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Thread: Rocket III Touring - First Impressions

  1. #1
    BobMielke
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    Rocket III Touring - First Impressions

    Up front I want to say this was a 15 mile ride. That makes this report extremely limited and should only be taken as a first report.

    I picked the Rocket III Touring from Cascade Moto Classics in Beaverton, OR at 3:30 p.m. on December 30th. I was given a thorough description of all controls from starting to parking feature unique to Triumph. I really thought I was going to die as I pulled out of the parking lot and merge into rush hour traffic. Keep in mind I've got 29 years of riding experience and 330,000 miles under my belt. This bike's reputation turned out to be bigger than it's bite. Yes, it's very powerful, with 154 ft lbs of torque. Yes, it has 106 HP and weighs over 850 pounds. What I discovered instantly is a great clutch grab point that was a piece of cake to engage, a 5 speed transmission that was equally easy to shift & a set of brakes that would stop it all.

    Laughers: Where's the shift lever, where's the rear brake lever. what gear am I in, what's my rpm? My BMW R1200RT is so drastically different than this power cruiser/tourer that I had to laugh at myself learning the ergonomics on the fly, in rush hour traffic. The turn signals are operated with one switch on the left side. I kept jabbing at the right side hunting for the BMW Right turn-signal. I kept jabbing my right foot around looking for the rear brake pedal that was, in reality, located a foot further toward the front wheel.

    The bike was very comfortable, for a 15 mile ride. The bike was surprisingly nimble, once you get it moving. You don't need a gear shift indicator because the bike has so much torque you can feel comfortable at any speed in virtually any gear. It just keeps pulling, smoothly, effortlessly. I'm impressed.

    Stock windshield too low. I'm 5'10" and my whole head is over the top of the screen. Wind noise new to me after riding a BMW with adjustable windshield. I've got heated hand-grips(optional) but no cruise control or anti-lock brakes. I've put my old Palm-Wrest on the Rocket & it helps a bunch. The clutch lever has no grab adjustment and has a very heavy spring. My left hand was stressed quickly.

    I want to ride again, soon. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days. 1" to 2" are due with high winds. Got to postpone my next ride until things calm down a bit. I can't wait. More to follow.



    Last edited by BobMielke; 12-31-2008 at 10:29 AM.

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Nice looking R III Bob, like the hard bags on yours Hope you get that longer ride soon...

    I have ridden one a couple of times and have swapped during a ride from my RT and back again..always takes a few miles to make the transition! Just enjoy the ride,that's what it's about anyways!
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  3. #3
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Rocket III

    Thanks Bob. I rented a new Harley Low Rider last summer for a few days of touring, so I can relate to the transition you're going through. I too was surprised at how nimble these big cruisers are.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  4. #4
    stpgh
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    Looks to me like stepping back in time about 30 years.

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stpgh View Post
    Looks to me like stepping back in time about 30 years.
    Except the engine in the III is bigger than the engine in our Saturn or the Nissan Frontier pickup I traded a year or so ago.

    It does look a little tough on the passenger, though. Minimal comfort back there
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  6. #6
    BobMielke
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Except the engine in the III is bigger than the engine in our Saturn or the Nissan Frontier pickup I traded a year or so ago.

    It does look a little tough on the passenger, though. Minimal comfort back there

    That's the way I like to treat my women.

  7. #7
    Shawn_P
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    Nice looking bike Bob... Can't wait to read more about it....

  8. #8
    Mudbug
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    Triumph Rocket III Touring - 4.90 Gallon Fuel Tank
    Triumph Rocket III Classic - 6.3 Gallon Fuel Tank


    A touring model that holds less fuel than the "regular" model. I seems a model designed for touring would hold more fuel.

  9. #9
    BobMielke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudbug View Post
    Triumph Rocket III Touring - 4.90 Gallon Fuel Tank
    Triumph Rocket III Classic - 6.3 Gallon Fuel Tank


    A touring model that holds less fuel than the "regular" model. I seems a model designed for touring would hold more fuel.

    The only thing the touring model has in common with the pure cruiser is the tail light & front brake rotors. According to my owner's manual the Rocket III Touring holds 5.89 gallons and gets better gas mileage than the cruiser because of the de-tuning to 106 HP.

  10. #10
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobMielke View Post
    That's the way I like to treat my women.
    cool

  11. #11
    wsteinborn
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    Here is a video about how the Rocket III is really made:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKEuzxC4eGc

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Impressive looking cruiser!

    I've had a fair amount of 'cruisers' in my motorcycling years (Suzuki Volusia, Marauder and Honda VTX-1800R) - always had good luck going with a Memphis Shades aftermarket windshield.

    Their mounting systems are rock-solid, and the shields (I prefer them BIG) were also quiet and stable at high speed.

    Enjoy the new ride, and keep reporting back!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  13. #13
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    Here is a video about how the Rocket III is really made:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKEuzxC4eGc
    That was funny!

    Thanks for the site.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

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