TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2009-on) Review

Published: 09 October 2009

"Really big engine meets menacing black styling meets awesome torque"


"Really big engine meets menacing black styling meets awesome torque"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Triumph’s decision to revamp the original Rocket III into a streetfighter is an interesting one. Why? Because it hardly fits the bill – stripped version of a sports bike with oddball looks – because of its custom-biased specs of long wheelbase and weight, but it works.

Big, no, no, really big engine meets menacing black styling meets awesome torque and horsepower to make life sane and mad at the twist of a wrist.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Rear suspension units have been softened off for a more comfortable ride and the seat height is upped by 10mm to 750mm.

Best change is the moving of the footrests back by 100mm and down 20mm to make the seating position more natural, read comfortable, than the old custom feet forward style.

The Roadster does a good job of hiding its 367kg (wet) weight and is actually a very easy, nimble bike to ride. Ground clearance isn’t great, but the footpeg blobs are replaceable.

Good brakes, too. ABS is standard on the Roadster and is tuned nicely for big braking action before chiming in.

Engine 4 out of 5

The 2294cc triple-cylinder isn’t new (been around in various guises since 2004) but has a ruck of mods to up torque to a mighty 163ftlb, and power to 146bhp.

The new exhaust layout including bigger volume silencers is the reason for the power increase – and incredible noise at high rpm.

Gearbox shift mechanism is updated for sweeter shifts and the clutch and shaft drive are ramped up to cope with the extra output… and tomfoolery the Roadster eggs you into.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

There were a few reported niggles with the very first Rocket models e.g. rear shaft drive seal.

Five years down the line and the Rocket III engine is proving to be a superb high mileage special.

Component finish has never really been an issue so we don’t expect and different with the Roadster.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The original Rocket III first hit the streets at £11,999 and, surprisingly, years later it’s still on sale at this price – not for long, though, because Rocket III and Rocket III Classic are being deleted from the range.

With all the updates to the Roadster, its £10,949 price seems remarkably good value in our book. Find a Triumph Rocket III for sale

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

Shaft drive for reliability and low maintenance is good. ABS is also good. And heavy use of black coating throughout the bike is okay for the styling exercise.

Little details like the addition of digital readouts for fuel range, gear indicator and time of day are also nice touches.

To sum up: it’s all there and it works – this includes the biggest production motorcycle engine ever.

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2009-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.

Review your TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2009-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5


20 August 2011 by Feakster

Quick summary: 1. Needs a 6th gear (it nearly throws you over the handlebars at 140mph!) 2. The handling nearly killed me! It doesn't go round corners... at all! If anything was coming the other way I have no doubt I would be dead. (Heart in... Read more mouth, turd in pants 'n' all). 4. The shaft drive's a bit twitchy in the wet and on roundabouts. 3. Otherwise... ridiculous fun. The novelty of the power coupled to the riding position never wears off.

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £12,899
Used price £6,000 to £21,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Max power 146 bhp
Max torque 163 ft-lb
Top speed 136 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 27 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Engine size 2294cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, triple-cylinder four-stroke. Five gears
Frame type Tubular steel, twin spine
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Seat height 750mm
Bike weight 367kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Spring preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 316mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 150/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 240/50 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2004: Rocket III introduced.
2005: Mulberry Red Tribal special edition model
2006: Rocket III Classic introduced
2007: Rocket III Touring introduced
2009/2010: Rocket III Roadster introduced. Original Rocket III and Classic phased out.

Other versions

Rocket III Touring

Photo Gallery

  • TRIUMPH ROCKET III  (2009-on)
  • TRIUMPH ROCKET III  (2009-on)
  • TRIUMPH ROCKET III  (2009-on)
  • TRIUMPH ROCKET III  (2009-on)
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