Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Triumph Tiger 800 or 1050

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Ohmigosh, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. G'day guys

    (Upgrade from GS500f) Looking at the Tiger 800 or 1050. Anyone here ride the road version of the 800 for preference (or XC) or the 1050?

    Looking to arrange some test rides soon and would appreciate any thoughts on what to look out for.

    Also suggestions on a comparable alternative would be great.

    Fun Ha!
  2. I've recently ridden the 800 road version at a Triumph try day, and I gotta say I wasn't overly impressed. The engine was sweet, and handling quite predictable but I wasn't keen on the switchgear and the brakes felt terrible.

    That having been said, these things can probably be fixed with some adjustments if its your own bike.

    Compared to a 2009 1050 I took for a run, I'd definitely go the 1050. Awesome bike, but my only issue is its quite a tall bike. I'm 180cm tall and I was having issues flat footing it. Once you're moving though this is not an issue :)
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. 181cm here and I couldn't flat foot the 1050 either. Might also look into lower seating options.

    Thanks for the response mate. I'll have a good look at the items you mention. (y)

    Fun Ha!
  4. I've ridden the Tiger 800 xC while researching for my new bike. Found it to be really competent in every aspect, but lacked the "fun factor" I was looking for.

    Was going to test ride the 1050, but none available at the dealer. I was almost dead set on the 800 road version, but then I got to try a KTM 990 SMT and fell in love right away.

    It has a lower seat than the SMR (still can't flat foot it, 175 cm here) but it comes with complete adjustable suspension (WP), excellent brakes and the LC8 engine pulls like a tractor! Flickable and fun to ride, and most importantly, comfortable for long jaunts.

    If you can take one for a test ride, do it.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Depends on what you will use it for. If you're after a sports tourer then the 1050 is the one you want, particularly considering the deals you can get on the luggage options for this model these days.

    I've not ridden the 800, but from what I understand it sits more in the "adventure" category
  6. I'm considering the same question myself, and hoping to line up some test rides for next week. Though add the Sprint GT into the mix for me. The thing that concerns me the ability to manhandle the 800 vs the 1050 when filtering through traffic - the 800 feels smaller and lighter, but somehow doesnt feel as special. Empirically, I feel I should like it - but my boat remains unfloated. Maybe a test ride will kick start the romance.

    I'm 5.10ish (178cm ish I think) and can flat foot the 800, and almost the 1050. However, I'm also around 115kg, so they tend to sit a little lower when I'm on them.

    I'm wondering if there are any 1050 SEs in the wreakers after being rear ended so the front forks could be removed and added to an older 1050. Hmmm....
  7. Any decision yet? (from another x-gs500f rider)
  8. No decision yet...

    I keep damn wavering between a Tiger 800, 1050 and something like a Sprint.

    Then I see a Ducati Monster and get a bit dribbly.

    Then I look again at the 800 and it all starts again! :grin:

    I'm in no rush.

    Minister of Finance told me last week to get a new bike!!! \\:D/

    Going to arrange some test rides.

    Fun Ha!
  9. see if you can get a test on a 990 smt. they really are a great do it all bike.

  10. I haven't had a chance to take one for a spin, but have you checked out Honda's jetski? I mean, VFR800X?

    Mind you, I just noticed the VFR1200X on the Honda website, and its a nice looking bike...
  11. fwiw I've had a Tiger 800 roadie ABS since Aug, just done 10k service. No problems with it at all.

    I'm very happy with it - its still a more capable bike than I am rider, both on tar and gravel.

    I've added a bunch of things to it, but 2 to do with comfort:
    1) a larger screen coz the short std one I found dumped too much air in myface
    2) 2 inch rox risers to let me sit a bit more upright - I guess I might now be sitting more like the 800xc.

    Bike feels a bit top heavy hauling it around the garage, but once rolling I've never felt anything but confident. Im 5'10" and keep the seat in the lower position.

    I can only guess when others dont get excited about it when they test ride it they are expecting something other than a dual-sport or are comparing it to their road-only bikes. The torque curve is flat and the brakes are progressive, not grabby, which I think suits it fine. Mind you the standard exhaust is not very inspiring, might look into a new one when funds permit.

    otoh, the new 1200 Explorer is looking good, coming here in May I think?
  12. Rode them both today.

