Any former Rocket III owners here? Looking for comparison and input.
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Thread: Any former Rocket III owners here? Looking for comparison and input.

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    Default Any former Rocket III owners here? Looking for comparison and input.

    Hi all-first post here; I'm seriously considering a M109R. One of my previous bikes was a 2012 Rocket III Roadster. Loved that bike, the engine was fantastic, cornered well (especially after swapping tires), pretty darned comfortable and rock solid and very well made. I put about 35k miles on in in a couple years. I live in N. Idaho and my brother lives in Alabama. For the last 3 years we have gotten together and ridden for a week or two in the summer. Which, as you might imagine based on where we live, means some long days slabbing it on the interstate. I partially outfitted the Rocket for touring with bags, rear rack/rest, highway pegs, Airhawk and a tall windshield. It was quite comfortable for ~500-600 mile days-but after a couple 800 mile days, I decided I wanted something a little more suited for the long-haul and picked up a lightly used Indian Roadmaster. I sold the Rocket a few months later-and now regret that.

    The big Indian is the perfect bike for eating up lots of interstate. Comfortable, good wind protection, heated seat and grips, good stereo, good bit of storage. But it's rather gutless (which I knew going it) and it's a big porker for day rides (love the QD trunk to quickly turn it into a bagger). I've had it about a season and a half and have about 25k on it...and am thinking I'd like something with a little excitement again-which brings me here. Besides-I could stand to get out from under the big payment-Indians are as overpriced as HDs. The Indian also has quite a few squeaks and rattles that the Rocket didn't (rock solid after 40k miles). I also live on a dirt road and run 8 miles of it a day-the belt squeals badly when dusty. I really want a shaft again.

    I really like the styling of the 109. Looks like a great bike for day trips. I have a bad knee (one was just replaced) and I think the forward controls will work well from that point. But I've never ridden one. So, if there are any Rocketeers here-how do they stack up in terms of comfort, seating position, handling, power (yeah, I know it's down on torque, but HP isn't far off and the 9 is a little lighter) and general "feel"? Can the M109 corner with the Rocket (the mid-mount controls feel good for cutting corners and it had good ground clearance-didn't grind bits unless you were really into it)?

    Most of the time I'd probably ride it "naked"-but toss on a windshield, set of bags and sissy bar/rack for trips. I'm also thinking I'd upgrade with an electronic cruise control and stereo. I have cruise on my RM and my other bike (KTM 1290 SAR) and can't imagine being without it now. How comfortable can a 109 be made for long days (800 or more) in the saddle?

    I'm considering this one here: https://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/m...883447898.html Has the Corbin bags, exhaust, intake and windshield already. I'd probably mount the bags with a set of EZBrackets to make it quick to take them off.

    Thanks for any input.
    Last edited by IdahoRenegade; 05-13-2019 at 04:05 PM.

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    Not a former rocket owner, but I can say that that I've made two 3,000 mile 8 day rides towing a trailer, (we camp), and this bike is very comfy. I just added an Ultimate seat this past winter, which is awesome. I love this bike.
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    Very Active Member JUDAH-9's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum IdahoRenegade. If you set the 9 up just right to meet your comfort requirements, you can ride it easily for hours upon hours. The keys to comfort for long rides on the 9 primarily include getting the right seat (the bike you’re looking at getting has Corbin seat, which is arguably the best and most comfortable seating available), correct handle bar positioning and distance to rider (you may or may not need to add aftermarket +2 Risers depending on your height), positioning of forward controls (they will determine if your legs are in a comfortable position), and a windscreen (which your target bike clearly has).

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    Very Active Member Poseidon's Avatar
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    I’ve never owned or even ridden a Rocket III. I do have a little different perspective tho. I have no problem doing 500 mile days on my 9. If I were doing 800 or 1000 mile days, I would pick either of my other bikes over the 9.

