Tiger pack... which is king?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by optimum_malarky, May 9, 2012.

  1. optimum_malarky

    optimum_malarky Premium nonsense

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    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!
    #1
  2. JJGeo

    JJGeo Been here awhile

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    Given that list I'd go for a 1050.
    #2
  3. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Just bought my first Tiger a short time ago.....

    [​IMG]

    ...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....

    [​IMG]

    If I was shopping for a new bike right now it would be between the 1200 Tiger, Yamaha S10, or another BMW R12GS.
    #3
  4. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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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.
    #4
  5. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia tamer

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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 :huh. 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.
    #5
  6. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    800XC for me!
    #6
  7. Bollocks

    Bollocks Farts with an Accent™

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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. :clap
    #7
  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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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. :lol3
    #8
  9. Paulvt1

    Paulvt1 Long timer

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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.
    #9
  10. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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  11. optimum_malarky

    optimum_malarky Premium nonsense

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    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!
    #11
  12. supercub

    supercub ass-less chaps rule!

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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:evil)
    #12
  13. NCGS

    NCGS De Oppresso Liber

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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.
    #13
  14. Paulvt1

    Paulvt1 Long timer

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    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.
    #14
  15. bikecat

    bikecat Long timer

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    To me a Steamer is the best looking, but weight eliminates it instantly for you.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    My latest bike is the 1050 Tiger. Very smooth ride & plenty of power. I have only done a couple of 300+ mile trips on it so far so can't say about the long ones. Just got back from a 5800+ miler on the VFR & have also done those on the Blackbird. The Tiger is seriously smooth & should do just fine. The fuel mileage is better on the Tiger than either of the above as well.

    I only use soft luggage. The bike I bought had racks for Jesse bags but the owner kept the bags. I was fine with that as I didn't want those or Triumph hard bags. I can put the soft bags on those racks. I only camp so I carry all my gear on the back.

    Don'r ride two up so no opinion there. The Tiger has plenty of punch so it shouldn't be a problem. The only downside may be that it is a tall bike & doesn't sag a lot with weight. You need a long inseam to have both feet on the ground. That said, I saw a girl with very short legs on a GSA on the IBR last year. She didn't have any problem at all. No way she was getting both & barely one foot on the ground.

    Just my .000002 cents.....
    #16
  17. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    the 1050 for sure. the stock luggage may be small but there are other options. i have givi. i have plenty of storage with two up. great mile eater.
    #17
  18. optimum_malarky

    optimum_malarky Premium nonsense

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    There is an awesome looking 955 for sale in my area with corbin seat, givi trunk, racetech fork internals and about 33K on the clock! I'm seriously tempted, though my mind says 1050!

    Can you explain or expand on the limited sports potential comment and the poor braking experience? These are two issues that stand out to me!

    The 1050 isn't getting good recommendations for two-up, but can that be solved with aftermarket seats, etc?
    #18
  19. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I put some time in on the Girlie Tigers. The long travel suspension is soft and the brakes are adequate.

    The bike is tuned for rough roads or unpaved roads.

    When you really push it on twisty pavement, the brakes and suspension don't hold up.

    On the other hand, they shouldn't. It's a giant trailie, afterall, and if the suspension was great on pavement it would suck on gravel.
    #19
  20. cascadetiger

    cascadetiger Adventurer

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    I love my Steamer, all day comfort. I put about 100 miles on a new 800 XC. Better bike than the Steamer for sure, love the engine and transmission. Seemed very comfortable, will probably replace the Steamer someday with one. But that will have to wait as I just bought a 2012 Thruxton :D.
    #20