2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R & GT Review – First Ride

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

Major Tom to MO control – commencing countdown, engine on

Photos by Triumph. Click the photo to view the full gallery.

Attendees to the 2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R & GT launch in Cannes, France were gifted with a piston from the motorcycle’s 2.5-liter engine. Measuring more than 4.25 inches across and weighing a pound, there’s plenty of real estate on the face of the massive chunk of aluminum for various inscriptions and logos. Lucky for me, I was also in attendance for the original Rocket III 20 years ago at which event we were also gifted a piston. Now I have an almost matching set.

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT

Triumph is billing the 2025 Rocket 3 Storm R and GT as new models, but really they aren’t. Besides the new name, a horsepower and torque increase by way of digitally tweaking its ECU, some new wheels and color schemes, the ’25 Rocket mirrors the ’24, ’23, ’22, ’21, ’20, and ’19 model year Rockets before it. This motorcycle is all about excess, though, and if Triumph can add a little more to an already awful lot, they can call it anything they like.

Editor Score: 89.75%




















  • Torque, torque, and more torque
  • Unique among the two-wheel masses
  • Seating adjustability


  • Cooked right leg
  • Not really a new model
  • No quick shifter, for that price

When it became apparent the 2294cc displacement of the original Rocket III engine from 2004 simply wasn’t displacing enough, Triumph decided to add another 164 cubic centimeters to the mix bringing the engine’s capacity to 2458cc in 2019. The 2025 Rocket Storm models retain that same displacement. Still, Triumph software engineers digitally massaged an additional 15 horsepower and three lb-ft of torque from the inline three-cylinder, bringing its claimed totals to 180 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. And right in the nick of time, too, because the 165 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque of last year’s model was becoming a real yawner.

But more is always better, right? At least in the case of the Rocket 3 it is. The bike has always been defined by more; more capacity, more power, more weight, more size, more wheelbase, and more rubber. And yet, the motorcycle’s profile from its 240/50 R16 rear tire to its 150/80 R17 front tire, and from its 4.76-gallon fuel tank to its three-into-one-into-three exhaust is proportionately beautiful, especially in the new dark color ensembles of the 2025 models.

Even more amazing is the way in which the 2025 Rocket 3 Storm goes about the business of being a motorcycle. Underway, the Storm’s 700-pound wet weight and 66-inch wheelbase don’t seem as daunting as those figures imply. Triumph claims the dry sump engine and corresponding lack of an oil pan beneath the behemoth allows the heavy crankshaft to be positioned as low as possible. For sure they’re right, because while “flickable” certainly isn’t the correct descriptor, the Rocket 3 Storm hastens from left to right lean angles with more aplomb than its spec sheet would indicate.

The bike’s wide bars provide the leverage required for lifting the Storm to the edge of the 240 rear tire, but even after scraping pegs and running out of cornering clearance, there remains an inch of untouched rubber on either side of the 150 front. I wonder how the Rocket Storm would look and perform with the front wheel wearing a smaller 140 series tire? Speaking of wheels, the 2025 Rocket rolls on new ten-spoke cast aluminum ones that together shave approximately one pound of unsprung, reciprocating weight. While not a huge weight savings at least they removed the weight from where it matters most, and any advantage to steering response on a bike weighing this much is welcome.

Cushioning the ride and maintaining the composure of a 700-pound bike and a 187-pound rider drunk on torque can’t be an easy job, but the Rocket Storm’s fully adjustable inverted Showa cartridge fork and piggyback reservoir Showa shock seem up to the task. I detected some harshness when encountering sharp road irregularities, probably something a little fine-tuning of the suspension could smooth out. Slowing this rolling freight train are dual, radial-mount, 4-piston, Brembo M4.30 Stylema monobloc calipers gripping 320mm discs. They may not stop the Storm as fiercely as they do a Panigale, but the performance of these brakes is the stuff of legend.

Differences between the R and GT versions are minimal until you get to the seating position. The R holds a six-pound weight advantage (699 vs 705), while the GT enjoys a lower seat height of 0.9 inches (29.5 vs 30.4). The GT comes equipped with a small windscreen, a sculpted seat for the rider, and a more generously padded seat for the passenger that also features an adjustable backrest. The GT’s color schemes are a variation of the R’s. For all this, the premium for the GT is $800 ($24,999 vs $25,795), yet the riding experience between the two is markedly different.

