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Old 05-11-2007, 01:00 PM   #1
SoloHack'r OP
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1996 Triumph Tiger questions

I'm going to look at a 1996 Tiger this evening as a replacement for my R100GS.

Any pointers of what to look for specific to Tiger failures?

14,000 miles on it, with all receipts. what's the expected life span?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-11-2007, 03:28 PM   #2
Nightrunner
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The early Tigs (aka steamers, 1993-1998) are pretty reliable mechanically. They had a problem niknamed DAR for dreaded alternator rattle. The bolt securing the drive vane to the alt shaft breaks and the vane jiggles on the spines at idle and just above. Makes it sound just like an older diesel engine. In rare cases the broken bolt or washer can get into the gear box but that is pretty rare. DAR can easily be fixed if you can handle a wrench. Many steamer owners on this list can talk you through it and there was a factory service bulletin on it. Just don't let the owner tell you they all sound like that. Many people, including Triumph mechanics, think so because its a common problem.

The other problem they had is with what is known as the sprag clutch. Basically the starter drive mechanism can lock up if the engine is rotated backwards even a few degrees. So the caveate with the steams is never try and crank on one with a weak battery as the sprag clutch can lock up. This is an expensive repair if it does lock up but its fairly rare. I have tried to start mine many times with weak bat and it didn't lock up. Its just a possibility. Easily solved by keeping the battery charged.

Some of us have had problems with sort life on the ign coils but switching to TT600 coils (ebay) solves the problem.

Like a lot of bikes they are jetted quite lean from the factory and a rejetting really wakes them up.

When you see it, note the way the chain is adjusted for slack. They use an eccentric rear hub. The axel is also offset a bit If you happen to be one of the shorter riders, you can flip the hub over and lower the bike a bit.

14K miles is just broken in. Its a long life motor if cared for.

Aftermarket stuff is limited for the steamers. You have two choices for engine guards. You can still get Givi luggage mounts. Corbin seats. Jet kits. There is a little adapter to advance the timing 4 degrees. Taller screens. Cartridge emulators for the front forks. Its not bad but nothing like all the stuff available for a GS.

Good luck man! Do test ride it. They're fun.
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:56 PM   #3
kindofblue
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99-06s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightrunner
The early Tigs (aka steamers, 1993-1998) are pretty reliable mechanically. They had a problem niknamed DAR for dreaded alternator rattle. The bolt securing the drive vane to the alt shaft breaks and the vane jiggles on the spines at idle and just above. Makes it sound just like an older diesel engine. In rare cases the broken bolt or washer can get into the gear box but that is pretty rare. DAR can easily be fixed if you can handle a wrench. Many steamer owners on this list can talk you through it and there was a factory service bulletin on it. Just don't let the owner tell you they all sound like that. Many people, including Triumph mechanics, think so because its a common problem.

The other problem they had is with what is known as the sprag clutch. Basically the starter drive mechanism can lock up if the engine is rotated backwards even a few degrees. So the caveate with the steams is never try and crank on one with a weak battery as the sprag clutch can lock up. This is an expensive repair if it does lock up but its fairly rare. I have tried to start mine many times with weak bat and it didn't lock up. Its just a possibility. Easily solved by keeping the battery charged.

Some of us have had problems with sort life on the ign coils but switching to TT600 coils (ebay) solves the problem.

Like a lot of bikes they are jetted quite lean from the factory and a rejetting really wakes them up.

When you see it, note the way the chain is adjusted for slack. They use an eccentric rear hub. The axel is also offset a bit If you happen to be one of the shorter riders, you can flip the hub over and lower the bike a bit.

14K miles is just broken in. Its a long life motor if cared for.

Aftermarket stuff is limited for the steamers. You have two choices for engine guards. You can still get Givi luggage mounts. Corbin seats. Jet kits. There is a little adapter to advance the timing 4 degrees. Taller screens. Cartridge emulators for the front forks. Its not bad but nothing like all the stuff available for a GS.

