The Triumph Tiger 1050, why? I have finally had my fill of owning sports bikes. Reality hit home: my commute is through Bangkok traffic; I need to take a pillion every now and then; despite my best intentions I only managed one track day last year on my Suzuki GSX-R600. I've come to accept that I need a more practical bike.
As life goes by you realize that with each change a part of your youth is lost forever. The innocence of childhood is lost when Father Christmas's true identity is revealed. Teenage years disappear when a part time jog to earn drink vouchers develops into a full-time occupation, and youth finally flies the nest when a mortgage comes home to roost.
But this doesn't necessarily mean I have to break out the pipe and slippers. Practical can be fun, which is why I picked the Triumph Tiger 1050.Having ridden Triumph's not so big plus 600cc series a few times already I know it can be a great laugh, has a lovely engine, decent chassis and ticks all the important practical boxes. In fact I'm really excited about the prospect of a year with the Triumph Tiger 1050.
Yes, I will use it every day to commute, but should the opportunity arise it will make a track debut, will certainly assist me in some unleashing it on some back roads. I hear 10 horsepower can be gained just by junking the stock exhaust, which should assist its sporty alter ego just a bit.
So how is the reality? Well, as I write this I've only had the Triumph Tiger for a few days so all is still new and exciting. So far I'm loving the 325-kilometer fuel tank range, fuel countdown display and comfortable seat.
Perfect for commuting. I'm enjoying less the horrible notchy and stiff gearbox, although I'm fairly confident this will ease up with a bit of use. But the front brake is worrying me. Again I'm hoping that this is due to the bike being brand new, but I can hardly reach the front brake lever. I only have small hands but even on the closest of the lever's span adjustment I can only get the tips of my fingers on the lever. Not exactly ideal for controlled or smooth braking.
Still I reckon that I've made the right choice with the Triumph, but only time will tell whether the embers of sports bike ownership are still glowing.