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Rocket III Touring - First Impressions


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Up front I want to say this was a 15 mile ride. That makes this report extremely limited and should only be taken as a first report.


I picked the Rocket III Touring from Cascade Moto Classics in Beaverton, OR at 3:30 p.m. on December 30th. I was given a thorough description of all controls from starting to parking feature unique to Triumph. I really thought I was going to die as I pulled out of the parking lot and merge into rush hour traffic. Keep in mind I've got 29 years of riding experience and 330,000 miles under my belt. This bike's reputation turned out to be bigger than it's bite. Yes, it's very powerful, with 154 ft lbs of torque. Yes, it has 106 HP and weighs over 850 pounds. What I discovered instantly is a great clutch grab point that was a piece of cake to engage, a 5 speed transmission that was equally easy to shift & a set of brakes that would stop it all.


Laughers: Where's the shift lever, where's the rear brake lever. what gear am I in, what's my rpm? My BMW R1200RT is so drastically different than this power cruiser/tourer that I had to laugh at myself learning the ergonomics on the fly, in rush hour traffic. The turn signals are operated with one switch on the left side. I kept jabbing at the right side hunting for the BMW Right turn-signal. I kept jabbing my right foot around looking for the rear brake pedal that was, in reality, located a foot further toward the front wheel.


The bike was very comfortable, for a 15 mile ride. The bike was surprisingly nimble, once you get it moving. You don't need a gear shift indicator because the bike has so much torque you can feel comfortable at any speed in virtually any gear. It just keeps pulling, smoothly, effortlessly. I'm impressed.


Stock windshield too low. I'm 5'10" and my whole head is over the top of the screen. Wind noise new to me after riding a BMW with adjustable windshield. I've got heated hand-grips(optional) but no cruise control or anti-lock brakes. I've put my old Palm-Wrest on the Rocket & it helps a bunch. The clutch lever has no grab adjustment and has a very heavy spring. My left hand was stressed quickly.


I want to ride again, soon. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days. 1" to 2" are due with high winds. Got to postpone my next ride until things calm down a bit. I can't wait. More to follow.



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Nice bike Chunky! If I owned a cruiser that is the one I love! I'll be really curious to see what you think of it a year from now. If the transition to the cruiser style bike helped your knees and the ergonomics sit well with you. As for that windshield....you've got a cruiser now! It's all about looking cool!!!! Comfort be damned. :)

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