The Triumph Tiger is best characterized by its three major abilities: to scratch, tour, and commute. It stands as the perfect mixture of those very necessary features which makes it a leader in its class.
Creating the Tiger, Triumph was determined to offer not just another touring motorcycle, but a machine individualized with the help of its mile-munching ability and sheer dependability. The plan was to fascinate the customer as soon as it enters the dealers shop with aggressive looks and features encountered on different types of motorcycles, and than amaze with the power of adapting to different riding styles.
The Triumph Tiger was born together with the Sprint ST in 1993 and it first featured a carbureted 885cc motor. Quickly evolving and craving for success, it became fuel-injected in 1999, but that was just a small step in comparison with what was about to come.
Model year 2001 brought to the scene the brand new Triumph Tiger 955i, a road trail motorcycle featuring the English manufacturer’s three-cylinder inline engine which powered, and still does, the Sprint ST. This was Triumph’s way of telling us that it intends on marketing one of the best tourers and it didn’t failed in any matter.
Even though the 955i engine wasn’t a first for Triumph, the one that saw its way on the Tiger was fitted with different engine parts and it received a fuel injection system. Also, the gearbox and exhaust were especially designed for the new model. As a result of those modifications, the engine developed 104bhp at 9,500rpm. It seems that Triumph proved its point with accuracy.
The motorcycling public was long craving for such a motorcycle so the occasion wasn’t missed by any fan. The bike was a total success and the manufacturer well pleased with the sales charts.
In 2002 the Triumph Tiger 955i came with revised suspensions, resulting in a more touring-oriented motorcycle. This meant longer journeys and larger smiles on the rider’s faces.
Triumph didn’t wait long until it updated its very successful bike. Strongly revised for 2004, the Tiger 955i now featured cast alloy wheels, updated swingarm and panniers while the heated grips and centre stand were no longer found in the accessory list, but on the bike.
The Tiger 955i followed the evolutionary line of the Sprint ST (bigger engine, more horses, and stronger-pulling engine for 2005) and in 2007 it became Triumph Tiger 1050. The upgrade was logical and expected and the bike’s radical new styling really brought it up to date.
In the same class and ready to fight the Triumph is the Suzuki V Strom 1000, a bike found in the same class only that this one is dedicated to the concept that every road should be opened for adventure. This means that the V Strom is designed to carry you in style to and from work while still being able to offer you the best of excitement on those dusty country roads.
More able take matters into its out handlebars, the BMW R 1200 GS disposes of 100 horsepower coming from its Boxer engine. The shaft drive gives us a big clue on the fact that this one f made for the long run while the suspensions make sure that the ride will be smooth and full of enjoyment.
No matter against who you position the Tiger 1050, its three-cylinder engine will definitely set it apart and its impressive looks will determine the choice of many riders out there.
Designed for the tall, adventure desiring rider, and not only, the Triumph Tiger 1050 is the absolute touring bike, especially when it comes to looks. It easily impresses your friends, but that won’t be the source of your joy as the windscreen offers awesome wind protection, perfect for those journeys that radically change the number on your mileage register.
Underneath the headlights, which follow the shape of the windscreen, you will find the aggressive looking air intakes. These, together with the headlights and windscreen practically define the entire shape of the front fairing. It will probably remind you of the previous generation FZ6 or maybe that’s just me.
Designed to follow the fuel tank’s lines, the side panels massive and give the Tiger its imposing looks. Actually, between the side panels, front fairing and seat, the fuel tank looks hidden, but the 5.2 gallons inside it don’t.
Underneath the fairing and gas tank, there’s the impressive inline three which is black painted so that it would match the matte black that covers the frame and swingarm, but the shiny exhaust and alloy wheels seem to make a difference.
Colors available for the 2008 Tiger 1050 are more than appropriate for the bike and characteristic to Triumph motorcycles. Jet Black, Caspian Blue, Blazing Orange or Fusion White are all appropriate for it and suit it perfectly.
Riding the Tiger would seem like a pretty demanding task, but you won’t feel that way once you swing a leg over it and get a feel of that comfortable seat and incredibly perfect ergonomics. Personally, I enjoy an upright seating position that would allow me to empty the gas tank many times a day and this bike is perfect to do just that. It is able to go approximately 160 miles until you need to refuel the 5.2 gallon tank and get going without any back pain or annoying wrist pain. Also, thanks to the efficient screen, wind protection is excellent and you won’t find yourself needed to tuck under the windscreen again.
Generally, the kind of bike that offers this kind of feel is more willing to invite you enjoy the beautiful surroundings instead of quickly passing through ignoring the view, but not the Triumph. This bike agrees more with the last situation and successfully completes with what it proposes.
