Looking to buy a Touring, years to avoid, differences in engine output between Touring and Roadster.


.060 Over
Aug 18, 2015
Del Rio, TN
Previously-2012 Rocket Roadster
Former Rocket III owner here, I had a 2012 Roadster that I loved. I put a bunch of effort outfitting it for touring, but eventually realized I wanted a dedicated touring bike, with a stereo and cruise control. 500-600 mile days weren't bad, but when I was working and limited for vacation time, I end up putting on a good number of 800 mile days, and I wasn't quite up to it with the Roadster. Ended up selling it-out of all the bikes I've had and sold, it's the only one I really regret and miss. So I'm thinking about picking up another.

This time I'm thinking about a Touring, largely for something different. This would be more a day cruiser or perhaps overnighter, not a long distance, multi-day tourer for me (I have a K1600GTL for that-which I also love). So I have a few questions-ones I used to know the answers to but frankly have forgotten.

First, what years should be avoided? IIRC there were some transmission issues with the early-year bikes, seems like a shift fork issue? Otherwise, were there significant changes?

The Touring is significantly down on power from the Roadster, which I'd want to address. My recollection is that the engine mechanically was identical, just a different tune, and perhaps (?) a different exhaust. I recall that you could diagnose/reflash with just a laptop or even an android tablet (IIRC you needed a USB port). Correct? If the exhaust is an issue, more restrictive-what's the best "fix" to open it up, without being obnoxiously loud or breaking the bank? I remember a Paul Bryant I used to follow on Facebook had some complete exhausts but I don't recall if they were for the Touring and don't know if they are still available, or if there are other options.

Handling-the Roadster was heavy with the stock tires, it required a good bit of pressure to hold a counter-steer in turns. A slightly taller rear and shorter/narrower front made the bike feel 200 lbs lighter. How does the Tourer feel in comparison? I recall that it took a narrower rear tire, were the forks/rake and front tire the same as the Roadster? I'm thinking the Roadster had USD forks, not sure about the Touring. Also, are long-lasting touring tires available for the rear? At the time I had mine, only 3 tires fit the rear of the Roadster, and none lasted like say a Commander II (or I guess III these days).

Finally, is the single front headlight compatible with a 7" light for a Harley or Indian? I have a (rather pricy) LED adaptive headlight I took off my Indian Roadmaster before selling it-would like to be able to use it on this.

Sorry about the long-winded post with so many questions, but thought I'd get them out there in one post. Thanks in advance, I miss this community!
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Octane Boost
Dec 3, 2017
Tazewell TN
Indians and the R3 2014 Roadster + TFC
I’ve never really understood the de-tuned Touring model. I have a Roadster and would never think of decreasing its power. I have other bikes for touring that are not as torquey as the Rocket but the ain’t weak.;)

Im waiting to hear the answers to your questions.


Dec 16, 2019
California Central Coast
2008 Rocket III Touring
The Touring model became available in 2008, after they ironed out most of the intitial problems so I don't think any year Touring should be avoided. The only real change during it's production was adding anti-lock brakes a few years later.
My '08 was brought up to full power by just adding an "unrestricted" tune that I installed using a windows laptop and the TuneECU program using an appropriate cable. Just hook up the the OBD port and download a tune that fits your bike, stock or modified.

jake shaw

Jan 22, 2007
Prince Edward Island, Canada
2014 Rocket Touring
I've had a 05 Standard and now a 14 Touring. The 14 felt heavier from the get go. The 14 handles easier than the 05. The tune is softer on the 14 but can be changed easily. The riding position on the 14 is more comfortable for me. I did 128000K on the 05 and now 54000k on the 14. Had some troubles with the 05, Gearshift spring, ignition switch, torsional damper bearings, also went through many back tires. Zero troubles with the 14. Just replaced Rear Michelin Commander 11 (30,000k) with a Commander111. Good luck on your search. Hope this helps.

G-Force Junkie

Mar 25, 2021
Near Ottawa, Ontario
2021 Triumph Rocket III GT Black
Had a 2013 R3T. Simple tune went from 88 to 120hp at the wheel. If I recall, the secondary throttle plates are restricted to 40% open on the R3T for a smooth ride and fuel economy I imagine. D&D pipes / K&N Filter only gave me another 8hp and a lot of unwanted noise.