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Triumph ROCKET III Custom Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

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.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 2

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.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

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.

Triumph Rocket III Roadster (2009-current)

Detail Value
New price £12,899
Dealer used prices
£8,430 (2009) - £12,560 (2014)
Private used prices
£7,590 (2009) - £11,300 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 2294 cc
Power 146 bhp
Top speed 136 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3
Engine rating is 4 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 2
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 2

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 2

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

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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


Top speed 136 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 146 bhp
Max torque 163 ft-lb
Weight 367 kg
Seat height 750 mm
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Average fuel consumption 27 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 2294 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, triple-cylinder four-stroke. Five gears
Frame Tubular steel, twin spine
Front suspension adjustment Non-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Spring preload
Front brakes 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

See all Triumph ROCKET III motorcycles for sale


16006 miles



47055 miles



12500 miles



8484 miles



1100 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(1 review)

  • Oddball


    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    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 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.

    20 August 2011


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Jan 2014 price in the UK is £12900, which is £3750 more than it costs in the USA

08 January 2014 02:47



had my 09 classic from new,handling is good for size of bike and the power is awesome,never had anything go wrong as yet,whats more the wife loves the comfort.38mpg uk measures,i am spoilt now for my next bike,nothing compares.goes round rounabouts in any gear if you dont have to stop,and will set off in 2nd with 2 up no problem

04 June 2012 15:34


User's Badge


This bike has grown on me. I had a test ride on one of the "old" R3's but couldn't get on with the riding position. This might just be the ticket.

10 October 2009 16:20

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