I admit it, once I make up my mind about something, it is almost impossible to change it or influence it in any way. Im stubborn like that.
I have said for a long time that for the high prices we pay for motorcycles, there’s no need to compromise and we can expect both good performance and decent looks. And the Triumph Tiger never quite pleased me, aesthetically.
But then again, I do try anything once so I jumped on it and took it for spin around the block. Oh my, was I in for a treat. It was by far the biggest surprise in my short riding career.
The 93 brake horse power engine was perfectly usable and had more than enough spirit to get you out of trouble but keep you on the right side of the law. The weight and size weren’t noticeable even at very slow speeds. The seat was amazingly comfortable.The screen was just the right size to protect me at any speeds (although i dont need much at 5ft4). The suspension was so soft and comfortable that potholes and train tracks were a non-event. The handling was so brilliant I welcomed every corner with a massive grin, unfazed by gravel, mud and any other road surface “blessings”. Heated grips were just warm enough but the addition of hand guards would have been a welcome bonus.
Yes, anytime I needed to come to a stop and put my feet down, the foot pegs were slightly in the way. Yes, I could do with bigger mirrors and yes, its not going to melt hearts at 100 paces. But, I couldn’t care less about these unimportant shortcomings.
I was beyond impressed. Such an unassuming, versatile machine and even though it’s big, it was in no way intimidating. I wouldn’t feel guilty about commuting on it, riding it on salty roads throughout the winter, taking it off-roading, or long-distance touring. It can take it all.
Some want a sexy Italian lover in their life. Frustrating and unreliable, but exciting. Some want a big, respectable and reliable father figure.
But Tiger? Tiger is the bike you take home and marry. It may me not the best looking or most thrilling machine, it doesn’t have many gadgets on it. But it’s effortless, and so wonderfully forgiving and rewarding.
It makes you feel happy. It makes you feel at home.