First Triumph Rocket in Oregon !

July 2004

Report by Colin Freestone

Wednesday July 14, 2004, just two weeks after the promised first delivery date, Oregon's first Triumph Rocket was the center of attention at Cascade Moto Classics Triumph / Moto Guzzi dealership in Beaverton, OR.

About 80 folks stood around and ogled the newcomer while chowing down on cookies and pie. Clive, the proud new  owner, was quick to point out his likes and dislikes, singling out the reflectors on the forks (which were summarily removed by Josh from Cascade Moto), oversize turn signals and sundry matt finish plastic parts. You might conclude that the pictures below will be the last time you'll see this bike in its factory livery.

A cursory trip around the lot revealed that visitors with a variety of tastes were there to satisfy their curiosity about this mammoth production motorcycle. Early and late Hondas i.e. CB750 and VTX1800 respectively, a Laverda 3C and a number of Guzzi's (no surprise there) were in evidence.

During the proceedings, Clive fired up the machine which revealed itself to be deceptively civilized at idle and just above. Again, it was anyone's guess how long the stock pipes would stick around before replacement with something a little more authoritative.

The Rocket's aesthetics are not to everyone's taste. There was criticism of the bike's assymetrical layout. In reality , there's a compromise here. The right and left sides of the enormously wide tank are different, or appear so due to the giant chrome intake manifold cover. The exhaust headers are all on one side, but what else would you expect from an inline three ? As if to compensate for this geometrical 'outrage' the exhaust then splits into two to provide a balanced view from the rear. Different strokes for different folks.

The bars are wide and fall comfortably to hand. A surprising feature on an engine so large is the cable operated clutch, where you might have expected a hydraulic unit. Still, the lever was easy to operate. By contrast, the throttle seemed heavy. Hard to tell just how heavy; it's not polite to squirt neat fuel into the cylinders of someone else's brand new ride.

If you're British like me, you'd be proud of Triumph's new bruiser of a baby. Superbly engineered and bound to be the last word in production muscle for some time to come.

The Unveiling   Top

How do they do that ? Piece o' cake !

The 'big end' (actually it's all big). Splayed mufflers and massive tire identify the Rocket from behind, likely the only view you'll get if you see one on the road.

A grin spreads over the new owner's face as the front reflectors come off and find their way to the trash or a souvenir hunter

Outside the dealership on Beaverton's Farmington Road


Red line at 6500 RPM. Will the rocket run out of steam at 140mph ? Seems unlikely...

Another interested member of the motorcycling community checks out new iron on the street

In another time and place, this was probably the 'Rocket' of its day. A 1940 Speed Twin, courtesy one Mr. Turner.

Giants of yesteryear #1. 1977 Laverda 3C.

Giants of the 2000's. King for a day (but still looking great)..

The original and first shockwave of motorcycling memories for most. Honda CB750. A very nice example, year unknown.