Odd choice maybe, but Wee Strom or Tiger 955?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Yenool, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Yenool

    Yenool Adventurer

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    So I've been riding for over 5 years now, the last 3+ on a SV650S. The sport bike setup is finally catching up to me (my back in particular) and the adv bikes are really interesting to me. I'll mostly be using my new bike for commuting, but I'd like to get out on the weekends and still be able to do some twisties and getting off the pavement would be awesome too (I would think at least - haven't really done any off roading). Some long distance touring once a year could be cool too.

    Anyways it would seem both of the Wee and older Tigers can be had for $4-6k depending on mileage and add-ons. They both seem to be mostly street oriented, but as I've found on here plenty of people play with them in the tame (and some not so tame) off road duty. My main concern is that the Tiger may be less reliable and cost me more time/money on maintenance. Since I'm coming from an SV I'm already pretty familiar with the Suzuki V-twin and have been pleased with it. Part of me loves the reliability, but another part is ready for something new as long as it won't cost me an arm and a leg. Plus the wee is kinda ugly :p

    Any advice fellas? I'd appreciate it!

    -Yenool (San Diego)
    #1
  2. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I have no experience with the Triumph, but plenty on the Wee.

    Mine ('06, 37,000 miles) has been dead reliable. It corners like an angel and has a silky transmission. Once you deal with the squishy factory seat, it is all-day comfortable. It gets excellent fuel mileage. It is not a dirty bird; once things go beyond roughish gravel the weight and the gearing make it readily apparent that this ain't no trials bike. However, up to that point, it is superb. If I were to use it for the rougher stuff, I'd likely mess with the sprockets to get more grunt.

    There a few farkles I would not do without. The Madstad windscreen mount makes the ride very comfortable in all sorts of weather. If you are taking it into rough terrain, crash bars will save you tons of money in plastics. A skid plate is a must.

    I added a set of toothy IMS-copy footpegs and bar risers, which make it more tractable standing up.

    Once you get around the Darth Vadar looks (and you should be riding it, not looking at it,) it is a very well-mannered and comfortable machine. Your choice will depend on your personal taste, but I don't think the Wee has many bad points.
    #2
  3. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    The 955 is the better bike, BUT the Wee is more durable and a lot cheaper to maintain.

    Your call.

    Pete
    #3
  4. dftuttle

    dftuttle Adventurer

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    That's where I was about 6 months ago; Tiger, Wee or a R1150GS. I found a nice '04 Tiger 955i on Craigslist for $5000 with 18k miles.
    As far as reliability goes so far, been great. I commute on it everyday. Did have the battery die though. Long term I'm not worried about it. there are plenty of guys here & elsewhere on the web who claim high mileage.
    I think as far as aftermarket stuff goes, there will be more for the Wee. It's more current, depending on year of course, but they stopped building the Tiger 955i in '06. Dealer parts availabilty might be a little better as well. Speculation here since I never had the Suzuki.
    One thing you hear alot of people bitch about is the cost of Dealer Service. Oil changes every 6k. Easy! Check the valves every 12k. Not hard! Other than that, just basic stuff like any other bike. What I remember reading here is most dealers charge about $400 to check the valves. You have to remove the tank & the airbox to get to the cam cover. Then there is a special tool you need to hold down the valve bucket to remove the shim if you need adjustments. An Inmate here (Mustang) makes a version of this tool which is a cheap investment for a home mechanic. It pays for itself the first time you need it.
    On the Tiger, somewhere in '04 they changed from wire wheels to cast. Wires are more durable if you are gonna play in the dirt.
    One thing I think is a must for the Tiger regardless if you ride it off road or not is a set of crash bars. The engine hangs from the bottom of the frame spine & is totally exposed. The plastic fuel tank sticks out a long way, too. If you drop the bike like I did the tank WILL hit the pavement. First thing I bought was a set of Touratech crash bars. They wrap around the tank protecting it too. They were expensive, but so is the tank on a Tiger. And if it happens & your a hundred miles from home, you can still ride home, not call for a truck.
    The Tiger has more power; it is bigger! Handles very nice without modifcation. Is a very comfortable commuter bike.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Dan
    #4
  5. WormShanks

    WormShanks b00b

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    That's easy, Tiger. It's one of the great used bike bargains. Mine has been reliable and fairly inexpensive to maintain. If you're looking for something different it's a no brainer.
    #5
  6. T

    T --------------

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    I put about 80k on an 06 Wee (sold) and 40k on the 05 Tiger I currently ride. Both great bikes but I prefer the Tiger.
    #6
  7. Dcc46

    Dcc46 Been here awhile

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    The tiger costs a few bucks more in maintenance, but more than makes up for it in fun factor. I sold an 08 wee to get a 05 tiger. The wee had no soul.

