Since I got my Triumph Tiger, I have managed to put just a shade over five thousand miles on the ODO.
Naturally it’s time to really review it.
I’m going to let my 16 year old self interview me.
16yos: nice bike, what is it ?
It is a 2013 Triumph Tiger 1050 Sport.
16yos: How fast is it ?
Sigh, outright speed is meaningless, once you get over about 100mph, you are risking a driving ban.
16yos: How fast is it ?
Sigh, I really do not know, flat out I would guess something over 130mph. But holding on at that speed is probably going to be tough. The lack of decent wind protection means that you need really strong arms above about 100mph.
16yos: How fast have you ridden it then ?
I’m not sure, probably over 70mph on a couple of occasions. Really things get a bit hectic and I am not one for looking at the speedo.
16yos: It looks fast though.
That’s not really a question is it, can we have some decent ones please ?
16yos: Bet it really moves off the line, how far is your best wheelie then ?
Good grief. Yes. Off the line it really moves, apparently it will hit sixty mph in about three seconds. Which means that, yes, unless you are lining up against an very, very expensive car or perhaps a Telsa, there is not going to be much of a race. Adequate is really a decent description.
16yos: and wheelies ?
Yes if you want to, it will lift the front in the first three gears purely under power, fourth probably requires a bit of effort, the clutch and a ton of bravery as you are travelling at extra legal speeds I assume.
16yos: so it’s really fast then ?
Yes, but the best thing is the acceleration, in third gear a hand full of throttle simply causes the horizon to relocate right in front of you. Albeit with a huge snort from the airbox and a howl from the exhaust. Fourth gear arrives rather quickly and I am sure that I would attract the wrong kind of attention if I stayed on the gas too long.
Even sixth gear is borderline insane. At 60mph it will gain about ten mph per second all the way up to ‘ban me’ speeds and probably way beyond.
16yos: how does it sound ?
Well it’s much quieter than a Honda 250N ‘Superdream’ with an Alpha-4 exhaust, but the triple has a unique sound, it’s off beat and raw sounding, once the revs rise it howls, then when you back off its all pops and bangs. This is actually childish fun, you would probably spend all day trying to make it snort, howl and pop and bang..
16yos: Cool, can I have a go then ?
No, you are way too stupid and irresponsible to ride anything beyond a bicycle.
Seriously, the things that he failed to ask are probably the more important things, since I got the bike it has averaged 55mpg (UK), a tank of fuel – 20ltrs, will take it something over 200 miles assuming you are not really trying to burn as much fuel as you can. The handling is lovely, even in the wet it is sure footed and stable. This does not mean that it will not flick/flack on roundabouts, far from it, it will change directing with less effort than many of the crazy sports bikes I have owned in the past.
It is pretty comfortable too, my 38 mile trip takes less than an hour each day, but I never feel drained or uncomfortable when I get to the office, usually the opposite, the ride through London is fairly hard work, but my adrenaline is usually pretty high.
For a fast bike, it feels very sensible, it is not at all edgy, like a race-bike with lights, the power delivery, apart from a little low-end wooziness, is very, very linear, the gearbox, while a tad industrial to get into first, is good to use and the brakes are utterly astonishing.
If you need to get from A to B, quickly, I am sure that there are faster bikes out there, but few are as comfortable and even less are real-world competent. I suspect that the list of bikes that also make you smile this much is very, very small too…