2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm Review | First Ride

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT
The Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT are cruising into 2025 with 180 hp on tap.

Riding a motorcycle automatically makes you stand out in a crowd of vehicles. And when you want to set yourself apart from that condensed crowd, no other production machine does it better or bolder than the Triumph Rocket 3.  

“It’s a bucket-list bike,” said Triumph’s senior design engineer, Alistair Fisher, at the launch of the 2025 Rocket 3 Storms, available in R and GT versions.  

It all starts with the gargantuan 3-cylinder engine, which outguns the powerplant in my Honda family car, with 2,458cc to my Accord’s 2,354cc. My car keeps up with traffic quite well, with 177 hp pulling around roughly 3,300 lb.  

For 2025, Triumph’s motor gets a boost to 180 hp, and the bike weighs a relatively paltry 700 lb – that’s just 3.9 lb/hp to the Accord’s 18.6, which translates into a speed-bending rocket. The Rocket also outpaces the Honda in terms of torque, with 166 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm compared to 161 lb-ft at 4,300. Triumph’s Triple is a beast and unlike anything else on the market. 

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
A Storm is on the horizon…

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm | Rocket Roots 

The first Hinckley-based Rocket III entered production in 2004 and remained in the lineup for a decade in various model trims. Then, in 2019, a completely new aluminum-framed Rocket 3 (note the absence of a Roman numeral) burst onto the moto scene, about 90 lb lighter and with finish detailing that shamed the original’s uninspired appearance. Despite its outsized proportions and premium prices, more than 18,000 second-gen Rockets have been sold. 

Related: 2023 Triumph Rocket 3 R Review 

2004 Triumph Rocket III
The first generation of Hinckley-based Triumph’s Rocket III made a big splash when it debuted in 2004. The second-gen Rocket 3s are far superior in performance and beauty. 

Heartened by the model’s success and its unique place in the market, Triumph has added the “Storm” nomenclature and has updated the two versions. The R is intended for sportier riders, while the GT has more of a cruiser ergonomic layout along with a small windscreen and a passenger backrest.  

Accompanying the new Storm monicker is a slathering of black-anodized finishes to give the bike a darker, moodier appearance, including the fork, hand and foot controls, and aluminum subframe. It still rolls on cartoonishly fat tires (150/80-17 front, 240/50-16 rear), but new wheels trim about 1 lb from each end for a reduction in unsprung weight.

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
The Rocket 3 Storms are bold and bodacious, “the ultimate muscle roadster,” according to Triumph. Note the exposed rear wheel, now 1 lb lighter than previous, and Triumph’s signature dual round headlights. 

The Storm’s headlining update is to its massive motor, which receives its newfound extra power not from lumpier cams or intake mods but simply from electronic tuning. Engineers told me the throttle valves of the previous engine didn’t open completely, limiting power to ensure adequate durability.  

Over the years, Triumph discovered the engine could be pushed harder without sacrificing dependability, so we now have a fully unrestricted powerplant that delivers 180 hp at 7,000 rpm, up 15 ponies, as well as a 500-rpm higher rev limit. Torque gets a 3 lb-ft nudge to 166 lb-ft. 

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT
The Rocket 3 Storms have high-quality black finishes throughout, which are optional extras on most Harleys and Indians. 

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm | The Cannes Can 

The Cannes Film Festival is world-famous, but a few weeks earlier, the French city hosted the launch for the Rocket 3 Storms. We tested the R and GT variants on the variety of hilly roads near the Mediterranean coast. 

The Rockets look imposing in the flesh, for both their enormous size and their new black finishes. If Darth Vader could ride a motorcycle around the Death Star, he’d probably choose a Rocket 3 Storm. The finish detailing is exceptional, from the black powdercoated intake cover to the hydro-formed exhaust headers.  

Several brushed-aluminum components provide classy accents, including the fuel cap, oil cap, and coolant cap, as well as the tank strap running the length of the 4.76-gallon fuel cell. Lovely aluminum caps finish off the handlebar ends and serve as mounting locations for the mirrors. I also must give a shout-out to the innovative pillion footrests that fold into themselves to nearly disappear.  

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT
While not as colorful as some high-end instrument panels, the tiltable TFT screen on the Rockets supplies a wealth of information. It includes a power port, augmented with a USB outlet under the seat.  

