Triumph Rocket III Popping Out of Gear

This could be serious.

Moonshine (my 2008iTriumph Rocket 3 Classic) is currently in the garage awaiting a trailer ride to Eurosport Cycle. She started popping out of first and second gear under load on my way home from work the other day, which was very disturbing as the first occurance was in the middle of a hard lean into a turn at about 30 MPH.

I adjusted the clutch cable…no effect on the problem.

Google searches on rocket 3 gearbox and shifting issues hasn’t turned up much info on what it takes to fix this issue, but plenty of anecdotal stories from folks about multiple trips to the dealer with no full resolutions.

This isn’t a matter of not getting her into gear in the first place. I made sure that it was firmly into first and second each time and that power was being transmitted to the rear wheel. The thing fell back into neutral even while accelerating with the transmission under load.

Anyone else out there had this experience and gotten it satisfactorily resolved?

avatar charles camilleri

hi does anyone have an idea of cost to sort the gear issue would cost i
am based in Manchester 07 rocket 111 jumps out of seconded gear
is it engine out job cheers
mark any info appreciated

avatar charles camilleri

i am having same on second gear this is a joke on my 07 rocket with14000 miles
on clock these should be fixed for free bike of the road for god knows who repairs
them i have just got over the high tick over a 2500 revs the idle control unit
£200 and its the same managed to do away with the idle unit now the gear
box it has put me of this lovely bike.

avatar John

Hi John here, I’ve had same problem with my 08 R3, bit scary when it jumps out of gear on a left hand bend , doing about 30 mph.. I have just trailered it up to Triumphant motorcycles in Wales, from Penzance, they are the specialist to use. Gonna cost me around £900.00, but it’s gotta be done. Can’t sell it like it is can’t use it like it is.
Update you in a couple of weeks when I get it back.

avatar Mark

I love my 05 rocket 3.but I was crusing along in second gear and went to shift and shifter just went slack.can’t change gear.I’m figuring it’s a broken dent spring.any ideas.can I repair this from front of motor by removing clutch and housing or does engine have to come out.any ideas would be great thanks

avatar MJS

I’ve a 2009 R3 Touring which started to jump out of gear under load the other week. Managed to get to work on it and on going home the gears seemed to have jammed, I snapped the gearchanger trying to free it BUT was lucky that I could use my toe end to rock the gear selector end to ride the 37 mile journey home. Since then I’ve not had much luck trying to repair the gear change as I do t want to pay £100 for something that may break trying to get the bike to the garage for them to look at it. I wouldn’t be able to afford a garage bill to fix it so would try to do it myself ONCE I know what the issue is. I’ve read that there is a fix BUT what exactly is that? New gears, selector, what? I’ve also heard of a small screw inside the gearbox that can work loose and cause these issues??? Are there any videos or links to remove/strip the R3 gearbox?
I live NE UK if anyone knows of any cheap mechanics.

avatar Dodah Man

Seriously considering a nice 2013 tour model with 3,000 miles but my feet are COLD, ice cold. Reading about this stuff scares me because there are no dealers within 200 miles who know anything about these bikes. Concerned about support. Do you guys think that by 2013 Triumph might have fixed these issues?

avatar John

Mine should be ready next week after the repairs .i will let you know the cost to get it sorted . It’s such a big bike . Otherwise I would attempt it myself

avatar Cardinal93

Your issue is a “common” one for the original models (through mid 08). It’s primarily due to the dog ears on 2d gear. Triumph put together an “update kit”, cost around $215 and includes parts for multiple known issues: wiring for ignition, cam shaft tensioner, gears, etc. it’s an awesome deal on the parts (when you can find a kit). Andy at north country usually can get one. Most triumph dealers will pretend not to know about the kit or the problems. Part number is T1000008 and T1000009 (dependent silver or black engine). Problem is the labour. You’re looking at 16-20 hrs work at whatever your local rate is if you can’t do it yourself. Triumph authorized 16 when the work was done under warranty. Most have found closer to 20 to be realistic. Good news is, if you’re inclined, you can do it yourself. I’m pulling mine apart weekend after next. I’ll be posting write ups as I go on
By the way, I’m an original owner of an 07 classic and I love my beast!

avatar Kenneth Steeples

I am having that same problems one shop i have taken it to through it was a shaft sensor. Got it home took it for a ride about six or seven miles in to the it started popping out of gear. Would like to see how u repaired yours. Thanks.

avatar Jon_Jynx

Where can I get this update kit? I have seen prices far more than what you quoted. If you can still find it for what you said, please point me in the right direction.

