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Grad 10-21-2012 04:38 PM

Picked up a 1050 Tiger
Well, I am back in the fold with an adventure(ish) bike. I went from a 1200GS (which I rode all over the country) to a Speed Triple, which was hard core, fun as hell, but not meant for longer rides. I missed going out and just riding to enjoy the scenery and see where the road would take me. On the Speed Triple I was too interested in pulling the front wheel off the ground or accelerating like a bat out of hell from every stop sign. Basically, I was going to get into a lot of trouble on it, and I didn't enjoy exploring the rough backroads.

So, I swapped it even on a 2007 Tiger. I LOVE the 1050 engine and didn't want to give it up, but I wanted more comfort and tourability. Here are my thoughts, because I read threads like this all the time when I am contemplating my next bike.

I weigh around 165, so I am lucky when it comes to stock suspensions and what the manufacturers consider a "target" rider. I realize in the US the average weight is more, but for some reason most manufacturers use my weight as their target. I read a lot of threads about the crappy Tiger suspension, so I was prepared for the worst. In my opinion, the suspension is GREAT for what I like to do, which is explore backroads in comfort. It soaks up the bumps very well and provides a smooth ride. Right now I would actually say it is more supple than my GS was, but I will need to ride more before I can make a final determination. It tips in easily, corners well, provides confidence, and soaks up all of the irregularities without beating the hell out of me.

Dirt and gravel roads? No problem as long as you take it easy and realize you don't have a lot of traction. The bike has Pilot Roads and so I just go pretty slow and try not to make any sudden inputs. The soft suspension and long(ish) travel does a great job of soaking up all of the ruts and larger chunks of gravel, and I feel just fine on the dirt or gravel (and I don't have a dirt background at all). If it was really muddy then I might be in trouble. Basically, I rode my GS on these roads, and the Tiger will be fine as well. I might have to slow down a little more, but I can still go see where the road leads without worrying about beating the crap out of my bike. Considering I ride probably 90% pavement, this Tiger is very well-suited for my riding style. Honestly, I think there are a lot of other ADVriders that are like me in that they want to buy a bike that can go take on the Sahara during a round-the-world trip, but in reality they go off on a camping excursion and the worst their bike sees is a forest service road. With that in mind, the 1050 Tiger is just fine unless the road is really gnarly. A lot of people just relegate it as a sport-touring bike and say not to consider it at all for dirt, but the long suspension travel makes it perfectly fine for these dirt roads. Sure the front tire is a little wide, but just take it easy and enjoy the scenery. Plus there are some dual-sport options as far as tire choices, which should improve the traction and make the bike even better in the slicker stuff.

Headlights? Suck, just like I read. An HID kit is on its way ($35 from DDM) and if that doesn't do the job then I will get an LED kit and I should be all set. Very minor issue IMO, but still something you should plan on addressing.

Comfort? Very very good, at least for me (6'0 with a 33" inseam). Some buffeting with the stock screen but no worse than the various screens I ran on my 12GS. I found if I scoot back on the generous stock seat, the buffeting decreases. BTW, the stock seat is the best I have found on any bike. It is huge and supportive and makes me feel like I can just ride and ride. Long days will be no issue on this machine whatsoever.

Performance? Haven't had the bike in the mountains yet so I can't comment on how well it does in the twisties, but the engine is perfect, IMO. Smooth, powerful, and WANTS to rev. I always felt like I was thrashing the boxer engine when I took it to redline, maybe because it is so mechanical sounding and you really start to hear the pistons/cam chain/engine noise when you are revving it up. The 1050 engine just WANTS you to rev it, and it pulls very strongly from idle all the way to redline. I am sure the new Multi has an intoxicating (and more powerful) engine as well, but I cannot imagine why you would actually need more power than this on the street. Passing other cars or accelerating away from a stop is effortless, and you can expect 40-50 mpg while you are doing it.

Build quality? Good, but not as good as the 12GS. I hope, and expect, the Tiger to be very reliable but I guess time will tell. This one has 14,000 miles on it so it is just broken in and ready to go. I am going to add some hard luggage so I can commute and tour on it with ease. Looking forward to doing some camping as well.

