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Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by Jarrett2, Mar 24, 2020.
thanks i was wondering about the differences
Interesting perspective. The Trippple 'feel' is the major draw card for my ownership of an XC. If it felt more like a twin I would've bought a 1090R at the time....which I very nearly did
I posted this in the Tiger 900 FB group and they said I was crazy. So, take it with a grain of salt.
Maybe engine character is not that important to everyone.
You need to look into the reasoning behind the revised firing order of the bike. Not everyones taste I guess though there is a method to the "madness"
They say that in slow, low rpm it acts like a v-twin
And in hi revs it acts like triple
I've done more looking than most.
I have an 2012 800xc with a little over 80k miles on it. I love it, but it's getting a little long in the tooth and am looking hard at a new 900 Rally Pro.
Ya, it really concerned me when I heard they changed the firing order/character of the engine on the 900. I know why they did it....but I absolutely love the engine in my 800. Bummed to hear that the 900 engine didn't become more "800 like" when running at highway speeds. I'm definitely going to give one a test ride....but this new firing order may be a deal killer for me.
I just put 330 miles on my Tiger 1200 today and just absolutely love that motor. So satisfying when you let it rip.
Maybe I'll grow to love the T-Plane stuff one day, but not today.
Triumph Tiger 900 T-Plane Engine Explained
He covered it well:
"And to be honest, I could take or leave the new engine. Sure enough, the extra mid-range was nice, but the extra vibes that came with it didn’t seem to like a price worth paying. At the end of day one I remember reflecting that the vibes weren’t worse than any big adventure bike, it’s just that in this case, I was always comparing to the Tiger 800, which was as smooth as silk in comparison. If you were a fan of the old Tiger 800, give it a go, but do so with an open mind – This Tiger has a totally different temperament."
My test ride was 100% pavement. And I have never ridden an Tiger 800 on or off road. I didn't know that they would spin the rear tire in inappropriate places off pavement.
It's unfortunate to hear that to make a triple more dirt worthy that you have to turn it into a twin.
As expected the 790 is the best off road and best suspension
but only for a week...
Once I got over the fact that the Tiger 900 Rally Pro didn't sound or feel like other Triumph triples and a few more rides on the 790 R, I started realizing that even though it wasn't the character that I wanted, I still liked the Tiger 900 more than my 790 R.
So today, I sold the 790 R and picked up this Tiger 900 Rally Pro
I took the long way home and learned more about the bike. It grew on me fast. On the street, its pretty much better in every way than the 790 R.
Tomorrow, I'll take it to the dirt and see how it feels there. Just need to take it easy on these stock tires though.
@Jarrett2 do you still have the 1200XCA? how would you compare them?
Yes, still have both.
So far I've only ridden both on the street. I don't really dig the 600 lbs. ADV bike off pavement thing, just a personal preference. Both bikes have that Triumph quality and precision feel. I really like that compared to other brands.
The 900 is taller and takes a little more push to get it off the side stand. But when you are riding it, the 900 feels about 100 lbs lighter. And I think it is actually about that much difference in weight as well.
The 900 is more responsive and nimble. It leans into corners noticeably more easily than the 1200 does. But once you are in the corner, the 900 feels very similar to the 1200, which I see as a good thing. I like taking corners near trackday speeds and both Tigers provide a really stable, on rails kinda predictability that I really enjoy.
The windscreen on the 1200 is fantastic, the one on the 900 is not as good, but still very functional on the highway. It works surprisingly well for its small size. I run both all the way up.
I like the 1200 footpegs better. Hoping I can get something like that on the 900. The lower protection on the 900 gets in the way slightly on my size 14 feet, but its really barely noticeable. No issue with that on 1200.
The tach on the on 2018 Tiger 1200 is WAY better than the one on the 900. I can't tell when I'm near redline on the 900. Not a huge thing, but bothersome if you are a tach watcher.
The 900 suspension (at least in stock settings) is much softer than even the Comfort setting on the 1200 XCA. I really like the suspension on the 1200 and the ability to adjust it on the fly. I use that a lot. The GT Pro has something like it, but not the Rally Pro.
No hill assist on the 900, I kinda miss that. Nice to have on the big 1200. The 900 Rally Pro has TPMS stock though, that's cool. Never had that before.
The ride position is a little different between them, but close. The bars are a little farther away from you on the Tiger 900. At first it feels weird, but after an hour, it feels normal. The 900 footpegs are also a little lower, I think. Or at least they seem so. I like that.
The quickshifter is about the same on each of them, which is to say they are easily the best I've ever used. The 900 quickshifting might be a fuzz smoother than my 1200 even.
The engine character is completely different on the 900. I had a Speed Triple, a Street Triple, and then Tiger 1200 XCa. Those three have just slightly different engine characters, but you can tell there is a basic underlying character running through all three of them. I assumed the Tiger 900 would be the same, but it is not. It sounds and feels more like a twin. I kind of put it somewhere between an Africa Twin and GS1200 on the engine character scale. Not bad, but just not like the other Triumph triples I've owned and ridden. That was a bummer to me initially, but once I got past that, I realized that the 900 engine is cool in its own way. It's much more aggressive sounding than the other Triumph triples. Kinda like an old muscle car. It's different, but its growing on me. The 900 is a bit louder than the 1200, I think. At least, it seems so.
