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Old 05-09-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
optimum_malarky OP
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Tiger pack... which is king?

Beyond the terrible title, I am looking for insight and experience about Triumph's Tiger.

There have been several incarnations of the Hinkley Tiger (I'm skipping the classic Meridan bikes here):

885 Tiger (aka Steamer)
955i Tiger (aka Girlie)
1050 Tiger
800/xc Tiger
1250 Tiger Explorer

I am a big fan of all of these for good looks, riding position and the triple motor in whatever version it comes. This leads me to my question -- which one would you choose as your only motorcycle?

Some caveats:
  • Power is important -- I like a bike that will move
  • Ability to ride long distances comfortably -- I know people ride their sportbikes for thousands of miles and survive... I'm just not one of those people!
  • Luggage options -- if you are going to travel long distance, you need some stuff and a place to keep it
  • Weight -- I decided to let the 1150gs go because it was heavy around town and didn't have the zip of a triple; good power to weight ratio is important
  • Two-up capability -- for when the wifey wants to ride, I need a perch fit for a queen
  • Affordability -- maintenance, mpg, insurance and purchase price
Which would you choose? I see plenty of 1050s for sale for respectable prices, and every once in a while a sweet 955i Girlie will catch my attention, but are these the bikes to seek out if it is to be the only bike?



... or I could go for the blackbird that recently popped up nearby!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
JJGeo
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Given that list I'd go for a 1050.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
2tallnwide
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Just bought my first Tiger a short time ago.....



...the triple is sweet for sure, the bike has almost 33K miles on it and is tight.

I've ridden a 1050, it was a really nice bike as well, but not for us 2up, your pillion might like it better than mine did however. Unfortunately my wife can no longer ride pillion with me, and has never been on the back of my 955i Tiger.

I do miss the shaft drive, and the telelever of this....



If I was shopping for a new bike right now it would be between the 1200 Tiger, Yamaha S10, or another BMW R12GS.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
rocker59
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I prefer suspension travel, so I'd go with a Steamer or Girlie.

The Steamers are really cool, if you can find one that hasn't been abused.

I've put miles on both the Steamers and Girlies. Nice bikes.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
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1050.

I had steamer. For a year. I spent most of the year working on it. I loved the looks and the ride. I HATED the stupid close ratio transmission. If not for the transmission I might have been able to deal with the rest. I had to slip the clutch in first (a lot) just to pull out, but then at 70mph it felt and sounded like it was ready to explode.

To change the air filter you have to pull the carbs . Before you go any further research prices of Steamer parts such as: Gas tank, alternator, air filter, CDI, and so forth. Also check into the sprag clutch. Oh, if they haven't been replaced already you'll need 300.00 worth of coils before you go anywhere. 98s weren't supposed to have the dreaded alternator rattle, but mine did. I had to pull the alt as soon as I got it and fix the dar. The valves are also prone to recede into the head which is a very expensive fix. In many ways it was a great bike but a few stupid engineering screw ups ruined it for me.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:14 AM   #6
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800XC for me!
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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1050
I'v sat on that bike for 16 hours straight only getting off to take a leak and fill up and it's the most comfortable bike i'v owned, and now its even better cu's i got the gel seat.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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For the riding I do, 800 roadie ABS.

But I don't have 10k to blow on it, so it is somewhat moot.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #9
Paulvt1
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I've either owned or ridden all on your list. The only one that ticks all the boxes is the new 1200. I wanted to wring the piss out of it all day long - like a Speed Triple - but it was quite content to dawdle through traffic.
It's pretty much all you'll ever need from any bike.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #10
rocker59
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This Girlie is not so girlie:

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mcy/2967382955.html

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulvt1 View Post
I've either owned or ridden all on your list. The only one that ticks all the boxes is the new 1200. I wanted to wring the piss out of it all day long - like a Speed Triple - but it was quite content to dawdle through traffic.
It's pretty much all you'll ever need from any bike.
Which ones did you own and what were your reasons for letting them go?
Can you describe a bit more your experiences riding the 1200?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:19 AM   #12
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I have a 95' steamer and love the crap out of it, BUT, new is good too. I really dig the new 800xc, but honestly I do more road riding(aka commuting) and am really considering a 1050 roady. the ergo's are really good.(I'll keep the steamer though)
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:12 AM   #13
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The only bike you have listed that I haven 't ridden is a 855 Tiger. They're all great bikes. I own a 1050 Tiger that I've put 14+K miles on in just over a year. I love that bike. My son has a 800 Tiger (the road version), and it's a bit more 'flickable' than my 1050, but it doesn't have the grunt (power) that it's big brother has.

I rode the new Explorer in Raleigh a couple weekends ago. It's spectacular, and I believe it's going to cut into GS sales significantly. It's a big bike, and the seat is a bit narrow for my liking (for standing on the pegs, I assume), but knowing Triumph they'll have a 'comfort seat' available soon, if not already.

Luggage capacity on my 1050 is an issue, but not an insurmountable issue. I use the right side bag to carry my rainsuit, a couple tools, and a flat tire repair kit (including air compressor). The left bag and top box get used on longer trips, and I have a waterproof bag that goes on top of the back seat and panniers. (I don't ride long distances two up - if I did I'd have to find something other than the 1050).

The bike that has my curiosity perked is the new Trophy, reportedly to do emerge in September. If the new Trophy has the same motor/trans as the Explorer, with ergoes suitable for an old man's knees and back, and bags suitable for traveling (it's going to be a sport touring bike, so that should be expected), I may come off the Tiger to buy one. We'll see...

For now the Tiger is the bike of choice when I go to the garage.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:59 AM   #14
Paulvt1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optimum_malarky View Post
Which ones did you own and what were your reasons for letting them go?
Can you describe a bit more your experiences riding the 1200?

Thanks for the feedback!
I owned a 955, for a short time. Later cast wheel model. Comfy but with limited sports potential. I know these bikes are uber Trailies, but the poor braking had me close to wiping out once or twice.
I spent time on a steamer, which was fun - but a bit of an antique now.
Had a 1050 for a day and loved it. Well suited to quick road work.
Rode the 800. Very underwhelming. Didn't like the thrashy nature of the bike.
The Tiger 12 is very much a sports tourer in adv clothing. It's very quick. The touring screen is very effective. Damn good point to point weapon. If i hadn't spent a small fortune on buying and tailoring my Super Ten to my requirement, then i think i would have one now.

Paulvt1 screwed with this post 05-12-2012 at 07:07 AM
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #15
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To me a Steamer is the best looking, but weight eliminates it instantly for you.

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