In summary, this is a great bike, and IMO it is underappreciated by the ADV community. Bikes like the VStrom get lots of recommendations (and I have ridden one so I can comment on this) but I feel the Tiger is just as capable on most of the roads that you will see day in and day out. Plus, it has a ton of power for whenever you need it. If you like to go down a goat path whenever you find one then yeah, the 1050 is not going to be the bike for you, but for dirt/gravel it is plenty capable.

Hope this helps future buyers who are deciding what to get next. For $5000-$6000 used, I think it is a tough package to beat.

zilla 10-21-2012 06:07 PM

Good bikes. I had a 09 and once I got the windshield issues(for me) worked out, I had no problems with it.

Traded it for a Victory Cross Roads to have something better 2 up, but I miss my Tiger.

Grad 10-22-2012 02:12 PM

I'm thinking the Tiger is a decent 2-up bike, but kind of limited for the passenger. I am going to add some hard luggage to make it a better tourer.

scotty918 10-22-2012 02:17 PM

Congratulations on the Tiger. I have been lusting after one of these since I test drove one in 2007. In my opinion, there is no better "do it all" bike out there. It is just a fabulous machine. :freaky

wrecked'em 10-22-2012 03:55 PM

love mine. congrats on yours

Daytrader 10-22-2012 05:44 PM

I like mine a lot. you sound like you have things figured out.
It's a great bike for what it is.
For some good info.

wcohl 10-22-2012 06:01 PM


I'm enjoying my 07. The Tiger 1050 forum has a lot of information. I sold my V Strom for my Tiger. The V Strom was a noce bike, but the Tiger feels smaller and it lighter. I feel it handles better in the twisties too.

I have a set of Triumph hard luggage and mounts for sale. PM me if interested.


cbolling 10-22-2012 06:33 PM

Very nice!!! I have always liked the Tigers.

bdb1513 10-27-2012 11:41 AM

I went from a 00 R6 to an 07 Tiger 1050. Love this bike, and I should have made the switch a while ago. I'm right about where you are with riding 90% street with the occasional dirt road thrown in there. I'm a little heavier then you, so the suspension is a little soft, and bottoms out on dirt roads sometimes, but such a nice different coming from a sport bike, so I'm leaving it alone for now. The HID is going to make a huge improvement in night vision. I went with the 55W from DDM tuning and adjusted it up to where it should be and I don't have to to turn on my aux. lights nearly as much anymore. Good luck with the bike man, enjoy it!

wcohl 10-28-2012 04:50 PM


If you're in the 220# range, Terry at Hyper Response Suspension can revalve and respring your OEM shock for about $250, including shipping both ways. He did my shock and I was very pleased with the results. If your weight is more, the cost would go up.

VFR 10-28-2012 07:25 PM

I have an '07 Tiger. First thing I did was have Terry rework the suspension front & rear. He re-valved the front forks with Honda valves, re-valved the rear shock & installed a Speed Triple spring. Perfect setup & cost much less than having someone just install Racetech parts.

I have an HID setup for the headlight but haven't installed it yet. I did adjust the light beam from shining a foot in front of the front wheel which helped a bunch. That alone will cure most of the problem with the headlight.

Great bike!!! I'm happy with mine. Hope yours works out as well.

birch 10-29-2012 06:59 AM

Thanks for the write up.

I'm really torn between a Tiger and a Sprint ST. I know... different bikes for sure. Loved my ride on a Sprint. Just need to find a Tiger to ride for a compare.

wcohl 10-29-2012 04:51 PM


When I bought my 07, the PO already installed a HID on the low beam. It's nice, but a set og Komy's LED really lit things up. My wife also likes the Seat Concepts foam I installed.

Like you, love the bike, justed needed to make a few changes to fit me.

bdb1513 10-31-2012 04:45 AM


Originally Posted by wcohl (Post 19919787)

If you're in the 220# range, Terry at Hyper Response Suspension can revalve and respring your OEM shock for about $250, including shipping both ways. He did my shock and I was very pleased with the results. If your weight is more, the cost would go up.

I only weigh about 185, so I'm not too far off from the ideal rider weight. Maybe when I do the fork oil I'll throw in some stiffer springs. But I will definitely keep Hyper Response Suspension in mind, that's a pretty good deal.

KingOfFleece 10-31-2012 05:25 AM

Now you'll know what a lot of us already know-the 1050 is a fantastic motor. Bolted into the Tiger is't a fine ride indeed!

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