TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005 - 2008) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
Power: 120 bhp
Seat height: Low (29.1 in / 740 mm)
Weight: High (706 lbs / 320 kg)


New N/A
Used £7,000 - £7,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


See Triumph's Rocket III touring motorcycle up close

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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 quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 size 2294cc
Engine type 12v in-line triple, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel twin spine
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 320kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
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 £96
Annual service cost £250
New price -
Used price £7,000 - £7,700
Insurance group 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

Model history

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. 

Other versions

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)

11 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.

Review your TRIUMPH ROCKET III (2005 - 2008)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Engine: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Annual servicing cost: £250
5 out of 5 The beast
15 May 2020 by Gilbert toft

Year: 2006

Annual servicing cost: £290

The bike is excellent but hard to get round corners some arse twitching moments

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

It a beast to ride but makes you smile

Engine 5 out of 5

To fast at the twist of the wrist

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The wheels are corded and pitted on the side

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Eats back tyre

Buying experience: Dealer

5 out of 5 2013 R3 Touring
25 September 2016 by Rockejohn

Version: Touring

Year: 2013

Annual servicing cost: £100

Does everything well. Even handles well if you don't try to work it like a track day bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

Bulletproof mechanically.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Just keep up with regular service and the bike will soldier on.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

5 out of 5 Value for money
06 August 2016 by cweed48

Version: Roadster

Year: 2009

Very good condition

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Tyres 75%

Buying experience: New from dealer

4 out of 5 great bike if you don't do too much town riding
03 July 2016 by Mark

Version: Roadster

Year: 2016

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

the brakes are excellent with ABS ride quality is pretty good though fully adjustable suspension would be nice

Engine 5 out of 5

has power everywhere

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

build quality looks good so far, only double 600 miles but no problems. Gearbox is clunky on all rockets.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

service is every 10,000 miles with valve clearance checks every 20,000 miles

Equipment 2 out of 5

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.

5 out of 5 The BIG pocket rocket
02 September 2015 by Iain Mason

Version: Roadster

Year: 2013

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

It's all about that engin, any gear just twist n go.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

It's usually a higher figure as I end up getting 1 or 2 tyres.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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

5 out of 5 Still Got It
29 August 2012 by

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!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Its the Best and British
19 June 2008 by Dave Everard

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 3 great years
09 March 2008 by pjones1

Had the rocket for 3 years , have had fun riding as well as modding No problems . A keeper

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Impulse Buy I'll never regret
19 February 2008 by shottsj

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...

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 Arrow
15 July 2007 by Arrow

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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 Rocket
21 March 2007 by Buzzard7

Great Bike

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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