Posted: 25 Mar 2013
The Triumph Tiger 1050 moved the brand's adventure bike series up a notch from the old Tiger 955i by being more akin to road riding duties than off-road – Triumph’s marketing department concluded, correctly we add, that hardly any adventure bike owners ventured off road and simply wanted a tall-suspended bike with comfort and a road bike’s good bits. Et voila, the Triumph Tiger 1050 was born…
Powered by the three-cylinder lump from the Street triple but tweaked for less top end thrust and more lower rpm drive, the tiger’s engine is a beautiful marriage of power and torque. Its street performance is more akin to a decent roadster rather than the adventure bike its styling portrays. What this means is that the Tiger is a brilliant road performer by having gearing and drive to excite even the most hardened sports bike fan. Plus, a braced swingarm and high-mounted exhaust silencer add tons to the Tiger’s overall appeal.
With the engine bolted in such a tall chassis you’d think the Tiger’s handling would be compromised. But no, not at all. The tall suspension is tuned for road riding and, therefore, works a treat. Coupled with a taut chassis, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels to wear sticky replacement rubber, and radically-mounted front brake calipers that are bloody effective in hauling up the bike’s 198kg dry weight, the Tiger makes for an impressive alternative to sports bikes; it rides like a naked or faired sports bike but is a master of comfort and forward vision because of its superior height advantage.
Being a Triumph, the Tiger 1050 comes with a catalogue of genuine aftermarket accessories. So while the Tiger is very adept at scratching on country roads, the fitment of genuine panniers and rack turns the Tiger into a very capable touring tomcat. A tall fairing frontage obviously helps too, especially when gassing it along European autoroutes.
+ points – potent, tractable engine. Stable chassis. Good all-round performer. Optional ABS
- points – tall CofG and weight are noticeable at low speed manoeuvring
Power: 113bhp, 73.7ft lbs
Dry weight: 198kg
Seat height: 835mm
Colours: black, blue