    My first choice for a ride like that would be my Magnum. Stock bike and around $1500 - $2000 in performance mods and it will hang with the 9 up to around 100mph. Handling is similar, but slightly better than the 9. Cross Country has better ground clearance and more lean angle than the Magnum because the Magnum is lowered from the factory. As long as you don’t mind owning an orphaned bike, you can pick them up cheap right now. Bags are bigger than your Indian. Floor boards are longer providing more comfort for the long haul. Still belt drive tho. When Polaris dropped the Victory brand, I thought about getting something to replace my Magnum. Honestly, I haven’t found another bike that ticks as many boxes for me, so I’m keeping it.

    My Concours 14 would be my second choice for a long ride. Better performance and handling than the 9 hands down. Decent storage. Comfortable ride. Shaft drive. I would want to add cruise control before a really long ride. Down side is that there is some slight buzzing in the bars. Nothing excessive and a set of grip puppies took care of most of it.

    Dont take all all of this the wrong way. The 9 is a great bike. I love mine. I just don’t think it is the best option for what you are wanting to do with it. Can it be done... sure. There are better options out there tho.

    Best option, if you can swing it, is to have multiple bikes for different purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    I’ve never owned or even ridden a Rocket III. I do have a little different perspective tho. I have no problem doing 500 mile days on my 9. If I were doing 800 or 1000 mile days, I would pick either of my other bikes over the 9.

    My first choice for a ride like that would be my Magnum. Stock bike and around $1500 - $2000 in performance mods and it will hang with the 9 up to around 100mph. Handling is similar, but slightly better than the 9. Cross Country has better ground clearance and more lean angle than the Magnum because the Magnum is lowered from the factory. As long as you don’t mind owning an orphaned bike, you can pick them up cheap right now. Bags are bigger than your Indian. Floor boards are longer providing more comfort for the long haul. Still belt drive tho. When Polaris dropped the Victory brand, I thought about getting something to replace my Magnum. Honestly, I haven’t found another bike that ticks as many boxes for me, so I’m keeping it.

    My Concours 14 would be my second choice for a long ride. Better performance and handling than the 9 hands down. Decent storage. Comfortable ride. Shaft drive. I would want to add cruise control before a really long ride. Down side is that there is some slight buzzing in the bars. Nothing excessive and a set of grip puppies took care of most of it.

    Dont take all all of this the wrong way. The 9 is a great bike. I love mine. I just don’t think it is the best option for what you are wanting to do with it. Can it be done... sure. There are better options out there tho.

    Best option, if you can swing it, is to have multiple bikes for different purposes.
    No end of good choices. I haven't ridden a Connie 14, but I did have an old 1000. The 14 is a pretty amazing bike-a slightly detuned ZX-14R motor in a sport-touring frame with, IIRC, 154 hp. I admit to being tempted-and also to an FJR. I also consider a ZX-14R just because...there's no such thing as too much HP. Thing is, from what I've encountered, being able to stretch my knees out is a big deal for me on a long ride-and with the fixed mid-mount pegs I'm not sure any sport-touring bike will do. I discount a Wing or K1600 for some of the same reasons. With forward controls (and/or floorboards) that leaves HD, Indian and the Voyager as prospects. But none of them offer much in the line of performance. Or as you said, a Vic (and I'm the oddball-actually like the Vision). But true long-distance touring is a one (or at most 2) week a year trip for me.

    Ideally I'd like one of the above bikes for touring (and I'm really not sure I could do better than the RM for pure long distance touring in comfort), an ADV bike for playing in the dirt and getting my real "need for speed" taken care of (as I said I have a 1290 SAR). And a fun, nice looking "muscle cruiser" for bombing around locally and shorter trips. But financially, I really need to boil it down to two bikes, and really the Indian isn't calling me that much (love the SAR though-it's an amazing bike). Really-I should just slap a tall windshield on the SAR and cobble up a set of highway pegs for it for touring. It has heated grips and cruise. It's fine on the highway...though it encourages me to run at highly extralegal speeds. Not sure how comfortable it would be on a really long day. Honestly, I should just keep it as my only bike-but the 109 is such a sexy beast it's calling me-even though it won't run with the KTM.
    Last edited by IdahoRenegade; 05-13-2019 at 10:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoRenegade View Post
    No end of good choices. I haven't ridden a Connie 14, but I did have an old 1000. The 14 is a pretty amazing bike-a slightly detuned ZX-14R motor in a sport-touring frame with, IIRC, 154 hp. I admit to being tempted-and also to an FJR. I also consider a ZX-14R just because...there's no such thing as too much HP. Thing is, from what I've encountered, being able to stretch my knees out is a big deal for me on a long ride-and with the fixed mid-mount pegs I'm not sure any sport-touring bike will do. I discount a Wing or K1600 for some of the same reasons. With forward controls (and/or floorboards) that leaves HD, Indian and the Voyager as prospects. But none of them offer much in the line of performance. Or as you said, a Vic (and I'm the oddball-actually like the Vision). But true long-distance touring is a one (or at most 2) week a year trip for me.

