Would we BUY the TIGER? YES
I need to preface this so called “review” by saying this is not expected of us to even talk about the bikes. Triumph never said you had to review the bikes as part of this “deal”. As a matter of fact we have not heard a peep from Triumph or our dealer since on the road.
This bike is a winner for the average ADV rider like us.
We both feel like we owe the bikes some air time because for the most part we are completely impressed. The thing is we do not want to jinx the bikes so we are going to talk in general terms hoping that our bikes keep going strong. We still have many weeks to go.
So, the 1st thing we both need to draw attention to and these “complaints” are not deal breakers.
The odometer. Triumph in our opinion needs to just copy BMW, add an info button on the clutch side of the handle bars and just make it easier for the rider to switch the ABS off, see your trip info, etc. You can not see the mileage on the bike unless you start the bike and it flashes for about 3 seconds or you are in neutral and toggle through the two buttons they have to try and find it. In basic terms, Triumph just make it easier for us to see the info we want without reaching while riding. Yes I do that at times and yes I know I am not supposed to. Add a ambient temperature gauge. I love seeing the temperature especially when you are riding through ranges of 30 C and then it goes down to 8. Copy the BMW button and make it yours. Simple. Don’t worry about the cost either. I doubt it would kill the wallet.
To compare or not to compare to BMW? Here is the scoop, we are DS riders but mainly commute to work. It is only once a year we get a chance to go away and really go exploring like this trip. So, in a bike as we look for road comfort and stability as well as off road handling. We do not beat on our bikes, we do not look for the roughest terrain to ride on. We are what we are, adventure riders who love getting off the highways into the back country. We ride mainly forestry roads with some sort of ATV like tracks. Never single tracks. We both think the Tiger may have created a new niche for the 800 cc bikes.
I am calling the TIGER a fantastic street touring machine that is competent off road too!
Our BMW 650GS twin is a great bike and so is the 800GS. The Tiger suits us better because of the road handling and comfort.
The seat – The Tiger is wider than both the 650 and 800GS. More like the 1200GS. We are riding with the gel seats and have NOT on issue with them. Totally comfortable as comfort goes on a DS bike. The BMW has a plank set much narrower and when riding off road easier to control the bike when standing than the Tiger. However, the Tiger handles great off road just in a heavier way. Once you get used to the wider seat it is a very responsive bike.
The engine – The triple is smooth smooth smooth. The bike loves to be around 6000 RPMS. The power in the upper gears is crazy good. Passing in 5th not an issue at all and the bike never seems to break a sweat. Our bikes have 72 HP the Tiger has 92. You can really feel the difference riding in mountains, on dirt, mud, clay, anything and on the highway. We both love the extra power.
Ergonomics – I added 20 mm handlebar risers, could use a bit more height and the riding position for both is us is almost perfect. Nice width, thickness to the bars and our backs do not completely get sore after 600 KM. The pegs initially felt really high but again one gets used to the location being a bit higher than our 650. Becomes comfortable yet again after riding for 1000’s of KM. This is a BIG one for us and for anyone wanting to buy a bike like this. Also, BMW will have to introduce the adjustable seat heights for the 650 and 800 bikes if they want more men and women on their bikes.
The seats can be adjusted to 2 heights and also the rider can make the seat higher in the back or front. So, 4 adjustments plus you can get a low seat too. This makes this bike more appealing for the vertically challenged without lowering the suspension. A BIG plus in our books. I have the low gel seat and Cheryl with the regular height gel seat. We are both set on the low setting. This makes this bike more versatile then the BMW as it stands right now.
Suspension – WOW. We have the pre load set stiff for the luggage and weight. This bike has gone through craters on the roads, bumps, you name it and I have not felt the bike bottom out yet. Cheryl has with her front forks a few times but over all great suspension for how we ride the bikes.
Side kick stand – We both feel it sits the bike too tall, may need to be tad bit shorter. Just our opinion and adding an extra wider foot print has been a great addition to our bikes.
The Look – we love the look of both bikes but the Tiger has grown on both of us and we think it is a great looking machine.
Brakes – No issues, they work and right now after all the crap we have been riding in the pads look brand new and the rotors look great too. So, this bike can handle being ridden in some wicked off road materials that are used on the roads in the Yukon and Alaska. So, wear and tear the Tiger is doing well. No doubt the Beemers would be it the same shape by now.
Gas Mileage – Getting better now that we have over 5000 KM on the bikes. We are getting over 350 KM per tank with the pressure up in our tires and trying to keep the bike in and around 5500 RPMs.
Triumph Accessories on our bikes –
Adjustable Touring Screen – A winner, a keeper and works. Looks great and once you get your set up right the shield does it job. We would keep the adjustable shield made by Triumph.
Fog lights – Not HID but they are bright and again look good. We would keep the fog lights as they do their job for visibility. have not tested them at night.
Sump guard or skid plate – Seems adequate but lacks oil filter coverage. we still would keep it.
Engine guards – have not tested them but look substantial. No accessory that Triumph makes right now to protect the fairing. We would find something for up top.
Radiator Cover – triumph makes one but for some reason did not make it on our bike. We would get one.
Seats – we all ready spoke of them, we would keep the gel seats (They cost extra money)
Our Tires – Heidenau K60 Scouts. Would never put another tire on this bike unless all we were doing was hard core off road riding. the Scout is proving to be a hardy functional tire on this trip. A+ for Heidenau.
**Can’t think of anything else right now. Feel free to ask questions. Would we buy this bike over another Beemer. The answer is yes. If BMW makes a bike that would really make it easy to compare to the Tiger I would be interested. Again the way we feel this is a bike in it’s own league in a way because of how great it handles on the road and off.
soph9 screwed with this post 07-12-2011 at 10:57 AM