04 Triumph Rocket III discussion forum: I Got Mine
I Got Mine
I took posession of my RIII yesterday after driving 750 miles all night on my Trophy so have only put a few miles on it and have not experienced the full capabilities of this machine. Will be driving back to my summer place tomorrow, a total of 560 miles so will have a better idea then and will report on that trip later.
My first impressions: Seating position and distance to handlebars are exceptional taking into consideration the size of this machine. When Triumph says its no more of a stretch on the RIII than on an America, its true. I am 5´8" but easily reach the pegs and bars. When the key is turned on and kill switch activated one hears a whine similar to aircraft gyros warming up, then the needles on the speedometer and tach move around the dial and reset. All indicator lights come on and shut off except those in use, such as the neutral indicator. Starter button is depressed and machine comes to life with a rather quiet throaty exhaust note which is not heard on other Triumphs. Oh, and the clutch must be engaged along with the starter button to start the bike. The turbine like whine similar to other Triumphs (and it seems like all machines British whether they be cars or jet engines) is there- one still knows this is a Triumph. The bike is amazingly quiet considering its size but there is no doubt that there is a lot of power there. In fact, in neutral, balancing the bike between the legs, a small twist of the throttle and the bike moves to the right- there is that much torque. This blew me away, as it did my cousins who drive large Yamahas and Valkyries.
With some nervous anticipation I engaged the clutch, afraid with all this power she would run away on me, but I handled both clutch and throttle very gingerly and she took off very smoothly. With careful throttle and clutch handling there is no need for this bike to get away on an experienced rider. Gear changes are very smooth but on down shifting, if I let the clutch out too quickly the the rear wheel would buck and squeal slightly. So far I have only driven on city streets and have not gone above 50 mph (80 kmh), but there is no doubt the power is definitely there. I am still handling the throttle and clutch very gingerly both because of the running in period and I am not used to the bike. The bike is very responsive even at low speeds. Slight pressures on the handlebars elicit an immediate response. Not surprisingly, the turning radius is quite large and it takes several forward and backs to turn it around the width of my driveway whereas it only took two on my Legend and Trophy 1200. On my machine, it seems that a lot more foot pressure needs to be put on the rear brake than other models I have driven before there is any effective rear braking action. Also, I have had some difficulty in shifting from neutral to first gear. Sometimes it has taken two or three hard taps on the shifter before first gear is engaged, even though the neutral indicator light remains out.
So those are my first impressions. Other comments I have heard: One rider test drove an RIII and was told to follow the ride leader who was not on an RIII up a hill. The RIII riders were told to keep up with the leader and under no circumstances to take the bike out of third gear. This guy told me that accelerating to keep up with the leader, about a third of the way up this rather steep hill, the front wheel started to lift. This competely blew him away. I also read a review where the rider, who is 6´, put 100 mi on the bike and says his back and butt are still recovering. I´m not looking forward to that aspect when I go over 500 miles tomorrow. Hopefully, when the touring seats are available that problem will be eliminated. I have a Corbin touring seat on my Trophy and can ride that thing all day (and all night).
Some other comments: Very few accessories are now available and will trickle in between now and next October, according to the company. I ordered a fully dressed machine and so far have only received a cover and the knee pads.
My only disappointments so far have been with the way Triumph has handled the distribution of the machines. Deliveries have been behind schedule but I can live with that. I´d rather have a well running machine late than a lemon on time. Same with accessories. It doesn´t bother me that on a brand new model all accesories aren´t available immediately. I was told on the QT that I got my machine when I did because the fellow that it was originally allocated to wouldn´t accept it because all of the accessories he ordered weren´t on it when it went out the door. Oh well. I can´t understand his reasoning but his loss is my gain. I was also told by the guy who test drove the RIII that Triumph has sold all of its 2005 and half of its 2006 models as of now. If this guy who rejected my bike still wants one he´ll have to wait a long time.
However, Triumph also has this policy that they will not deliver a machine to a dealer until the person previously on the list to get one has received theirs and the warranty has been registered. This does not seem to be a customer friendly policy. As far as I´m concerned, when the machine I ordered is ready, it should be delivered. I put a deposit on this bike last February. Why should my delivery be dependent on when some other guy, who I have no control over, gets theirs? I don´t understand this policy and it sticks in my craw. Also, it appears that that the color one orders doesn´t matter. If one orders, lets say, a black model but a red one allocated to them is shipped, then thats what they get. The company apparently is in effect saying you get the color we give you regardless of what you ordered. Fortunately, I did get the color I ordered, but it wouldn´t have bothered me if I didn´t. I don´t look at the color when I am riding, but that policy seems to be a little arrogant on the company´s part.
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