feels amiss.

Considering the state of my licence, the Touring is the best motorcycle I could have ridden recently, for while its massive 2300cc mill gets it up to speed quickly, the intrusive vibes of that massive crank quell any idea of riding much over the speed limit.

Yet you and your love buddy can tour in supreme comfort all day long on the Touring, without ever feeling the need to exceed our stupid speed limits.

I managed 300km on a tank of juice and was pleased by the feel of carrying 23 litres of less cargo as it neared empty. The screen, pannier bags and the seats are from the first-class lounge, along with the suspension control.

I not sure what I like the most about the big triple. Is it because it is cooler than a night in Las Vegas? Just check out the rear tail light and indicator assembly. Or maybe it’s because you are captaining one big mother of a ship. Still, that’s just all ego. Believe me, the Triumph Rocket III Touring is one of the best touring bikes under $25k.

Configuration In-line, three cylinder
Cylinder head SOHC, two valves per cylinder
Capacity 2294cc
Bore/stroke 101.6 x 94.3mm
Compression ratio 8.7:1
Cooling Liquid
Fueling EFI
Power 78kW (105hp) @ 6000rpm (claimed)
Torque 203Nm @ 2500rpm (claimed)
Type Five-speed
Clutch Wet
Final drive Shaft
Frame material Tubular steel
Frame layout Twin Spine
Rake 32?
Trail 184mm
Front: 43mm USD fork, no adjustment,
120mm travel
Rear: Twin shock, five-position preload
adjustment, 105mm travel
Wheels Five-spoke, cast aluminium
Front: 16 x 3.5 Rear: 16 x 5.0
Tyres Metzler Marathon
Front: 150/80R16 (71H)
Rear: 180/70R17 (77H)
Front: Twin 320mm discs, four-piston calipers
Rear: 316mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Control: ABS
Weight 395kg (kerb, claimed)
Seat height 730mm
Max width 995mm
Max height 1182mm
Wheelbase 1705mm
Fuel capacity 22L
Fuel consumption 7L/100km
Top speed 190km/h (tested)
Quality package
Tidal wave of torque
Fantastic value
Manly chunky controls
Kettle like noise
Front brake power


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