Facing the rider is a color TFT instrument panel with a mount that allows it to be tilted to suit different rider sizes. Hands are greeted by adjustable levers and quality-feeling switches that are conveniently backlit. A joystick on the left switch housing makes navigating the electronics relatively simple. Riders have their choice of two information layouts, and self-indulgent ones can personalize the start-up screen message with their name.  

The Storms are equipped with three ride modes (Road, Sport, and Rain), and a custom map configurable to a rider’s specific preferences. They alter the throttle map and the traction-control settings, as well as the cornering ABS, all informed by an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). Hill Hold prevents the bike rolling backward when stopped by applying the rear brake until the rider re-engages the clutch.  

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT: Giant Tremendous  

I first climbed aboard the Rocket 3 Storm GT, happy to enjoy the warmth from its standard heated grips (optional on the Storm R) and the modest wind protection provided by its windscreen. The GT’s nicely stitched seat is placed at 29.5 inches to allow most legs to reach the ground flat-footed, and its footpegs are placed more forward than the R’s. Triumph engineered the GT’s foot controls to be adjustable to three positions over a 2-inch horizontal range – a nice feature.

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT
The Storm GT is fitted with a larger windscreen than the R’s, and it has cruiser-style ergonomics.  

I stuck the bike’s remote fob into my pocket and enjoyed the convenience of keyless ignition. The engine ignites quickly and twisting the throttle gently rocks the bike sideways as the big crankshaft rotates below. It’s an easy reach to the handlebar, which is 4.9 inches closer to the rider than the R’s.  

Considering the immense size of the powerplant, it’s startling how little effort is required to work the Torque Assist clutch. Not that the burly engine requires much clutch work, as it has the deepest well of power in motorcycling. The gearbox is smooth but notchy, and it’s a bit surprising that a quickshifter is not standard equipment on a bike that retails for $25,795 (one is available as an option).  

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT
The GT has a wider rider saddle and a more generously padded pillion seat.  

Riding the Storms made me think of the way skilled but overweight dancers can move on a dance floor. This big ballerina weighs 705 lb and has a rangy 66-inch wheelbase, but it handles like a more diminutive machine. The motor’s low longitudinal crankshaft orientation plays a role, as do the lighter wheels.  

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT
Passengers on Storm GTs will enjoy the security of an adjustable-height backrest. Just above the shaft-drive swingarm are passenger pegs neatly folded away thanks to a clever pivoting mechanism.  

GEAR UP

Both Storms share the same suspension package. Up front is a beefy 47mm Showa inverted fork with tunable damping in both directions and fixed preload, with 4.7 inches of travel. The Showa shock has 4.2 inches of stroke and is fully adjustable, including a hand-twistable spring preload adjustment. The bike proved to be plusher over bumps than expected, especially considering how much area the wide tires are covering with every rotation.  

Naturally, the engine is the bike’s dominant component, pulling strongly from low revs and then building to a walloping whoosh as the big Triple gains revs. The engine is coarse but lovable, sounding like a mix of a Porsche flat-Six’s howl and a voracious vacuum cleaner.  

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R: Ridiculous 

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
The R version of the Storms places its rider in a more active stance that encourages riding it like a sportbike.  

Switching over to the Storm R provided a sportier riding position, with a much lower handlebar and mid-mount foot controls vertically adjustable to two positions 0.6 inch apart. The seat is narrower than the GT’s and a bit higher at 30.4 inches. It’s priced $800 less than the GT and does without heated grips unless they’re ordered as an accessory. Curb weight is stated at 699 lb.  

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
The Storm R puts riders in a streetfighter-esque posture. Note the fat tires, the edges of which never get scrubbed due to limited cornering clearance. 

The GT is quite capable when unwinding canyon roads, but the R’s more active riding position encourages sportier behavior, and its footpegs drag a degree or so later. The bike is more agile than you’d expect, but its sporting prowess is limited by an understeer condition felt when leaned over. Despite peg-grinding lean angles, the shoulders of the 150mm-section Metzeler Cruisetec front tire remained entirely unscuffed.   

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
A Rocket 3 Storm GT fitted with some of Triumph’s accessory items. 

