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.

11 COMMENTS

  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.

  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.)

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