Riding the 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 GT in the rain
I live outside of Seattle, Washington, USA. There’s a saying among motorcyclists around here that if you don’t like riding in the rain, you don’t ride. This is a bit of an exaggeration, one of many locals use in an attempt to deter more people from moving here, but it does rain for sure.
Last week I enjoyed a 200-mile ride on back roads North to Bellingham on my 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 GT, which had 800 miles on it when I left my home. There was a light rain falling, really more of a mist, that I thought would clear up.
Wrong! The rain picked up and continued off and on for most of the day. I learned that my new Arai helmet did well in the rain, and my TCX boots are waterproof. That’s the good news. As an experienced rider in this area, or course I had my rain gloves with me… in the saddlebags. My Rev’It jacket had not been re-waterproofed lately, and quickly gave up the ghost, as did my Triumph “waterproof” armored jeans. In fairness, the jeans are at least 15 years old and have been ridden for probably 30,000 miles in all weathers. I mention that because, even soaked on a 60-degree day, the heated handgrips on the GT kept me pretty comfortable – on the low setting!
As for the bike itself, I had concerns about how the 240mm rear tire, which looks like it could be used as a roller for asphalt paving projects, would do in the wet. Same for the front tire. I don’t recall how wide it is, but it looks like it was stolen from a Mack truck.
As it turns out – no worries. I could not tell that the bike even noticed the sheets of water running across the road, or the soaked pine needles, or piles of sodden leaves, or strands of mud stretching across the road from someone in a car using all the road, and a bit more. The GT simply got on with the job of transporting me at whatever pace I wished. To be sure, I was not trying that hard.
There is a downside. That fat rear tire does throw an amazing amount of muck all over the back of the bike, your jacket, and even your helmet.
The upside is that because the Rocket 3 GT uses a lot of stainless parts and has a drive shaft, all of the grunge pretty much rinses off in less than five minutes. My previous bike was a 2016 Bonneville T120, and with chain drive and a lot of chrome, a ride like this would have entailed a lot of cleaning time.
So, if you have a new Rocket 3, either the GT or the R model, and that rear tire or the overall heft gives you pause when contemplating an adventure in the rain – relax, go forth, and enjoy!
Ride safe, ride fast, and ride often!
Copyright 2020 David Preston
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