New Triumph Rocket III on the way?

Pics and info 'leaked' from Triumph's dealer conference

Rocket 3 dealer conference screen grab

TRIUMPH HAS made some really good bikes in its modern incarnation. But it's perhaps fair to say it's only really made one 'wow' bike - the Rocket III. A 2.3 litre triple engine, arranged longitudinally along the wheelbase, the Rocket properly phreaked us out when it first appeared in 2004. Okay, it was pretty heavy, and 'only' made 145-odd bhp. But it had more torque than Thomas de Torqueville III, the Emperor of Torquelandia – and could hustle like a sportsbike designed by someone fried on bad acid. We've had some FABULOUS days out riding the old Rocket III over the years, and never get off one with anything less than a Bundesliga-spec grin on our fizzogs.

Which made us a bit sad to see that the Hinckley beancounters had - seemingly - dumped the Rocket after tightening emissions regs made it non-compliant. Sales had never quite been what the firm hoped for, especially in the US, where a 'Power Cruiser' means a Harley making more than 70bhp - not a howling 150bhp English hooligan. But would the firm really drop its massive cruiser, in favour of even more Bonneville-based retros?

Thankfully, the answer seems to be 'no'. Yay. Because some pics, rumours and screen grabs have seeped out of the Dealer Conference held a while back. Whether these are real leaks from citizen journalist dealers, or 'leaks' which just happen to appear once all the old stock of Rocket IIIs has been sold, we're not going to worry too much about. What we do know is that there's this concept drawing (above), plus videos and other pics appearing all over the darker recesses of the net, some being deleted as fast as they're put up.

What could we expect from a Neu-Rocket Drei then? Well, obvious stuff is obvious, so there's a single-sided swingarm on the concept drawing - which is new - and some slick USD forks and dual-round headlights, not unlike the old 'un. Will the monoblock Brembos on there remain? We'd think so - there's enough margin in a bike like this to justify some sweet chassis jewellery.

Euro4 compliance goes without saying, and we'll also get all the new rider aids which were merely a twinkle in John Bloor's eye back in 2004: traction control, power modes, cruise control, wheelie control (yes they do wheelie, the buggers) and much more.

Triumph's been fairly unpredictable in terms of press announcements of late - so we wouldn't be surprised to see a new Rocket announced next week, next month, or in a year's time. We'll be trying to find out more of course...