Triumph Tiger 955I "What's Wrong With, Why Not"?

Discussion in 'British Beasts: Triumph Tigers' started by 1derer, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. birddogone

    birddogone Adventurer

    Sep 3, 2012
    Richmond VA.
    Like the silver! :clap
  2. Ron In Buffalo

    Ron In Buffalo Adventurer

    Oct 28, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I am big fan of BMW. Own a few over the years. Plus three Ducati's.

    Last August I bought a 1999 Tiger. Probably one of the best bikes I have ever own. I have put on over 8k miles in the last 12 months other than normal maintenance(tires,plugs,tires, and brake pads) No issues. Hated the stock windscreen and almost got rid of it because of the buffeting. I put on a Palmer Products windscreen system. It is perfect for me. I am 6'1" and 225 lbs. also I put on a Corbin seat. I took a trip in June did 2300 mile in six days. One of the best rides of my life the bike work well. She is tall, heavy, and dated so am I so we might be a perfect fit. I would recommend this bike. Ron
  3. 1derer

    1derer Sh*t Where am I?

    Jul 17, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks Ron appreciate the feedback!
  4. jtw000

    jtw000 Survivor

    May 18, 2009
    I was looking for a bike I could use for travelling and some green laning. I bought one of these and, sorry to say, I hated it. It was heavy, unbalanced, lacking in power (presumably because of the weight), awkward handling and grim. Fuel economy is appalling but I knew that already (I've had 5 Trumpets). Also these machines have a lot of faults for you to iron out. It goes on my never-again list and I actually owned it for a grand total of 10 days and sold it. I actually made a profit too.
    Plus points are a fairly comfortable seat, indestructible frame, British made (later models built in Thailand to the standard of a straw-hut) interesting styling and good luggage capacity. Also, it's surprisingly good in the dirt. It had an ability to really dig into fire-roads and pulled along pretty well. I also met a guy who had gone across Canada on one with an Aprilia Caponord. The Tiger constantly let him down while the 'prilla behaved itself. Of course, that's hardly evidence.
    I wouldn't buy another Triumph, they're brilliant fun to ride but they just don't have it in them to work properly. In the end, I sucked it down and just bought a BMW R1200gs. Wow, chalk and cheese. My advice, ride it first and ride some other similar bikes. Do some homework on the Triumph forums too and make an informed decision.
    PS... I think they changed the suspension after 04. Previously it had wire wheels and was ok in the dirt, then they swapped for cast and stiffened it up for highway use only. Check that for yourself, the ride is quite different.
  5. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

    Nov 7, 2006
    I've never seen any thread on any motorcycle site with the huge variety of opinions on this bike! Some guys say they are high maintenance. Others say they are almost no maintenance bikes. "Overbuilt" is a commonly used word for Tigers. Generally it seems that the older "Steamers" are more reliable, although I have yet to find significant differences, other than cosmetic changes and a little bigger motor. Some say the fuel injected ones are better, others object. It looks to me like thay have plenty of power, are fairly narrow at the engine cases, have long travel suspension which, as on any bike, can be set up for an individual. The only big issue to me is whether or not they are truly reliable in all types of terrain, temperatures, slow crawling on singletrack, and high speed highway runs. Another huge factor is if things break and fall off when, not if, you drop it. I WILL drop it. I'm a good rider, but not great, and I like to push the limits. If the bike is universally tough and reliable, has reasonable handling everywhere, I'm interested.

    I can't figure it out! There seems to be about equal difference of opinion on this bike, regarding the exact same issues! How can there be such divergent posts on one bike? With most bikes, the threads are pretty consistent. A bikes faults and good points are generally agreed on. With Tigers, not so at all. Many say they handle great, have good power, are reliable. Others sell in a week stating the exact same issues as being terrible. Arghhhhhhhh! What to do?

    I want a true do it all bike. To me, a GS 1200 isn't even close. I've been watching The Long Way Down", and those guys are struggling to ride down smooth dirt roads with just a little loose dirt or sand! Maybe they aren't great riders, but I would think that after riding as far as they did on the same bikes on their last trip they would learn something about riding.

    I've ridden a GS 1200. It's just a big, heavy, top heavy, (although not nearly as much as it looks like), street bike. I've seen top level former pro off road racers do incredible things on the big BMWs. I'm a pretty good rider, but not that level. On any trip I take I want the freedom to just head up a rough trail, dirt road, down to a stream or lake, climb a mountain, WHATEVER! WHEREVER! I could probably ride a GS to some of the places I like to go, but I sure wouldn't enjoy it. I would also be paranoid worried about what parts I'd tear off of it. And I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself knowing that my bike payment would be half what my house payment is.

    I'll put up with a bike that isn't great anywhere but that's ok everywhere. I thought my next big bike would be an older Tiger. Now I'm not so sure. Without actually riding one I can't figure out from this or any other sites if it is really reliable, if it really can handle difficult off road terrain at a decent pace, if it sucks on the street, or is the greatest big adventure bike ever!

    Why won't some bike company simply copy the older KLR 650, (without the huge fairing to tear up), give it 70hp, price it competively, and sell a zillion a year?!

