TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2009-on) Review

Published: 09 October 2009

Really big engine meets menacing black styling meets awesome torque

TRIUMPH ROCKET III  (2009-on)

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

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. Chrome finish can suffer if not looked after carefully. 

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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.

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

3 owners have 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 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.7 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.7 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Rocket to the Moon

19 May 2016 by Del

The thing that lets the bike down is the ride I can feel most of the bumps, I have put progressive springs on the front and will change the suspension on the back when funds are available. I know tyre pressures are crucial and they are checked... Read more before every ride.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Probably go about an hour before a break, it's a big saddle but not that comfortable.
Engine
5 out of 5
The Engine is Awesome (the best best part of the Bike) it pulls well in 1st-3rd (that's when it's unrestricted) but it's no more powerful than my K1600GT BMW (and the BMW goes around corners) The bikes engine would probably take you to the Moon and back no problem (I have been told that the Engines are Bulletproof.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
It had a top engine casing replaced under warranty cos when I bought the bike with 11000 miles on the clock there was no engine number where it should have been. The Triumph dealer Pure Triumph of Wellingborough have stamped the engine. Number on now,
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
The third service is due the dealer said it would be about £200.00 but the next yearly service next year could be £500.00 (ouch) because the Valves have to be done then).
Equipment
4 out of 5
The Equipment is not bad pretty basic but I didn't buy it for it equipment. Could do with Cruise Control (that's a personal thing)
Buying experience

I bought from a dealer - the experience was good. Nina at Pure Triumph in Wellingborough looked after me very well.

5 out of 5

Well Tempered Tennessean Review

14 February 2016 by John

New to Triumph Motorcycles; Best feature is the pull you get right off the line; the brakes are very good as well as the handling. Also, like the spartan rawness of the rocket not a bunch of electronics/worthless junk to distract the rider. Shifting... Read more is a little loud but you get used to that as well as neutral could be easier to find. The weight really isn't an issue once it is moving. I can tell you keeping proper tire pressure absolutely crucial especially with this bike. Riding on an off during the winter months you can definitely tell when one or both of tires is low. Also, want to add i got this last year 2015 March for an absolute steal (2014 R3R) for $11,990 with only 53 miles an on it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Had to replace crankshaft sensor; thankfully the factory warranty covered the cost. Also from the 1st service your next oil change is not until 10K miles later :)
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
premium no ethanol; i can tell bike runs better
Equipment
5 out of 5
ABS is standard on the rocket roadster.
3 out of 5

Oddball

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
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £13,900
Used price £7,700 to £16,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £180
Performance
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
Specification
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

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