Triumph Unleashes The All-New Rocket III Touring For '08

The latest hardbagger from Hinckley

If you've seen our latest issue (December 2007) then you already know the official word - Triumph has a new touring bike for 2008, and we managed to nab the world exclusive.

But it's not the parallel-twin design everyone's been yakking about for what seems like an eternity. Nope, this brand-spanking-new model is a full-boat, shaft-driven, hardbag-n-windshield touring machine built around Triumph's big triple - the Rocket III 2294cc powerplant. The engine has been retuned, so it's got less top-end horsepower but more low-end torque.

But the Touring is not a rehash of an existing bike; it's got a new frame, new fork and wheels and the exhaust's been rejiggered to yield one pipe per side, for a more symmetrical look. You can read Alex Hearn's full development story and first ride in the December issue out now, and with another scoot on the thing scheduled in a couple of weeks, we'll have more updates and hopefully video footage right here on the site.

All that said though, it doesn't seem like yon twin-cylinder project has been completely shelved - as these rough spy shots rustled up from colleagues in England show (they're vague `cause they were shot from quite a distance, we're told). Even from the blurry images, you can just about make out the parallel-twin layout and recognize that the styling is a cross between the Rocket and the Speedmaster. What concerns us that the photos are nearly a year old. Not exactly breaking news now, is it...

We also snagged an earlier shot of one of Triumph's really rough test mules - it sports the Speedmaster engine, but the dimensions of the bigger bike are mocked up on it, via foam pieces on the tank and engine cases. You can also spy some of the new bike's geometry, like the wide rear wheel.