Triumph Tiger 900 Review
The Tiger brand was the one that started the premium ADV culture in India a few years ago. The bike made a lot of people’s explore dream a reality, thanks to the bike’s comfort, performance and also the community it founded.
The Tiger brand was the one that started the premium ADV culture in India a few years ago. The bike made a lot of people’s explore dream a reality, thanks to the bike’s comfort, performance and also the community it founded. Over the years, a lot of things have changed in the bike. In fact, Triumph India has made sure to bring these new motorcycles to India as early as possible. It’s the same story with the new Tiger 900. Now this bike not just gets a new name, but also a whole lot of new specs and components. The Tiger 900 is now leaner, meaner and even lighter. It gets lots of new equipment too and has received major changes to make life easy on the saddle. We rode it for a few days and this is what we think about this new Triumph.
Triumph does business in a segment where the quality has to be top notch and luckily, the brand has managed to be that way consistently. The body panels are good to feel and see. The plastics are of good quality. There’s no flimsiness nor are there any signs of cheap chassis welds.
The metal parts too have a rugged feel to it but at the same time there’s soft touches. The switchgear, the handlebar grips, the seat texture feel premium. In short, with the Tiger 900 GT, there’s nothing that could go wrong with quality.
Now coming to the overall comfort, the Tiger 900 GT is probably one of the most comfortable motorcycles out there. And this has been possible due to the presence of the extremely comfortable and wide seat, easy riding ergonomics and great footpeg position. Plus, with fully adjustable suspension at disposal, you get so much control on the way you want your overall ride quality to be. The stock setup is neither too plush nor too hard – something that works for regular city and touring use. But yes, depending on the pillion and the luggage, the setup can be easily tuned.
While riding, the buttons on the switchgear are easy and friendly to use. The huge LCD screen too, is such a boon. You don’t need to put in any effort to read through the display data. The large fonts, the subtle colours and not-so-bright LCD backlight add more to the comfort.
But there’s one aspect of the motorcycle that did keep bothering us. The split-radiator fan design. Be it on the highway or the city, the hot air blowing from the fan directs all the heat towards the knee all the time. The adjustable windscreen is easy to use and helps in reducing buffeting quite a bit.
The Tiger 900GT gets a brand new engine. It is now 888cc and the power output is same as its outgoing model. But the torque has increased by 8Nm – all these changes made the bike meet the stringent Euro 5 norms. Hit that starter button and you will hear a deep sound that is quite likeable at idle. Twist it a bit more and you will tend to fall in love with it.
The motor on the 900GT continues to be extremely refined, smooth and highly tractable. The power delivery is linear, but now with better low and mid-range performance, the Tiger 900GT is a bliss to ride. The throttle response is crisp and the fueling is accurate. But one aspect that we loved the most about this Triumph is the tractability. The bike can do as low as 40kmph in sixth gear and that means you don’t have to do a lot of gear change while riding in the city. Plus, overtakes are also extremely easy. There are some vibes though once you cross 130kmph. The buzz can be felt on the handlebar and the footpegs. It is negligible but it tends to bother a bit when you are continuously touring at high speed.
When it comes to the overall ride quality, the Tiger 900 GT with its adjustable suspension goes through extremely bad patches of roads effortlessly. The Marzocchi suspension works great. And around the corners, the bike handles itself very well. There’s lots of lean angle available and thanks to this new frame, the Tiger feels more nimble and eager to change corners.
Now coming to the braking, it gets one of the finest systems – the Brembo calipers. This one offers tons of bite and feel. Plus, the progression builds so much confidence during high speed stops.
Just like other bikes in the segment, the Tiger 900 GT also gets a host of good electronics. The most enticing one is the full-colour TFT screen that offers countless number of themes and how the ride data can be shown. This one works well in daylight as well as at night. Then there’s the LED lights. The headlamp, taillamp, turn indicators and DRLs – all gets the LED treatment.
For added comfort, the bike also gets cruise control as standard. This aspect aids the overall experience when you are on the highway, covering hundreds of kilometers in a single day. And in case you live in colder part of India, the heated grips are there to assist you.
The Tiger 900 GT is equipped with four riding modes – road, rain, sport and off-road. The ABS, traction control and throttle response settings are altered depending on the modes you select. And just for clarification, the bike gets cornering ABS as standard.
There was one feature we missed a lot – quickshifter. This feature would have made this bike so much more aspirational and addictive.
The Tiger 900 GT returned us 22kmpl during the city test run. So with a fuel tank capacity of 20 litres, you are looking at a riding range of approximately 400kms.
Fitness of Purpose
The Tiger 900 GT is here to cater to everyone’s highway touring needs. And now with the new engine, chassis and better riding dynamics, this Tiger has surely taken things to a whole new level. It does a fantastic job on the highway and also in the city.
The Triumph Tiger 900 GT is priced at Rs 13.7 lakh (ex-showroom India), making it the most affordable Tiger one can buy in India. But the bike still gets lots of goodies. There’s all LED lights, multiple riding modes, TFT display, cruise control and heated grips. So in that way, this Tiger is really well equipped. Combine this rich feature list with great performance, comfort and handling attributes and the Tiger 900 GT is one tempting motorcycle. There’s only one aspect that we found difficult to adjust with and that’s the new radiator fan design. So we’d suggest you to take countless test rides of the 900 GT, and if you are okay with that heat on your knees, the Tiger 900 GT is the perfect tool for long distance touring.
Photography by Kapil Angane
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