Good luck man! Do test ride it. They're fun.
Hi Nightrunner,
Thanks for the summary. Can you speak to issues with the 1999-2006 Tigers? And why are they called Steamers?
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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Hey Nightrunner - thanks for the summary as well! I'm on a GS but have had a hankering for an older Tiger. I'll keep this for the future when I find one
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindofblue
And why are they called Steamers?
The 90's Tigers have their charm. Except for having to pull the tender wagon with the coal. "More steam, you bloody serf!". It gets old.

-bio, 97 Steamer
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:22 PM   #6
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I have a 98 Tiger and love it. Kevin at Baxter Cycle in IA as well as ADV and Triumph-tiger.com and the Yahoo tiger owners are great resources. Kevin owns a steamer and has done some mods to it. he can be a bit cranky, but has always been generous with his time and information. he also stocks consumables for tigers and has a few wrecked bikes he parts out.

I had some ignition coil woes, which turned out to be a combination of things. 1)A bad ignitor box(ecu), which Kevin had a used one he sold me half price (new one was almost $700!). Also, I bought a used set of coils, which turned out to be specced different, possibly from a fuelie, so the bike gave me fits, running poorly until I bought an OEM coil. Beyond the other issues mentioned, which I believe are pretty rare, these seem to be pretty rugged bikes.

Have your sold your GS yet? I might be interested.
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Old 05-13-2007, 01:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindofblue
Hi Nightrunner,
Thanks for the summary. Can you speak to issues with the 1999-2006 Tigers? And why are they called Steamers?
There are a lot of posts on the Yahoo Tiger groups about the nicknames. It predates me owning one but seems to be related to ancient tried and true technology like a steam engine. Maybe its the noisy DAR. [Yeah, I forgot about pulling the coal car behind. Not to mention finding coal stations off the beaten path. In a pinch we have to switch to wood]

The later (1999 onward) Tigers are known as Girly Tigers due mainly to the fairing graphics that resemble eyelashes. They redesigned the whole frame, suspension, and added fuel injection. Same basic motor though. Then in 2001 (or was it 2002?) they bumped displacement up to 955. They sold a lot more of the FI Tigers so they must have done something right. A lot of us would have liked to see the FI performance with the steamer looks. But the Girlies out number us coal shovelers.

Let us know if you get one!
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:21 AM   #8
kindofblue
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightrunner
There are a lot of posts on the Yahoo Tiger groups about the nicknames. It predates me owning one but seems to be related to ancient tried and true technology like a steam engine. Maybe its the noisy DAR. [Yeah, I forgot about pulling the coal car behind. Not to mention finding coal stations off the beaten path. In a pinch we have to switch to wood]

The later (1999 onward) Tigers are known as Girly Tigers due mainly to the fairing graphics that resemble eyelashes. They redesigned the whole frame, suspension, and added fuel injection. Same basic motor though. Then in 2001 (or was it 2002?) they bumped displacement up to 955. They sold a lot more of the FI Tigers so they must have done something right. A lot of us would have liked to see the FI performance with the steamer looks. But the Girlies out number us coal shovelers.

Let us know if you get one!
Hi Scott,
Thanks for the info. I would imagine one could take the "eyelashes" off the tank. Friend of mine had an 01 ST with the 955 engine (until he totalled it in a crash: he's OK though ATGATT). One more question and I'll stop bugging you. Do the 02-06s have ABS?
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightrunner
The later (1999 onward) Tigers are known as Girly Tigers due mainly to the fairing graphics that resemble eyelashes. They redesigned the whole frame, suspension, and added fuel injection. Same basic motor though. Then in 2001 (or was it 2002?) they bumped displacement up to 955. They sold a lot more of the FI Tigers so they must have done something right. A lot of us would have liked to see the FI performance with the steamer looks. But the Girlies out number us coal shovelers.

