The latest in a line of great British motorcycles, the Triumph Tiger 1050 SE didn't disappoint. The kind of motorcycle you could ride for hundreds of Thai highway kilometers and still have energy left for a few rural road blast at the end of it. The Triumph Tiger 1050 engine is as smooth as the rest of the ride. Creamy torque from way down the rev range make for lazy gear changes or monstrous wheelies depending on your inclination and mechanical sympathy.
The terrific 1050cc inline three-cylinder engine has been revised slightly by Triumph to suit the Tiger's needs. Thai emission compliant, the Triumph Tiger 1050 SE has a taller sixth gear ratio to make the engine more relaxed on long journeys, the latest generation of Keihin engine management software and hardware and extensive noise reduction research to keep the Tiger's growl to a kitty purr. Improved engine efficiency has seen fuel consumption figures down 30 percent compared to the old 955cc Triumph Tiger.
The lightweight twin spar aluminum frame is light years ahead of the old steel frame that it replaces. The geometry of the Triumph Tiger 1050 has changed to accommodate a sportier ride. Wheelbase is 5mm shorter at 1,510mm, rake has been made sharper at 23.2 degree, although the trail figures are almost the same. The Triumph Tiger 1050 SE has lost a few kilos in the transformation too, the new Triumph Tiger 1050 SE hits the scales at a 208 kilo. The simple swingarm has been replaced by a new braced cast aluminum piece that mimics that of the Daytona 675. Gone are the ancient two-piston calipers, in are some top-notch Nissin four-piston radial calipers that not only look the business but work well too. Discs size is up 10mm to 320mm but the transformation in braking power and feel is a huge improvement. And ABS is standard on both the standard and the SE model.
Big changes are afoot at either end of the Tiger 1050 too. The old, unadjustable forks have been replaced by new, fully adjustable Showa units that offer decent control to suit the new sporty intentions of the motorcycle. The rear shock also is fully adjustable to suit riding conditions and loading.
Triumph has released a whole host of accessories to accompany the Triumph Tiger 1050. Performance wise, there's a great exhaust that boost power to Speed Triple levels, while seats, luggage and screens will appeal to those who will use the Triumph Tiger 1050 to explore Thailand.