2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC | First Look Review

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
Be still our beating hearts: the 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC is a drastic departure from the previous Rocket 3. Images courtesy Triumph.

Since its launch in 2004, Triumph’s Rocket 3 has boasted a lot of “mosts”: most torque, most muscle, most…well…for lack of a better word, presence. With its signature three exhaust header pipes curving off the right side of the massive 2,294cc in-line triple, hulking 6.3-gallon gas tank and gaping twin megaphone silencers, nothing about the Rocket 3 has ever been subtle.

It was always essentially an overgrown cruiser, however, and the lone traditional cruiser in Triumph’s 2019 lineup. But now there’s a new Rocket 3 in town, badged as a limited edition Triumph Factory Custom, or TFC model, and rather than being just an accessorized version of the existing bike, the 2019 Rocket 3 TFC is an entirely new machine.

It boasts an all-new 2,458cc liquid-cooled in-line triple, the largest production motorcycle engine in the world, with the highest peak torque at a claimed 163 lb-ft and the most horsepower of any Triumph to date, a claimed 168. Details so far are scarce, but we do know that it features state-of-the-art components like titanium intake valves that allow for quicker, higher revving, and new Arrow silencers.

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
Lighting is all-LED, including the stubby tail. Single-sided swingarm and rear hugger license plate holder are new.

Final drive is via shaft, housed in a new single-sided aluminum swingarm that, combined with the all-new aluminum frame, engine refinements, carbon fiber bodywork and other lightweight bits, make the new Rocket 3 TFC a whopping 88 pounds lighter than the standard 2019 Rocket 3. If Triumph’s figures are correct, that would put its dry weight in the neighborhood of just 648 pounds.

Helping to make such a beast a bit more rideable, the Rocket 3 TFC includes some modern tech like cornering ABS and traction control, four ride modes (Road, Rain, Sport and Rider-Configurable)–notably these all appear to be full-power and only adjust throttle mapping and traction control settings–Triumph Shift Assist (clutchless up- and downshifting) and Hill Hold Control to prevent the bike from rolling backwards when stopped on an incline.

Other features include full LED lighting, electronic cruise control, keyless ignition, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and a USB charging socket. The display is a new TFT instrument that is rider-configurable and can be optionally set up with Bluetooth connectivity for GoPro integration, turn-by-turn navigation and music/phone operation.

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
TFT instrument is new and looks to be lifted from the new Speed Triple. Display is rider-configurable and can be upgraded with Bluetooth connectivity.

Suspension is by Showa front and rear, with an adjustable 47mm cartridge-style USD fork and adjustable single shock with piggyback reservoir. Brakes are high-spec Brembo M4.30 Stylema 4-piston radial-mount calipers gripping 320mm discs up front and a Brembo M4.32 4-piston caliper in back squeezing a 300mm disc, and new wheels are twenty-spoke cast aluminum with a beefy 240mm rear tire.

As a TFC model, premium details abound, including plenty of carbon fiber, a leather interchangeable solo and twin seat, and TFC badging with gold accents.

Only 750 Rocket 3 TFCs will be produced worldwide, with 225 slated for North America. Each will be individually numbered and will include a letter signed by Triumph CEO Nick Bloor, a personalized custom build book, a leather TFC rucksack and a Rocket 3 TFC branded indoor bike cover.

The 2019 Rocket 3 TFC won’t be available until December, but orders are being taken now at your nearest Triumph dealer. One can be yours for an MSRP of $29,000 ($33,000 in Canada).

Keep scrolling for more images:

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
Twin LED headlights with DRL are new, as is the carbon fiber flyscreen.
Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
The new Rocket 3 TFC is sleeker, meaner and sportier than before…and we like it!
Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
Left side of the massive engine has premium badging details.
Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
Every Rocket 3 TFC will come with a numbered plaque and gold detailing.
Triumph Rocket 3 TFC
New aluminum single-sided swingarm houses the driveshaft.


  1. Well, if one ever had such a question, Triumph has provided this answer. A lot of things come to mind when thinking of this machine. To wit: We need this 2,500cc engine because that is what it takes to push an engine that big. Triumph, thus, is working with a circular type of logic. A Honda GL1800 makes more sense. Or a BMW K1600.

    And from a horsepower perspective, one still must wonder. If Ducati can offer 213 ponies with its 1103cc V-Four, and BMW 204 bhp with its 999cc inline-Four, then why settle for either when a 160-bhp Triple is waiting for us from the brand that gave us the Bonneville? Yessiree! Way to go!

    Whatever. …

    • I of course disagree with your silly circular logic argument. And your comparison with other brands having more horsepower fails to account that none those liter bikes would have anywhere near the torque of the Triumph. All of these motorcycles offer a different kind of riding experience. It’s great we have so many choices!

