Building the largest displacement motorcycle in the world is harder than I’d imagined. It isn’t as easy as stuffing a 2.3 liter triple in a frame and calling it done. As this documentary from 2007 (found by @wolever_motos and Hell For Leather) shows, there’s a lot more science and testing that I’d ever thought. Who knew that you needed a biology background to build power cruisers? I’ll warn you in advance: do not watch this video with a mouth full of liquid, unless you needed to replace your keyboard and monitor anyway.
Just in case you needed more specs on the Rocket III, it was shown in the US in 2003 and launched in 2004. Featuring the largest displacement engine in a mass production motorcycle (and no, the Boss Hoss doesn’t count), the Rocket puts out some 140 horsepower and 150 ft lbs of torque. At 774 pounds wet, it’s not exactly a canyon carver, but it does go reasonably fast in a straight line. It currently holds the world land speed record, at 140.3 miles per hour, for production motorcycles over 2,000 cc. Despite the Rocket’s bulk, a low center of gravity ensures that it’s not to ungainly at low speeds, and a low seat height makes it non-intimidating for most riders. It’s not my cup of meat, but I understand the appeal.