Why so different? It’s a simple matter of footpegs and handlebars. Where the R is outfitted with mid-mount footpegs and handlebars that require the rider to lean forward to grasp them, the GT utilizes forward controls and handlebars that extend five inches further back to the rider. The R’s seating puts the rider in control of the motorcycle, a moderately aggressive position akin to a Ducati Monster with gigantism. The semi-recumbent position of the GT automatically puts the rider in a more leisurely state of mind. The neat thing about the footpegs and controls is the forward controls have three lateral positions to choose from while the mid-mounts offer two vertical positions. A Storm owner can also outfit their R or GT with whatever combination of seat, footpegs and controls, and handlebars from the opposing model they choose.

As comfy as GT’s seating position is, let’s not forget it’s the same bike with the same brakes, suspension, and motor and can be ridden just as fast as the R with only the forward pegs touching down a little sooner than the mid-mounts. And what fun it is because, with an engine of this size, the normal parameters of motorcycle engine performance cease to matter. Thirty mph in fifth gear at 1,000 rpm – doesn’t matter – twist the throttle and the Rocket Storm jettisons forward with the same torquey ferocity as if you’re in second gear at 40 mph with the tach 500 rpm away from redline. The minimal effort required to consider speed, gear position, and engine rpm is what makes riding the Rocket 3 Storm so unique and so much fun.

The biggest drawback to the massive engine and all the power it generates is the prodigious amount of heat pouring off the exhaust headers and onto your right leg. Our ride day in France saw a high ambient temperature in only the mid-60s and the heat was still noticeable, especially at a stop with my right leg right next to the two mufflers exhausting spent gasses.

Once your eyes get unstuck from the back of your skull they’ll likely focus on the single, round TFT multi-function gauge with all the requisite information including speedo, tach, GPI, fuel, clock, and ambient temperature. It also displays which of the four ride modes (Rain, Road, Sport, or the customizable Rider) you’re currently in. You can also choose to have a more classic instrument layout or a modern design. The classic configuration is pretty, but I preferred the less cluttered, easy-to-read modern design. You can also customize what information is displayed.  

In addition to ride modes, the Rocket Storm also comes with electronic niceties including cornering ABS, traction control, cruise control, backlit switchgear, heated grips, a USB charging port, hill hold control, and a keyless ignition. The Triumph shift assist (quick-shifter) doesn’t come as standard equipment but is available as an accessory from the Triumph parts catalog, as is a Bluetooth connectivity module. While it isn’t an electronic item, I’d feel derelict in my duty as a moto-journalist for not paying homage to the Rocket’s single-sided swingarm, which is always a default cool item that enhances any motorcycle.

And that’s the 2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT in a long-winded nutshell. The motorcycle has been and remains in a class of its own, existing somewhere between the Ducati Diavel, defunct Yamaha V-Max, and ultra-extreme Boss Hoss V8. The 2025 models are much more refined in their fit and finish compared to the original 2004 versions, but retain the more-is-more mantra for which we are all grateful.

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Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former Motorcycle.com staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for Motorcycle.com when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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3 of 17 comments
  • John B John B on May 07, 2024

    Well done, Tom. As always. This motorcycle looks great and the power is intoxicating. Nevertheless, I wish Triumph would drop this engine into a sport-tourer frame with capacious panniers and a large gas tank. The relatively short fuel range, lack of wind and weather protection, and limited pannier choices make this motorcycle a pass for me.

    • Todd Todd on May 07, 2024

      Pretty sure they used to have those pre-2019. I remember seeing one at a dealer, not long after I bought my 2012 Street Glide, decked out for touring, for around $14K new.

  • John B John B on May 08, 2024

    Todd - You may be thinking of the Triumph Trophy that had a 1215 cc engine. (See Tom Roderick's review of that motorcycle below.) The Trophy was on the touring side of the sport-touring equation. I'm thinking of a sport-touring motorcycle with the current Rocket III engine, a decent fuel range, and plenty of storage.