With the help of its fuel-injected liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder 1050cc engine, no challenge seems to demanding, and no trip to long. I enjoyed twisting the throttle and getting familiar with the way the engine pulls while the exhaust note always reminded me when the time was to shift. Even though the engine enjoys being revved and the acceleration is more than satisfying, the Tiger’s engine prefers being kept at around 4000-5000rpms, level which allows you to enjoy touring at over 60mph.
The wet, multiplate clutch functions perfect and the feel in the lever allows you to confidently play with the throttle when leaving from a stop sign. More enjoyable are the gear ratios, but you won’t have the time to appreciate the gearbox, clutch, or the way this bike accelerates while trying to keep the rhythm when riding with your pals on Daytona and Sprint ST motorcycles.
Around town, the bike is very enjoyable and it easily deals with slow speed tight corners. You will find that the engine is tuned for low and mid-range grunt so it is no problem for you when trying to detach from city traffic. You wouldn’t quite want to travel between lanes, but the Tiger is able to do that from time to time.
On twisty roads, this Triumph feels more at home than anywhere else and I can understand why. It enjoys cornering thanks to its compact frame, 23.2 degree rake and 87.7mm trail. At 50 mph on a sinuous road you won’t feel like pushing it further although it would deal with the situation without many problems.
It is unable to go off the road, but you won’t regret it thanks to the 43mm upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping, and monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound damping. The suspension are tuned for street use and seemed more than ok to me, but things wouldn’t have been the same if the Tiger enjoyed the wild. This one is more into urban jungle.
All that’s left for me to say is that the brakes are more than reliable and reassuring and I recommend you to take it easy on the twin 320mm floating discs, 4 piston radial calipers up front and the single 255mm disc, 2 piston caliper at the rear, before you get used to them.
The Triumph Tiger 1050 establishes its price depending on your options. If you choose the simple model, the one that doesn’t feature the ABS option, the MSRP is $10,999, but if you go for the Antilock Braking System, no more or less than $11,799 are required.
Coincidence or not, the Tiger’s suggested retail prices are exactly the same as the ones for which the Sprint ST is being marketed.
For riders who enjoy touring there’s no choice like the Tiger 1050. Why? Just try to find a sharper-looking, more comfortable and better-performing motorcycle that would satisfy your riding needs in the way that this machine does.
Four cylinders are hard to find in this class and it seems that sometimes three are just as good as four. You’ll soon come to the conclusion that you couldn’t have done a better choice.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 79 x 71.4mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Final Drive: X ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Aluminum beam perimeter
Swingarm: Braced, twin-sided, aluminum alloy
Front Wheel: Cast, multi spoke, 17 x 3.5in
Rear Wheel: Cast, multi spoke, 17 x 5.5in
Front Tyre: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Tyre: 180/55 ZR 17
Front Suspension: 43mm upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping
Rear Suspension: Monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound damping
Front Brakes: Twin 320mm floating discs, 4 piston radial calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 255mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Length: 83.1 in
Width (Handlebars): 33.1 in
Height: 52.0 in
Seat Height: 32.8 in
Wheelbase: 59.4 in
Rake/Trail: 23.2 degree/87.7 mm
Weight (Dry): 436 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.2 gal
Maximum Power: 114bhp at 9,400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 74 ft. lbf at 6,250 rpm
Color: Jet Black, Caspian Blue, Blazing Orange, Fusion White
The Tiger’s engine delivers power and ear to ear grins. Nothing sounds like a triple so there’s no confusing a Tiger with the whine of an anonymous four. The amazing 1050cc, fuel-injected, three cylinder engine, known for its addictive character, has plenty of torque and impressive amounts of horsepower, with ample reserves of both for those two-up fully laden tours. Peak power of 114bhp is delivered at 9400rpm, with 74ft.lbf torque at 6250rpm.
The comfortable, spacious seat and relaxed rider and passenger ergonomics mean you’ll arrive fresh even at the end of the longest day.
High, wide bars give a comfortable riding position and excellent control at all speeds, from urban maneuvering to motorway cruising.
The 43mm upside down fully adjustable forks and remote spring preload and rebound damping adjustable rear shock keeps the ride comfortable on the worst of roads and gives excellent control when the pace picks up.
The Tiger screen gives great wind protection for those long journeys without obscuring your view around town.
Triumph’s Antilock Braking System has been carefully designed to boost control under hard braking, working on both wheels independently. This unobtrusive system retains all the sensations of riding, operating at 100 calculations per second to sense the precise moment the wheel is about to lock up, then preventing it from doing so. The system has been specifically tailored to the Tiger, with painstaking calibration over many months to ensure optimum braking performance.