Swap TBird for a Rocket Roadster? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Swap TBird for a Rocket Roadster?

Sooooo, visited my local dealer yesterday. Been thinking about having the Big Bore kit installed...then, there it was, a new Rocket Roadster in Phantom Black. Now I'm torn over getting the Big Bore kit, or simply getting the Roadster. Anybody out there make the swap? wondering how that monster will handle in a parking lot?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 01:55 PM
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I've seen a number of people go from a rocket to a Tbird and so far all were happy with the switch. One guy bought a Tbird, started thinking along the same lines as you and traded the Tbird for a rocket. 6 months later he sold the rocket and went back to a Tbird. I don't recall anyone going from a Tbird to a R3 other than him.

I'm not saying the R3 isn't a worthy upgrade, but it seems not to be so far for the majority. There are a ton of R3 owners who swear up and down they'd never ride anything else, so it's all about the individual. For me, i rode one and was impressed big time with the power. Problem is, that was the only thing i liked and decided to stay with my speedmaster because i liked it better. Then the Tbird came out and that was all she wrote. My issues with the R3 were purely subjective as far as the demo went, but another reason i decided against it was that in the 5 or 6 months i researched it i read a lot more posts regarding mechanical issues with them than all other triumphs put together. When i asked about some of them all the R3 guys just got angry at me for suggesting they are problematic to any degree more than normal for any bike. That didn't make much sense to me tho considering how much i had read at the 3 R3 forums i knew of regarding serious issues. The owners who had issues told me it's true, those who didn't told me i'm halucinating. Go figure !In any case, there have indeed been a lot of issues some of which have no doubt been rectified, tho not all have i believe. Do the research before you buy to be safe. I also considered maintenance (ease and cost) and MPG which are higher with the R3.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrichhart View Post
Sooooo, visited my local dealer yesterday. Been thinking about having the Big Bore kit installed...then, there it was, a new Rocket Roadster in Phantom Black. Now I'm torn over getting the Big Bore kit, or simply getting the Roadster. Anybody out there make the swap? wondering how that monster will handle in a parking lot?
Ask over in the R3 forum.

https://www.triumphrat.net/the-rocket-science-forum/

and ride one yourself if possible.

Here's a couple of threads to look at.
https://www.triumphrat.net/biker-hang...ocket-iii.html
https://www.triumphrat.net/the-rocket...underbird.html
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the guidance guys... Dazco, I've been wondering about the maintenance issues and costs? My buddy on the Rocket touring went to put his bike from neutral to first gear, and the gearbox locked up. Luckily it was still under warranty, they told him it would have been $1500 otherwise. The appearance of the Roadster is certainly appealing, but I also worry about slow turning the thing in a parking lot or U turns. When I was on the one at the dealer it felt like the center of gravity was a bit higher than it is on the TBird. And I'm thinking I would miss the cornering that the TBird is so good at! Still thinking, and will probably go back for a test ride to be sure... but I still really enjoy the TBird for now......
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:39 AM
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The R3 guys will ether tell you the R3 handles just as well or better than the Tbird. But the fact s thats just not true. Most never rode a Tbird and just assume the R3 handles better. they are a VERY prideful bunch. Truth is the R3 doesn't handle near as well and the reviews and user comments support that. I found the R3 to be quite a handful and thats one of the reasons i didn't care for it. It's a FAR bigger bike regardless of the fact theres not a hug weight difference. theres a pic somewhere here of the R3 parked next to a Tbird and the thing dwarfs it by what looks like 1/3 more size. It's much taller too, so the COG is w/o a doubt higher, and it surely felt like it. The R3 may however have more ground clearance as a side benefit. But thats not much consolation if it doesn't handle as well to begin with. And to tell you the truth i've come to appreciate the Tbird's peg clearance because it keeps me from taking too much advantage of the handling. I can take corners much faster than i should as it stands, and the pegs keep me from pushing it into the danger zone....well, the UBER danger zone. Maintenance costs I can't tell you beyond the obvious. But one obvious thing, higher tire costs and less mileage from tires alone scares me away.

The tranny issue you mentioned has been fairly common as have some other issues equally distressing. Again, another reason i shied away. The reliability issue was probably the main reason i passed. The Tbird was only a rumor then so the R3 was my only option for more power if i wished to stay with triumph, which i did. But i saw so many posts by people posting about thier major engine problems with them i would have passed on that point alone even if i loved the bike. Now i have a bike i feel is far better in every way for me except power, and with the 1700 kit and tors i really don't pine for power like i did with the speedy. So all i can tell you is how I feel, and thats how i do. But who knows....you may feel different. The fact you are considering it tells me you aren't happy with the Tbird, so it may be worth it to you. I personally cannot imagine giving up all else for more power, especially when i have more than most bikes in my Tbird.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 03:03 AM
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How much power do you really need? I agree with Dazco. Is more power really worth giving up the other aspects of the Thunderbird? I could see owning a R3 as a second bike for longer highway rides, but I couldn't give up my Bird for it.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 10:25 AM
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Dazco ... You say rocket owners will tell you it handles better ,,, but it does'nt ,,,, what do you base that on , have you actually owned one , just had a test ride on one or read about it ,,

I can tell you the t bird handles better than the rocket , or the rocket classic .. because i've rode them all ,,, BUt i can also tell you the rocket Tourer not the classic , handles EVERY bit has good has the t bird, once your used to it and not intimidated , it can be moved around the carparks just has easy , but on the open road , its weight and power gives you more confidence than the t bird its just sticks to the road , in the twisties well i cannot push my t bird any quicker than the tourer , in fact in a race from a to b in twisties i constantly make better time on my rt3 .

