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.