    Sent from my Evo on Tapatalk
    #7
  8. Yenool

    Yenool Adventurer

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    You guys rock with the quick responses. I'm not hearing many issues with the Tiger reliability wise which is awesome. I'll try and hold out on purchasing a bike for a month or two and see if any screaming deal pops up for a Tiger otherwise there will always be a Wee out there.
    One parting question - Are the Tigers good 2-up tourers?
    #8
  9. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    I called about this one yesterday, of course it was already sold...


    "2006 Triumph Tiger 955i - $4300 (Atlanta, GA) Bike has a Remus exhaust system, handguards, bar risers, tall windscreen, and rear tour pack. I have all keys, books, and a clean title. Tires are good and bike is ready to go touring through the mountains. 22,026 easy miles."

    [​IMG]

    The search will continue when I get back from work next month...looking at the Stroms as well.
    #9
  10. hansi

    hansi Teurer Abenteurer

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    :huh Explain more durable, please??? I do think that both engines are very durable, quiet a few over 100 000 km with no problems, Wee and Girlie.
    The main difference is that the Triumph is an in-line triple with 105hp and kick-ass and the Wee is a V-twin, 68hp and underwhelming :evil. (just love that stab at the Wee-Strom faithful, don't mean to offend any of you, I do think the DL650 is truly a great bike :D)
    Comparing a Wee to a Tiger 955i is comparing apples to oranges. They have very little in common. Very different bikes. Great low end torque from the Suzuki V-twin, great gas mileage (way better than the Girlie), nice easy neutral cruising all day long, dependable, easy to obtain and cheap parts makes the Wee a very good choice with only 420lbs dry weight.
    The Tiger has a great usable linear powerband, it will pull like an electric motor from way down low up to about 6500rpm, where that triple really kicks in and stretches your arms. Intoxicating engine, great sound. The Girlie is a very good choice if you want to do all day long 80mph+ cruising with heavy load, always having that extra power available to get you out of harms way or just for just having fun, chasing sportbikes through the twisties. The big drawback IMO for the Triumph Tiger 955i is the 474 lbs dry weight being carried with a high center of gravity. Loaded she can be a real hand full maneuvering and at low speeds.
    Both bikes do reasonably well in gravel and packed dirt with lots of dual-sport tire choices out there.
    Ride a triple, you never will go back
    Did I mention the great sound the Hinckley makes?:lol3
    Owning a Tiger 955i does not make me opinionated!
    #10
  11. Dcc46

    Dcc46 Been here awhile

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    Are the Tigers good 2-up tourers? ----- Yes
    #11
  12. ua99003

    ua99003 Adventurer

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    I had a 07 wee and came across 06 Tiger by accident. Swapped my Miata for the Tiger. I have never had a non-jap bike and didn't have a clue about the Tiger. Did my research and found great reviews. Right after swapping I went out and put about a 100 miles on it,came back and did the same on the wee. No compasion with the wee. Way smoother,more power and great looks. The wee is agreat bike but with no attitude. Tiger roams. I sold my wee and never looked back. Did a 2k mile ride this past summer up to Arkansas and loved every mile, never a hick-up. My Tiger had about 16k on the meter and now has a 24 k. You can search @ Tigertriple.com for lots of ride reports and info.
    #12
  13. jphish

    jphish Been here awhile

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    Ridden my brothers "wee", but never owned one. Have an 06' Girlie. A very underrated machine as per cost : value ratio. Got mine in 09' with 3K miles on the clock for $5,500. Have 20K now. I think the 'wee' is also a good value, proven machine & quite reliable...but no more so than the tigger. In performance dept - there is NO comparison. I ride mostly in the mountainous west - where getting around a semi on 2 lane hiways, going up hill, is a frequent...(and sometimes puckering!)...challenge. To do so with any margin of safety, (this is where HP / torque is your friend!) I'll take the Girlie any day. I don't want to be "hung out" in oncoming traffic lane any longer than absolutely necessary. I often ride fully loaded, with 80#'s of food / camping / fishing gear - no problems. The rear shock is sometimes cited as a weak link on the Girlies - but at just under 250#'s (rider & gear), I have no suspension issues. More than that (2 up)...I don't know. My Buell Uly (sold :(:) was the best canyon carving / passing 'beast' / camping mule I ever had, & GREAT 3 way adjustable suspension. (just not so good in dirt with marginal tire selection) But, the Tiger, even with less torque, still gets it done. The Girlie is a very well sorted & competent adventure machine, cant go wrong if ya buy right. Have an 800XC also - but still like the ol' Girlie too. Good luck -
    #13
  14. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    I own an SV650S and a DL650A. Rode a Tiger last fall and was really unimpressed but they are more unusual and better looking.