    One last thing, I keep reading on this and other threads that short/small statured folks shouldn't buy big bikes. Nonsense! Proper riding of a motorcycle takes 85% finesse, and lack of size/strength can be easliy overcome with practice and proper bike setup. Now, if you are short, small, AND weak, maybe you don't need a heavy bike that you can't pick up until you get some practice time and work out bit. I've seen a 140 lb skinny guy snatch up a KTM 990, fully loaded with gear, like it was a bicycle. I've seen a 140 lb woman do the same to a fully loaded KLR, one of the newer ones with the big fairing. And if you are good, and have a good handling bike, you shouldn't be picking it up that much, or needing to put your feet on the ground much. Riding a bike is knowledge, practice, finesse, and bike setup. It's one sport where size matters very little. If you're weak, buy whatever you want, but go to the gym and do some deadlifts. If it's too tall, have the suspension lowered, or buy a shorter seat, or both. Some of the fastest Dakar guys are pretty small. Those bikes are huge, (used to be before the 450cc rule), and carry 150 lbs of fuel and gear. Not just the pros either. Regular Joe riders finished Dakar on huge bikes with guts and practice.
  6. Handy

    Handy Sunburnt

    Sep 17, 2011
    The great state of Idaho
    Just buy one and ride it. If you don't like it you won't lose any money selling it.
  7. jtw000

    jtw000 Survivor

    May 18, 2009
    If by Steamers you're talking about the old 95 engine bike then it's horribly unreliable. I had a S3 bike and it was beautiful but so much trouble. The later 885 engines machine is relatively trouble free except it has a huge drawback in the oil-ports so if you drop it, the engine is dead for ever. Oil bleeds out from the coolant into the barrels and the engine is done. That engine was fitted to the Tiger before they upgraded to the 955i engine.
    As for the GS, it's a lot of things but your description couldn't be more wrong. To call it top heavy is laughable and to say it's nothing more than a streetbike shows you weren't really trying. Mine did impressive things in conditions where the KLR650 really couldn't be bothered. (I had both). Also, pushing the GS up stairs in the woods didn't shred the rear sprocket, smash the bottom of the frame or peel all the paint off. I really can't understand the american love of the KLR, it's a horrible, horrible bike to ride. I can only assume you have limited access to better machines. In Europe, Asia and the middle east, you never see them. It's all BMWs, usually 650s and 660 Teneres. I heard of KTMs but never met any beyond my friend who broke down constantly.
    If you want to talk about a perfect bike then maybe Yamaha should have fitted the TDM900 engine to the 660 Tenere frame. That would have been a hell of a bike. The thing is, it really comes down to the fact that the 650 singles are pretty much already perfect. It took me a Tiger, GS, Aprilia and a DR800 to realise that. Nothing else gave me any real confidence.
    Give the Tiger a try, as was said, you won't lose much money.
  8. brad1098

    brad1098 /\ dumb

    Oct 8, 2007
    So. IL.
    Shut the hell up. I don't know where to start. Nearly every word is false.

    Lacking in power so you went to a GS :lol3
  9. RealOldDualSportGuy

    RealOldDualSportGuy Long timer

    Oct 23, 2011
    Queen City NC
    I also do not know what to say!,
  10. Kiwi Mo

    Kiwi Mo Been here awhile

    Aug 11, 2013
    New Zealand
    I had a silver 955i Girlie for a while. Great touring bike, very fast. I cut the screen down and rode in the clean air in the end. Brilliant for 2 up riding as well.
  11. BrownDog7

    BrownDog7 infected

    Aug 10, 2006
    Seacoast NH
    I love the tiger for it's value (on the used market) and all around many have noted it's pretty good at many things....a good reliable SUV of a bike. I've owned a 99 tiger, then an 06 1200gs, and went back to my current 2002 tiger which has 34k on the ticker, 20k trouble free miles with me. I've always run TKC's and ride it off pavement as aften as not - first gear is a little tall for the technical stuff and 6th is a little short as it runs ~5 rpms at 75. It's a good comfortable seating position for taller riders but lack of quiet wind protection is an issue. I've tried Cee Baileys of all sizes and messed around wth a few 'custom' screens but finally landed on a mid-sized screen from Madstad engineering which is endlessly adjustable. I find that because it sits in front for the factory sheild it allows air to wash behind diffusing the buffetting eddie. I'm 6'3" and have a fairly quiet highway ride with the screen still clear of the raised handlebars/mirrors at full lock.

    I just rode the Bayley Hazen 'hero' section two up with some friends riding their expensive german machines....

    I more than like the tiger, really don't think you can go wrong with one.

  12. bouldertag

    bouldertag WannabenarlyADV'rrrr

    May 30, 2008

    I was on the fence for one of these. I decided on a super tenere...
    My friends have a 2009 and 2012 GS's. We took a ride on a tiger and wow! Way lighter then a GS and power to weight ratio is awesome. I love my tenere but i still ask myself do i really need it. The Triumph would of done the same thing and more. Just no ABS, TCS, and other gizmos but 13k more then a tiger is the gizmos worth it? I just am not sure yet. The gizmos are nice and a luxury but for 13k more I question myself. That tiger is something else. And we could not keep up with it on a 80 mile straight away to Nevada. This was just spurts of speeds with the owner and we all took turns dragging it against all the other bikes. It was fun. But we all grudgingly said we liked the 955 the best. I really really don't want to admit this. But it felt very well rounded and smooth as silk..