Let us know if you get one!
Hey Scott...let me know when you have some time for a run up to Suches. I keep your sheet you sent me on tiger.com about the DAR. Hope to tackle that at some point.

tigerrider screwed with this post 05-13-2007 at 01:12 PM
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindofblue
Hi Scott,
Thanks for the info. I would imagine one could take the "eyelashes" off the tank. Friend of mine had an 01 ST with the 955 engine (until he totalled it in a crash: he's OK though ATGATT). One more question and I'll stop bugging you. Do the 02-06s have ABS?
I thought the '07's where the first to offer it.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerrider
Hey Scott...let me know when you have some time for a run up to Suches. I keep your sheet you sent me on tiger.com about the DAR. Hope to tackle that at some point.
Sounds like fun. I may take you up on that.
Cheers
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Old 05-20-2007, 04:32 AM   #12
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A couple things not mentioned here so far...the airbox SUCKS...and if you're a fan of swapping front sprockets fuhghedaboutdit.

The airbox is a sealed unit - non replaceable filter element and you need to remove the carbs to get it out. So you buy a complete airbox assembly every 24k and replace it when you've got the bike all apart for service. Simple, easy, and effective. Oh, unless you ever ride in dirt. (K&N does make an element that fits and you can open the box up - but it's a pain - especially if you ride in the dirt a lot)

The front sprocket cover is just plain stupid. It's also a piece of the clutch slave cylinder and the sump and oil dipstick. So to change the front sprocket you either drain the oil or lay the bike on the right side. Personally, I use different rear sprockets on different wheels to regear for street/off roading...of course, I don't do that everyday like I could with a front sprocket. (some German guys have gotten around this by hacking the front cover in pieces and modding the dipstick tube...I just haven't gotten around to it yet). Because of the proximity of all this stuff, if the chain gets waaaay too loose it can take the cover out, then you have engine oil pouring onto the ground...(damhik).

So I guess you can say they have their nuances...but the complete package is worth it, to some of us...

Good luck, and let us know if you get it!
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:09 AM   #13
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which years have that ridiculous airbox setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhen
A couple things not mentioned here so far...the airbox SUCKS...and if you're a fan of swapping front sprockets fuhghedaboutdit.

The airbox is a sealed unit - non replaceable filter element and you need to remove the carbs to get it out. So you buy a complete airbox assembly every 24k and replace it when you've got the bike all apart for service. Simple, easy, and effective. Oh, unless you ever ride in dirt. (K&N does make an element that fits and you can open the box up - but it's a pain - especially if you ride in the dirt a lot)

The front sprocket cover is just plain stupid. It's also a piece of the clutch slave cylinder and the sump and oil dipstick. So to change the front sprocket you either drain the oil or lay the bike on the right side. Personally, I use different rear sprockets on different wheels to regear for street/off roading...of course, I don't do that everyday like I could with a front sprocket. (some German guys have gotten around this by hacking the front cover in pieces and modding the dipstick tube...I just haven't gotten around to it yet). Because of the proximity of all this stuff, if the chain gets waaaay too loose it can take the cover out, then you have engine oil pouring onto the ground...(damhik).

So I guess you can say they have their nuances...but the complete package is worth it, to some of us...

Good luck, and let us know if you get it!
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapp22
which years have that ridiculous airbox setup?
That would be the Steamer Years...in other words, all the Tigers that look like that 96 one.

He really put that quite well..but really, after the second or third time removing the carbs...it goes much faster.

It's also been my experience that one loses the o-rings on the clutch slave master cylinder around every 15k. Easy peasy replacement though.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:05 AM   #15
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Ya, first generation bikes - '93-'98. There are ways to alleviate some of the pain, though. I run pre-filters over the intake horns - (Two Brothers filters for a 50cc Honda, which fit without modification). They slip off real easy so I can clean them frequently. Some people have also put some shielding in place to keep the junk from spinning off the rear wheel directly in to the intakes (oh ya, did I mention that they're right over the rear wheel?)
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