The first change to the new bike was a quick tyre swap. I will admit the the idea of running proper dirt tyres on an adventure bike excited me so a new Dunlop MX71 found its way onto the front (with an UHD Tube of course) and a worn Mitas E-09 Dakar (left over from my V-Strom) was spooned onto the rear. I was initially concerned about the Dunlops ability to handle the extra weight of the Tiger but so far the combination appears to be a clear winner. Road handling is solid and the stability in the dirt is amazing. For a big bike it tracks incredibly well through all sorts of trail riding surfaces and on yesterdays ride I found myself looking for increasingly tricker tracks to see what its limits are. Depsite its size, I suspect a good rider on a Tiger shod with proper knobs would be hard to stop in the bush.
There are a couple of limitations though and I plan on addressing them soon. The first is clearance to the front guard.
Its a bit skinny in there and yesterday on a long stretch of tacky mud, I could feel the front pinch on a couple of occasions. To be honest, I thought it may have been more of an issue but i can only summise that the aggresive pattern clears the tyre better than a dual purpose tyre like the TKC80? Either way the guard will be getting a lift kit under it as soon as possible.
The second issue is mud spatter. On my first ride, I found that it funnels up off the front wheel, covers everything in it's path via the triple clamps and ends up residing on your goggles / visor. This only seems to happen on fast dirt roads but I still find it annoying. Now, before anyone makes any disparaging remarks about my adventure riding worthiness, it is a pain to be cleaning your goggles every km or two simply because you are roosting on your own helmet? I am guessing that all of those granules of soggy dirt are probably not overly condusive to happy wiring in the long run either. The plan at this stage is to raise the guard and add a fender extension and see if this solves the problem. If it doesn't, I am looking to fabricate some sort of deflector plate to attach to the bottom triple clamp to stem the flow northwards.
It's the same story with rear but the solution is easier. The XC's in Australia include an extended mud fender but Triumph has advised dealers not to fit them as they clash with the mounting of the number plates. The problem with this though is that it leaves some holes underneath the rear guard that make for a straight through path for mud and debris, right into an area where the dealer plug and other electrics sit.
The fix here is to drill some additional holes in the extended fender to facilitate number plate mounting and the bolt it up to the rear. This also braces the rear guard extender and seems to take some of the chatter out of the rear end on corrugations.