    Gizmos= Updated parts and technology.... needed no! nice to have yes of course..

    I was going to purchase one for 3,200.00. Pristine condition.
    for what i wanted i had to purchase allot of farkles to add to it.
    Suspension upgrade front and rear.
    Engine crash bars
    oh shit still under 13k what was i thinking.....
    second set of wheels. Shouldn't count this against purchase.

    But after all i wanted to do to it the final cost would be in mid 9k range.

    So I opt to the tenere.
    Love the Tenere but back in my mind the tiger is there wondering if i did the right thing.
    My wife would of been happier and really it can go anywhere the tenere can, on and off road besides the gizmos.

    Weight ratio + price ratio it is the best bike economically. And the triple engine is a incredible Bonus.
    We rode one with 38k miles and it beat the socks of the GS's and sadly my Tenere. We all wanted to ride that thing instead of our bikes when we got to Nevada..

    I love my Tenere and it is an awesome bike. Glad I purchased it.

    That tiger is the Tenere unleashed with the Ecu Flash done and without the weight.
    Just being honest i will get some haters from the Tenere club but oh well. I dont care about the GS dudes. My friends are posers. scared to take them off road..ha ha.

    I liked the Tenere for shaft drive, dealer support and warranty. These are the reasons I purchased this rather then the 955I.
    So for 13k more then the 955I is that worth it to you? Or any other bike? Will this 955I do all you will ever need. I believe so.

    A very overlooked bad ass machine. If its taken care of buy the damn thing! You wont regret it.

  13. Medic09

    Medic09 Been here awhile

    Jul 16, 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    If you're still vacillating, I'll add a voice in general favor of the Girlie. I have a short inseam, and the Girlie was a bit tall for me. Despite that, I can say all the objective issues were great: power, durability, general quality. I really, really like that 955i motor. Before the Girlie, I had a Sprint ST 955i. My experience owning both bikes was excellent. I found them reasonably easy to work on, entirely reliable, with good power and each handled very well for its designed purpose. Some days I'm sorry I'm not still riding the Tiger. Modern Triumphs pleased me enough, that I think when I wear out the Caponord, I may get a Tiger 800.
  14. raiderone

    raiderone Adventurer

    Apr 1, 2013
    north texas
    Roadinator, what crash bars are those on your tiger?
  15. Roadinator

    Roadinator Been here awhile

    Mar 20, 2013
    DC & WV
    Not sure as they were on it when I bought. Might ask "T" at the beginning of the thread as he might have put them on before I got it.:eek1
  16. tntmo

    tntmo Been here awhile

    Jan 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I got a 2005 Tiger last year, it was lingering on a dealers floor for a while and they gave me a decent deal on it. I had a voltage regulator fail, common issue on these bikes. Also had a radiator leak, patched it up and then had a few issues with overheating. Replaced the radiator cap and still had issues that I think were due to not getting all the air out of the system.

    Besides the issues above, the bike is probably one of the top bikes I have owned. Fun to ride, the engine is great, I have an aftermarket rear shock so it handles excellent. I haven't ridden a BMW, and if this Brit holds up I probably won't.
  17. rainierrifleco

    rainierrifleco n00b

    Jun 24, 2012
    got 60 k on my 04 just wear out chains sprockets and tires.. havnt even adjusted valves yet..
  18. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante

    Apr 25, 2010
    Miss my 2002 Girlie a lot.

    Once set up properly-one of the best motorcycles on the road.

    You will have to:

    1) Upgrade regulator/rectifier
    2) Upgrade suspension front and rear
    3) Upgrade fuel fittings
    4) Keep a strong battery in it
    5) Be able to handle it in the driveway and parking lot

    Upgrades will run you $1000-$1500, but few bikes will match the Girlie, IMHO.

    Keep in mind-the top heavy nature makes it no dirt bike.

  19. tntmo

    tntmo Been here awhile

    Jan 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I forgot to add that my 2005 Tiger has 80,000 miles and counting.
  20. Jonny955

    Jonny955 Been here awhile

    Feb 14, 2007
    Horsham, Sussex
    I loved the 2006 Tiger I had from new. I sold it in 2012, simply because I fancied a change.

    Smooth effortless power in top gear from 15mph (you need to keep the TBs synched)
    Comfy for rider and pillion
    Fuel efficiency and range (50mpg+ and 200 miles before reserve light)
    Triumph luggage is good quality and tucks in nicely

    Top heavy, compared to my 990 Adventure and other dual sports
    Poor OE rear shock (the one on the earlier Steamer was much better)
    Poor speedo illumination in twilight
    Windscreen choices polarise opinions!
    Handling OK but poor when compared to KTM etc.
    RH pannier small - and don't put ice cream or chocolate in it!

    Overall, the best all-round bike I have owned in 30 years of motorcycling...but my KTM is more exciting and better at specifics.