Triumph Tiger 800

Discussion in 'British Beasts: Triumph Tigers' started by ScrambDaddy, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    The best mod I have done to my bike. Getting the suspension reworked by Sasquatch.

    As of right now, I don't know of anybody else that has made the upgrades that I have done. Not to say that somebody hasn't done it, cause I'm pretty sure the chances are good that somebody has, I just don't know who. I haven't read anything yet.

    And when I say "I", I really mean Jay over at Sasquatch Suspensions in Boise, ID. I helped a bit, but it was his expertise that transformed this bike.

    I put about 15,000 glorious miles on "Hobbes" before I had the suspension done. I thought the suspension was fantastic out of the box, but I knew it could be better. I bottomed it out a fair amount and I could tell that even with preload, the rear was soft.

    I contacted Jay and he was excited to work on a new platform and add it to his repertoires.

    I met up with him in early April 2012 to talk about how the bike handled and so he could get a first hand look at it.

    I showed up with zero miles remaining on the fuel counter. We took the sag measurements with ZERO fuel, no safety gear, and just me. I'm 5'10 and 180 lbs at the time. I'm less now. Been working out.

    The sags were blown out with no weight on the bike! And even before that, Jay could tell that the front fork springs were weak from where they were riding on the exposed piston.

    The measurements we took are as follows.

    The front measured at 3.25" with a target of 2.85". The rear measured 3.6" with a target of 2.96". The rear was measured with zero preload cranked on. When we cranked on full preload, we were able to hit the target at 2.9". Please keep in mind that these measurements were taken with no fuel, safety gear, or luggage/camping gear. Once I added all that stuff, the numbers would be far worse.

    Just an FYI, we calculated the target sag as 30-35% of the full suspension travel. Measurements were taken from the axle to a known point on the bodywork.

    So, there was work to be done on my bike. And, I know yours as well.

    We got together again on 4-15-12 after I returned from a 1000 mile trip to Seattle and back.


    We dropped the forks and shock in no time. Jay was quick to have the disassembly done. This guy really knows what he's doing.

    We took a ton of measurements and calculated spring rates. Then, we talked about how I wanted the bike to perform.

    I told him that with full fuel, full safety gear, full backpack with 100oz of water, and 30lbs of camping gear in my tail bag, I wanted ZERO preload set. Yes, for a day ride with out the camping gear on, it will be a bit stiff. But, the only time I want to crank on the preload is when I have a passenger, or I actually put my aluminum Happy Trails panniers on.

    Done. We had to have custom springs made since he couldn't find a pre-made part number to get what I wanted. Getting a custom spring is very little price difference from a pre-made one. We just couldn't find what we were looking for in a pre-made size and rate.

    Then, we went into some detailed questions about how I wanted the valving done. He asked if it felt like the brakes when on when I hit washboard. Yes. He asked if the front drifted around a corner in washboard. Yes. Do you jump the bike? Yes, I have been known to get air from time to time.

    I was really surprised when he asked me all these detailed questions about how the bike handled, it turns out that it really doesn't handle all that well. The ride is great, but it has some areas that need some real improvement.

    After a few days, the springs returned for manufacturer and I was back at his shop for reassembly. The bike went back together just as easy as it came apart.

    I sat on the bike for the first time with the mods and I could immateriality tell that it sat higher when I got on it. I thanked Jay for all his hard work, but I had to run! I don't take weekends off from riding that often and it was time to go!

    But first, we had to grab the "after" sag numbers. This time I had about half a tank of fuel and I still left all the safety gear off to keep the numbers as honest as possible.

    The front measured at 2.75" with the same target of 2.85". A drastic improvement over the 3.25". And now I had 15-20 lbs of fuel in the tank that I didn't have before.

    The rear measured at 2.85" with a target of 2.96" with zero pre-load. Once again, a drastic improvement over the 3.6" before the mods.

    Then, I got to ride it. WOW! Let me just say, "WOW!" Here's where the bike improved; EVERYWHERE! When hitting washboard, the bike no longer slows down. I noticed immediately that the front tracks way better through corners. Both on dirt and pavement. The front end dives much less when braking. The back just feels "planted" when accelerating on pavement. Cornering feels much better with less "bounce" when encountering bumps in a corner.

    I still felt some pretty hard bottoms in the front end when hitting water bars on FR275 North of Boise. The bottom outs on the back are gone. Period. Haven't bottomed the back since I had the work done.