    Ideally I'd like one of the above bikes for touring (and I'm really not sure I could do better than the RM for pure long distance touring in comfort), an ADV bike for playing in the dirt and getting my real "need for speed" taken care of (as I said I have a 1290 SAR). And a fun, nice looking "muscle cruiser" for bombing around locally and shorter trips. But financially, I really need to boil it down to two bikes, and really the Indian isn't calling me that much (love the SAR though-it's an amazing bike). Really-I should just slap a tall windshield on the SAR and cobble up a set of highway pegs for it for touring. It has heated grips and cruise. It's fine on the highway...though it encourages me to run at highly extralegal speeds. Not sure how comfortable it would be on a really long day. Honestly, I should just keep it as my only bike-but the 109 is such a sexy beast it's calling me-even though it won't run with the KTM.
    Mad long as you like the Vision, it actually responds slightly better to the performance mods than the cross bikes due to a better design on the air intake. Smaller bags tho. You mentioned the K1600. Have you looked into the K1600B? Best of both worlds. Mid controls and forward floor boards. A sport tour in bagger clothing. Personally, I’ll never own another BMW, 2 or 4 wheels.

    The SAR looks like it would be a fun bike. Do you have any opportunity to ride a 9? Dealership that will allow you to test ride one, or a friend that will let you take theirs for a ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    Mad long as you like the Vision, it actually responds slightly better to the performance mods than the cross bikes due to a better design on the air intake. Smaller bags tho. You mentioned the K1600. Have you looked into the K1600B? Best of both worlds. Mid controls and forward floor boards. A sport tour in bagger clothing. Personally, I’ll never own another BMW, 2 or 4 wheels.

    The SAR looks like it would be a fun bike. Do you have any opportunity to ride a 9? Dealership that will allow you to test ride one, or a friend that will let you take theirs for a ride?
    I test rode a K1600GT a couple years ago-had a problem with the Rocket on a trip, the dealer had BMWs. The bike was a technological marvel...but for some reason didn't call to me. The inline 6 is just too smooth and really doesn't have the low-end punch of the R3 (and I assume of the 9). Unfortunately I haven't even tossed my leg over a 9-there are only 2 Zook dealers in my area and neither has one. Not interested in new anyway. I like interesting bikes...but haven't been hanging on to any one too long-no use eating the depreciation for someone else. Given that the 9 has been out for a while I figure I can find a good deal on a used one and spend the difference on mods.

    Getting the Rocket was kind of a fluke. I found a used Tiger 800XC for a ADV bike a few years ago-really didn't know much about the Triumph line at the time. Got looking into them, read about the R3 and figured I'd like try one if a good deal fell in my lap. Dealer later picked up a 2 year old one with 5k on it...it followed me home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoRenegade View Post
    I test rode a K1600GT a couple years ago-had a problem with the Rocket on a trip, the dealer had BMWs. The bike was a technological marvel...but for some reason didn't call to me. The inline 6 is just too smooth and really doesn't have the low-end punch of the R3 (and I assume of the 9). Unfortunately I haven't even tossed my leg over a 9-there are only 2 Zook dealers in my area and neither has one. Not interested in new anyway. I like interesting bikes...but haven't been hanging on to any one too long-no use eating the depreciation for someone else. Given that the 9 has been out for a while I figure I can find a good deal on a used one and spend the difference on mods.