    So, as usual "Ya gatta ride 'em."
    #14
  15. jphish

    jphish Been here awhile

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    Garandman - "Better looking" ??....Than what ? I love my Girlie, but NO ONE has ever said - "gee, thats a beautiful bike"! I have heard - 'wow - thats an "interesting", "Gnarly", "kinda cool", "unusual" _______ (fill in blank) bike...but never beautiful. Some unaware, myopic folks just don't understand... the beauty is "inside" these beasts. So what were you 'unimpressed' about - just curious.
    #15
  16. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Ive had 2 stroms,1000 and 650,both were hidden under covers around the side of the house so as to not offend the neighbors with their looks. Neither had any sort of personality what so ever,if all you want is a bike that runs,get a strom.
    The 650 in particular has the cheapest suspension available short of buying a Linghiaow China bike.
    It bounced and banged to beat the band on hiway rides,absolutely sucked on a gravel road bouncing and clanging all over the place.
    Yet most people love em and say they work fine. Id buy the Tiger,way more fun having the 3 cylinder grunt and maybe better suspension. WEE's are great for beginner bikes,if I had never ridden a bike that worked well I wouldnt have noticed what a cheap ill handling bike the strom is.
    #16
  17. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    For me, the 955 does look a bit weird... call me a pervert, but I prefer the Wee´s looks (I know she ain´t pretty either :lol3 !!) Now the older 885 Tiger, that was a bike that looked like it could make a few RTW-tours for breakfast!

    I had an SV650, too, and now on my 3rd DL650. I´d say it is surprisingly good for its engine size, and value for money is tough to beat. Just like the SV was, but DL is much more of a tourer. But it just doesn´t appeal to everyone.

    Of course a 955cc bike will have more power, if that is what you want... the comparo should really be between DL1000 and 955, I think – but there aren´t many mid-size bikes, that people even consider instead of a 1000, so that tells you something about its abilities. The Wee is one of the best 650 bikes for 2-up as well. Not saying the Tiger couldn´t be even better.
    #17
  18. D-Fuzz

    D-Fuzz Been here awhile

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    You mean like this one? I did 2500 miles in 4 days last summer on it and it was all-day comfy. My friends riding Harleys could barely walk by the end of it. I had the chance to ride a Wee and for me there was no comparison, the Tiger just makes me smile everytime I ride it.:D

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    No argument, but after $$ spent on a 955 and a DL 650 for suspension mods the DL 650 had the better handling.

    The 955 is a nice bike but it needs more care in maintenance.

    Pete
    #19
  20. keystiger

    keystiger rat on a roll

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    I have owned 26 bikes in 30 years of riding. When I bought my 05 Tiger I found the bike I will be keeping a LOOOOOONG time. ANd the ONLY bike I currently own. Reliability has not been an issue at all. Comfort, excellent, 1 or 2 up great around town or highway. the 955i engine is full of grunt, decent top end for the style of bike handles very good at speed for its size, it is versatile--seen them on the street track, off road gettin air and ridden around the world. Can pick up groceries with it, and even carry eggs home without breaking them (do it all the time) and look good doing it:evil
    And the minute you hear that triple engine growl, you will certainly smile over the soft put put of the wee strom. Plus, everytime you stop you get questions, compliments and often wonderful history stories like "my Uncle owned a 68 Triumph---fine bike, etc. etc.blah blah) My TIger even does EVERYTHING a 1200 GS can do, with more horse power, and try and find a GS for the same price you get a decent used Tiger....and don't even get me started on that "shaft" drive versus chain argument.......I can carry a spare chain and change it in the middle of nowhere.....do that with the shaft drive......
    Here are a couple comparo articles to let you see side by side.
    http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/triumph_tiger_2005.php
    http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/suzuki_v-strom_650_2005.php

    For the $$$$ I would always take a 955 over a 650.
    #20