I'm not going to say one is better than the other because i own both and there both great bikes, so if its a 1000 klm journey i take the rt3, if its going into the city i take the t bird , on a sunday with the wife its the rt3 she finds it more comfortable , On my own i take the t bird . I keep the 2 bikes because i geuinly cannot pick one over the other when i can i will get rid of one .

But when it comes to the day i've got rid of one and the other needs replacing , guess what , it will be a roadster , because that bike after riding it was AWSOME it out performed both of them . ESPECIELLY in the twisties , and for over taking sheer exhileration .

Is the roadster for everyone definetly not , its not a bike for the sqeamish , its bigger than the t bird , power over the t bird you cannot believe, until you have not just ridden one , but actually ridden one with the confidence to use the power , Its not that much heavier then the bird but has substantially more clearance , .

Remember he was asking about the roadster not the classic or standard rocket .

My advice robert is simple if you are confident to handle that big bike , if you are capable of handling that monster , the BUY IT , Its not a bike for the faint hearted , but it is a great all rounder , sure has dazco will point out it has faults , one being it can be cumberson in the carparks , but heh you don't buy it to ride round k marts carpark you buy them to ride on the road , and anyway the t bird has a more serious flaw , and thats when you get off the carparks , and the straight roads into some serious twistie riding , its not got the ground clearance , which is the bigger fault , all subjective , I know i would ride the dragons tale a lot quicker on a roadster than a t bird , . probably feel safer on the t bird because i know i cannot take every bend on the pegs and would have to slow down , .

The roadster is taller but so is the tourer and i put ikon shocks on mine 35mm shorter than standars and dropped it through the triple tree 20mm , made it the same seat height roughly has the t bird and still has more clearance , , have a ride mate see how you go .

For me the t bird is a great bike but the roadster is better . Only reason i don't have one is i will lose too much money selling both my bikes too get one , i want to get the use out of them before i get rid . But once i've actually had the use out of them to warrant losing the money i'll lose . for me it will be the roadster with quick release bags and screen

All subjective mate take it for a good ride
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:34 PM
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Well, if thats true then it's just a matter of costs and preference. I was under the assumption the roadster was a standard that just has engine changes and a different footpeg placement and cosmetics. for me the Tbird is just THE bike. But for Robert apparently it's not. So theres just costs to consider then, assuming he likes all else about it.

I'd like to hear Bullclark's thoughts on this, as he's owned the R3T and tbid. In fact, he's the one i said bought a tbird, sold it for a R3T, then sold that and went back to a tbird. So he should be pretty well versed in the differences too, but i suspect the handling aspect will vary depending on who u talk to..

Last edited by dazco; 10-24-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by robertrichhart View Post
Sooooo, visited my local dealer yesterday. Been thinking about having the Big Bore kit installed...then, there it was, a new Rocket Roadster in Phantom Black. Now I'm torn over getting the Big Bore kit, or simply getting the Roadster. Anybody out there make the swap? wondering how that monster will handle in a parking lot?
Two weeks ago I traded my Thunderbird 1600 for a Rocket 3 Classic 2009 model.

Nearing 60, have not ridden a bike since the early 1970's, last bike was a Panther 650 single.

I bought an America, was at a dealer and was looking at the Thunderbird, salesman came over and offered me the keys. Took it out, came back and traded the America for a Thunderbird, this was March of this year.

The Thunderbird felt a lot more balanced, went around corners like its on rails compared to the America.

Two weeks ago was looking around another dealer, there was a Rocket 3 classic stood outside, took it for a test ride, and traded the Thunderbird for the Rocket.

I was surprised how tame the Rocket is at low revs, yes its heavier, but the Classic has wide bars and a low seat, it felt just right.

Done about 200 miles now, bit heavier on corners, but not the handful I was expecting, acceleration brilliant. All can say is to try one and see.

I did sit on a new Roadster, it felt higher, the bars felt different, and the peg were further back, the Classic has footboards and are further forward.

It's heavy if you park nose down, did that with the Thunderbird in a pub car park was a sod to get it back onto flat ground, did the same on the Rocket Saturday on gravel, I forgot to park in on the flat, a pain to move.

Slow maneuvering it not too bad, I can move it around parked cars in the car park, just keep easing the clutch and taking it steady.

As I said done about 200 miles on the Rocket, two up for all of those miles.

Only time been out on my own so far was the test ride, did about 10 miles on country twisting roads, then went up between two junctions on the motorway, about 7 miles. Acceleration brilliant, felt very stable at 80 mph.

What I did notice was I was traveling faster than I thought, accelerating from 30mph as I entered 50mph speed limit, by the time I had accelerated to what I thought was 50 and looked down to the speedo, I was passing the 65mph on the speedo.

I thought the ride was very smooth, almost silky, the Rocket and Thunderbird are both great bikes, for now I like the Rocket better.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 11:12 PM
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Here we go again i suggest you ride one first,then you draw your own opinion.iv'e ridden the tbird and loved it but i own a rocket3t and love it more.I wanted more power room and comfort which i have. Iv'e owned many bikes in the last 47 yrs but nothing handels like this rocket sure its big but you don't notice it once it's in motion.I blast through the twisties and can't wait for the next curve it's a whole new experiance,i love it.try one!
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