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2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT First Ride Review


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Lean angle from R to GT models is very similar, but mid-mounted foot controls on R models allow the rider to shift their weight a bit more.
Lean angle from R to GT models is very similar, but mid-mounted foot controls on R models allow the rider to shift their weight a bit more. (Triumph/)

Yes, it’s the largest-displacement production motorcycle in the world, and for the majority of people interested in the 2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm, that statement alone is enough. In the power-cruiser space, displacement and power numbers reign supreme and the Rocket has ‘em. Triumph had big power and wild displacement when this bike was introduced in 2004. The really impressive feat? Over the last 20 years the British manufacturer has turned a high-powered beast of a bike into a motorcycle that’s easily rideable, able to corner at speed, and cruise in comfort. The high-power, overweight, and semi-ridiculous power cruiser that was introduced in 2004 under the Rocket name has been refined into relevance and, while it’s still the biggest and baddest bike at any red light, major arguments against the platform have been addressed. Believe it or not, the $25,000 Rocket 3 Storm actually makes sense as a cruiser in 2024.

Rocket 3 Storm R and GT models are priced at $24,995 and $25,795, respectively, and are available in dealerships now.
Rocket 3 Storm R and GT models are priced at $24,995 and $25,795, respectively, and are available in dealerships now. (Triumph/)

Major engine and chassis updates to the Rocket 3 platform were seen in 2019, so when compared to earlier models, you’ll find the majority of our notes echoed there. For 2024 Triumph introduces matte black engine finishes, two-tone paint, and an updated tune increasing output from the previously stock 165 hp to 180 hp, and 166 lb.-ft. of torque. Both R and GT models also receive a new set of 10-spoke cast wheels which, combined, saves 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) where it really matters.

A 240mm-wide Metzeler Cruistec rear tire puts power to the ground with surprising efficiency.
A 240mm-wide Metzeler Cruistec rear tire puts power to the ground with surprising efficiency. (Triumph/)

Rocket 3 on the Road

Triumph invited us to Cannes, France, to experience these new models, and while I was familiar with the harbor city’s famous film festival and stunning beaches, I had no idea what incredible landscape waited just a few miles inland. Our testbikes were parked directly in front of the hotel and 100 feet from breakwater on one side and yachts on the other. Weather was somewhat overcast with temperatures in the mid-50s. It had been raining for days before but we were lucky enough to avoid that part. Regardless, the hotel’s beautiful location meant that we had to get out of the city.

GT models feature a short windshield and passenger backrest, while R models, as seen here, do not.
GT models feature a short windshield and passenger backrest, while R models, as seen here, do not. (Triumph/)

With a 2.5-liter engine and 699-pound wet weight on the R model, 705 on the GT, you don’t really expect light handling or the level of low-speed maneuverability that the Rocket 3 offers. We moved through in-town traffic and filtered to the front of a couple of red lights, all while the R model which I started on felt exceptionally well balanced and tight. Throttle response and modulation are excellent. Although engagement from the slipper/assist clutch was a bit vague, it was still easy to modulate and control. The R’s mid-controls provided comfortable ergonomics in town and the short-reach bars are directly connected to steering action. After a short 15 minutes through side streets and alleyways, we hit the highway and were able to open up the throttle.

The Rocket 3’s 3-to-1-to-3 exhaust system features hydroformed headers.
The Rocket 3’s 3-to-1-to-3 exhaust system features hydroformed headers. (Triumph/)

The initial crack of the throttle is smooth and manageable in all ride modes tested, but when you really crack it open, the Rocket delivers. A 240mm-wide rear tire effectively puts power to the ground with its large contact patch—you can spin the tire if you try, but only when you want to. Unlike some power cruisers, the throttle isn’t twitchy or overreactive while trying to cruise, it’s easily managed and riders can relax since subtle inputs won’t upset the chassis or mellow cruising vibes.

GT Versus R

We pulled into our first coffee stop in a small town with cobblestone streets and a river running through its middle. Journalists were eager to swap bikes right away and experience key differences. The R model is the Roadster, which means mid-mounted foot controls and shorter handlebars. The GT is the Grand Tourer, with a 5-inch rearward difference in handlebar placement to the R and forward foot controls. Chassis geometry is identical from bike to bike, but the rider’s position makes them feel like different machines. I hopped off of the R and on to the GT for our next stint.

