Allan's 1971 Rocket 3 A75RV

Acquired locally as an unused rebuild, this model Rocket 3 is quite a rare example - being a gray frame and a factory 5-speed. That is the significance of the final letter 'V' in the model number, although not all 5-speeds were numbered thus.

There was some discussion about the suitability of the red tank and panels with the gray frame, the feeling being that they would more suit a black frame.

The bike had to be pulled down in order to repair various stripped threads in both barrels and cylinder head, plus a number of other mostly small, but annoying issues. The bike had exhibited a tendency to burn a bit of oil during the shakedown runs, and it was found to have cast iron oil rings, which can be problematic. 3-piece scraper type oil rings were fitted instead, and seals were fitted to the inlet valve guides.

When the bike went back together, it was decided to use tank and panels from another bike that had bronze colouring, and these suited the frame colour very well.

The seat wears the pattern normally associated with a 1972 model, but it does its job well, and can stay put for the time being. Handlebars were narrowed slightly due to being excessively wide compared to other Rocket 3's.

End result - a very attractive bike that seems to have lost its thirst for oil, and is now hopefully free of the many quirks that detracted from the pleasure of riding it initially.