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Tiger 900 Rally Pro vs. KTM 790 Adventure R

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by Jarrett2, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    It may be a little early to ask this question, but curious what the results are.

    The new Tiger is supposed to be more dirt worthy now. Is it 790 R level dirt worthy?

    Interested to hear from those that have ridden both.
    #1
  2. millsy1050

    millsy1050 Adventurer

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    Initial impressions having ridden both on road and neither off road, 790 just feels much lighter/carries its weight better for me for something that's going to be used as a proper off roader.

    In saying that I'm sure the majority of us will never find the limit of either on the rough stuff
    #2
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  3. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Might be a bit before folks get a chance to do much head to head testing. I know someone not to far away that has a new 900. I might try to get together with him and we can swap back and forth for a road/offroad comparison soon.

    In the meantime, I've commented previously on my thoughts between my 2013 800XC equipped with Ohlins suspension and the stock 790 R and from a riding feel perspective I suspect it is very similar to the 900 since the basic geometry and engine layout hasn't changed. Though mine doesn't have the comprehensive electronics suite of the 900 of course.

    The Tiger is bound to be a bit more rounded bike. Smoother motor, bit better wind protection, bit more planted feeling on pavement at high speed, and a bit more comfortsble for cranking big miles.

    I've always found the Tiger (with a fully adjustable suspension similar to the newer models) to be surprisingly good off pavement even in technical terrain as long as it was hard terrain. I've never been a huge fan of the Tigers handling on any surface where the front tire starts to sink, especially at speed. It's very street oriented front geometry rears its head there.

    Having picked up both machines many times the 790 wins by a large margin
    But that really only comes into play if you tend to push until things go south.

    Super low speed weight balance is better on the 790. Though this difference largely disappears at speed.

    Not sure there is a "better" one of the two. I'd put money on the 790R still spanking the 900 Rally in anything technical, especially as the pace picks up. The difference isn't really about one going where the other cant. It's more about the difference in how easy it is for the rider.

    I'd put money on the 900 Rally pro being the runaway favorite after a long day in the saddle on pavement.

    It comes down to how much or how little offroad bias one is looking for. As the bias shifts one direction there is a price to be paid on the opposite side of the scale.
    #3
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  4. TIGERRIDER007

    TIGERRIDER007 North GA RAT

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    You know Windblown101, all I could picture in my mind as I read the above post, was, two drivers have to get to a destination in Nevada from Denver, one gets into a Range Rover, the other gets into a Rubicon...how each one arrives by route and what adventures were had might be completely different.
    Without getting long winded, all these adventure bikes can do all of what most riders want, like the saying says, "It's not the bike, it's the rider." So, it's so rider dependent now, and what variables that rider uses in his/her equation, price, geography, money, usage, skill, etc. We are blessed to have so many choices in the adventure segment, with more coming.
    I need to start buying lottery tickets soon. :D
    #4
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  5. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    But most of the riders aren't as good as they say they are on the Internets.

    In that case, the bike starts to matter again :)
    #5
  6. Black Rhino

    Black Rhino Closer to Dairy Queen than Steve McQueen.

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    I'm not.
    #6
  7. TIGERRIDER007

    TIGERRIDER007 North GA RAT

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    And don't forget common sense matters alot...:lol3
    #7
  8. TIGERRIDER007

    TIGERRIDER007 North GA RAT

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    You're not what??
    Not as good as you say on the internet?
    Um, I've been with you on a few adventures, and you push your bike to its intended parameters, and perhaps a wee bit beyond. :hide
    #8
  9. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    The bike does matter in the sense that it makes things easier or harder for a given rider doing a given task. Though as mentioned average riders will likely never find the limits of the bikes they ride, just their personal limits on a given bike.

    The fellow I mentioned that is riding the 900 can definetly out ride me offroad and the difference in skill is more than enough for me to be certain he can out ride me on the 900 while I'm on the 790R. He mentioned he's got a video he'll be posting soon of him riding the new bike on some local forest roads. When I see it posted I'll swing by here with a link to it.
    #9
  10. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    While waiting for his new video to finish uploading here's a short one from him on the 900. He's not going full tilt by any means since it is a brand new bike and all but it just goes to show big bikes dont have to go slow.