    Getting the Rocket was kind of a fluke. I found a used Tiger 800XC for a ADV bike a few years ago-really didn't know much about the Triumph line at the time. Got looking into them, read about the R3 and figured I'd like try one if a good deal fell in my lap. Dealer later picked up a 2 year old one with 5k on it...it followed me home.
    The 9 will definitely give you the arm stretch you are looking for. It can be made to be comfortable for long rides, but like others have said, you will need to change a few things to make it fit you. Handling is better than you would ever expect. Lean angle it typical of most cruisers. Peg feelers are the first to scrape (as long as you don’t lower it) and give you warning before dragging hard parts. Lack of storage is the biggest issue for long rides, but there are solutions for that. Good luck on your search. Post up some pics once you get your 9. If you are free in June and are up for a road trip, check out the link to the Mid Atlantic meet on my signature below and come join us in Maggie Valley. You’ll see lots of 9 there and about every mod available for the bike.

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    I've owned both an M109R and a 2012 Rocket III Roadster. They're both nice bikes. I actually did not like the Rocket III for touring as it was too heavy on the gas and honestly, didn't really make that much power. It was super heavy. Yeah, it had good torque but after a few trips on it I got tired of the weight and poor handling (I know some people would argue otherwise, but let's face it.. its almost 800lbs and has almost no turn radius) I sold it to buy a Super Tenere XT1200Z and have not regretted it at all.

    The M109R can be made pretty comfortable to ride with an upgraded seat, some pull back bars and foot rests. I did a lot of traveling on mine. It just requires a lot of modifications to get perfect for you.

    One of the reasons I also sold the Rocket was that it did not have the features I really wanted in the end, which was rider modes and cruise control. The new one of course has all those goodies.

    My advice to you is if you want an M109R, buy one and enjoy it for a while.. it's worth owning both of them at some point! It's a good looking bike and very customizable.
    Previous Bikes: 2001 Honda Shadow VT750, 2005 Suzuki M50, 2005 Yamaha MT-01, 2008 Suzuki M109R LE. 1982 Honda CB900F, 2003 Honda ST1300, 2012 Rocket III Roadster Phantom Black
    Current Bikes: 2007 Yamaha MT-01 & 2016 Yamaha Super Tenere ES

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    Never rode the Rocket but heard its a great bike. One mean machine.I love my 9 but still have the factory seat on my 2017 BOSS. Gets uncomfortable on long rides so if you get a 9 invest in a better seat. I actually like the new Rocket as well.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdraughoboss109 View Post
    Never rode the Rocket but heard its a great bike. One mean machine.I love my 9 but still have the factory seat on my 2017 BOSS. Gets uncomfortable on long rides so if you get a 9 invest in a better seat. I actually like the new Rocket as well.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    Do you plan to get an aftermarket seat? If so, I highly recommend a Corbin seat. I’ve had 4 of them for 3 different bikes (still have 2 of them), and they are phenomenally great and comfortable throughout the entire ride, regardless of the length of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JUDAH-9 View Post
    Do you plan to get an aftermarket seat? If so, I highly recommend a Corbin seat. I’ve had 4 of them for 3 different bikes (still have 2 of them), and they are phenomenally great and comfortable throughout the entire ride, regardless of the length of time.
    Yes Judah.

    I've heard the Corbins are awesome. Plan on getting one asap because of all the great reviews. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    The 9 will definitely give you the arm stretch you are looking for. It can be made to be comfortable for long rides, but like others have said, you will need to change a few things to make it fit you. Handling is better than you would ever expect. Lean angle it typical of most cruisers. Peg feelers are the first to scrape (as long as you don’t lower it) and give you warning before dragging hard parts. Lack of storage is the biggest issue for long rides, but there are solutions for that. Good luck on your search. Post up some pics once you get your 9. If you are free in June and are up for a road trip, check out the link to the Mid Atlantic meet on my signature below and come join us in Maggie Valley. You’ll see lots of 9 there and about every mod available for the bike.
    Thanks for the response (and sorry for the delayed one here). I missed out on the one I posted in the OP-but there are a couple more in the Seattle/Portland area. Amtrak has a station about 10 miles from my house-makes a "ride and ride" easy. Put the Indian on CL and FB today so I'm hoping it moves quickly (had an inquiry already). I won't make hte Mid Atlantic meet-not much vacation this year, spent most of my vac time recovering from a knee replacement. This year my brother is heading west, we'll hit Beartooth Pass, Idaho Hwy 12 (a fantastic MC road) and over to the Pacific coast. Looking forward to it! Someone not too far from me has a set of used Tuskayu hard bags from a 9 for sale, might have to pick them up for trips.