    Tiger 800 first. Road variant. Colour: Venom Yellow. Beautiful to ride. Took me about 400 meters to start to feel at home. Initial take off was "learner-on-the-tennis-court" stuff as I struggled with the mix of throttle and clutch. The gears snick into place very smoothly and the surge of power from the 800 triple is so very consistent. Compared the power to that on my GS500 it's a whole new world. Straight line stuff was wonderful with oodles of throttle response and breaking that makes my GS500 feel like I am trying to stop by sliding my feet on the road. Seating position was even more upright than on the GS500 so perfect for my aging frame (you young wipper-snappers get off my lawn). But going around corners was even better than I could possibly imagine. The 800 steers so directly. The bars are a bit wider and sit a bit higher than on my old bike so the steering input is easier. Counter steering into sweeping bends at speed was oh so very easy and the bike just wanted more than I was able (and legally allowed) to ask of it. Towards the end of the ride I got it into 6th gear just for the hell of it and while only going at about 65 the 800's triple engine didn't seem too bothered and at low revs it still happily accelerated faster than my GS500.

    Then it was the Tiger 1050's turn. This is the 2012 1050 SE variant. It comes standard with ABS, Gel Seat, Hand Guards, and Centre Stand. This one was red. The bike is bigger. A lot bigger. The last time I sat astride a 1050 Tiger (about 18 months ago) I was tip-toeing. This time I could flat-foot with a almost straight leg. Lower seat setting plus gel seat and perhaps altered geometry contributing to that. (Or my legs have stretched). Taking off was a much smoother affair than with the 800. More due to me being a bit more circumspect and gentle with the throttle. (I was a bit afraid of the thought of the power in a litre bike). But this bike is farging fantastic. Compared to the acceleration of the 500 it is on another planet. Compared to the 800 its a whole new ball game. Without out even thinking you are in bye-bye license territory. "Stuck in first" comes to mind. The 1050 feels so smooth in any gear and with a gentle little twist it rockets away. Changing gears on the 1050 I rode required a firm and definite uplift of my left foot and few times going from first to second I only got neutral. Very different to the 800 which seemed to snick from gear to gear effortlessly. When a gear was engaged there was an audible clunk. Not sure of this was normal or due to the way this bike was set up. But its a minor (very minor) niggle. As for cornering it is hard to compare the 800 and the 1050 but in the short time I had with the 1050 it carved up roundabouts and 90 degree turns with ease and wanted more. The brakes felt as good as on the 800 and certainly had no problem hauling the big Tiger to a halt when used firmly. But the power. Oh Good Lord! Can anyone tell me what the additional 60% available in the throttle twist is useful for???!!?!??!!!? It's like sitting on a solid fuel booster rocket. Actually I have no idea if that is what it's like as I've never sat on a solid fuel booster rocket.


    No contest.


    • Like Like x 2
  13. thought you'd go the bigger... hahahahaha
  14. Yeah, the gearbox on the Tiger 1050 is a bit stiff at first. While it'll never be as stepping-on-a-packet-of-marshmallows smooth as the Tiger 800, after about 3000km the box loosens up a little. Either that or all of us Tiger 1050 pilots have HUGE ankle muscles in our left feet now. :D

    With the Triumph Off Road muffler (or any other glasspack muffler and the TOR tune), expect ~125rwhp from the Aussie catless cat - similar power to the Speed Triple 1050. :D

    You'll likely find the rear shock on your cat is a little underdamped when fully loaded or carrying a pillion at sporting pace, particularly after you put a few tens of thousands of km on the bike. I recently had my Tiger's suspension overhauled at both ends as after 50,000km my rear shock was quite tired and sorry. Wilburs rear shock is night and day, as is having springs more suitable for my typical riding weight. :)

    What's the last 60% of the throttle for? Simple. Teleportation.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Teleportation eh? Awesome!

    Hamstrung a little by the 5k rev limit for the next few hundred Ks. But yesterday on a back road I took it all way through the gears to 5k revs in 6th and was at warp factor 0.9 when I ran out of the bit of road I was on and kittens started exploding spectacularly on Mars.

    Starting to get used to the gear shift now. Only got neutral going from 1st to 2nd once I think.

    Loving the thing to bits! *big grins*

    Fun Ha!
  16. Yeah, one of the problems with owning a Tiger 1050 (or any other litre sports-touring/sports bike) is that it's difficult to find roads where you can legally let it off its leash and give it a chance to properly stretch its legs. Mountain passes with 100kph speed limits are few and far between as if you're near a population centre they tend to drop the speed limit down to 60 on those types of roads. That said, the ascent up Thunderbolts Way is great fun on the Tiger when riding from SYD to BNE. :D

    Re: the gearshift, it could be worthwhile searching for Hornet's tutorial on adjusting foot controls to better align the gear selector with your range of foot movement. Rotating the lever downward a little might suit your foot position better. :)
  17. Good idea. I'll have a look and see what a small adjustment can do.

    Fun Ha!
  18. Hey Omigosh,

    I ended up with a tiger 1050 too, but managed to find a good used one.
    This site is a good source of one persons mods to his tiger: