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  #1  
Old 2 Oct 2006
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RTW Tiger 2 Up... Honestly..

Hi Folks..

Planning RTW Trip for 2 years next summer... Had a anticipated taking an Africa Twin but really worried 2 up with all the Luggage she won't handle it and or be at all comfy...

I'm not a Beamer fan so the obvious solution would be a Tiger, which seem readily available used at reasponable prices over here in Blighty...

So just some quick Q's to all u Tiger Men/Women out there...

What Model? Strengths? Weaknesses? What breaks? What doens't? What RTW Prep? Links to Forums? Links to 'Goodies' supplies?

Your Help would be appreciated greatly

Thanx
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  #2  
Old 2 Oct 2006
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Smile Motorcycle Sport!

Hi Fletch,
Get a copy of Motorcyle Sport&Leisure! They've got a series of articles in their On The Road section by a couple who have done a RTW on a Tiger. Don't give up on the Africa Twin either, Damn fine Bike(I'm of RTW on mine next year!)

Good Luck with your trip.

cheers Derek.
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  #3  
Old 2 Oct 2006
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Thumbs up

Both great options two-up I reckon. I wish I had your problems.

Simon
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  #4  
Old 2 Oct 2006
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Hey Fletch,
I think I've seen some other posts by you. Anyway, the Tiger is
a fine RTW bike IMO. I would hook up with as many Tiger forums as
you can. Used to be a good one at Yahoo. (yahoogroups.com
or something like that)

I've owned two Tigers. A 1995 and a 1999. Also ridden the 955
extensively as a good buddy has one. I bought my '99 in the UK
in 2001. Great deal, great bike. At 30K miles mine was like new.
Not one problem.

I'd be very careful about crash bars, some attach to the engine cases.
NOT GOOD. In Mexico my buddy fell and the lower bolts began leaking
oil.

Get an updated list of Triumph dealers worldwide. They actually have pretty wide ranging coverage. I think the bikes are fine, very reliable, good fuel
economy, very comfortable, decent weather protection, good luggage
carrying ability, long service intervals.

If you get a used one, check to see what "Tune" is programed in. A few
years ago they were constantly updating Tunes to remove FI glitches.
Some use a lot more fuel. I would go with a lean tune for travel to stretch
your range and budget. A good Tiger can do 45 mpg, even two up and loaded.
Solo I got 50 mph from time to time.

The biggest draw back on the pre 2005 Tigers is the spoked wheels which
use tubes. Tire repair on the side of the road is a major pain. Some have
done a Tubeless conversion. There is a S.African guy on HU who knows about
this. Johann, I think. He used to rent out Triumphs in S.A. Now rents KLR's
and such. Triumph expert.

The bikes hold together well, crash pretty well even and can do the big miles
if reasonable care is given.

Best of luck in your planning. Also see Vstrom, Capo Nord, Varadero, and
Cagiva Navigator. All good alternatives.


Patrick

My Tiger in France....with "homemade" windscreen!


Last edited by mollydog; 2 Oct 2006 at 22:43.
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  #5  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Hey Fletch,
I think I've seen some other posts by you. Anyway, the Tiger is
a fine RTW bike IMO. I would hook up with as many Tiger forums as
you can. Used to be a good one at Yahoo. (yahoogroups.com
or something like that)

I've owned two Tigers. A 1995 and a 1999. Also ridden the 955
extensively as a good buddy has one. I bought my '99 in the UK
in 2001. Great deal, great bike. At 30K miles mine was like new.
Not one problem.

I'd be very careful about crash bars, some attach to the engine cases.
NOT GOOD. In Mexico my buddy fell and the lower bolts began leaking
oil.

Get an updated list of Triumph dealers worldwide. They actually have pretty wide ranging coverage. I think the bikes are fine, very reliable, good fuel
economy, very comfortable, decent weather protection, good luggage
carrying ability, long service intervals.

If you get a used one, check to see what "Tune" is programed in. A few
years ago they were constantly updating Tunes to remove FI glitches.
Some use a lot more fuel. I would go with a lean tune for travel to stretch
your range and budget. A good Tiger can do 45 mpg, even two up and loaded.
Solo I got 50 mph from time to time.

The biggest draw back on the pre 2005 Tigers is the spoked wheels which
use tubes. Tire repair on the side of the road is a major pain. Some have
done a Tubeless conversion. There is a S.African guy on HU who knows about
this. Johann, I think. He used to rent out Triumphs in S.A. Now rents KLR's
and such. Triumph expert.

The bikes hold together well, crash pretty well even and can do the big miles
if reasonable care is given.

Best of luck in your planning. Also see Vstrom, Capo Nord, Varadero, and
Cagiva Navigator. All good alternatives.


Patrick

My Tiger in France....with "homemade" windscreen!

Nice bike ! And Carcassonne too - but oh! that topbox!
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  #6  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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Top Box : Ugly but practical

Yea, pretty goofy looking I guess. But it came with the bike.
I had soft throwovers at my hotel, not pictued on the bike.
But that top box was great in town. I'd leave my crap in my
hotel and I could buy anything and it usually fit in the top
box, helmet too. I ended up loving it.

Patrick
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  #7  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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Tiger in Africa

Hi mollydog. Just to correct you: Johann is not involved in Le Cap any more since i took over more than five years ago but he still has the yellow Tiger 900i (same as you) and a green 900 which I still hire out.
Not sure if he's still around here on HU?

On the green 900 the chain slider underneath the drive chain fell apart yesterday. Luckily in the workshop. Drilled through the slide (the steel bracket already has a conveniently located hole) and bolted everything together with a 6mm bolt.
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  #8  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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LeCap = Johann?

Ah, I thought maybe LeCap and Johann are the same person. Sorry.
Johann and I knew each other years ago from the Tiger list.

He was the first person I'd heard of to convert his wheels to tubeless.
You mentioned in your other post you still rent out Tigers. Do those
Tigers have the "sealed" wheels? Any problems with this at all?

I'm amazed more Tiger owners don't do this.

I hope you have listed your shop here on HU for those riders who
need a good mechanic in S.A., well at least those riding DR650, KLR or Tigers.
But I get the feeling you could probably fix anything from
an Abhrams tank to a Limo if you had to.

Do you have a web site for the rental business?

Cheers!

Patrick
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  #9  
Old 6 Oct 2006
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Tubeless Tiger & Cape Town

As far as I know it is only Johann's 900i that was modified to tubeless tires. I am not quite sure if it's still like that. I saw it once tires off and it looked a bit crude to me. A lot of silicone for that poor wheel. I remember Johann mentioning the tires never to be 100% gas tight. There was always a slight leakage like you would have it from a cheapshit tube (= Kings). I also wonder how the silicone in the rim stands up to the stress of changing tires.
Big advantage is obviously the possibility to fix punctures (nailholes only!) with the readily available tubeless tire puncture kits without pulling the tire off the rim.
The green Tiger 900 is on tube type wheels.

In general I have very little problems with punctures. The standard on the 650's is a locally made Kings Claw Action KT 966 which is virtually indestructable. The big bikes are on Trail Wings or Anakees and they also last well. Just stay away from carpentries and furniture factories.

I have been working on bikes for 20 years now. 11 years with my own shop. Had my hands on pretty much everything from 1929 600cc FN (nice!) via Ural, BMW & all Japs to Bimota DB2 (six hours to set four valves!)

I updated my profile. Incl. ULR.
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  #10  
Old 9 Oct 2006
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Thumbs up Ta

Thanx People :o)

Decisions Desisions
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  #11  
Old 30 Nov 2006
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I just bought a tiger and didnt ride it much already so i cant speak by experience, but from what i read on the net, this is more a tour bike than a trail bike.

Very confy on the motoways, but on mud, just forget it, the low front wheel protector will stock up the mud and you wont be able to budge anymore.

I m surprised no tuning was offered to change this to a more dual purpose friendly bike since at the beginning it was meant to compete with the dakar bikes.

The bike is also pretty high so you need to be tall to have your feet on the ground, and it s gravity center is accordingly high, which makes it difficult to manipulate at low speed...

On another hand, as mentioned, a confortable bike with good rear springs that will swallow road bumps and give you some thrills on the high speed roads....

Ps : i bought mine, a 98 model with 38,000 km, for 3,300 Euros, so yes they are good value for money..
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  #12  
Old 9 Jun 2007
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...don't give up on the AT Fletch! With a good rear shock, she'll carry you, a pillion and a sack of clothes / shoes over anything.

M.
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  #13  
Old 29 Sep 2007
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Heavy!

Coming back from a South American tour, I left my XT 600 there for more adventure in the future and found my new old Tiger 98 waiting for me at home. My gf had some evil desire...for sun white sand beaches and light blue waters, so up we go to Corsica on the Tiger.

The feline bike devored the highway in Italy and loved to compete with the latin sense of speed limits (driving under 150 km/h is dangerous). But Corsica doesnt seem to be her best hunting ground...

On the 12 km track that leads to the paradise beach of Saleccia, i had a warning. The bike was getting seriously hot. The rear sprinds were doing ok at 2 on the bike, not like the XT that swallowed them eagerly but still confy. This is my first bike with water cooling and I cant say i m found of it...

But the worst is really those incredibly sharp curves sometimes on this island. I lost control of the bike twice at zero speed because the bike was getting too much inclinaison. I m reasonably built but the 250 kg of the bike + 75 of GF+ 30 kg of luggage was too much for me. I guess if i had side hard luggage i would have damaged them each time. And unless you ve been squatting all year at gym, it s fairly impossible to get the bike back on wheels alone (unlike the XT). The Tiger, once lying on its side, looses all sorts of liquids, and especially the cooling water...with an empty radiator, the Tiger transforms into a dragon and your boots start to melt. You d better find some liquid very soon!!

I wouldnt take that motorcycle for a RTW tour. Too complicated already, too much electronics (checking engine temperature to activate the cooling even when stopped), too heavy, too much plastics (the board vibrates like a mirage passing the sound barrier on off road).

For my careless way of riding, my freedom of route choice, I ll stick to the simple and reliable XT 600 for continents like South America or Africa...even Australia, even tho finding repairshops there would be easier.

My two cents...

Philippe
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  #14  
Old 30 Sep 2007
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Oooh Vorteks - I think your're being a little harsh on the poor old Tiger .... but then we all have our own experiences and opinions.

I've had my 955 Tiger for a couple of years now and, after some initial doubts, have come to love it. My main concerns before getting the bike were it's height and weight - I'm a 5'8" girlie!
Sure it's tall and carries it's weight fairly high, so too much lean and over she goes. To be honest this is the same problem I would have with any 'big traillie' and is the price to pay for touring at reasonable speeds for longer distances in comfort .... which the Tiger does superbly well.
Low speed handling is excellent and gives oodles of confidence when manouvering through manic Italian rush hour traffic! In Slovenia last year our minor road was closed and the detour was a recent, unmade track of loose stones, very steeply downhill with 180 deg off camber hairpins. I wouldn't choose to do serious off road, particularly mud, on the Tiger but it coped with this fine (glad to be one up though!). It has also looked after me well on gravel tracks and unmade roads through the Balkans and Baltics. The screen (aftermarket Vario) does rattle alot on corrugated tracks but provides bags of protection when the weather turns nasty.
I've dropped mine twice on each side now - basically trying to get up kerbs at the wrong angle/speed! The (aftermarket) engine bars worked fantastically well, no fluids were lost and my plastic Triumph panniers (which I thought would shatter!) have suffered only light scratches. There is no way I can pick it up on my own - but then I couldn't pick up a loaded XT600/Africa Twin etc. either!
Cruising at 60/70mph I have got about 270 miles to a tank. The fuel gauge is rubbish so I tend to fill up at around 200m intervals or when the reserve light comes on. Unless I'm motorway bashing I usually need a 'comfort break' before the Tiger needs a fill up.
The suspension is softish but soaks up the bumps really well. A Tiger owning friend went two up with camping gear to Poland recently but found the handling odd. It looked as though the rear shock was pretty much fully compressed so maybe a change of spring rate would be a good mod for long term two up.
The bike is fantastic fun in the mountain twisties, covers ground with ease, copes well with rough roads and inspires confidence in the wet. Would I go RTW on it? YES - as long as someone was there to help me pick it up!!
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  #15  
Old 30 Sep 2007
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I'm with you on this one mermaid!

I had a Tiger some years ago, and the points raised here about it's unsuitability for a RTW trip are very valid.........for some people. Sure, there are the issues of weight etc. but every bike is going to have it's drawbacks. The Tiger has some fabulous strengths as well, and an XT is a pretty handy bike too but it really is all about personal opinion and what you're happy with and what you want.

For me the weight was always a good thing, simply because I like big and heavy bikes. I now have a Trophy 1200 which is bigger and heavier than the Tiger, but I bought it because that's what I like. When you are used to a lighter bike it's unrealistic to jump onto a heavier machine and expect it to have the same handling characteristics because it just isn't going to deliver. Similarly, get off a heavy bike and onto a lighter one and you're just as likely to fall over too, because you are anticipating corners in manner that is suited to big bikes and the lighter machine isn't going to deliver either.

Chris
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