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RE: I Got Mine 04 Triumph Rocket III discussion forum:
RE: I Got Mine

RE: I Got Mine 
Dave said 2004-08-27 22:07:51 
Mike and Blue Elf:

Surprised you were able to get an RIII right off the floor. Wonder if the comments I heard re all the 2005 and half the 2006 models all spoken for are just more hype. Regardess, I agree that this is one fantastic machine.

I have since put a little over 1900 miles on mine and my initial impressions are unchanged and experience is similar to both of you. Two days after receiving the bike, I drove 560 miles to my other home on roads ranging from super-highways to winding, hilly country roads. Fortunately, I did not experience anywhere near the back and butt problems previously alluded to. I had a small amount of back pain when I finished but no where near what I have experienced on my Legend with the touring seat, and, surprisingly, it was even less than what I have experienced on the Trophy with its Corbin seat. The pilion seat is a different matter. My wife, like Elfs, is very slight and can only take about 50 miles at a time on the stock pilion seat. I highly recommend the optional pilion seat for this machine.

I initially got about 35 miles to the gallon for about the first 400 miles and this has now improved to about 42 miles to the gallon. The owners manual states that the fuel warning light comes on when there is 5.5 liters left in the tank, but I have found that the warning light in my machine comes on pretty much when it wants to. It has come on at 125, 135, 142, 175 and 98 mi. The only time it came close to 5.5L remaining in the tank was when it came on at 175 mi so my experience with its range is similar to Elfs- no worries below 180. If this turns out to be the only complaint along with the difficulty in shifting from neutral to first, Im in heaven.

As far as performance goes, Im still blown away, but I am a relatively inexperienced rider, having ridden for 3 years and a total of about 25,000 miles. I havent leaned this or any other bike to the foot pegs (except when I dumped the Trophy but Id prefer not to talk about that) so I dont know the limits in that respect, but Ive found that at all speeds Ive covered it is very stable, smooth and nimble. Ive had it up to 110 mph, but without the windscreen, the headwind was lifting me up out of the seat and off the pegs so I thought Id better back off. I am looking forward to the windscreen coming, not that I want to do 110 mph frequently, but I do find that headwind uncomfortable, along with the bugs splattering up my face shield.

With comparison to the Valkyrie, my cousin owns a Valkyrie and has put about 40,000 miles on his. I let him test drive my RIII and he took it up a very steep and long hill nearby and his comment was, "I took it up Airport Hill... what hill?"

Ive found that acceleration is the closest thing Ive seen to instantaneous. Most of my riding has been done winding two lane roads in rural areas where many drivers are in no hurry. This doesnt bother me, and Im just as content to follow at a safe distance and pass when safe to do so, but when I do pass on this bike- wow! It seems as though I get by a slower car in a nanosecond. I particularly remember one instance, when I was in a congested area, going about 5 mph above the speed limit, this one "yo-yo" with out of state plates had been tailgating me, and when the road widened a bit, tried to pass me on the right, even though it was still a two lane road. I inched over to the left a bit to give him more room, let him come nose-to-nose with me and then I gunned it, (when I say gunned it, it was just a moderate blip of the throttle) leaving him far behind. At that point I had wished Triumph had offered as an option a cannon pointed towards the rear. The distance I put between him and me in those few seconds amazed me. While the above may seem dangerous it pointed out to me that the acceleration on this machine can be used for safety as in you dont stay in the opposing lane very long when passing, and it can help you get out of a dangerous predicament.

As far as maintenance goes, I brought my machine to the dealer at 950 miles- way over the recommended interval in the owners manual, but I had to drive the 560 miles to my place, and the dealer was another 210 miles away, and I had to wait a week for the appointment. I was told that this wouldnt hurt as long as I took it easy, which I more or less do anyway, and the only thing they found was a few loose minor screws. I like the fact that the maintence interval is 10,000 miles but not so sure I want to keep the oil in it that long. I think Ill only keep oil in mine for 5,000 and change it myself when not time for other services, so, Elf, thanks for the oil changing tips. By the way, I dont recommend going over the 500 mile break in period, its just that circumstances made it impossible for me to comply with that.

I dont know what else to say except Im looking forward to getting the options installed- I ordered a wind screen, passing lamps, saddle bags, gel touring seat for rider and pilion, sissy bar, foot boards and roll bars. In the Spring I may order a clock (I miss the one from my Trophy) and a fuel guage.

In short, it is a phenomenal machine and IMHO I think Triumph may have re-written the book on motorcycles with this one.

Looking forward to hearing of your other experiences.
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