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Mvich

Is there a Triumph in your past?

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Just over a week ago I drove the Tiger Rally Pro and I was offered a long test drive on the GT Pro, so yesterday I was finally able to take a Tiger GT Pro for a 2 hour test ride. 

Everything that follows below is my own experience with and opinion about the Tiger, so just keep in mind that somebody else might experience the Tiger differently.

To start, the Tiger GT Pro comes packed with a lot of electronics. Electronically adjustable rear suspension, the ability to connect your GPS, smartphone and even a GoPro 7/8 (which you can control from the handlebar), heated seats and grips, TPMS, cruise control, cornering ABS and a big, fancy looking TFT screen (which takes some time to get used to, form over function.....). Oh, and it has LED fog lights and blinkers, an up and down quick shifter and 5 driving modes. So Triumph hasn't hold back in the electronics and equipment department. Although the screen takes too long to start up when you switch the contact on.

The riding position is a bit more touring focused than our beloved Tracer, with the pegs positioned a bit more to the front. I found the riding position to be easy on the legs, but a bit though on the back. With the seat in the upper position I still found the bar to be quite far away (and I'm about 1,86 meter, 6.1 feet) and it took some time to get used to that. I'm not sure, but I think it might make me a bit more prone to back pain on long rides. On the Tracer I find myself to sit more upright and leaning just a little bit more forward. As there is no higher seat available from Triumph, I guess one has to either get used to it or have a seat adjusted by a specialized work shop.

The good thing about the riding position is that it made me feel more "in the bike" than "on the bike" when compared to the Tracer (which I ride with the seat on the high position). 

Then the riding part:

The engine feels way more like a 2 cylinder than the Tracer. It shakes a bit more and in the lower revs it has more a mind of its own (or as people say: character...). The Tracer engine is more sporty than the Tiger engine. Is that a bad thing about the Tiger? Not in my opinion. You get used to that quite fast and you do feel the engine working, which adds to the riding experience. The engine is fast, powerful enough and makes a nice sound. So no complaints there. 

The suspension is quite a different story. The electronically adjustable Marzocchi suspension looks nice on paper, but do not expect too much joy in real life. There are 4 basic presets: single, duo, single with luggage, duo with luggage and you can adjust each preset manually. The dealer was very eager to point out those options..... 

I started driving in single modus and quickly discovered why he was so eager: with every speedbump I met I was feeling a hard "boink" in the rear as I used the entire suspension travel (not sure that's the right English translation, sorry). So I put the suspension in "single with luggage" mode, which was already an improvement but I had to adjust it to maximum "road" stiffness to be good (you can also chose a few degrees of "sport" stiffness which makes it even stiffer). As I'm around 81 kilo's (179 lbs) I'm wondering how the suspension holds up with a pillion and luggage. I have a bad feeling about it. It is just soft. As is the front suspension, but not nearly as soft as the front suspension on my Tracer......

The gearbox is very easy and super smooth. Especially with the quick shifter. Only issue there is that you very easily go to second gear when you try to get it in neutral and there seems to be a bit of a delay between the gearbox and the TFT screen, so when you think the gear is neutral, it is actually in second but that only shows on the TFT after you have already completely released the clutch....and the let the engine stall. I think it is just something to get used to, but it happened to me 2 or 3 times during my 2 hour ride. Still, a very nice gear box all in all.

What really captivated me was the handling of the bike. Despite the fact that the bike feels big, I really loved the confidence it gives when going through corners and riding on curvy roads. The bike is easy to steer, follows the line you choose when entering the corner and is less nervous throughout the entire corner. Not that the Tracer is super nervous but I felt a bit more confident on the Tiger. That might be a result of the longer wheel base and trail when compared to the Tracer. I liked it but I can imagine that other people like the more sporty cornering character of the Tracer. If you want to go sporty, the Tiger might not be the bike for you.

When I returned and discussed my experience with the dealer, he kindly offered me another ride on the Rally Pro version (the one I drove about a week earlier) but not after he adjusted the suspension to make it, what he believed, more suitable for me. So I got to ride the Rally Pro for another 45 minutes (what a nice day and nice dealer......!). To be honest, the adjusted suspension was an improvement when compared to the first time I drove the Rally Pro edition. Also, the riding position is quite different on the Rally Pro, as it has a bigger steering bar that leans a bit towards you. 

The engine and gearbox are the same as the GT Pro version, but the handling of the bike is different due to the different suspension and the bigger front wheel. Personally I liked the riding position of the Rally Pro better, but the handling of the GT Pro.

How does the Tiger GT Pro compare to the Tracer? Both are fine sport-touring bikes (with the Tiger also leaning to allroad-touring). But to put it simple: do you want to ride more sporty, go for the Tracer. Do you want to have a more touring oriented bike, go for the Tiger GT Pro. And if you feel really adventurous: go for the Tiger Rally Pro. None of these bikes are bad of course. It is just a matter of personal taste.

And than there's the story of the Suzuki V-strom 1050 XT I drove later that day at my regular dealer. And the dressing down he gave me when we talked about cornering characteristics of bikes. But that's a whole different story....

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Had a Tiger800 then a 1200 traded that for the Tracer gt, the 1200 tiger just got to heavy and cumbersome, Tracer felt like I had gone back to my RD350lc

 

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I have had two Triumphs. The first I bought in 2006 and was a 2002 Trophy 1200. Was not a bad tourer, but screen was terrible for buffeting and noise.  Kinda heavy and slow, especially compared to my previous bike, a ZZR1200.  Next was a 2007 Sprint St 1050. and it was a great sport tourer.  Decent comfort, great triple motor, a good all rounder and to my eye, really good looking.  Replaced it with a Versys 1000 and missed the Sprint quite a bit in comparison.  My new Tracer GT manages to mix the best qualities of both the Versys and the  Sprint into what I think is the best bike that I have ever owned.

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On 7/24/2020 at 3:17 PM, Stew said:

Is that a wee nod to SAHB on the side panel?

Absolutely!

 

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2015 Yamaha FJ-09 and 2018 Yamaha XSR700

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Just now, hlmiskelly said:

Absolutely!

 

Excellente!

 

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