    • Jack, you make some good points. But then, so does Mike.

      Two thoughts occur to me:
      1) The price seems reasonable in light of retail pricing on Harleys, etc.
      2) Many of the 225 US models will likely be snapped up by collectors and never turn a wheel.

    • This is like “Why do you need a 454 big block when you can just make a Honda Civic go fast?” Your logic is broken. There’s no replacement for displacement and you can make a rocket push more horsepower than you can possibly use at the rear wheel by adding a supercharger. Triumph doesn’t make 2500cc because they HAVE to – they do it because they can and there’s a market for it. Not everyone wants to choose between a slow cruiser or a fast sport bike. As a Rocket owner, I can tell you I’ve personally smoked a Ducati 1098 off the line with my wife on the back. That guy was in shock just staring at my windshield, highway pegs and saddle bags like “What the hell is this thing that just beat me?” I think they’ve marketed it perfectly. It’s the muscle car of bikes. It’s not gonna be for everyone. Lots of people are afraid to ride it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.

      • Test rode a 2016 Rocket III yesterday.

        Ok, here’s the joke. My current bike is a 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 500.

        The experience was amazing. Quick turn of the throttle and I was in HOLY SMOKES LAND, immediately.

        While my first inclination was to look at the Speedo and tach, that quickly was less important than where I just launched myself. The dual front ABS brakes were quite effective at undoing what I just did.

        Absolutely gotta have one. Would really like one of the 2019, but doubt that will happen.

  2. All it needs is a rocket launcher and it’s ready for the next Mad Max movie. 2.5 liters, 168hp and 240mm rubber…..That’s more than most small cars a years ago. Holy Crap!

  3. Out here in Kentucky, we’ve always called this thing “The Farm Tractor”. Nothing much has changed, unless they’ve finally added a Power Take-Off (PTO) to her. Me? Can’t wait to hitch a seed drill to one and plant the back 40 in Edamame.

    By the by, old chaps, has anyone ever told you that your bikes are just plain butt-ugly? (Of course, I do kiss mules.)

    • My knee-jerk reaction to my 2009 Rocket was that it was ugly too. I was coming from a literal show bike to what I referred to as a conversion van, but then I rode it. The power and torque is unmatched by anything else I rode. There’s something about being able to smoke a crotch rocket on a big “ugly” cruiser that makes it okay. On the other hand, I’m not sure if it just grew on me over time, or if this thing got sexier, but I really like the look of this one.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people put only negative comments about non-mainstream motorcycles. Seems like too many of them are just jealous that their Hardleys are no longer bigger or better, than so many other brands. Jealousy raises it’s ugly head when old schoolers realize that the horsepower and torque of many new bikes makes theirs obsolete.

    • Motorcycles are built for missions. A Kawi H2 is built to break the sound barrier. A Dual Sport is built to travel to a place to get off the road. A Harley Road Glide is built to get you cross-country in comfort. A Sport Touring is built to get you cross-country in a hurry. What is the mission of the Rocket 3? Bar-hopping?

  5. I’ve been a Rocket owner since 2009. All this new shiny digital stuff makes me nervous considering they’re known for having electrical issues. It’s a gorgeous and amazing bike, but I won’t buy it just because I don’t trust that they’ve fixed their known issues that they haven’t even acknowledged in older models.

  6. Finally- a cruiser that makes me actually want a cruiser.

    If I had the room, and the money, I would have one of these in the garage.

    • But is it still a cruiser? Can’t really tell the riding position, footpeg location, and the article doesn’t address that. Years ago I bought one via Ebay that I wasn’t that serious about. It was like driving a locomotive, great rush, but als the cruiser position doomed it for me. I was hoping I could make a nice standard muscle bike, this might be that. 88#s less and more displacement!!

  7. I can bet one thing, you could be the fattest person riding one of these things and it wouldn’t slow it down

  8. Where is the rest of the bike…the rear end, I mean? No fender, no bags…can’t go anywhere far! I’ll keep my 2017 Rocket 3 Roadster.

  9. Anyone out there interested in ownership of the first Rocket sold in the USA ? I have certs and letters to verify from Triumph. Purchased in Alpharetta, Georgia. All original, garage and carpet kept ! Can’t say I’ve always ridden responsibility, loud bikes aren’t always fast bikes..

  10. Trying very hard to find a definitive answer on, can the Rocket 3 TFC be a Two-up motorcycle? If I’m going to spend $29,000 on a bike the wife says it has to seat her comfortably. I would even go as far as buying the EOM components from the GT and bringing them over to the TFC.
    Anyone have any references?


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