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Triumph Tiger 1050, 50,000km 3 year review

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Spots, May 20, 2011.

  1. Happy 3rd pickup day, Tiger. ;)

    Random tiger owner. by Spots_NR, on Flickr

    I've now had my Tiger 1050 for 3 years and 50,000km, which is a little embarressing seeing as I did 45,000km in 15 months on a VTR250, but let's not dwell on that. :p

    Years ago I wrote this excessively verbose 1800km review:

    3 year summary?
    * Semi-faired sports-tourer for tall bastards
    * Tractable Speed Triple engine with so-flat-you-can-eat-off-it torque 'bench', not curve, from 3000 to redline; 125rwhp with the "offroad" muffler and accompanying tune.
    * No catalytic converter on Australian Tigers = moaaar horsepower, and delightful overrun popping and crackling with the glasspack muffler
    * Relatively soft medium-travel suspension swallows up B-road imperfections like a boss; The Tiger 1050 is ideal for hustling through Tasmania's (and the rest of Australia's) crappy B-roads and remote mountain passes at good pace
    * Ridiculous maximum lean-angle and access to common sportsbike tyres despite touring-bike looks
    * Comfortable mostly-upright seating position for touring; 835mm seat height gives the rider such a high-up view over traffic that commercial pilots will immediately feel right at home
    * Pillion seat has generous, comfortable grab-handles and relatively low pegs
    * 5.1L/100km interstate freeway cruise :)
    * 6.0L/100km interstate backroad hooliganism :D

    * Without exaggeration, the 1050's projector headlights are useless for even remotely spirited cornering at night time. They don't spill enough light "upwards"
    * Windshield works perfectly for two riders on this planet and severely buffets/deafens everyone else (note lack of windshield in above photograph)
    * Rear suspension damping a bit underdamped for trips far beyond the national speed limit, particularly with a pillion/heavy luggage
    * No catalytic converter on Australian Tigers = friends refuse to let you lead the group due to risk of benzene poisoning. :(
    * W-i-i-i-i-d-e handlebars limit filtering opportunities
    * Huuuuge high-mounted can makes hard pannier options look goofy/be impractically wide/waste space
    * Tiger 1050 is one of the first alternate-fuel motorcycles; consumes rear brakepads rather than 95 octane petrol
    * Have ridden 30km past "0km remaining" without running out of fuel. Don't tell fibs, fuel-sender! :(
    * 7.6L/100km city crawl :(

    * While in Tasmania, discovered that two out of the 700 tiny sump bolts had gone missing and the seal was weeping oil; replaced bolts
    * One lowbeam headlight blew after 2 years or so, replaced by self.
    * Stock battery seems to die after about a year and a half, two years?

    I've enjoyed owning it. The Tiger 1050's not the best at anything but it's pretty good at pretty much everything a sports-tourer could be expected to do, especially when the road surface turns to shit.

    The question is, whether to keep it for a few more years, or trade it for a more-purposeful Street Triple 675 or a more-offroad-capable Tiger 800XC. ;)
  2. Great review again Spots, thanks for sharing!
  3. The first time I saw you on that bike I just knew you'd keep it for a long time.
  4. Get an 800XC, an F800GS and an R1200GS, ride the heck out of all of them for a month then tell me which is best? That's the winning plan :)