2008 Triumph Rocket - Rumblings

Rocket By The Numbers
I just received the Dec. '07 issue with the new Triumph Rocket on the cover. I really like the bike and the improvements, but did increasing the torque cause the bike to go from 142 horsepower to 106?
Ed Saint
Via e-mail

I just read the Dec. '07 issue of Cruiser. Your article on the new 2008 Triumph Rocket must be in error. My 2006 Rocket has 141 horsepower. Your article says the 2008, although unchanged, has 106.3 horsepower. Either your article is in error, or they did some serious detuning of the bike. What gives?
Casey Zinter
Edmonds, WA

It's no error. According to Triumph tech guys (and we quote), the new Rocket III Touring gets the "same basic 2300cc powerplant with a different tune. The bike has more torque even lower in the rev range but less top-end horsepower...."Ed

Border Gouge?
Rode a new Fat Bob H-D yesterday. Awesome machine. Very stable. Good braking. The center-mount pegs would make this machine outstanding on long rides, and it would have been my next bike except for the absurd increase in price that evidently occurs the second it crosses the Canadian border. "Hey, Milwaukee-the dollars are virtually equal; what's with the price being 20 percent higher in Canada?" I look forward to Motorcycle Cruiser's test of the Fat Bob but will hold off on buying one until the price falls more in line with its U.S. counterpart.
Jamie Reeves
Ajax, Canada

Harley or Not?
I read last issue's article comparing the Harley Sportster and the Triumph Bonneville three times, and it's not obvious which is the better bike.

The writer ends with, "Which bike do I prefer? I think it's pretty obvious."

Am I missing something or was the writer joking that it was a tough call?
Grand Forks, ND

It's an inside joke, since I own a Bonneville. That said, I wouldn't mind having a Sportster to park alongside it. Yeah, picking the better bike is a tough call.-Mark Zimmerman

Meanie Remembered
I thought Motorcycle Cruiser had forgotten about the Kawasaki Mean Streak, and then there it was in the Oct. '07 issue. It was good to hear its high points again: handling, brakes and good engine. But in my experience, there are a few less-good things to note as well: The gearbox is clunky, and there is very thin lacquer finishing on the alloy parts. Over here, nearly every Meanstreak you see has traces of pitting on the lower forks, wheels and headstock.

Harleys are even more expensive here than in the United States, so the price gap between them and Japanese metrics is pretty steep. I tried the V-Rod before the Meanie, and whilst the engine was good, the riding position was cramped for my size (6 feet 4 inches). On the Meanie, the bars and the footrests are just right. When passersby ask me, "Is that a Harley?" I usually say, "Nah, it's better than that!"
Alan Lovell
Surrey, England

Boob-Tube Touring
Am I the only one who sees the image of the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil in the front of the new Victory Vision? It looks like he's eating the front tire! It's an appropriate look for this cartoonish representation of a motorcycle.
Mark Wright
Plymouth, MN