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Triumph Tiger 955i (2002-2006): Review & Buying Guide

Massively experienced road tester



2001 Triumph Tiger 955i Review Used Price Spec_01


Price: £1000-£3000 | Power: 104bhp | Weight: 239kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 3/5


Replacing the Tiger 900, Triumph’s Tiger 955i was the second generation of the firm’s big-capacity adventure bike and although it didn’t really set the world on fire, it was nonetheless a popular model and a solid seller. Very much a traditional adventure bike in its design with a 19-inch front wheel (the Tiger 1050 that replaced it used matching 17-inch wheels), the Tiger 955i has an unmistakable style all of its own (not to mention a set of eyebrows...) and a fairly passionate fanbase. Cheap in the used market, it’s quite an old bike now but the build quality is fairly sturdy and it is extremely comfortable, making it a very tempting winter hack or day-to-day commuter. It's not perfect and has a few traits that will certainly irritate but when you are paying less than £2500 for a triple-powered adventure bike that will almost certainly come with luggage attached, it’s hard to be too critical.


Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) Price

The Tiger was released over 20 years ago and as it both looks and feels quite old, prices tend to be low. You can pick up a very high mileage bike (over 60,000 miles) for less than £1500 but you are better off paying around the £2000 - £2500 mark for one that has covered less than 40,000 miles. Yes, this is still quite high but it works out at less than 2000 miles a year so actually isn’t that dramatic. There are a few bikes in the 20,000-mile area, which can command up to £3000, but at this point it’s getting close to the price of a Tiger 1050 and that’s when the 955i starts to look less of a bargain. Aim to get a 35,000-mile area bike for £2000 in a private sale that has been cared for and comes with luggage and you won’t feel like you have been short-changed.


  • Good triple motor

  • Comfortable riding position

  • Large tank range

  • Clunky gearbox

  • Poor handling

  • Screen is very low


Engine and Performance

The Tiger uses a retuned version of the Daytona 955i’s triple, which for the majority of the time is no bad thing at all. A really beautiful old-school triple with bags of mid-range (it makes peak torque at just 4400rpm) as well as a lovely throttle response (as long as it is sorted...), this motor makes the Tiger and is its main selling point. Relaxed to ride and more than happy to pull the extra weight of a pillion, it’s not the fastest engine in the world but really suits its role in a chilled-out adventure bike and can still deliver a zippy turn of pace if you let it rev a bit. But it isn’t perfect...

Starting with the well-documented faults, the Tiger’s gearbox is very clunky and sloppy. Triumph never really got to grips with their big-capacity triple’s gearbox action and it is very poor indeed. Sadly there isn’t much you can do about it, so it’s a case of not rushing the gear changes and putting up with it. Happily, despite its feel, it tends not to fail so maybe we can chalk it down as robustness rather than agricultural...

Away from the gearbox, the actual engine is quite solid. A few will say the middle cylinder is prone to over-heating issues but generally this isn’t the case and you are much more likely to suffer from electrical issues such as reg/recs (check its connector regularly, it’s located under the tank) or generators failing on older models. If you can, check the voltage across the battery using a multimeter – it should be around 14V with the engine running, if it is lower, these items may be on their way out. If the bike is quite snatchy on its throttle, it may either need a good service or a new fuel map. A lot of owners go down the route of a generic aftermarket fuel map for the Tiger they instal themselves and forums report the results are quite impressive. Ideally get it set up by a professional but if you are counting the pennies, go online and ask on one of the Tiger forums which is the best map. The Tiger needs a valve-clearance check every 12,000 miles (or two years), which will almost certainly have been missed. Owners often leave it to 24,000 will no ill effects but that’s a gamble only you can choose to make – ideally get them checked.

If the bike starts, ticks over nicely and feels good on the throttle, generally all should be well but always check the basics such as chain and sprockets, corrosion on the radiator, etc and if you do decide to lift the tank and do some servicing yourself, be very wary of old or leaking fuel lines – once disturbed they start to drip. If you have the time, it’s not a bad idea to spend a few nights over winter swapping fuel lines and connectors just to be safe. And speaking of connectors, there is a fuel drain pipe located at the rear of the tank which is worth keeping clear as if it isn’t water can get stuck in there and then find its way back into the tank.



Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) Handling & Suspension

Being brutally honest, the Tiger isn’t a great handling bike. Stable on the straights, yes, but in bends it is wobbly and not that assured. There isn’t much you can do about it and although quality aftermarket suspension (new shock and fork rebuild) does make it feel better, the truth of the matter is that the Triumph is a tall, top-heavy bike and that will always affect its dynamics. There again, if you are buying it as a commuter or hack, this isn’t too much of a worry.

Early Tiger models came with spoke wheels, which Triumph changed to cast in the 2005 update alongside a few suspension upgrades. When buying used, always give the spoke wheels a really good check over for rust, loose spokes and dents. Although they look good, to be honest cast wheels (which are tubeless) are a better option than spokes on a used machine as there is less to go wrong. Always be very wary of the suspension linkages on the Tiger (mainly lower shock needle bearings) as they are very prone to seizing and require regular stripping and regreasing to work properly. It’s not a hard job as long as you keep on top of them. As the Tiger has gaiters, you will need to move them to check it fork seals, and also see if the shock’s remote preload adjuster moves freely as they seize up. As with all sliding brake calipers, check the Tiger’s pads aren’t dragging and if they are, assume the calipers need a rebuild, which will cost about £80 in parts and is an easy DIY job.



Comfort & Economy

The Tiger is a very comfortable bike with a huge seat and relaxed stance, making it a great mile-muncher, and its seat height is also adjustable between 840-860mm, which is good to see. Economy figures aren’t amazing with 40mpg about average but thanks to the Tiger’s big 24-litre tank, that equates to a range of around 240 miles with over 200 easily achievable before the fuel warning illuminates. Some taller owners find the standard screen a bit short (it isn’t adjustable) but that’s easily cured through an aftermarket higher screen for less than £50.



Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) Equipment

The Tiger never had ABS but in 2005 an update saw the it gain panniers as standard, which is worth knowing as they are actually pretty good. Triumph also fitted a centre stand to this generation, which was available as an aftermarket accessory and is worth having as the Tiger is quite heavy and that makes it a pain to lube its chain. There are aftermarket new centre stands available for about £200 or you can get a second-hand one for around £50.

In the used market a lot of Tigers come with heated grips fitted (standard from 2005-onwards), which is always good to see on a commuter, as well as 12V power outputs and crash protection. Aftermarket exhausts are also fairly common, which ideally need to be mapped to the bike, and so are top boxes. Oddly, most top boxes tend to be aftermarket items where panniers are invariably Triumph’s own.



Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) Rivals

Tiger owners are generally after a good-value workhorse, which it most certainly is. Often it is used as a second bike or winter/commuting hack.


BMW R 1150 GS (2000-2003) | Approx Price: £2000-£4500

Power/Torque: 85bhp/71lb-ft | Weight: 249kg


Honda Varadero 1000 (2001-2010) | Approx Price: £1300-£3000

Power/Torque: 93bhp/72lb-ft | Weight: 241kg


Suzuki V-Strom 1000 (2002-2008) | Approx Price: £1500-£3000

Power/Torque: 105bhp/68lb-ft | Weight: 238kg



Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) Verdict

Very much an old-school adventure bike in its feel, the Tiger has a great triple motor but also a lot of rough edges that owners tend to just put up with. The gearbox is poor, the screen a touch short and the handling pretty uninspiring but, that said, it is a solid, comfortable and fairly reliable workhorse of an adventure bike that doesn’t cost much to buy. If you are after a well-priced machine to cover miles in comfort (with a taller screen fitted), it’s not a bad option. But it has to be said, the Tiger 1050 is much, much better.


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Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range

£1000- £3000



Bore x Stroke

79mm x 65mm

Engine layout

Inline triple

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 12v


104bhp @ 9500rpm


67lb-ft (92Nm) @ 4400rpm

Top speed



Six-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

24 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

240 miles

Reserve capacity

39 miles

Rider aids



Tubular steel perimeter

Front suspension

43mm telescopic forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable spring preload and rebound damping

Front brake

2 x 310mm discs, two-piston calipers.

Rear brake

285mm disc, two-piston caliper.

Front tyre

110/80 - 19

Rear tyre

150-70 – 17


25.8°/ 87.9mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2250mm x 860mm x 1390mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

239Kg Wet


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