TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005 - 2008) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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 potholes send jarring waves of pain up your spine and the flying cruciform riding position is tiring over distance without a screen. The Rocket III's road holding is very good, though and the ex-Daytona superbike brakes work well despite the enormous weight.
EngineNext up: Reliability
At just 2000rpm the Triumph Rocket III's monster 2249cc 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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Earlier models were heavy on the chrome so you'll 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. Hard launches can knacker the Rocket’s clutch very quickly indeed.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Compared to a comparable Harley the Triumph Rocket III is a bargain. It’s better braked, faster, handles better and a genuinely superior motorcycle. 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
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.
|Engine type||12v in-line triple, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel twin spine|
|Fuel capacity||25 litres|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||316mm disc|
|Front tyre size||150/80 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||240/60 x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||43 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£250|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||120 bhp|
|Max torque||147 ft-lb|
|Top speed||135 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.7 secs|
|Tank range||230 miles|
Model history & versions
2005: Triumph Rocket III introduced.
2006: Triumph Rocket III Classic introduced.
2007: Triumph Rocket III Tourer introduced (ltd edition).
2007: Triumph Rocket III Touring introduced.
2009/2010: Rocket III Roadster introduced. Original Rocket III and Classic phased out.
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.
Triumph Rocket III Tourer: Windscreeen, saddlebags, backrest and luggage rack.
Triumph Rocket III Touring: All new touring model with revised chassis, screen, hard panniers and engine tuned for increased low down torque.
Triumph Rocket III Roadster: "Musclebike" version has less chrome, more power.
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005 - 2008)
12 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005 - 2008) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Annual servicing cost: £250
The engine is amazing and the styling turns heads - worst is the moped horn
Avoid the potholes and its not a problem
Just awesome - power whenever you need it yet easy to ride
Hasn't let me down yet - only cost so far is new tyres
Mine has no mods and I love it - the road presence has been described as intimidating
Buying experience: Imported from Japan with very low miles
Annual servicing cost: £290
The bike is excellent but hard to get round corners some arse twitching moments
It a beast to ride but makes you smile
To fast at the twist of the wrist
The wheels are corded and pitted on the side
Eats back tyre
Buying experience: Dealer
Annual servicing cost: £100
Does everything well. Even handles well if you don't try to work it like a track day bike.
Ride is composed, sometimes a little squishy in the rear, but the shocks are adjustable to taste and load. The rear brake is amazingly effective. One learns quick, that he does not need to put to much pressure on the pedal, lest the rear come round to meet the front.
Just keep up with regular service and the bike will soldier on.
Has only saddlebags, windshield, and floorboards to distinguish it from the Roadster, but all is of superior quality.
Buying experience: Bought from local dealer and they were excellent to work with.
Very good condition
Buying experience: New from dealer
Annual servicing cost: £250
I have 600 miles on this bike now with no problems. I can tell you that this bike handles incredibly well and goes around corners with ease if you show it who is the boss, I haven't managed to scrape the pegs yet and I have had it over pretty low (my other bike is a hyabusa so I like twisting roads). Once you get used to the bike which takes a few hundred miles you can throw it around with ease, just take it easy when you first get on it or you might not get around the first bend. The seating position is great for a cruiser but I wanted to sit slightly forward so it wasn't quite so much of a stretch so I put a gel pad on the back seat and that did the trick and pushed me forward very slightly. The clutch is quite heavy but you get used to it, this bike prefers the open road. The gearbox is not very smooth you just have to be precise and matched the revs with a blip of the throttle. There are no hazard lights or flash and the horn is pathetic, one of the worst I have heard on any bike ever. This bike has loads of power everywhere in the rev range and is a real monster but has a very low centre of gravity so you can throw it around a bit. This bike puts a very big smile on my face, it has lots of character, it is by no means perfect but my last bike that I traded in for it was a Kawasaki GTR 1400 and it was too perfect... It bored me and was no fun.
the brakes are excellent with ABS ride quality is pretty good though fully adjustable suspension would be nice
has power everywhere
build quality looks good so far, only double 600 miles but no problems. Gearbox is clunky on all rockets.
service is every 10,000 miles with valve clearance checks every 20,000 miles
no hazard lights, no flash, the horn is pathetic, heated grips are classed as an extra and the triumph accessories will cost you an arm and a leg.
Annual servicing cost: £350
The best thing about the rocket is that 2.3 engine,and the sheer size of everything else that goes with it , and that includes me at 6'3"and 16 St . The worst thing about the bike is the cost of rear tyres and the number it eats.
You have got to do the miles on this bike to appreciate what it can do, it will go, stop, and corner better than its length and weight would have you believe.
It's all about that engin, any gear just twist n go.
Had a problem with part of the wire loom after about a year but was replaced under warranty. The build quality and Finnish is second to none,after 2 winters and 20,000 miles it still looks like new.
It's usually a higher figure as I end up getting 1 or 2 tyres.
Don't dress it up like a Christmas tree. I have only run ME88 and find they are ok.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer new £13,395 on 02/03/13
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 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!
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 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.
Had the rocket for 3 years , have had fun riding as well as modding No problems . A keeper
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 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...
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 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.