Velocities build quickly with 180 horses champing at the bit, so it’s reassuring to see Triumph fit top-shelf Brembos for the braking system. Up front is a pair of radial-mount Brembo Stylema monoblock 4-piston calipers biting on 320mm discs. They don’t feel as potent as usual here, so maximum deceleration is achieved with a stomp on the rear Brembo M4.32 4-piston monoblock caliper and its 300mm rear rotor, a diameter bigger than the front brake setup on some bikes.  

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm | Storming Home 

As our group descended the mountain roads onto a local highway, I set the standard cruise control and reflected on my day in the saddle of the Rockets.  

I shouldn’t like this bike. It’s too big and bulky for my tastes. I don’t like bikes with long wheelbases and extra-fat tires, and I certainly don’t need a motorcycle with a 2.5-liter engine. I’m not a fan of giant motorcycles, and the Rocket 3 is like a caricature.  

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R
Despite its considerable size, the Rocket 3 can dance in the corners. It’s in a class of its own. 

And yet I can’t deny how much the Rockets impressed me. I was spellbound by the engine’s omnipresent grunt, and I was endlessly pleased with the careful attention to detail lavished on the bike from tip to tail. This is a machine that can hold its head high at any rider hangout, standing apart from anything else in motorcycledom.  

A Rocket 3 might not be the ideal choice for a single-bike garage, but it would be a brilliant addition to sit alongside a more practical bike. It’s truly unique, which is one thing. But it’s also excellent, which puts the Rocket 3 in an exclusive class of one.   

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT
The Storms are available in three two-tone color options: Carnival Red with Sapphire Black, Satin Pacific Blue with Matt Sapphire Black, or Sapphire Black with Granite seen here. The GT (left) uses the same colorways but with the color split of the tank reversed.  

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R (GT) Specifications 

  • Base Price: $24,995 ($25,795) 
  • Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com   
  • Warranty: 2 yr., unltd. miles   
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal inline-Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.   
  • Displacement: 2,458cc   
  • Bore x Stroke: 110.2 x 85.9mm   
  • Horsepower: 180 @ 7,000 rpm (factory claim)   
  • Torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (factory claim)   
  • Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulic-actuated slip/assist wet clutch   
  • Final Drive: Shaft  
  • Wheelbase: 66.0 in.   
  • Rake/Trail: 27.9 degrees/5.3 in.   
  • Seat Height: 30.4 in. (29.5 in.)   
  • Wet Weight: 699 lb (705 lb) (factory claim)   
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.76 gal.  

9 COMMENTS

  1. You know, a hell of a lot of riders like to ride with a pillion on the back. In fact I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say a many riders use their bikes(whatever the gender) to attract someone to go riding with them on the back. Maybe not all the time, but absolutely a good portion of it. That pillion is a joke. And my wife said, at the dealership, that it made her ass hurt just looking at it, yet alone going on anything more than a short jaunt to the very very local watering hole. I don’t think I need to list the performance, horsepower and torque numbers to say this bike can easily carry two up. It would feel like two mosquitoes to this machine. There’s at least one sale of the rocket you did not get because that seat is an affront to all passenger rear ends. I know, I know> Doesn’t look cool.

    • I’m with you on this. I had a 1st gen Rocket III Classic. Whenever I took my wife riding, I swear that bike never even noticed she was there. It had relatively generous pillion provisions also. She loved it.

      When it came time for a new ride, I considered a new R3 GT, but the postage stamp pillion seat and matching backrest were a deal killer. I went with a BMW R1200R instead. Smaller bike, but better pillion accommodations. Go figure.

  2. This bike is last on my list of bikes I need. And first on my list of bikes I want. The fit & finish of the Rocket cannot be overstated; it’s an absolute masterpiece! And compared to my Trophy SE, it feels like a 400 lb. bike when standing it up (the Trophy weighs 700 lbs. as well). If I can only convince the wife…

  3. Can only agree with the writer.
    Came from a Suzuki B-King Street Xtreme, since 2 weeks proud owner of the Rocket 3 Storm R.

    The Triumph is massive, as well quality and performance wise.
    Hard to describe the rides with words, you have to ride it before you understand and believe….

  4. I’m sorry, I would love to own one but the tail looks like it was cut off with a hack saw. Bring back a version of the original.

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