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Offline B0M0A0K

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This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« on: September 12, 2020, 09:05:31 PM »
Before I get into this I want to say a few things.

I am an older guy that isn't a crazy fast rider, I always placed surviving the day as a higher priority than how fast I could go or how quickly I could get someplace. I have just spent the past 7+ years with my trusty Suzuki DL650 V-Strom and base my experience on that machine. I get that others have different opinions about bikes and am fine with that. What I say here is my own personal experience based on my own (limited) riding skills and my own "world view".

I am not putting this here with the intention of annoying people, but if that is what you take away from this then I'm sorry for that. This is a recounting of my own experience of the Tiger 900 GT Pro.   

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Today I went for my test ride on the Triumph Tiger 900. Going in I wasn't absolutely sure, but though the dealer and I had been talking about a road test on the Tiger 900 Rally Pro. I had a couple of reasons for wanting to try the Rally Pro. I wanted to check it's weight and see just how tall the bike is.

More on that later.

When I arrived and was shown to the bike it was a Tiger 900 GT Pro. That was fine because I was keen to road test this as well. I asked why not the Rally Pro and was told that the last couple of people to take it out had static dropped it and the demonstrator was now in for repair. Thus the GT Pro. I was left felling sort of glad that I wasn't taking out the Rally Pro if the last two people to try taking it out subsequently dropped it. An already "sold" example sits in the shop window and looks like a thing of beauty, but she does look like a big bike if you are on the short side (I'm 5.7").

So, off to the GT Pro.

I was worried about the quick-shift because it was my first experience with one, but the sales rep assured me that the quick-shift was currently turned off so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I was reassured by that, but have to try one at some point. I didn't know you could turn that thing off anyways.

We looked over the controls and I should say here that I was very grateful for the time the sales rep took to point everything out to me because in previous read tests at different Dealers and with different manufacturers the sales rep has literally handed me the keys and pointed to the bike. That was as much direction as I was given.

It was quickly clear to me that this is basically a conversion from a fighter jet and they have just overlayed the handlebars.

Remember, at this point I have been riding the same bike for 7+ years and a huge amount has changed. That's on me and not on Triumph.

I made sure I knew where the indicators, lights and starter was and decided to pull over at some point later and investigate the rest.

This is where I met my first issue. The clutch bite point. I really hope that this isn't the norm for the Triumph Tiger 900, but the bite only arriving in the last 10mm of clutch lever caught me right out and had me scrambling to not drop the bike. I was expecting something a little more positive and this was horrible. Although I was getting used to it by the end of the ride it was extremely distracting and had me over-reving the engine at almost every stop. Just awful!

My second issue was not far behind. I tried out the brakes just to see what I was working with. The front were very "grabby" - OK, that's just me and and unfamiliar bike, but the rear brake was the evil twin of the clutch. It was slack and entirely unimpressive, with the bite point, again, not coming until you had all but used up the available rear brake travel. For someone who favors the rear brake over the front it was very disheartening.

I don't know if the clutch and the rear brake can be adjusted to make them more positive, but I would really hope so.

Before getting on the bike I gave it a good look over and did so again once I found somewhere to pull over. I was really disappointed to see the start of rust around the front rider seat mounting point. Really - I thought that Triumph were noted for being better at paint than that. It turns out (only discovered this when I returned the bike back at the Dealer) that the rider's seat had not been fitted properly and that was why I could see the mount point and the subsequent start of rust. I commented on the big gap at the front of the rider's seat and the sales rep looked and said "the last person must have had it off and didn't refit it properly". Lucky me I guess!

Let's talk some positives for a while.

Balance. This bike feels amazing when you are riding it. It feels light and responsive and really easy to push around. This is probably due to the lowered centre of gravity but it was very nice either way.

Engine. The engine has power in buckets and it doesn't matter what gear you are in when you pull on the throttle, the engine just powers away.

Back to "not so exciting". Sorry.

I found the power to weight ratio something I had to be very careful with. The bike is so powerful that when you open the throttle the front wheel is quick to go light. I admit that this is down to the rider and how much he/she snaps the throttle, but on other bikes when you twist the throttle the bike drives forward rather than trying to lift the front. Again, that's just me. I tried it a couple of times and with varying amounts of throttle to be sure, but the god awful clutch made it difficult to be sure that it wasn't just my inexperience with the bike.

