Female Impression


Mar 8, 2006
Body:West Central Missouri, Mind: Yes I are.
Rocket III Has Opposite Sex all Sweaty

May 7, 2007
Triumph's beast with three cylinders

By Susan Carpenter
The Los Angeles Times
The Rocket III Classic Tourer is Triumph's latest entry into the cruiser market, and one thing's for sure: It's no hog. But at 751 pounds dry and nearly 2,300 cc, it is quite the heifer.
Power. Girth. Flash. Triumph's biggest and baddest is a real beefcake of a bike that panders to cruisers' basest instincts. It just does it in an unconventional way.
New for 2007, the touring version of Triumph's year-old Rocket III Classic is a triple novelty. The long and low profile, the floorboards and rock 'n' roll shift are pure cruiser, but the bike is English, not American or Japanese. Its power isn't cranked from a big, air-cooled V-twin but a gargantuan, liquid-cooled in-line triple. Busting the bucket at 2,294 cc, it's also the largest-displacement mass-produced motorcycle with a motorcycle engine on the market.
On paper, that adds up to a bike so macho you almost need a mustache to throw a leg over.
Or so it seems. Flipping the switch, it's a different story. Firing up the bike, I was struck by the timidity of its exhaust note. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger talking with Maria Shriver's voice.
If you're a Harley fan, that isn't a good thing. But Triumph's elephantine tourer is more of the anti-Harley. It's for aging Steve McQueen-types who caught the biker bug tearing around on '60s Triumphs but whose bones no longer can take the abuse — guys who prize the nostalgia of this 105-year-old motorcycle marque as well as the performance and novelty of its famed triple cylinder.
The advantage of a triple over a twin? There's just as much bottom-end torque (147 pound-feet at 2,500 rpm) but less vibration and higher revs, for an even broader power band. Then there are aesthetics. On the Rocket III Classic Tourer, the motor's mounted lengthwise rather than crosswise in a nod to another well-loved though long-defunct English motorcycle manufacturer — BSA.
What's modern about the '07 tourer: The motor is counterbalanced, to make the ride even smoother. In addition to being liquid cooled, it's also shaft driven and fuel-injected.
Despite these modern amenities, I admit I was prejudiced against this bike before making it mine for a couple weeks. I didn't care that the bike pulls 140 horses at 6,000 rpm. In these days of escalating fuel prices, the bike's heft seemed out of sync with the times. I figured the bike would consume as reasonably as a frat boy at an open bar.
At first, that suspicion was confirmed. The fuel light came on exactly 100 miles after I had filled up. On a 6.3-gallon tank, the math worked out to a worse-than-your-average-passenger-car 20 mpg, but that was inaccurate. When I filled up at 107 miles, only 3.5 gallons fit in the tank. That means the bike actually gets a respectable 30.5 mpg. It turns out there's a problem with the calibration on the fuel sensor on some of these bikes, Triumph admits, but not so many that it's issuing a recall.
Once my fuel concerns were erased, it was a lot easier to enjoy the bike's meat-and-potatoes power and tornado-proof stability. Even carving canyons, this 98.4-inch behemoth was a lot easier to throw around than I expected because the front end isn't raked for raising Cain, just kicked out a moderate 32 degrees.
Overall, this bike defied my expectations, though I do have one request: I would have liked a reverse gear because I was sweating after three-point turns in my driveway.
Last edited:
Not saying you need to be big & strong to straddle one of these babies (hey, look at me), but I would like to know just what size gal Susan is. They let her have it for a couple of weeks? Why didn't my dealer do that for me? Did she buy one after the experience? Did she experience an "off balance" stop like most of us have? Did she have enough lead in her butt to get it back straight?

So many questions, so little time.
Then there are aesthetics. On the Rocket III Classic Tourer, the motor's mounted lengthwise rather than crosswise in a nod to another well-loved though long-defunct English motorcycle manufacturer — BSA. quote]

Since when did BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) produce a frame parallel multi cylinder layout that was in general production. The BSA Rocket 3 was a transverse 3 cylinder and the rest of the line was either singles or OHV twins. I'll stand corrected if anyone knows better.
Last edited by a moderator:
I'm a little confused about that myself, Flip. BSA did buy out Sunbeam who produced an inline twin, but that really wasn't a BSA. Possibly the author confused the Old BSA Rocket III's layout with the modern version. Maybe a little more research is needed? :D

All in all a good article. Hey... don't we have a female rider or two around here???
Last edited:

She looks like she can handle herself both on and off the bikes she tests. Don't forget about our own 'Sunshine'. She's been riding an R3 for a while now. I have a feeling she mistook transverse for longitudinal. Don't forget abouth the women who ride Harley's. My good friends Ed and Carol rack up many thousands of miles each year on their Heritage Softails. Carol is about 5'6" tall and about 130 pounds soaking wet and she rides that Harley like any guy can. They have been in every State in the Union except California. Carol rides more in one year than most bikers do in 5 years.

I got a kick about her comments concerning the ZX Ninja. One cool lady. Sounds like a match for BusaJack.

Heifer:eek: did she say heifer:mad: Shirley she could have come up with a much more appropriate synonym. Now what might that be...Oh! I got it: "Rocket".

These beasts most definitely have the right stuff under the tool shed.

Curious is why 10 bikes over the course of a decade...Kept trashing them? Or, never satisfied:eek: until she got a heifer between her legs?

That's a good video. She certainly seems credible. The Rocket isn't for everyone, but I thought she gave it a fair shake. There is one thing missing though. She must not have gotten all over it like we do sometimes, it looked like she rode it like it was a cruiser for gawd sakes. Sure, the Rocket can be docile, it can also rip your arms out and I didn't see any of that in her review.

We are kinda hard on magazine writers, but I liked her the best so far :D. Some of those other guys.... Yikes...
Yes that was a good video. I agree it's one of the better reviews. Besides she looks great and eats junk food,....:cool:

Sure puts a big "?" on the low fuel light issue....in that it's embarrassing to have such an easy fix issue still haunting our Rockets.

I couldn't tell she writes for the LA Times::D "Does the world really need a 2300cc bike" or how about, "with high gas prices and a war I wondered about a bike with poor gas mileage".

Not sure how the Rocket speed and torque escaped a notable mention unless it's a politically correct thing or...?!?!?