RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Easy to ride, lots of comfort and great responsiveness. Those are the three characteristics that pop up when I think of the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport. For a whole week I was the lucky bastard to ride on this middleweight adventure bike. Let me share my experiences with you with this fun adventure motorcycle.
Let’s get straight to the point; I am not that tall. Especially considering that Dutch women are among the world’s tallest. I have relatively short legs and measure a mere 1.68m. The Triumph Tiger might not be the highest motorcycle in its segment, but the seat height isn’t exactly low either. Mounting the bike isn’t the problem. But I stand on tips of my toes when I kick the side stand in. Most adventure riders slide sideways at standstill with one foot firmly on the ground while the other leg somewhat dangles over the seat. Similar to motocross riders.
Are you a short rider as well? Don’t worry. You might have to tip toe your way around, but the bike won’t feel that heavy thanks to the great balance in the Tiger 850 Sport. And it isn’t really heavy, with its 192 kg dry weight. So no excuses! Just ride.
And so I did. Unfortunately it rained a lot. It might not be the most fun, but those weather situations are actually quite ideal for a review about this bike, given its all-road background. This Tiger 850 is the entry-level model of the Tiger line-up. No excess of power, but with 85 hp just enough for a very pleasant riding experience. The Tiger truly lives up to that, aside from the slightly throttle response. Perhaps it was more an issue of my own, since I’m used to racing sports bikes on track. The Tiger is easy to ride and handles with effortless precision. Together, we did some confident lane splitting and we had fun taking those local roundabouts swiftly.
So the Tiger 850 is easy to handle. That’s mainly due to the three cylinder in-line engine. The 85 horses jump forward with lots of enthusiasm when you open the throttle. From there on it’s a silky ride. My first experience on an adventure bike was with the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. A fantastic machine, but way less forgiving. The Triumph Tiger 1200 stands tall beside it. Just like the infamous BMW R 1250 GS, which I have the pleasure of riding as I write this piece.
These motorcycles give you an abundance of luxury and power. But is that always necessary? I rode my favourite dike route between Kolhorn and Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands. “Just blast some dikes”, like we say in West-Friesland. That can be quite exciting with my own supersport bike, with a little slip here and a slide there. These are small dikes and surfaced with tarmac that’s in very poor condition. They come complete with tarmac snakes and regular sprinkles (showers rather) of gravel. The mud of the wheels of tractors add some to the fun factor too, which is sprayed abundantly across the road. However, I always get off the bike with a big smile.
Much to my amazement, I got off the Tiger with a dubious smile of surprise this time. The Triumph Tiger 850 Sport kindly but decisively put my Suzuki GSX-R 750 in its rightful place. “Just blast some dikes” unexpectedly got a totally different meaning. The Tiger doesn’t shy away from the cracks in the tarmac, whereas my sports bike really struggles with that. And you tackle the bumps and holes with great confidence and comfort. I have ridden these dikes with many motorcycles, but it never went this easy.
I rode the basic version of the Tiger 850 Sport and had nothing to complain about. That one already feels like a complete package. And this version can be lowered by 2 cm in seat height. I could have done that, but I was so thrilled to ride the bike. I never gave it a second thought. And frankly, it was quite fun to frolic around with it.
Do you want more? Then add heated grips, hand guards and an aero diffuser. Wind and cold won’t bother your hands at all anymore. Perhaps consider fitting with panniers or crash protection. The brand offers many different accessories. Still the Tiger remains a no-nonsense bike, despite all that extra fuss. Very decent quality for an equally decent price.
Do you consider buying an adventure bike? Or do you think of switching bikes and would you like to get acquainted with this segment? Then you should give the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport a try. Are you used to heavy or really fast motorcycles? Then this model may not be powerful enough for you. I had to get used to it too, after years of riding heavier sport bikes. But if you’re looking for a versatile motorcycle that is easy to ride and guarantees miles of smiles, then the Tiger 850 Sport is worth your while. Give it a try! You rent this fun bike here through MotoShare.