The Rocket 3’s gauge is easily customized to show three levels of information, or easily navigated to adjust the ride.
The Rocket 3’s gauge is easily customized to show three levels of information, or easily navigated to adjust the ride. (Triumph/)

They were right. The GT is a completely different bike with my feet out front and some pulled-back handlebars, though at 6-foot-4 I found the forwards still giving my knees a slightly over-90-degree bend. I liked the stretched-out position of the forwards, especially as they fit me like some three-quarter mids, but I wished I could rotate the handlebars forward and up to relieve the short-reach and sit-up-and-beg T. rex position I ended up in. As always, you can’t tailor a suit to fit everyone well.

R and GT models have a 5-inch difference in handlebar positioning, which changes the way you steer the bike and how connected the handlebars feel to the steering action.
R and GT models have a 5-inch difference in handlebar positioning, which changes the way you steer the bike and how connected the handlebars feel to the steering action. (Triumph/)

Our group continued along the river and further from Cannes, carving through canyons as the cliff faces grew at our sides. The rivers next to us were flowing with bright blue water, cascading over white rock. It reminds of Montana, but every once in a while you’d look up to see a several-hundred-year-old church on a bluff or we’d pull off to a café older than the USA.

Handling

We stopped for lunch and talked about the bikes, knowing that the more aggressive riding portion was ahead of us. Those of us who had tested the 2019 update acknowledged that this year is a bit of “bold new graphics,” but the lighter wheels do seem to make a slight difference in handling. As demonstrated in the updated Rocket’s torque curve, the increase in power is only really felt at higher engine speeds. As this bike produces an absolute boatload, nay, shipload, of power wherever you find yourself, you only end up in that higher register when you’re pushing the engine and asking more of it. So that added power is great and it’s noticeable if you’re pushing the 180-hp capabilities of this machine, but what percentage of riders on this bike will push its limits?

Getting the most out of the Rocket 3’s handling requires some body English.
Getting the most out of the Rocket 3’s handling requires some body English. (Triumph/)

We continued on along the riverside through more perfectly paved roads and unparalleled scenery. The group was getting more comfortable on the bikes so our general speed increased. Entering turns at higher speeds, the Rocket 3 gives a sensation of coming in too hot. There is a pause point in the handling: The bike comfortably tips to a point a few degrees above its footpeg scrape point, and then requires some real muscling to push past that. But it will get past that point if you want it to. It has a hint of understeer at speed, but if you hang off the bike and really force it, the extra few degrees are there to use. Knowing a little bit of body geometry could close any necessary gaps in a pinch brings confidence in the Rocket’s handling. Lean angles from R to GT are about the same, but when swapping from model to model, the R’s mid-controls allow for an easier shift of the body, so you can scrape later if you want to do the work and hang off.

Our testing grounds in the French Riviera provided incredible roads with stunning views.
Our testing grounds in the French Riviera provided incredible roads with stunning views. (Triumph/)

Front suspension is a Showa 47mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable compression and rebound. Shocks are a set of fully adjustable Showa units with hydraulic preload adjustment. This suspension setup pairs with high-spec Brembo four-piston calipers front and rear, each with Optimized Cornering ABS, to provide incredible feel and a high level of control. Feel out the brakes, load up the suspension, and get the most out of the Rocket—or just cruise along and enjoy a comfortable ride with finely tuned components, both situations are satisfying.

GT models feature a passenger backrest that’s quickly adjustable with a tab under the backpad.
GT models feature a passenger backrest that’s quickly adjustable with a tab under the backpad. (Triumph/)

Conclusion

We stopped for one more coffee and were able to choose the bikes we finished our trip on. While the GT’s relaxed ergos are nice, more direct handling of shorter bars and mid-controls on the R are the jam on the twisting French mountain roads.

As we left our final stop, we dropped from the mountains through Grasse into Nice, and then on to Cannes—so through lots of traffic, steep hills, and then into the city’s walking streets. Through a roughly 45-minute stop-and-go ride, I may have touched my feet to the ground one time. The Rocket 3 is remarkably well balanced.

Aggressive handling on the Rocket 3 takes a bit of extra body geometry, but the bike responds well when pushed.
Aggressive handling on the Rocket 3 takes a bit of extra body geometry, but the bike responds well when pushed. (Triumph/)

As the group descended back to sea level and back to the city center of Cannes, I was quickly reminded of this bike’s presence. It sounds like a muscle car and demands attention. The engine is huge, the wheelbase is long, but fit and finish is spectacular and every piece feels premium.

The fact that Triumph has sold more than 18,000 Rocket 3 models since 2019 speaks volumes. This bike still exudes an intimidating presence—it says “2,500cc’' right there on the side of the engine—but it doesn’t require an expert drag racer to get the most out of it. The huge engine matched to sorted fueling produces clean and usable power, no matter the situation. Triumph gives you all the power and potential in a platform that’s approachable and usable for intermediate riders and experts alike. The only real question for buyers is GT or R?