The rear luggage mount. It's pretty unforgiving if you miss the angle of attack for mounting the bike. I threw my leg over to get on and twice collided knee to pillion grab rail. Ouch!

I have to say that I was disappointed with the "feel" of the bike. When you are riding the Tiger it just doesn't scream "Tourer/Adventure". I felt quite exposed at the front and I could feel the wind buffeting both my legs suggesting that the "sheltered area" for the rider is quite narrow. When I get on my 2009 DL650 you are left in no doubt that you are protected from anything that might hit you from the front (rain, bugs etc.) - I didn't get that from the Tiger 900. The bike, for me, felt quite small, maybe "narrow" is a better description.

Oh, and the "Vibration" that everyone talks about. I had just gotten off a 2009 DL650 after an hour and 20 minutes. Sure, that was a little vibration on the Tiger, but it was nothing on the scale I had just experienced with the Suzuki. I could live with it.

Finally, the display. It's a big display, I just wish it showed me MORE of the stuff I wanted to see. I really don't need to be swamped by the rev counter because, for me, it's not more important than other things I like to see. If I can hear my engine, I have a good idea of what I'm doing with the revs. I completely agree that the display is a purely subjective thing, and I did stop and try some of the other styles. One of them I actually liked, but I just don't need to see a rev counter trying to be an audio graphic equalizer display.

In summary.

I have wanted a Triumph Tiger for a long time and I was really looking forward to FINALLY getting on one today. But here's what I can tell you. If I had just paid the full market price for a Tiger 900 GT Pro and today had been my first ride on my new bike, I would have been gutted.

It's just that easy, I wasn't nearly as impressed as I'd hoped to be.

Let's talk about the Tiger 900 Rally Pro.

Once I handed back the GT Pro we went inside to look at the Rally Pro. It's a big bike and there were a couple of dudes in there looking at it at the same time as me and the sales rep. Both were quite a bit bigger than me. They both talked about how big the bike was and left quickly when we (the sales rep and I) started taking it off the side stand and talking about me trying to put it up and the centre stand. Here's the thing. I found it quite easy to do. I always match my expectations to my experience with my grand tourer DL650, when fully loaded and that's a heavy old bird. I really like the way Triumph have given you an advantage by using a cantilever on the centre stand, as I say, it wasn't bad at all.

It was clear sitting on the Rally Pro that I was much farther off the ground and could only touch the floor when on my toes - that's not good. The sales rep told me that you could get a lower seat, but you would loose the rider's heated seat. I suggested that, in all the time I have been riding bikes through the winter, it's never been my arse that has bothered me with the cold. It's always fingers and toes.

I could live with losing the heated seat.

Next the handle bars. They are wider than the GT PRO and just felt "better". The front also seemed to be more in line with what I was expecting for rider protection. This just felt like a better bike.

Of course, I have to temper that with the knowledge that I have not ridden one yet so don't know about what the extra weight would feel like.
 
Anyways, I was asked for my thoughts and here they are, warts and all.

If you go this far and don't have smoke pouring out of your ears, thanks for taking the time to read.  :047:

Offline coddy

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 09:48:42 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Scottish dude.

The clutch bite can be easily adjusted by your dealer if you feel you want another test on the GT.

I think the Rally may well be a bit tall and heavy as, if the low seat on the 900 is made like the low seat on the 800 that I have then it's no lower at all albeit it is comfier.


I never knew you could turn off a quickshifter either, has anyone else heard of this?

« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 09:50:15 PM by coddy »

Online Aussie Tiger

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 10:41:52 PM »
Why would anyone want to turn off the quickshifter (and it cant be done unless its disabled on the computer anyway)? You just use the clutch and do normal changes if you dont want to take advantage of it.
You can easily overcome the feeling of getting a light front wheel by using Rain mode until youre used to it. Perhaps the bike was in Sport?? A 650 V-Storm is a looooong way behind the Tiger for performance so I think you were just suffering from not being familiar.
One of the styles you can select on the dash minimises the tacho and puts it up on the corner, leaving more room for other info. Did you try any different setting? In any case, if you select a different tray such as music, navigation, bike info, tyre pressures etc, the large digital tacho disappears from view.
If the seat wasnt out on correctly the gap at the front is huge and is pretty obviously not correct. Someone should have noticed that before you left the dealership. Its hard to imagine how anyone could have thought it was just poor design.
If you cracked your knee on the grab handle its just as well you didnt try to hop on an 800. Once youre familiar with (any) bike you get to know what you have to avoid. How many people kick a pannier at least a few times......?
Its extremely simple it is the adjust the grab point of the clutch and naturally the brake pedal travel can also be adjusted - as on virtually ANY bike. Those problems (along with the seat) highlight very sloppy preparation of the bike and perhaps are an indication that you should look at a different dealer.
I could go on but it sounds like the familiarity of the V-Strom is perfect for you.

Online Djairouks

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 11:17:27 PM »
The current Dl650 is being upgraded right now, also Suzuki have filed a patent for an in line twin with cat in front, to lower CG, good clearance and cooling, eliminating also the second chain an overhead cams that a V-twin needs, for lighter weight.

So if you like your 2009, you might just wait a bit and get an upgraded model, the DL sure are unbreakable machines, I considered a 1000 last year before buying the Tiger, because of the weight difference.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 11:21:43 PM by Djairouks »

Offline B0M0A0K

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 11:26:09 AM »
*Originally Posted by Djairouks [+]
The current Dl650 is being upgraded right now, also Suzuki have filed a patent for an in line twin with cat in front, to lower CG, good clearance and cooling, eliminating also the second chain an overhead cams that a V-twin needs, for lighter weight.

Thanks for this, it's about time they did something different.

Online Djairouks

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 11:34:10 AM »
*Originally Posted by B0M0A0K [+]
Thanks for this, it's about time they did something different.

Absolutely, if they made it lighter and slightly more powerful, with using the great VVT tech they designed, but only put in the 1000 gsx, I'm sure they would sell shitloads and takeover the T7.

Once road in Arizona towards Sedona, on a DL1000, still one of my fondest biking memories !

Offline GeoffS

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 01:32:59 PM »
Would be sorry to see the V-Strom disappear, but as you say, a new inline Twin-Strom would make a lot of sense.
Watch this space.

Offline Derchef1962

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 05:30:01 PM »
Interesting report and rather personal I think. The comments regarding the front and rear brakes somehow puzzle me. I have been told in various training courses that just because of physics about 80% of the braking in the sense of reducing speed is done by the front brake. So you do want a good front brake the rear brake is not doing the job. Thanks to ABS   you can brake at the front with maximum power and you can still handle the bike. That wasn't so when I took my test 40 years ago.

So I suggest the OP should re-think his braking technique. Favoring the rear brake over the front brake is simply against simple rules of physics and in the end dangerous as you waste precious minutes when braking in an emergency
Life is too short to drink bad wine or to ride bad bikes.

Offline tauzero

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 06:07:20 PM »
The clutch bite point was rather a long way out on the one I briefly test rode too.

I downloaded the instruction manual and had a read of it before riding the bike as I wanted to try out a few of the features. It describes four (I think) different dash layouts that you can select from, so you don't have to have the tacho dominating it.

The front wheel will go light when you accelerate. As your centre of gravity is quite high, the effect will be exaggerated.

As Derchef says, you should be mainly using the front brake, not the rear. You've got two discs at the front end and one at the rear, and in the opposite effect to accelerating meaning the front goes light, braking makes the rear go light so you're more likely to lock the rear under hard braking.
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Gone but not forgotten: Scrambler 900, Tiger 1050, Bonneville SE, Sprint ST 955i, Trophy 4, Sprint 900, Daytona 900, Tiger 900, Trident 900

Online Aussie Tiger

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Re: This isn't the Tiger your looking for .. (Star Wars Mis-quote)
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2020, 11:25:51 PM »
Quite right on the braking. Over use of the rear brake isnt a reasonable preference. Its inefficient, ineffective and actually dangerous both to the rider and other road users. On the road, the Rear brake should really only be used to balance the braking and for low speed manoeuvres.

 


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