Originally Posted by Joe Bar
I don't find it odd at all, I'm not a sports bike fan, but when BMW launched the S1000RR it clearly took a technology and power leap over the established competition. All the magazines agreed and a friend who had raced GSXR1000's successfully for 5 years (won every club championship he entered) climbed onto the S1000RR and said it was like cheating the thing was so far in front.
What's this got to do with the Tiger 800? Well to my mind as good a bike as it may be, it seems to me to be simply offering a similar choice to the F800GS. Triumph had two years to see and try the competition, they could have come up with something that blew the GS out of the water, instead they came out with something that is merely derivative.
Like Von Kunheim at BMW said, Triumph are better than that and have launched some great bikes in recent years. They had the opportunity to raise the sector bar with Tiger 800 and they didn't take it.
Really good comments Joe!
Regards the S1000RR: True, big hit in the press. But I've yet to see much action on the track. Certainly doing better now in WSB ... once they got rid of crasher Zaus things got better (and cheaper)!
In local club racing here in California Suzuki and Yamaha still dominate. I'm sure BMW will start making headway. IMO, the Japanese have been idling along for 10 years, just pushing forward enough to keep Ducati and Aprilia at bay. But all the while serious R&D continues. Now, they may make a move and use up some of that technical capital they've been saving. Think they might have a few surprises in their bag of tricks?
On the Tiger 800
: I'm not sure how much more Triumph could have done, or done better. Sure, they could have gone further ... but what would the bike cost? Also, consider the long term development cycle. You never fire all your guns at once. Look at Honda's long running CBR600 as an example of making use of periodic development cycles ... they've stretched the model out over 20 years ... and it's still a good seller for them.
In this market I'd guess Triumph purposely have erred on the conservative side all the way along, both on styling and engineering. This won't be their last T800/XC Tiger.
They also know that only about 10 to 15% ever take their bikes in any sort of challenging off road conditions. So why spend a fortune making a better off road bike?
IMHO, at some point in future they should offer a Dakar Kit or Dakar version or some such ... up grading everything, taking off a few kgs., better suspenders, butch it up a bit. Think it would sell?