    So, I called Jay to tell him the great news about the majority about the mods and the bad news about two parts. I wanted the second stage of the front shim stack to have some more resistance to the hard hits. Have I mentioned that I ride this bike hard yet? And, one of my fork seals was leaking. It happens to the best of us. Jay got me in that day to fix the seal and make the change to the valve stacks in the front. His work carries a 1 year, unlimited mileage warranty for any valving changes that you want made. 60 days for the seals. No problems fixing it.

    The change we made was just the ticket. I still bottom the front end every now and then, but nothing like before we made the change. And not even in the same ballpark as to how much I bottomed it before we made the spring and shim changes the first time. Every bike will bottom out every now and then. Hell, I bottom out my dirt bike.

    The process is simple. Drop your shock and forks and put them in the mail. He shoots for a five day turn around. Get your stuff back modified, reinstall, and prepare to be amazed with how well this bike performs once the suspension is given a little love.

    I've ridden over 4000 miles on these mods now and I am totally stoked. It is amazing what he has done to improve the ride of the Tiger. I would highly recommend at least giving him a call to talk about what he can do for you. He's seen the insides and knows the changes to make. To my knowledge, nobody else has done this R&D yet. This is the best mod I have made on my bike. Period. Call Jay at Sasquatch Suspensions. Go to his website HERE.

    Pricing info. Off the bike, parts shipped in. Shock: $450, Forks $350. Plus return shipping.

    Here's Jay saying hello.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    The video of the fuel exhaust. As requested.

    <object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KIC5tBhRqsk?version=3&feature=player_detailpage"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KIC5tBhRqsk?version=3&feature=player_detailpage" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></object>
  3. advtenn

    advtenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,373
    Location:
    East TN.
    AV_mech...

    How many miles did you get out of the shinkos? I too really liked the stock Battlewings and just put on a set of Shinkos. Also, did both the front and rear wear out at the same time.
  4. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I LOVE the Shinkos. I got 4700 out of my first rear. And 3400 of those miles were fully loaded with panniers on. The front will always wear out slower than the rear. Usually by a rate of 2 to 1. So, I'm on my second 705 rear. I like the price and mileage. Also gets the best traction off road of the three rear non-knobbies I've run. It beats the Tourance everywhere. I got 5700 out of the Tourance for twice the price. IMO the 705 gets better traction everywhere. And I get to put a new one on sooner for half the price. That's getting your money's worth. I liked the Battlewing a lot too. But once again, the 705 is cheaper and I think it does better everywhere. The BW beat the Tourance and the 705 beats em both.

    I have run though a TKC80 on the rear. I liked the traction off road and it looks bad ass on the bike. But, I wore it down to the carcass in 2700 miles. That's pretty damn quick for a $180 tire. I bought 4 of them a few months back when tire prices were jumping every few weeks. They are just gonna sit in my garage until Fall/Winter/Spring riding when I will encounter nasty desert mud and mountain snow. In the summers I'm running the 705 rear from here on out. I found my tire.

    I am running the TKC 80 on the front and it appears to wearing well. I'll always have a knobby on the front. Well, not always, I may put a 705 on the front for the Alaska trip next summer. And I still have the remainder of a 705 front that has about 6000 miles on it. Can probably get another 2000 at least out of that one. After this TKC wears out on the front I have a 606 take off from my KLR days that I'm going to finish off. I really liked the 606 and I may run that if it handles on the road well enough for this big bike. I remember liking it a lot on my KLR. IF it handles well enough on the road, I'll run the 606 up front most of the time because it so much cheaper than the 80. More aggressive off road too.
  5. cug

    cug --

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,085
    Location:
    Sunny California
    Many thanks for that - super helpful! Also thanks again for the suspension write up. Exhaust (for narrow luggage), luggage, and suspension are on my list for the bike.
  6. T

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

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,568
    Location:
    DE
    A lot of us look to you as our "Test Pilot". Keep up the good work....


    [​IMG]
  7. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID

    Thanks man! That's a great compliment. Glad to see those Happy Trails parts on your bike! Made in the USA!
  8. advtenn

    advtenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,373
    Location:
    East TN.

    Thanks, great info. I have something to look foward to.

