When you’ve got five Tigers, it helps to have one that stands out from the streak.
Photography by Kit Palmer
You could hardly get a more competitive market right now than that of the mid-size ADV. These are the real adventure bikes of modern motorcycling, the ones you actually do take off-road and not just to the coffee shop.
Triumph’s been a player in this market for years with the Tiger 800 range, which, in the last 18 months, has made way for 900’s to take center stage.
The Tiger 900 Rally Pro is the king player for Triumph, and goes head-to-head with bikes like the BMW F 850 GS and KTM 890 Adventure R. You get the same 888cc inline three-cylinder motor as on the rest of the Tiger lineup, but for $17,100 you get a few more goodies for your ride.
Included is the Triumph Connectivity Bluetooth system that’s mated to a whole long list of things, like a massive seven-inch TFT, Triumph Shift Assist (quick shift), illuminated switchgear on the handlebars, LED fog lights, centerstand, tire-pressure monitoring, engine-protection bars, aluminum skid plate, cruise control, heated grips, as well as heated rider and passenger seats, Cornering ABS and traction control, Brembo Stylema calipers, and six riding modes including the Rider Programable, Off Road Pro and Rally Pro, which give a different fuel map to help with low-speed riding. Got all that?
Weighing in at 505 pounds with a full tank of 5.3 gallons of gas with a seat height of 33.5-inches on the lowest setting, the Tiger is a rather large proposition, especially if you’re not used to full-size ADV bikes. You feel this weight especially in the slow-speed stuff when off-road, with the fuel placed high in the chassis in the traditional format when compared to the KTM 890’s low-slung gas tank.
Graced with Showa suspension front and rear, the Tiger handles moderately rough terrain with ease, although you will find the outer limits of the suspension pretty quickly if you go searching a little too far off the beaten track. There’s 9.4 inches of travel from the 21-inch front wheel and 9.1 inches from the 17-inch rear, so you’ve got plenty of room to get over most obstacles but switch to on-road and the ride is delightfully smooth. After all, this is a motorcycle primarily born from a street base, and so it handles such duty superbly.
Triumph’s T-Plane crank fires cylinder 1-3-2 at 180°-270°-270° and is designed to help drive the tire into the dirt, rather than wheelspin its brains out all the way to redline. It’s been years since I’ve ridden a Tiger, so I can’t really compare the new to old motor, although I will say the 900’s initial power delivery makes for a very easy to control power unit. Below 4000 rpm, the Tiger will produce torque that doesn’t feel like it’s just waiting to bust into tail sliding territory. It’s tractable, which is exactly what you want off road, but when you get on the street, the ingrained love of high rev performance from almost every Triumph triple remains, and the Tiger will produce plenty of high-rpm power. It’s almost the best of both worlds, and it’s good to see Triumph go out of their way to address some of the concerns surrounding the old 800cc unit.
We got 48.6 mpg out of the Tiger, so you should be able to get at least 250 miles out of a tank, even if you’re spinning it up like a loony on the dirt.
We’re not finished yet with the Tiger, as we’ve got a head-to-head comparison test coming up with the KTM 890 Adventure R which we’ll bring you in the coming weeks. CN
2021 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Specifications
||4-stroke, inline, 3-cylinder
|Bore x Stroke:
||78 x 61.9mm
|Max Horsepower (claimed):
||95.2 PS / 93.9 bhp (70 kW) @ 8750 rpm
|Max Torque (claimed):
||87 Nm at 7250 rpm
||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
||Stainless-steel 3-1 header system, side-mounted stainless-steel muffler
||Tubular steel frame, detachable subframe
||Showa 45mm, USD, fully adj.
||Showa, single shock, spring preload, rebound damping adj.
||Twin-sided cast aluminum alloy
||Spoked, tubeless, 21 x 2.15 in.
||Spoked, tubeless, 17 x 4.25 in.
||90/90 x 21 in.
||150/70R x 17 in.
||2 320mm floating discs, Brembo Stylema, 4-piston Monobloc calipers, radial front master cylinder, Optimized Cornering ABS
||Single 255mm disc, Brembo 1-piston sliding caliper, Optimized Cornering ABS
|Weight (wet, measured):
|Fuel Consumption (measured):
||Matte Khaki, Sapphire Black, Pure White