Two more special-edition bikes from Triumph? Yep, the just-released Rocket 3 R 221 and Rocket 3 GT 221 have joined the growing list of special-edition models unveiled by the British brand for the 2022 model year. If it feels like Hinckley has pulled out the stops minting numerous variants of its current models, that doesn’t seem to be a bad business strategy; lots of the previous limited-edition runs have sold out (though we can’t confirm the same for the Rocket 3 Black bikes released earlier this year). As with most of Triumph’s recent special editions, the distinguishing qualities on these models come down to paint, graphics, and details, and the 221 Special Edition bikes, both R and GT, are also available for one year only.
With this latest Rocket 3 version, Triumph looks to celebrate the muscle cruiser’s mind-blowing performance numbers, calling out specifically its world-leading 221 Newton-meters of peak torque (that’s 163 pound-feet to you and me) in the name and, indeed, right there on the brilliant red tank.
In fact, Triumph goes so far as to put an abbreviated version of the spec sheet on that tank, with subtle graphics referencing the Rocket’s 2,458cc inline-triple engine, the (claimed) 221Nm torque output, the 167 PS power claim, and the engine’s 85.9mm stroke and 110.2mm bore. Those numbers continue to be at the top of the list for any factory bike, so the color scheme had to be eye-popping as well, and for both the 221 special editions Triumph went with a hue it calls Red Hopper. The striking red appears on the tank and front fender, contrasting with black fender brackets, dark headlight bowls, a smoked fly screen (on the R model), and black side panels, radiator cowls, and rear bodywork. The paint scheme is punctuated by thick “221″ graphics filling up the tank’s knee pad section. You can’t miss ‘em.
Under the unique paint, the 221 special editions still retain the signature visuals of the latest-gen stock Rocket power cruiser, like the in-your-face muscular stance, the distinctive twin headlights, and the sculptural three-header exhaust run. The red will definitely catch your attention, but all focus still comes back to the big inline-triple powerplant, which alternates between chrome and black finishes, with brightwork dominating the exhaust headers. The mufflers at the end of the run also get contrasting black/chrome accents, while the black fork covers offset the shinier yokes, risers, and handlebar clamps.
The tasty stock underpinnings appear for both 221 models as well, with a lightweight aluminum frame holding the 47mm USD adjustable Showa fork, coupled with high-spec four-piston Brembo Stylema Monoblock brakes with floating discs and aluminum wheels, with a fully adjustable Showa monoshock with piggyback reservoir to maintain damping duty out back.
As with the stocker, the GT 221 version keeps its focus on touring with a dedicated shield, laid-back ergos, and heated grips, along with that plush (and adjustable) passenger pillion. On both models the footpeg position can be adjusted, and the pillion footpegs can be hidden via an elegant folding design.
All the rider tech that comes on the regular Rockets is here too, with Optimized Cornering ABS and traction control along with four riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, and rider-configurable) all standard, and accessed via the color TFT display. LED lighting, hill hold control, and cruise control, as well as keyless ignition, all remain as standard equipment.
The 2022 Triumph Rocket 3 R 221 and Rocket 3 GT 221 will hit dealerships in the US and Canada starting in January of 2022. MSRP will be $23,900 for the Rocket 3 R 221 and $24,600 for the Rocket 3 GT 221.