    I wish they made a 606 for the tiger rear.. Let me know how it works on the front of the Tiger. I have a take off that I may try on my Tiger. The 606 is the best "street tire" ever on a KLR...Yes...I said street tire. They hook up like no other. It's the only tire that I will buy for the KLR.
  9. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    It's on my to do list to look at what it would cost to get the rear rim relaced with a narrower hoop so I could run a 130. I had a friend that had a 140-18 rim on his ktm and he could run anything between a 130 to a 150. Lots research and calculations to do to see if I could offset the cost of reworking the rim to run the cheaper 606. Plus a 606 on this bike would be outta this world!
  10. advtenn

    advtenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,373
    Location:
    East TN.

    Now thats a thought!:deal
  11. jimjim

    jimjim Just another FF!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,774
    Location:
    oHIo
    Received my Evotech-Performance radiator guard today.:wink:

    [​IMG]
  12. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,482
    Location:
    Orange County, CA

    You would be lucky to get a thousand miles out of a 606 on the tiger. And it would spin up on the street. And once it got squared off would be horrible for sweepers.

    While the XC was designed to go off pavement it's not a dirtbike. Suspension is limited and it's a pig at 475# so once it gets out of control a little there's no getting it back.

    Consider TKC's or K60's. And another lighter bike for real offroad riding.
    JMHO.


    EDIT: Just went back thru the thread and see you guys have been discussing riding offroad and have other bikes, so temper my response with that thought. Some are gonna really run these bikes hard. :D
  13. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,482
    Location:
    Orange County, CA

    That really seems like a helluva bagain for a custom setup. :thumb
  14. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,144
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I'll be nice. All I'll say is spend a few hours reading my thread. Particularly the parts about Longwater Rock, Red Cone, and Schofield Pass. This is a dirt bike to me. And I ride it that way.

    Sasquatch Suspension is super affordable when considering the other options out there. Of which there currently aren't many. It's really a no brainer if you want the improved performance. Night and day difference.

    And on the tire note. I'll bet I get 1500 miles out of a 606. That's two new tires vs 1 TKC for the same price. Plus the 606 is gonna be way better off road, where I try to spend a majority of my time.
  15. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,482
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    A lot of guys like the 606 offroad. I have not run one on the Husky. Just ordered out a Scorpion Rally for it, they are about the same money as the 606. The husky burns them in about a thousand miles, the Karoo (T) went 750, and a T63 is good for about 1800. I just figured the additional weight and power of the Tiger would just burn the 606 in no time.

    Seems like you would spend several hundred changing rims to be able to run a tire the SE's won't run because they don't last long enough. But maybe that's the tire for you.

    Good on 'ya getting the bike out offroad. I have my husky for that so figured the XC would be my 'street' bike.

    Enjoyed your info. The suspension upgrade sounds terrific.
  16. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    905
    Location:
    St Petesburg, FL
    Rear tire....I am loving the Mitas E07 from MX1 in Canada, can't buy here in the US. Similar to the Heide, does pavement well & very competent on the dirt + this tire will last. I have 5500miles on my rear. I just rode the Blue Ridge Park,, Tail of the Dragon & did 1600 miles this past weekend & I am sold.
    I had 606 on my Dual Sport XR650R....it worked great, didn't last that long & broke loose without warning & the 650R tended to tear the knobs off .
  17. Flying Dave

    Flying Dave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Nashville
    Are you running the E07 front as well? I have a set enroute and am planning a trip from Iowa to Yellowstone and back next month with a bud. I was thinking about staying with the wings but may mount up the 07's for the trip.
  18. Flying Dave

    Flying Dave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Nashville

    Looks nice. More details man, details......:lol3
  19. deltamark

    deltamark Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    The Farmlands of NW Ohio near Delta
    All right, I'm joining the ranks. I put a down payment on a 2012 Tiger today! I know this sounds odd, but I'm still not sure if it will be the Roadie or the XC yet. I test rode the XC and liked it, but wanted to try the Roadie. The dealer called me today and told me they're getting a Roadie from another dealer. Im planning to get one or the other. My question is, how is the headlight? I'm thinking about all the accessories I want and am wondering if the extra lights really make a big difference. I have the extra lights on my 99' RT1100, but the headlight really lacks on that bike. I already have a list of add-ons that I want, just wondering if the lights should be one of them.
  20. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,901
    Location:
    St.Leonards on Sea, England.
    The headlamps on the Tiger800 as standard are the best I've had on any bike. The previous best was a CBX750 waaaaaay back in the 80s.