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoChet View Post
    I've owned both an M109R and a 2012 Rocket III Roadster. They're both nice bikes. I actually did not like the Rocket III for touring as it was too heavy on the gas and honestly, didn't really make that much power. It was super heavy. Yeah, it had good torque but after a few trips on it I got tired of the weight and poor handling (I know some people would argue otherwise, but let's face it.. its almost 800lbs and has almost no turn radius) I sold it to buy a Super Tenere XT1200Z and have not regretted it at all.

    The M109R can be made pretty comfortable to ride with an upgraded seat, some pull back bars and foot rests. I did a lot of traveling on mine. It just requires a lot of modifications to get perfect for you.

    One of the reasons I also sold the Rocket was that it did not have the features I really wanted in the end, which was rider modes and cruise control. The new one of course has all those goodies.

    My advice to you is if you want an M109R, buy one and enjoy it for a while.. it's worth owning both of them at some point! It's a good looking bike and very customizable.
    Interesting that you have the S-10 (Super Tenere), my coworker had one. Nice bike-a bit heavy for tougher dirt but great for pavement and dirt roads. Agree with you on cruise control-once you've had it, you want it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jdraughoboss109 View Post
    Yes Judah.

    I've heard the Corbins are awesome. Plan on getting one asap because of all the great reviews. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    I've been on their site and already picked out colors! Had one on my Concours-it helped. Love that you can select custom colors, materials and fitment. Not exactly inexpensive though!

    OK, a couple more questions. I'm looking at this one: https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/m...884091549.html Well farkled, most of which I really like (pipes, air intake, PC-V, pass seat) and would be adding, others that I like but wouldn't pay for on my own (polished/chrome). Do you think the price is fair? And it does need a new front fender, which Zook doesn't make in that color any longer (according to my local dealer). Can get one on fleabay-any idea what paint would cost?

    OK, one more question-what kind of RPM are you turning at highway speeds, say 80?

    Thanks again for all the input-like how helpful this site is.
    Last edited by IdahoRenegade; 05-18-2019 at 09:59 PM.

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    Front fender looks like cosmetic damage. Doesn’t appear to effect the attachment points on the bike. Color rite will have the paint color / code for it on their website. Small amount of paint that the front fender will require, shouldn’t cost much. If you don’t paint yourself, having it painted is what will increase the price. Might want to get your bags first and see if they will need painted also.

    Only questionable mod is the 280 rear tire on a stock 8.5” rear wheel. Lots of guys have run it that way without issue, but the manufacturer recommends a 10” wide wheel for that tire. The sidewalls will be pinched in quite a bit and the concern is that the bead of the tire could let go at speed. This is a topic of great debate on this forum, but most will tell you that a 280 is too wide for an 8.5” wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    Front fender looks like cosmetic damage. Doesn’t appear to effect the attachment points on the bike. Color rite will have the paint color / code for it on their website. Small amount of paint that the front fender will require, shouldn’t cost much. If you don’t paint yourself, having it painted is what will increase the price. Might want to get your bags first and see if they will need painted also.

    Only questionable mod is the 280 rear tire on a stock 8.5” rear wheel. Lots of guys have run it that way without issue, but the manufacturer recommends a 10” wide wheel for that tire. The sidewalls will be pinched in quite a bit and the concern is that the bead of the tire could let go at speed. This is a topic of great debate on this forum, but most will tell you that a 280 is too wide for an 8.5” wheel.
    Thanks for the heads up on the 280. I (think) I'd like a 50 series 240, rather than a 40 for additional ride height (to avoid dragging). But I haven't seen any available so maybe a 250 in an Elite 4, or stock in a Commander II. I've really liked the Commander II on the Indian-but whole different bike. Will have to ride it to get an idea how quickly I drag pegs-maybe it won't be an issue-but I do like to play in the twisties.

