TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"The biggest, most bad-ass motorcycle money can buy"

Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding

"The biggest, most bad-ass motorcycle money can buy"

  • At a glance
  • 2294cc  -  120 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  230 miles range
  • Low seat height (740mm)
  • £11,999

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Triumph Rocket III is the biggest, most bad-ass motorcycle money can buy. The specs are awesome a 2.3-litre engine producing almost 150ft lb of torque, pistons the same size as those found in a Dodge Viper supercar and what was at one time the biggest back tyre on a production bike… The Triumph Rocket III is simply an incredible experience and bravo to Triumph for making it.

 

See Triumph's Rocket III touring motorcycle up close

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Triumph Rocket III is good in parts and bad in others. The harsh suspension and feet-forwards riding style is fine on smooth roads, but pothole strikes send jarring waves of pain up your spine and the flying cruciform riding position is tiring over distance. The Rocket III's road holding is very good, though and the ex-Daytona superbike brakes acquit themselves well despite the enormous weight.

Engine 5 out of 5

At just 2000rpm the Triumph Rocket III's monster 2249cc DOHC motor is chugging away with an incredible 128 ft lbs of torque on tap. But the Triumph Rocket III is not intimidating to ride. Triumph actually softened the power delivery in the first three gears, so although acceleration is outrageous the Rocket III is never out of control.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

With all that chrome on show on the Triumph Rocket III you’ll really need to stay on top of your cleaning regime. Thanks to a hassle-free shaft-drive you won’t need to worry about chain lube or adjusting anything, either. Hard launches can knacker the Rocket’s clutch very quickly indeed.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Compared to a comparable Harley the Triumph Rocket III is a steal. It’s better braked, faster, handles better and it’s British. Secondhand values remain high and providing you keep to 3-4000 miles a year it won’t depreciate faster than a Harley, either. Find a Triumph Rocket III for sale

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Customising your Triumph Rocket III is made easy by the Hinckley factory's colossal catalogue of goodies, ranging from exhausts to ‘Tribal’ graphics to screens to heated grips and so on. It’s just a shame they didn’t fit an alarm/immobiliser as standard.

Owners' Reviews

6 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Still Got It

29 August 2012 by Anonymous

I wrote a review back in 2008 and thought I would just update it. Yes I have still got the 2005 Rocket, 20 odd thousand miles on it now, and its still going strong.It has never missed a beat and I have serviced it myself with the help of the Triumph... Read more manual and local Motorcycle shop. The Wife no longer goes on the back so I have removed the pillion seat, fitted Thuderbike bars and a shorty exhaust, it now sounds like it should do, Loud. Since 2008 I have no longer toured abroad, I have stayed in britain,and apart from the weather it is a beautifull place to ride a bike. And in 2010 I took the bike around the Mountain course in the Isle man at the TT. Next year I am planning on doing Lands End to John o Groats just for fun.The overall finish is still good, [it is garaged] except the wheels are getting a bit tatty.But a third rear tyre will be fitted at the end of this year so I may get the wheels powered coated. As I said previously I started with a Triumph in 67 and at the moment have no Plans on changing the Rocket.I would Recommend this bike to anyone who wants fun,reliability and road presence. Well Done Triumph!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Its the Best and British

19 June 2008 by Dave Everard

After 40 odd years of bikes,this is the best bike for the so called grin factor.It may not be as fast or handle as good as some of my previous bikes but what a lot of fun.I have now crossed Spain twice, toured Northern France and am about to cross... Read more France down to Salou this year.And no i do not have a screen they all look a bit naff. The last three trips i had the wife on the back with no complaints unless i opened up the throttle a bit to far. I started with Triumphs back in the 60,s and it looks like i will end up with one.Good luck to Triumph.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

3 great years

09 March 2008 by pjones1

Had the rocket for 3 years , have had fun riding as well as modding No problems . A keeper Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Impulse Buy I'll never regret

19 February 2008 by shottsj

Bought on e-bay in the spring. I can't stop smiling every time I ride it. Contrary to Arrow's view mine came with the fly screen which keeps you comfortable to over the ton (in Germany of course!). No it is not the smoothest ride ever and no it... Read more doesn't handle like my Sprint but that is not the point. The bike is a beast that turns goes and stops better than any cruiser anywhere ever. You can ride it slow like a Rolls and a little twist of the throttle in high gear takes you past most everything. I'm not into image really but it is a bike that cannot be ignored on the road. No-one could dare say "I didn't see you mate!" could they? Mine is 2004 reg. with 23K on the clock and still looks immaculate - so keep it clean and it'll retain its shine. If you want a smoother comfier version try the new RII Touring, the sensible older brother - which is a beauty - but I'll stick with the original thanks...

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Arrow

15 July 2007 by Arrow

This might go against the grain but unfortunately after 4,000 miles I dont rate the Rocket (mines an 04 bought a few months ago) as highly as others. Yes, the engine is awesome with a terrific induction sound even in standard trim with catalytic... Read more convertor but it has a gruff feel to it the faster it spins which can be annoying on long motorway runs. Considering the size of engine the fuel consumption isn't bad though with 45 mpg attainable on 70-80 motorway runs. The bike's handling totally defies its look though to overcome the natural tendancy for the large back tyre to control direction ie. straight ahead only, you have dig that back tyre into the corners using the throttle; back off and it runs oh so wide. Diving into corners on the brakes doesn't unfaze the bike. Whilst the suspension may give it superb, relatively speaking, handling the ride comfort is very poor. If you want to feel every line, bump, rut and pothole on the road this is the bike for you. The rear shocks offer very little damping probably in order to keep the back end handling firm and the seat hight down. (The Yanks like low seat hights.) Braking is good but remember without the rider's weight this is 320+ kilos of solid mass your trying to stop. A screen is a must for those not built like a gorilla but unfortunately whilst the fly screen looks good it offers little protection. At the other end Triumph's tallest screen produces such severe wind turbulance the fillings in your teeth feel as if they are about to go on vacation. (My brother-in-law thought I was joking until he road it.) Open helmets for some reason are not so badly affected or at least my Nolan isn't which for me makes the bike rideable. My greatest disappointment though is the finish or to be more precise the chrome plating. In this day and age I don't expect the chrome plating to be peeling off on a nearly 3 year old bike with 6500 miles on the clock as it was when I bought it. Whilst the paint on the chassis and body parts is standing up well the front of the engine takes the full force of the shite off the front wheel and suffers accordingly. Any one thinking a riding with a pillion would be well advised to take them on any test ride because of that hard rear suspension. Thankfully the bikes hold their price well.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Rocket

21 March 2007 by Buzzard7

Great Bike Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 6 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued -
New price £11,999
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 120 bhp
Max torque 147 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 230 miles
Specification
Engine size 2294cc
Engine type 12v in-line triple, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel twin spine
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 320kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 316mm disc
Front tyre size 150/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 240/60 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2005: Triumph Rocket III introduced.

Other versions

Triumph Rocket III Classic: Two-tone paintwork, biger footboards and leather panniers as standard
Triumph Rocket III SE: ‘Tribal’ graphics on tank and bodywork included as standard.

Photo Gallery

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  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Rocket III motorcycle review - Riding