avatar david stead

hi did you manage to resolve the problem with the 2nd gear, if so , give me as much information on the procedure and outcome as you can. mine is an 07 plate and i would like to do it myself. It desparately needs doing

avatar Victor Beebe

Aloha! Vic again misspelled Radiator shroud. I love this bike! Don’t sound like a Harley at idle. **** it. this bikes a monster. Aloha Vic.
P.S I am a KOA PUNA local MC

avatar Victor Beebe

I bought a used 2008 Rocket 3. The prior owner drop the bike and did some repair. The bike still does not have a should on the radiator and has few minor cosmetic issues. All said; I love this bike! I used to ride a hopped 91 HD Sportster; great for around town in Hawaii.
Back to the issue: I noticed on occasions; under load or up hill, the second gear would Klank (lack of better words). Lately, It would klank more than once. It pretty loud and worrysome. I was told that it maybe the sift fork. Anybody Know? I’m not ready to tear it apart yet. It my daily ride. Had some other issues, like the purge valve popping open (California model) and bike would not idle. Also, clutch slippage. the dealer hear in Hawaii may not be experienced enough. Mahalo and Aloha


YES THE OL SECOND GEAR SLIP IS A HORRIBLE SHOULDER CRUNCHING NOISE I HAVE JUST EXPIERIENCED TOO AND AM SHITTING MYSELF TO FIND OUT JUST HOW MUCH THE FIX IS GOING TO BE ,cap lock off, it is interesting to hear of you guys getting the same trouble ,i thought until now my rocket was unbreakable but 5 years of hard riding has proved me wrong .,maybe time for an upgrade

avatar John

My rocket is on the bench being seen too for jumping out of gear, costing about £900.00 . But that’s life , nothing is perfect. Having to use my old 03 thunderbird for a while??Life’s a bitch!!!!

avatar van looy benny

had the seem problem 2 new gears there upgradet ones an the problem is solved for the moment my rocket is supercharged 244hp at the backwheel and 300nm torque its insane to drive but a lot of fun

avatar Juan Martinez

Well, I did it too! I donned Darth Vader’s mask in lieu of my Shoei. I’m a proud papa of a new Dunlop Direzza 225/50VR16. I opted for the down-size by measuring the Section width & OD of the Metz & Dunlop. The stock sized Dunlop (240/55) was just too fat looking and about an inch taller. Plus, I think the section width being narrower makes it just a fraction easier to pitch into the curves.
My experiences mirror yours as I first tried it out and I ditto your comments about the newfound grip! Twisting the throttle when taking street corners used to be intimidating, almost always waiting for the Metz to step out and initiate a tank slapper. I’m now making forward motion instead and in some cases leaving a nice black line where I came from all the while ‘leaned over’ :0D.
The ruts, grooves, and road irregularities do keep you a bit more on your toes but I almost see that as a benefit, keeping awareness up and daydreaming down. I actually like the need for a little more countersteer effort on the bars during directional changes. It keeps the muscles tone and the blood flowing.
The kind folks over at Eurosport did the deed for me. Kudos to them. The ‘other’ Triumph dealers were much more conveniently located but nixed the notion. It was a journey across numerous townships and a couple counties to get there but it was well worth it!
Hope you get the tranny issue solved. Mine has not gotten any worse. Then again, it hasn’t gotten any better either…
Send me an email. I’d like to hook up.

avatar Juan Martinez

Hi Tim,
I’ve browsed your site from time to time admiring your handiwork and writing. I too am an R3C owner for the past 1/2 year and love it! Mine is a 2006 Black and Red unit with a black engine.
But I have noticed a glitch that is similar to your current dilemma. I have momentary loss of drive (and we are talking a split second here) only when in 2nd gear and under a load such a heavy accelleration or going up steep inclines a la Talamina trail, etc… almost as if a gear has a tooth missing and it skips the adjoining cog’s tooth as they try to mesh. At least that’s the best explaination I can come up with. I too have tried searching for clues online and found none. It is forgotten most of the time until I find a rare moment to ride a bit aggressively, then I’m reminded to start doing some troubleshooting!
I’ve wanted to make contact with you for a while but keep forgetting to follow through. I’d love to tap into your knowledge of the triple beast.
I too would like to make a forray into the dark side and wondered if you ever got your tire changer or found a ‘cool’ guy who’d do the tire swap for you?

avatar Tim Frazier

Thanks for the gracious compliments, Juan.

I did cross over to the dark side. The “cool guy” was my brother who had access to some industrial strength tire changing equipment and about 3 hours to spare. It was like wrestling a crocodile to get ‘er done but it was soooo worth it. After two days riding I got used to the new feel and I now prefer it greatly to the old Metz.

Traction is incredible in a straight line, and I haven’t been able to detect any less traction in the curves. I was very hesitant to really lean her over at first after installing the car tire, but nowadays I hit the curves as hard as I ever did and frequently scrape the foot board sacrificial pegs. The girl has not lost her footing…ever.

As to the mystery gearbox/clutch issue, I haven’t saved up the two grand I’m thinking will be worst case scenario if the fix requires cracking open the case, and Moon Shine is still sitting in the garage awaiting her trip to the shop.

Here’s a link to the pics and article on the dark side install:

avatar Jason

G’day I know it was some time ago you were having trouble with the noise when powering on in 2Nd.iv just brought my dad’s 2007 rocket 3 and is doing same thing along with jumping out of 2 Nd gear. Was just wondering what you found out about it? Would appreciate any knowledge. Cheers

avatar Greybeard

Here’s hoping enough others are having the problem that a fix is forthcoming.
There’s nothing worse than being unsure of your safety when riding.
Good luck Tim.

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