    #10
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  11. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Looks like it can do.
    #11
  12. TIGERRIDER007

    TIGERRIDER007 North GA RAT

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    That's awesome! Heck, I've met Tyler before up at his dealership, when TriTi lived up there in Virginia. This dude can ride! Thanks for sharing Windblown101.
    #12
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  13. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Yep, dude can hustle on two.
    #13
  14. alonad

    alonad Been here awhile

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    Drives me crazy.
    Every compression on line doesn't mention the 790 adv r
    Revzila mention it but really compare (he says he never road the 790 adv r)
    They have videos tiger rally pro vs t7 vs AT but not 790 adv r
    The truth is most videos don't show the 790R in compression videos only the 790 wht are they afraid of?
    Specifically when I see the direct competitor of the 900 rally pro is the 790R
    Similar stats (except price)
    But not even one

    I am dying to know how they compare
    But my bet is 900 better on the street and Turing
    And 790R off road

    And both damn good bikes
    #14
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  15. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I guess the main question is, if you rode up to a slightly technical, washed out, rocky two track scenario and needed to carefully navigate your way through it, which bike would you rather be on?
    #15
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  16. alonad

    alonad Been here awhile

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    i would say the 790 r and not because I own it(and did some technical rocky climbs) and here is why.
    1. it is lighter.
    2. lower center of gravity due to the tanks (bike feels very planted)
    3. (this one is not 100 because i have no clue how good is the shoa's off road) the suspension is awesome and has slightly longer rear travel
    4. wheels 17 vs 18

    the only things I would probably like better on the tiger is the smoothness of the engine and the oem clutch setup is pretty narrow (easy and cheap fix with camel adv one finger clutch arm)
    the truth is that the 790 r would prefer if you just picked a line and twist the throttle and let it take care of the rest.

    *after saying all of this I have to say this is all in theory I have never ridden a 900 of any kind (I have ridden
    800xcx) so dont take my word for it. this was just based on specs and what i know of the triple


    also for $3200 difference you can make the 790 even better ;)

    ** fYI you add 3300 to the price of the tiger rally pro you can get the 790 r rally that come with a much better suspension ,akra pipe ,narrower rims and more stuff as standard
    #16
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  17. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    The biggest issue for most riders in slow terrain with a technical element is maintaining balance and momentum. With its lighter weight and lower COG the 790 will be the easier bike to ride in that situation, though both bikes will do it.
    #17
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  18. TIGERRIDER007

    TIGERRIDER007 North GA RAT

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    When it comes to super slow speed technical stuff I usually don’t worry about balance and momentum, I just have my riding buddy, who is a phenomenal rider, ride my bike through it.
    #18
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  19. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    I thought you'd say "Just don't slow down" which is valid too. :)
    #19
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  20. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    So I rode my 790 Adventure R up to my local Triumph dealer yesterday with the intention of test riding and likely buying a Tiger 900 Rally Pro. I left disappointed.

    First let me say, I've owned three Triumphs with triple motors. First was a 2019 Speed Triple RS, then a 2018 Tiger 1200 XCa, followed by a 2020 Street Triple RS. Even though the bikes are different, with different motors, each of them shares a common engine characteristic with the signature Triumph triple motor characteristic. I've never ridden a Tiger 800, but I have to assume it shares those same engine characteristics as well. Each time I've gotten on a different Triumph triple bike, I come away with a smile. Something about those engines just rubs me the right way.

    Since the mid size ADV market is swamped with twin engines and the Tiger 800 was widely panned as non competitive with those bikes, it seems that Triumph tried something new with this Tiger 900 motor. A new firing order than supposedly blends the twin and triple motor experience. I read that and thought, "but I mean it's still a triple..." After my test ride yesterday, I'm not so sure anymore.

    Like every Triumph I've ridden, the Tiger 900 Rally Pro is really smooth and makes my KTM feel like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The engine is smoother, the shifting is smoother, the suspension is MUCH smoother, the display is nicer, the wind protection is shockingly good, the road manners are just silly good. It's basically a more refined and arguably better bike in almost every way than my KTM.

    But when I pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed something that was different. That Triumph triple engine characteristic was gone. It has been replaced with what feels to me just like a BMW Boxer motor. If I hadn't read the specs on the Tiger 900, I would have bet good money that bike had a twin engine in it with all the shaking and vibrations that go along with it.

    I took it out on the highway, ran it up to 106 mph or so hoping somewhere in the rev range I'd find that triple charm, but its not there. It now just feels like riding a 500 lb BMW GSA 1200 with less power. That is decidedly not what I was hoping for when I got on the bike.

    The other thing is it feels big like an adventure bike. I was hoping it had a smaller feel to it like the 790 Adventure R, but it does not. The Tiger 900 feels like a smaller Africa Twin, which is what it is, I guess. By comparison, the 790 Adventure R feels smaller and more like my previous CRF250L Rally did. And I like that.

    I went to the dealership with the intention to buy, but went away disappointed. At first, I thought, well that's just one bike I won't buy, no big deal. But then I thought, what if Triumph do this to all of their triples? Tries to make them this hybrid "Twiple" motor. What if the 2021 Tiger 12xx has this change? It would just become another BMW at that point and I feel like the industry would suffer a sizeable loss in diversity of options.

    Really hoping this is not a sign of things to come and regardless, I decided to keep my 790 R.
    #20
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