Rocket, Again

So, now that I’ve got the Sporty tricked out, Triumph wants my attention again, apparently. they’ve just announced a brand new touring version of the Rocket III for 2008.

There’s a first test ride report here.

They’ve redesigned the suspension, frame, gas tank, changed the tires, moved the gauges to a tank console, and upped the torque to 154 lb.-ft., at about 500 RPM lower. And the price is under $17k.

Right now, my plan is to keep the Sporty for another year. Maybe I’ll take another look at trading up when the 2009’s come out, and see what kind of deal on left-over 2008 I can work. When that time comes, I might just take another look at the Rocket.

New Mods Complete

Well, it cost me almost $3,000 for parts and labor, but I’ve added all the mods I wanted to add for the Sporty. Here she is:

I added all the new stuff in one fell swoop. First, I did a complete Stage I engine upgrade. I added the Screamin’ Eagle high-flow air cleaner and performance slip-on mufflers. And, because the bike is fuel injected, also had to add the download for the ECM module to alter the engine performance parameters to compensate for the free-breathing exhaust system. While I was doing that, I did some cosmetic work, too, changing the air cleaner and timer cover to the “Swingback” style chrome parts from Harley.

It makes a nice change from the stock covers, and adds a bit of personality. I actually found the air cleaner cover in the clearance bin at the local dealer. Since the already had to pull the air cleaner to replace it, there was no labor charge to put the new air cleaner cover on.

The next thing was the addition of a new tachometer.

It’s the 2.5″ mini-tach. it seems like it would be hard to read at that size, but actually, it isn’t. the tach was actually the cause of a little trouble during the install this week. The dealer quoted me 1 hour of labor for the install, because most tachometers have a simple Y connector that hooks up to the coil and a power outlet immediately adjacent to it. This tach was different. So they had to pull the tank and seat off the bike, and figure out how to install it. It took six hours to install it, which meant the dealer had to eat five hours of labor.

Not my problem. Although, it did mean that I had to do without the bike for another day.

The next mod was the running light module that converts the rear turn signal to running lights/brake lights/turn signals. I think it makes the bike much more visible by adding the extra lights in the back.

Finally, there’s the bags.

They are made by LeatherPros. Though they look like leather bags, they are actually hard bags with a leather outer cover.

The inner side of the saddlebags, i.e., the side that sits next to the bike, are molded to fit precisely around the shock absorbers, belt guard, etc. The outer sides and top are covered with pretty thick leather, and the insides are unlined. Instead of removable bag liners, the saddlebags come with a pair of keyed Masterlocks, and shoulder straps that hook onto the outside rings. There are two levers inside each bag that you turn to release the clamps that hold the bags onto the bike. Just twist the levers, and the bags pop right off, leaving behind only the two mounting pegs on the bike rails. So, when you get to where you’re going, you just snap the shoulder straps on the two rings on the front and back of the bags, twist the levers, and carry the bags inside.

The trunk locks to the luggage rack on the back through a set of padded clamps that are tightened with a locking strap arrangement on the inside of the trunk. The trunk has an integral lock built in.

That’s a lot of mods, but it’s also probably the last mods I’ll ever do to this bike. It’s now set up just the way I always wanted it.

Oh, and just to add to the cost, I was pushing 5,000 miles, so I had to get the regular service done, too. But, I’m good until 10k now. At which time I’ll not only need the service, but probably a new rear tire.

Time to start saving pennies again.

So far, I’ve only ridden it home from the dealer, but the throttle response seems a lot stronger. Also, the pipes make a much deeper, bass rumble, and the “sewing-machine” sound is completely gone.

I can’t wait to get it out on the road and give it a good road test.