2006 Triumph Rocket III review - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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2006 Triumph Rocket III review

Saturday afternoon, I left the local Triumph dealer with their 2006 Rocket. The goal was for me to take it down to NC to a party that several HD guys were supposed to be. The fee for "borrowing" the bike... I had to detail it. No biggie.

For thos ethat do not know, the Rocket III is a 2300cc cruiser. 130+ HP and 145lb torque. Nasty machine for a cruiser (on paper).

Well, I rode it home from the dealer (about 15 miles) and pulled it into the garage. I then called a friend for a ride back to the dealer to get my car.
The impression of the ride to the house... nothing special. Lots of power on tap, but very docile for 145ft lb of torque. Overall ride, comfy or cruiser standards.

I bring my car home, roll the bike out of the garage and start cleaning. I had dinner obligation at 6:30, so i was cleaning quickly. My dinner company arrived and she thoguht taking a bike would be fun (as she had never been on one), so I gave her the option of bikes. She asked if i had to return the maroon one soon, i said yes, so she opted for it, knowing she could ride the "blue" one some other time. Off we went. My passenger if 5'1" and at most 100lb. If it was not for her holding on, i would have never known she was back there. Once again, docile and easily ridden.

This morning, my dinner date leaves about 7:30 am and I decide to ride the bike out to my parents. It is a bit chilly, but i dress for the weather and the ride starts off fine. I begin to notice 30 miles into it that the lack of wind protection sucks. Below 60, no big deal. Above 70 and you are hanging onto the bars. So I opt for back road riding, far more entertaining and less wind. I start playing with different gears comign out of corners. i found just under 4000 RPMs to be the sweet spot. The bike will "rocket" out of a corner if in that ball park. Suddenly the docile nature is turning to brute power.

The bike handles funny entering a corner. I attribute that to the 250 rear tire. I think looks won over functionality in this department. In a straight line it is super stable. I did not try, but I believe second gear wheelies are possible on this 800lb machine.

All in all, i put 140 miles on the bike. I am happy I rode it and i enjoyed it. however, I do not believe cruisers are really my style of bike.

If anyone has any particular questions, I would be happy to address them. being it is a cruiser, i don't really know where to start to give someone useful info.

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post #2 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 05:39 PM
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145ft lbs, that's nuts. Love it. If I was a tubby 45 year old, I'd ride it.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 08:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
This morning, my dinner date leaves about 7:30 am


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post #4 of 9 Old 10-29-2006, 08:18 PM
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My passenger if 5'1" and at most 100lb. If it was not for her holding on, i would have never known she was back there. Once again, docile and easily ridden.
Is that her or the bike you're talking about?


j/k man

How would you rate the handling/ergos? Are we talking typical cruiser layout and handling or cruiser style with a bit of sport baked into the mix?

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post #5 of 9 Old 10-30-2006, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ergos are traditional power cruiser, however the hands might be just a hair higher and wider than I am most comfortable. I think much like the 250 rear tire, the bars are as much styling as they are about comfort. Overall a decent compromise. The main downside to the bars? You get opened up like a parachute going down the highway. I can see long distance rides being tiresome. The stock seat is great, as are the forward controls. I do not believe you could have a better setup on this bike.

Handling - the bike is amazingly neutral. For being 800 pounds, you would think it would have bad manned or be a slow turning bike. This morning, I rode it into work (returning it after work) and paid extra attention to the turning and ergos. I leaned the bike in a little further on slower corners to see if it would rear some nasty manners. I felt none. My prior comment about the 250 rear tire being all about form and nothing to do with function remains my only complaint in the overall handling department.

Now - comfort of suspension.... The Rocket is similar to the Yamaha Warrior in its over all goals. Look good, go fast in a straight line, give the control needed for the straight line power. The bog Rocket sits on a fairly sporty suspension. This was the big negative for me. If I ever get around to purchasing a cruiser, I was a softer ride. Since I come from a sportbike back ground, I do not really see the point in a "fast" cruiser. Cruisers are meant to cruise IMO.

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-30-2006, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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and 30mpg - Keep in mind I was playing with the throttle the whole time, so i would expect a little better if I owned it.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-30-2006, 07:00 AM
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Nice review Mike. I've seen your garage, and there is no room in there for a Tiger and a Rocket. I keep hoping one day, my dealer will let me sneak off on of his Moto Guzzi Brevas for a ride.

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post #8 of 9 Old 10-31-2006, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
and 30mpg - Keep in mind I was playing with the throttle the whole time, so i would expect a little better if I owned it.

I get 30 on my ZX10R. Big ass triple like that? 30mpg....probably will get better with miles. I would love to ride one. Seen em up close, and that is one "Large Marge" motor.


What about roll-ons in all the gears? Drive line snatch or jerk? Exhaust note.

I said I never had much use for one.
Never said I didn't know how to use it."
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-31-2006, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Roll ons...
The Rocket at 70mph
3rd gear - Punches you back in the seat, feet roll up off the forward controls, hang on we are getting there now.
4th gear - Pushes you deep in the seat. Hang on with your arms, accererates like a hot rod at this speed.
5th gear (top gear) - Hang onto the bars. Accelerate like the RC51 in fourth gear. Definately capable of multi car passes wiht out down shifting.

As for drive lash - almost 0. The bike is shaft driven and was very well mannered in slow and quick acceleration. Just as equally smooth on deceleration. Several times I got lazy with the throttle on down shifts and chirped the rear tire shifting into 2nd from 3rd. the huge rear tire grabs and jerks the bike enough to let you knwo you screwed up. Only made that mistake twice.


As for the exhaust... Very mellow. The triple has a unique sound. Unlike the tiger, speed3, Sprint and Daytona, there is not an electrical hum tho. With stock exhaust, it sound deeper than a stock import I-4 car. Great sound! I have heard one with the Triumph "off-road" exhaust. Same great tone, just louder.

The bike torques to the right slightly when you rev it in nuetral.

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