With this new twin-like engine character comes a lot of twin-like vibration, at least compared to the other Triumph triples. The 900 is not as shaky as say a Ducati, but it vibrates a bit. With cruise control on at 80 mph, you can feel the pegs and bars shaking. This is very different from the 1200 which is as smooth as butter any speed. But unlike the KTM twin tractor-like vibrations, the 900 engine kind of gives off this old muscle car vibration which is more enjoyable and less annoying to me than say a KTM or Ducati twin. If I was going to set the cruise on 80 mph and ride across the state, I would do it on the 900, but I'd much rather be on the 1200 due to the lack of vibrations. That said, after two hours on the 900, I noticed it less. Not sure if it smoothed out or I got used to it. Probably the latter.
Finally, the power. It's a very big difference. First of all, let me say, I also have a Yamaha Tracer GT. It's a 847cc triple motor which is smaller than the 888cc engine in the Tiger 900. The Tracer has 115hp and 65 ft lbs of torque versus the Tiger 900's 94 hp and 64 ft lbs of torque. How Yamaha pulls that off, I have no idea. But even with the smaller motor, the Tracer has great pull and I suspect it will run off and leave the Tiger 900 from anywhere.
With that in mind, the 1200 in Sport mode pulls like a freight train up to around 125 mph and then the ECU stops it around 138 mph or so. At least mine does. If you jump off the 1200 and get on the 900, it's sort of a "where's the beef?" moment. The torque curve is similar to the 1200, which is really linear, but there is just a lot less of it. My 900 seems to top out around 119 mph or so in Sport mode and takes a good while to get there. Oh, that reminds me of something. The speedometer is like 7 mph off on the high end on the 900. So 117 on my GPS unit shows like 124-125 mph on the 900 speedo, so it will lead you to believe it is going faster than it is. I've never seen a speedo so far off before. I think the 1200 is about 3-4 mph at that speed.
I do wish the Tiger 900 had some more power to it. Maybe something closer to that smaller Yamaha triple engine, but it doesn't. But the power that is there is plenty, especially for an off road-centric bike. Power wise, it feels a lot like my old Africa Twin, but with maybe a fuzz less torque. That said, I'd much rather ride the Tiger 900 than my old Africa Twin because the Tiger feels smaller and more nimble, which I dig.
Anyway, that's all in my opinion. Hope it helps.
Wow nice write up! Not sure about the temps where you ride but is the engine heat an issue? My 1200 definitely has some heat coming off it although it doesn’t bother me like some other riders. It’s actually a good thing much of the year but up the 80 degree range it starts to be pretty noticeable.
I forgot about the heat. The jury is still out, but so far, the 900 is appears to be noticeably cooler than the Tiger 1200 in similar temps. I haven't ridden it in 85+ degrees though yet as that's when I start to notice the heat on the 1200 and find myself moving my feet farther apart on the pegs so the air can flow through and cool me off.
I found the 790 R heat to be more bothersome than the Tiger 1200. Unlike with the Tiger 1200, I couldn't find a way to escape the heat on the 790 R, so it would slowly cook the back of my thighs and make me feel hotter the longer I rode it. When I got the Tiger 900, I traded in my 790 R which meant riding the 790 R to the dealer. I remember it being around 82 or so and the heat was starting to get to me on the 45 minute ride to the dealer. On the ride home from the dealer on the Tiger 900 in the same weather, I completely forgot about being hot on the bike. Never noticed it. So I'm taking that to think the heat is a non issue on the 900. I guess time will tell.
Thanks! I think the T1200 gets an unfair rep for that.....there are a lot of other bikes throwing off heat. But thats another story.
It sounding like the 900 RP could replace both my XCA and my 701. Or there is the 1200 XE too. Any thoughts on the Scrambler vs all of these given how many bikes you seem to ride?
I think the Tiger 1200 does get a little bit of a bad rap on heat. Other 1200's I've ridden have thrown heat on me as well. Just part of the deal with those big engines, imo. That said, I love all that engine heat in the winter.
The Tiger 900 Rally Pro seems pretty far from a 701. I guess its all about the rider though.
And I've never ridden a Scrambler, seems like a cool bike though. Just not one that piques my curiosity, at this point at least.
I got the Rally Pro to the dirt today. In my limited ability, the Rally Pro is no 790 R in technical dirt situations, but its not too shabby either.
The Rally Pro feels like a higher quality, smaller, more nimble Africa Twin in the dirt. And to me, its a lot more fun on the road than the AT.
Great thread thanks to all the contributors - wonderful to get some really objective, real world perspectives!
I've been umming and arring between the 790R and the 900 Rally Pro. Young heart and memories says 790, older body and more relaxed riding says 900...