    I'll pick up a used fender and give painting it a shot. I've done one bike so have a general idea, but am no expert by any means. If thinks work out I'll pick up a bike in Seattle or Portland and swing by central WA for the bags on the trip home. We'll see, gettin' ahead of myself, gotta sell the other bike first.

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    Well, big day today. Showed the "old" bike to someone yesterday, firmed up the deal today, so it's going down the road. Decided to hit Searchtempest for a 109 this morning before work and a new one popped up just 90 miles from me (which in my neck of the woods is "next door"). Black '07 with about 2100 miles (who does that), dual corbin seat with backrest, Rifle shield, Leatherlyke bags (not my first choice for looks, but they will be great for touring and are quick detach) and floorboards for $6k. It should be following me home Saturday (assuming everything looks good). Let the modding begin-time to check the 4-sale forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoRenegade View Post
    Well, big day today. Showed the "old" bike to someone yesterday, firmed up the deal today, so it's going down the road. Decided to hit Searchtempest for a 109 this morning before work and a new one popped up just 90 miles from me (which in my neck of the woods is "next door"). Black '07 with about 2100 miles (who does that), dual corbin seat with backrest, Rifle shield, Leatherlyke bags (not my first choice for looks, but they will be great for touring and are quick detach) and floorboards for $6k. It should be following me home Saturday (assuming everything looks good). Let the modding begin-time to check the 4-sale forum.
    12 years and only 2100 miles. Be prepared to replace a lot of rubber parts. Hoses, vacuumed lines, throttle body boots, etc. Definitely tires if it still has the stock tires on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
    12 years and only 2100 miles. Be prepared to replace a lot of rubber parts. Hoses, vacuumed lines, throttle body boots, etc. Definitely tires if it still has the stock tires on it.
    Yep, planning on it. I have trouble believing how someone buys a bike, spends a bunch of money on mods and then doesn't ride. I'm concerned about rust in the gas tank as well.

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    I'm going in the opposite direction. Supposed to be going to pick up a 2012 R3R tomorrow afternoon. Gonna be a project for a while. The bike looks like it's spent some time either outside, or in a damp garage. All the chrome pieces have that dirty kind of oxidzation on it. But fairly low mileage 16,000kms, I think that's approx 10k miles. I'm going to have to strip it and get polishing, and or powder coating. There's something about bringing an old mistreated machine back into pristine condition that I find satisfying. My 9 was wrecked and sat forgotten uncovered, in a garage for a bunch of years by the original owner when I bought it. Time for another project I guess!
    It'll be interesting to compare the differences we both find, once you get riding your 9, and I get on the Rocket. Good luck with your adventure, and I hope mine goes well too. Plan to keep both bikes for a while at least.
    Cheers,
    Dean

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    Quote Originally Posted by VzrDean1800 View Post
    I'm going in the opposite direction. Supposed to be going to pick up a 2012 R3R tomorrow afternoon. Gonna be a project for a while. The bike looks like it's spent some time either outside, or in a damp garage. All the chrome pieces have that dirty kind of oxidzation on it. But fairly low mileage 16,000kms, I think that's approx 10k miles. I'm going to have to strip it and get polishing, and or powder coating. There's something about bringing an old mistreated machine back into pristine condition that I find satisfying. My 9 was wrecked and sat forgotten uncovered, in a garage for a bunch of years by the original owner when I bought it. Time for another project I guess!
    It'll be interesting to compare the differences we both find, once you get riding your 9, and I get on the Rocket. Good luck with your adventure, and I hope mine goes well too. Plan to keep both bikes for a while at least.
    Cheers,
    Dean
    It's a shame someone mistreated a Rocket like that! Hopefully a good cleaning/polishing brightens that up. I would think it would if it's not pitted. Mine was a 12 Roadster as well. Very little plastic on that bike-fenders, side covers and the vast majority of the trim is chromed steel. About the only plastic I recall was the radiator trim. I'm looking forward to seeing how the 9 compares to my memory of the R3R-sold it last summer. Is yours the gloss black or matte? (IIRC that year they had both). Mine was the gloss black pearl-loved that bike.

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