2004 2.3 litre Triumph Rocket 3 in Triumph orange tribal colour scheme. 140 bhp and 140 mph top end.
2013 Viper Diamondback. US built bike powered by 152 cubic inch (2.5 litre) purpose built, machined from billet, English manufactured, Ilmor v-twin. Massive torque and stunning sound. 2WheelsMiklos are agents.
Following on from the beautiful scrambler’s tested in the previous piece, I was able to have my mind blown by two of the largest capacity production bikes of today. Again a reminder that I am not a professional critic – just a guy who loves riding motorcycles so these views are my own.
Miklos has always had a passion for the unique and powerful, telling me of his long line of large displacement machines, starting with his Honda Valkyrie all the way to his Yamaha VMAX. But today we were riding the largest and heaviest of the machines, the Triumph Rocket Three and the Viper Diamondback.
I kicked off on the striking orange in-line triple Triumph, getting on this thing I reminisced seeing videos of stunt men pulling 100mph wheelies down landing strips, thinking, hoping that the power in these videos was real. Oh yes! It was!
I have ridden many powerful and quick bikes, but never in the relaxed riding position of the Triumph Rocket. When we moved from residential roads to the motorway just down the drag from their workshop in Guildford, I wound my hand round. As this machine is a big triple it is extremely smooth, so before I realised the engine was working hard, I felt my feet lift off the fairly forward positioned foot pegs! This was a first for me. I flew past the 80 mph mark in a few seconds and could have gone on forever.
There are a lot of other benefits to this machine, it has been kitted out with saddle bags which would suffice for 2 for a weekend (although this one is a single-seater) and has all the dials you would expect on a modern day cruiser. But who cares, once you feel the wind bashing against you nothing else really matters except hanging on.
Next up I was treated to something really special. I thought the 2.3L of the Triumph was big, and I was right, but the Viper is something else. It has a 2.5 Litre, that’s 2500cc, twin! Part of the starting procedure is to manually decompress each cylinder before pushing the start button – and you really should not forget this given the massive inertia in those big pistons.
On the road, the power is very noticeable. You have to concentrate on acceleration, luckily not on grip with the big back tyre keeping everything on the tar. It sounds loud and does vibrate given its size – I even had a fellow biker asking me at a red traffic light whether I had lost any fillings!
Something I love about these types of machines is that ability to use the throttle to make people notice. And the loud pipes and chopperesque styling of the Viper achieves this admirably. Miklos rode this to the Ace Café one day last July and it happened to be one of their chopper meets. He was asked whether he wanted to enter the Viper into the National Chopper Clubs competition and did so. He walked away with best new chopper of 2014. This beast is beautiful. Covered in chrome, black and white paint and black leather, and with LED lighting on the electronic gauge. The name Viper suits it well, with the pipes leading up to the forks really making the bike look like it’s a rising snake, ready to attack!