How fast?! Triumph Rocket 3 R blasts past firm’s internal 0-60mph record

Triumph's test rider performs a burnout on the Rocket 3 R
Triumph's test rider performs a burnout on the Rocket 3 R
3

The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 R has smashed the Hinckley firm’s internal 0-60mph production bike record, reaching the definitive pub-bragging speed in just 2.73 seconds during a track event in Cartagena, Spain, on October 6 last year.

Piloted by a Triumph test rider, a pre-production version of the 2500cc muscle cruiser took the accolade along the circuit’s start-finish straight, under the direction of Chief Engineer Stuart Wood.

Before the run, the team worked with Avon tyres (who supply specially developed Cobra Chrome rubber to the production machine) to harness optimum traction. Weight saving was also considered, with the mirrors and number plate unit removed in preparation.

After achieving the record, the Triumph pilot said: "The Rocket 3 R was well prepared and I felt very confident – even in this racetrack set-up."

At this time, it is unclear exactly what preparation went into the run, or whether an alternative tyre was used for the project, or if there were any alterations elsewhere; including the suspension. MCN have asked Triumph for confirmation and await a response.

"As early as the first attempt we made, I felt that the acceleration was so strong and that we would be successful," the rider continued. "The Rocket 3 R ran perfectly and the track and weather conditions were ideal. The whole team did a fantastic job."

Speaking about Triumph’s relationship with Avon, Stuart Wood added: "Their expertise fed directly into the project. The record would not have been possible without [them]."

MCN recently tested the Rocket on a dyno, recording a whopping-great torque number of 146.53ftlb at 3800rpm and power figure of 145.42bhp at 5800rpm (as shown in the graph below). 

Triumph Rocket 3R MCN dyno figures

What’s more, on a brisk early February outing to Bruntingthorpe proving ground, in Leicestershire, resident speed tester, Bruce Dunn, achieved a data-logged 0-60mph time of 3.17 seconds on a factory-fresh R model on his very first attempt – demonstrating the Rocket’s savage ability. You can read more about how it performed in the February 26 issue of MCN.

Speaking about the run, Bruce said: "I think the bike is quite capable of dropping under three seconds – as you’ve seen from Triumph’s press material. I turned the traction off on my run and I’m assuming they would’ve done too, as that system limits the amount of slip you can get.

"I was pleased for them to do that," he continued. "Sportsbikes won’t do that sort of time and the architecture of that bike lends itself to that sort of time. A sportsbike would just flip over.

Bruce Dunn slides the Triumph Rocket 3 R

"One of the bikes that was always king of sub-0-60mph times is the Suzuki Hayabusa because that lends itself to it. It’s quite heavy and it’s not a sportsbike. It’s also got tonnes of grunt, so would manage 2.8s – showing how good the new Rocket is."

After obtaining the record, Triumph’s test rider then went on to enjoy some laps of the 2.16-mile circuit - backing the bike into corners and dragging knee sliders like an upright roadster, rather than a road-biased cruiser. This can be seen in the video below.

Speaking about the bike’s capabilities on track, the so far anonymous test rider added: "It is remarkable how easy it is to take the new Rocket through corners. This bike handles more like a Speed Triple rather than a muscle roadster."

More from MCN

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade