2012-04-28 08:06:46+0000
  • Make:
  • Triumph
  • Model:
  • Tiger 1050
  • Year:
  • 2007
  • Owned:
  • Yes

What can you say about the Tiger 1050? It's not a sexy looking bike - you're not going to get stopped often by curious passers-by. The 110 or horses won't set your world on fire with top end performance - you're not likely to get stopped by police unless you really try. And it's not often eulogized in the press, so you're not likely to be stopped in the magazine aisle reading about it

And you'd be missing out if you don't think about it next time you need a bike.

Much has been written about the 1050 motor - smooth, torquey but with an amazing spread of power. It pulls effortlessly at almost any rpm without having to resort to the usually smooth gearbox, though it's best if you do. The worst you can say about it is the sound - with the stock exhaust, it's a little weak and makes a weird whining sound that seems common to most of the triumph triples (both my old Daytona and the wife's STriple have it, too). It's not offensive however, and it can all be cured with an aftermarket pipe though mine never was. I never saw the need...

It's also all-day comfortable, at least for me. The seat isn't perfect, but none are, though the ergonomics are fantastic - good reach to the bars and good peg position make it very neutral. Shorter riders may find it a somewhat tall bike (I'm 6') by my feet were always firmly planted both side. It also feels big when you're on it. Not Victory Vision big, just a little bulky. Most of that is the half-fairing and while it's a reasonably heavy bike, it's certainly not the heavyweight in it's category and it carries it's weight well, especially whilst moving.

Talking of moving, it's worth remembering it's not a sports bike, but wind it up and it can keep up. I've often been out road riding with sportsbike riders and never had a problem keeping up with anyone. I've never tracked it, but I'd hazard a guess and say you wouldn't want to. The best bit is, when those sport bike riders get off a complain about bad backs and aching arms, you'll be fresh as a daisy.

In short, it's a bit of a mile-muncher and munch miles mine did. Best I managed was 1134km in just 13 hours one day and it was a blast. Such a blast, in fact, that I considered getting straight back on after dinner and going for the full iron butt but sadly, I was distracted by beer and I never did.

Touring is easy and this Tiger did plenty of that. We once two-upped all the way down to the Carolinas, complete with luggage and it was still limber enough for a few laps of the dragon at a speed that made the wife close her eyes. After ditching the luggage (and the wife) it got a lot more interesting, which to me is the mark of a good machine. Capable of doing the tough stuff and smile-inducing when it's time for fun. I've ridden lots of machines and none gave me that same feeling of comfort and control.

I didn't have to change much to mine. As a tourer, the panniers were added, along with heated grips, a set of barkbusters (from a hypermotard, no less) and a garmin seat was added. Oh, and I changed the stock levers for Pazzos.

And now for the complaints, which are surprisingly few. A gear position indicator would have been nice, as would slightly better wind protection. The ABS was perhaps a little too eager to cut in and couldn't be disabled, but it did save my ass a couple of times. Oh, and the seat could have been better (which is why I bought the Corbin). A power outlet would have been good, too. However, as I said, nothing major. In fact my single biggest complaint about the bike was the panniers. They work, but they feel very cheap and they did fly open that one time heading into Montreal...

So, why am I selling this underrated bundle of fun? Simple. I have neophilia, and the new Tiger 1200 has just drawn me in. I'm a sucker for an extra HP or a weight saving of a few Kg. it's also corrected most of those "problems". I mentioned above. I also love technology, so the newer, more complicated 1200 totally has me. I know the new machine will be loved and almost certainly come to replace the 1050 with time, but part of me will always love the old Tiger. Should you? Probably.

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