Rear suspension units have been softened off over the previous model for a more comfortable ride and the seat height upped by 10mm to 750mm. The 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.
The 2294cc triple-cylinder has been around in various guises since 2004 but in 2009 a ruck of mods upped torque to a mighty 163ftlb, and power to 146bhp. The revised exhaust layout including bigger volume silencers is the reason for the power increase – and incredible noise at high rpm.
Gearbox shift mechanism was updated for sweeter shifts and the clutch and shaft drive were beefed up to cope with the extra output… and tomfoolery the Roadster eggs you into.
There were a few reported niggles with the very first Rocket models e.g. rear shaft drive seal. Chrome finish can suffer if not looked after carefully.
The Rocket III holds its value well so don't expect to see many low mileage second hand bargains.
Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
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.