The Rocket III has carved a unique niche in the clone-like cruiser market and exists in a class all its own with its striking looks, stunning performance and incredible specification. But while it may be the largest capacity production motorcycle in the world it’s designed first and foremost to be ridden. Good lock-to-lock movement, seamless fuel-injection and a low center of gravity combine to make low speed maneuvering surprisingly easy, while the steering geometry and overall length give a securely planted and confident feel. Added to this is generous ground clearance, making the Rocket III a truly useable machine that will tour highways, cruise streets and hustle turns with effortless ability. The Rocket III is not only the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle; it’s also a bike without equal. Its unique, fuel-injected, triple cylinder engine has a cubic capacity of 2,294 cc – that’s 140 cubic inches – and uses massive, 101.6 mm diameter pistons. It makes 147 ft.lbs. of torque at 2,750 rpm. This incredible output means even two-up the Rocket III accelerates incredibly hard without obvious effort, and relentless forward motion is just a slight twist of throttle away. Twin butterfly valves for each throttle body are used to give precise control over the engine and this set-up allows the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) to vary the mixture flow and ignition map dependent on gear selected and road speed. The torque curve is thus tailored specifically for each gear ratio. And the result is impressive – over 90 percent of the engine’s prodigious torque output is available at just 2,000 rpm, giving incredible levels of flexibility and making the five-speed gearbox (nearly) redundant. New for 2006 is the black finished engine. The Rocket III’s chassis, as you’d expect is something quite special. It centers on a large tubular steel twin-spine frame, which houses the motor while maintenance-free shaft drive lays power to the massive 240/50-section rear tire. The front brakes are sports bike specification – twin four-piston calipers mated with 320 mm floating discs – and provide awesome stopping power. The rear brake, developed by Brembo especially, is a single twin caliper and 316 mm disc. The 43 mm upside down forks and twin rear shocks, built specifically for the Rocket III, add composure and supple compliance. This and the relaxed, comfortable ergonomics allow the rider to take full advantage of the extended range provided by the fuel-efficient engine and huge 6.3 gal US making the Rocket III a perfect tool for those long, high-mileage days in the saddle. The ability to personalize the Rocket III was integral to the design philosophy and as the bike went through its prototype stages so did the myriad of factory-approved parts designed specifically around the new machine. Designed, developed and tested by our accessories engineers in collaboration with the same Triumph design team and test riders responsible for the bike itself, the accessories reflect the same close attention to detail and finish. For example the leather saddlebags, which are crafted in England, are constructed from the highest quality 4 mm aniline leather and feature triple themed detailing and quick release chromed buckles. The choices a Rocket III owner can make to customize and enhance their bike are huge; street-rodders can add exhaust pipes, wind-cheating fly screens and a host of chrome. Likewise, high-mileage touring riders can match saddlebags, windscreens, sissy bars, back rests and chrome to the Rocket III’s potential, making it an excellent long-distance motorcycle. Then there are the custom-paint options for the tank and bodywork. Along with the existing ‘Tribal’ and ‘Flame’ designs, for 2006 Triumph is offering two new, factory fit custom paint options. The standard paint options are Jet Black, Cardinal Red, Scorched Yellow and Graphite. The word awesome is often overused in connection with motorcycles. Except when it’s used in connection with the Rocket III. Then it’s barely adequate.