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It was such a nice day yesterday! I had to head to the dentist to remove some stitches from my gums....don't ask...and decided to take the Rune.

Afterwards I had some time to kill and decided to head to the TriumphHondaYamaha dealer down the street. They've had a Rocket III demo bike since they first came out and I decided now was the time to give it a whirl. The bike had 2200 miles on it.

When I first sat on the bike and looked it over, it seemed pretty comfortable. Fit and finish was decent until.....rusty exhaust headers and bolts? Huh? They were pretty visible under the chrome covers since the covers don't completely cover the headers. Not good and I really don't think it's acceptable for a 16K bike. A lot of other manufactures have an anti-rust coating on their headers(that grey coating that looks like paint).

Let's get it started. MAN, this engine noisy and coarse! It was like I could hear and feel every moving part in this engine. The only way I can describe it is that It sounded like there were ball bearings and sand in the engine. I gave the throttle a couple of good blips and the bike lurched to the right due to the torque. I found it kinda cool.

Time to get rolling. "Oh, the pegs are a little farther forward...Gotta look down to get the feet in place!". Clutch feels good. Nice, smooth engagement. When I roll to a stop, I will usually get the bike into neutral before I stop. I probably need to stop doing this since you never know when you need some quick power at a stop light. Anyways, I noticed that I couldn't get the bike back into 1st gear without hammering the shifter or rolling the bike forward a couple of inches. This happened probably 3 times during my ride.

It's time to get this thing on the interstate. As I heaed up the on-ramp, I noticed that this thing really did not want to lean over. That big meat of a rear tire required me to exert a little extra effort to get leaned over. It's fine once you get it started, but the effect feels like an under-steering car.

WOW, is this thing FAST! 3rd gear at about 3/4 throttle and this things absolutely takes off! 5th gear passing at 70, open the throttle, ignore the weezing exhaust, 100 MPH in no time flat. Wow. If I had to compare the power to the Rune, it feels about 20% faster in 5th gear passing.

WOW, does this thing ride like CRAP! I think the suspension on this thing transmits every bump, expansion joint, and grain of sand on the road directly to the rider. The front end seemed underdamped and the rear shocks were useless. My butt is hurting after 2 miles. I notice that at stop lights, I can almost compress the front end all the way down by jerking and pushing on the front handlebars.

The overall impression I got is that this bike is a one-trick pony and the trick in the power. I was expecting something similar to my old Valkyrie + 30% more power. The engine was certainly more powerful, but the overall experience was far below the Rune or older Valkyrie.

I ride it back to the dealer and the salesman is like "Hey! How did you like it?!" "I HATE IT" "You're just spoiled!"
 
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