4 min read

After 12 years of RT/GS riding I finally decided that I needed something a bit lighter as i struggled to get the bike on the centre stand despite Paul Harle's helpful tips - thanks Paul but the back/legs/hands (delete as applicable) just don't cut it anymore. So: what to buy?

The smaller BM s were tried, but found wanting especially but after I test rode the New Triumph Tiger 900 - which should really be called the Tiger 888 if the engine capacity is to be believed I quickly decided this would suit me well. Actually I think the Tiger "888" has more of a catchy turn of phrase to the boring "900" - missed a trick there Triumph!

My main riding nowadays is carrying out ORs for LAM, group rides, the odd weekend away and I still think I have a couple of European shorter tours left in me. So, pushing the boat out and spending a chunk of my daughter's inheritance (sorry Kay) , I went for the whistles and bells GT Pro - in satin black (everyone seems to go for red!).

Some extra options I bolted on were the Triumph Trekker luggage (made by Givi I think) Engine bars (top and bottom): even Observers have been known to drop bikes now and then! Top box back pad, fog light relocation (for the tank bars). In the end the whole thing came to £14425.00. I ordered the bike (From Carl Rosner) in July 2020 for September 2020 delivery and it arrived in March 2021 and I don't suppose COVID helped.

On the day I took delivery we had some problems connecting the TFT screen with my I-Phone 11 and I was told this was probably because there was a poor signal that day. Subsequently this turned out to be rubbish and to this day the GT Pro turn-by-turn Satnav Triumph cannot be synched to any i-phone beyond an i-phone 8 and Triumph still don't tell anyone - so be warned if you are keen to use the built-in Satnav as it won't work if you have an --phone later that the 8. ! I solved the Satnav problem with a new Tom Tom 550 which was on special offer. The rest of the TFT info seem to work fine but there are so many options for settings many of which seem to serve no more purpose than complicating things. Who needs 5 different coloured layout screens for goodness sake? I don't use a Go Pro, have never listened to the radio while riding and as for receiving texts on the go - why?? Overall I find the TFT programme is over complicated and counter intuitive unless you are someone who enjoys playing with gadgets. The options toggle is right next to the indicators so that, when trying to check useful info like range or tyre pressure, you suddenly find yourself turning on the indicators. Heated seat control is a nice big button but the more important heated grips button is tiny and impossible to use with gloves.

However, once you get on board and fathom your way to a useful dashboard setting these irritations start to fade. Performance is fabulous and the light weight combined with the new flat crank triple motor is a joy both to feel and to hear, with overtakes accomplished in a trice. The gearbox with its amazing quick shift is a delight. Handling is excellent with many options for sport or comfort modes. I found the front suspension dip rather disconcerting at first being used to the paralever BMW setup but some playing with the rebound setting has helped. I plan to change the Tourance tyres at the next service for Michelin 5 Trails as they are not up to the job. Brembo Brakes are great and the lighting effective.

From a comfort point of view the standard screen was fine for me at just under 5'10 and buffeting is acceptable for this type of bike. The seats, however, are very hard and Alexandra said there is no way she would undertake a tour unless the "brick" they call a pillion seat was changed!

The jury is out on quality of finish; the luggage locks are really cheap and the "scaffolding" used to install luggage is clearly an afterthought rather than "designed" as on the BMW. How the finish quality will stand up I don't yet know but hopefully being kept in the garage and good use of ACF 50 will keep it looking good.

Other extras I fitted have been a rear hugger and fender extender, to reduce spray, from Pyramid but didn't really see the need for a Scott oiler as chain cleaning at 500 miles can be quite therapeutic.

Will this be my last bike? I'm not sure as I still have dreams of finding an original 1964 Lambretta Rallymaster Special but there should be a few more ORs to run on the Triumph before then.

A word to Carl Rosner, it is not their fault Triumph don't keep them updated with the electronic limitations and I cannot fault their workshop Manager, Adrian, who I found really helpful when sorting out some small new bike niggles.

A final word - the centre stand is a breeze!

 


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