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT Specs

MSRP: $24,995 / $25,795
Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder; 12 valves
Displacement: 2,458cc
Bore x Stroke: 110.2 x 85.9mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/shaft drive, bevel box
Claimed Horsepower: 180 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Claimed Torque: 166 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Fuel System: Fuel injection, ride-by-wire
Clutch: Wet, multiplate; hydraulically operated, torque assist
Frame: Full aluminum
Front Suspension: Showa 47mm upside-down 1+1 cartridge fork, compression and rebound adjustable; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa piggyback reservoir RSU w/ remote hydraulic preload adjuster; 4.2 in. travel
Front Brake: Brembo M4.32 Stylema 4-piston radial monoblock calipers, dual 320mm discs w/ Optimised Cornering ABS
Rear Brake: Brembo M4.32 4-piston Monoblock caliper, 300mm disc w/ Optimised Cornering ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 16 x 7.5 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 150/80R-17 / 240/50R-16
Rake/Trail: 27.9°/5.3 in.
Wheelbase: 66.0 in.
Seat Height: 30.4 in. / 29.5 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 699 lb./ 705 lb.
Contact: triumphmotorcycles.com

Gearbox:

Helmet: Arai XD-5

Jacket: Alpinestars Frost Drystar

Gloves: Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar

Pants: Alpinestars Barton Riding Cargo

Shoes: Alpinestars Chrome Crafted Drystar

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Why do we have to see all these bikes that are clearly aimed at our friends across the pond.  Another bike that is pointless for our roads 

 

Sharpen Stop Motion GIF by PES

 

 

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I am a bit conflicted about them, I think they look cool as hell in the flesh but they also remind me of a locomotive.  I just can't imagine living with something that big, bit of adverse camber or gravel when you put your fit down.  😳  Imagine trying to paddle it backwards for any reason.  Just to big and bloody heavy to my mind.  

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23 minutes ago, Saul said:

I am a bit conflicted about them, I think they look cool as hell in the flesh but they also remind me of a locomotive.  I just can't imagine living with something that big, bit of adverse camber or gravel when you put your fit down.  😳  Imagine trying to paddle it backwards for any reason.  Just to big and bloody heavy to my mind.  

You plan ahead. I bet if you really want one you can make it work. Plenty of people ride Harleys and those are maybe similarly heavy so there’s a way.

I had a sit on one and it felt similarly huge as a Harley does, they make a conventional European touring bike seem small and practical.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 09/05/2024 at 18:52, boboneleg said:

Why do we have to see all these bikes that are clearly aimed at our friends across the pond.  Another bike that is pointless for our roads 

 

Sharpen Stop Motion GIF by PES

 

 

Basically the same idea I have about them....is it a touring bike ? ..I don't beleive so...cool to look at and probably fun to ride ...not something I would go for...I just don't see any practical use for a bike like that..

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On 10/05/2024 at 15:55, Saul said:

I am a bit conflicted about them, I think they look cool as hell in the flesh but they also remind me of a locomotive.  I just can't imagine living with something that big, bit of adverse camber or gravel when you put your fit down.  😳  Imagine trying to paddle it backwards for any reason.  Just to big and bloody heavy to my mind.  

Like Perdo was saying..there's way to work around the weight...relatively speaking at 7oo pounds I consider that light weight ....the indian fully dressed and loaded is a solid thousand pound at least..

 

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1 hour ago, Marcel le Moose Fondler said:

Like Perdo was saying..there's way to work around the weight...relatively speaking at 7oo pounds I consider that light weight ....the indian fully dressed and loaded is a solid thousand pound at least..

 

Do you mean Perdo or Pervo :classic_unsure:

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1 hour ago, Marcel le Moose Fondler said:

Like Perdo was saying..there's way to work around the weight...relatively speaking at 7oo pounds I consider that light weight ....the indian fully dressed and loaded is a solid thousand pound at least..

 

Closer to 1400lbs when you are on it you fat cunt.

  • Haha 3
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4 minutes ago, Marcel le Moose Fondler said:

Look who talking...your no light weight yourself dickweed....

Yes but I'm tall.

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20 minutes ago, Marcel le Moose Fondler said:

Pics or it didn't happen...until you show me proof ..your just a short arses...in my book...

Screenshot_20240606_121545_Gallery.jpg

Nah , you’re so obviously 5’5’’

with size 4 boots 😁

  • Haha 2
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