• Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

Triumph’s newest adventure tourer could be the only motorcycle you’ll ever need

The Ed and I were recently having an animated conversation about the best style of motorcycle to have in a one-bike garage. Being the stunter that he is, Abhay favoured sport nakeds for their practicality, fun factor and ease of riding while I felt an adventure tourer would fare better. ADVs are versatile, surprisingly easy to ride in traffic and can be as much fun as sport nakeds. Like the Triumph Tiger 900 GT. 

Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

The 900 is a stark departure from the Tiger 800 family as the Tiger 900 embraces its adventure side fully unlike the earlier Tigers that were a bit like sportsbikes on stilts. In fact, the 900's riding experience is completely different and it all starts with the looks. As compared to the previous generation Tiger, the new 900 looks a lot more lithe and compact. It looks slimmer but surprisingly it is wider. The slim headlamp and taller beak make it look more purposeful now. It is also taller thanks to a new adjustable windscreen that is said to offer better airflow while reducing wind buffeting. Triumph has moved the engine forward and positioned it lower to reduce the centre of gravity. To package things more efficiently it also features dual radiators. These updates have helped a lot in making the 900 GT easier to ride. Get onto the motorcycle and you will be surprised at how compact it feels. You’ll also be surprised at how ridiculously easy it is to ride at crawling speeds and how well-balanced and lightweight it feels on the move. Triumph says the new Tiger is 6kg lighter than the 800 but it feels like the weight loss is twice the number! Shorter riders will also appreciate the 810mm seat height, though it is adjustable and can go up to 830mm. 

Besides the design the more premium experience comes in the form of all-LED lighting and a new 7-inch colour TFT dash. It offers four screen styles which can be toggled through a five-way joystick. You can opt for the Triumph Connectivity module which allows you to toggle between music, receive calls and even control GoPro functions via Bluetooth, though it is expensive at 21,000. The GT redeems itself somewhat by offering heated grips and cruise control as standard. 

Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

Engine capacity is up from 800cc to 888cc but the more significant update is the new 1-3-2 firing order. Triumph says this change offers the feel and benefits of a twin cylinder engine at low revs and that of a triple-cylinder engine at mid to top-end revs. In the process, the Tiger also sounds less Daytona/Street Triple and more like a proper European ADV! The power output remains unchanged at 95PS but peak torque produced is up by 8Nm at 87Nm. The numbers are delivered in a vastly different way and the Tiger packs a stronger punch at low to mid-revs, while more torque is now available across the rev range. Electronics include ride-by-wire and four riding modes now and the Tiger also gets IMU-based lean-sensitive traction control and cornering ABS.

Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

At first I missed the Tiger 800's typical in-triple wail but the new exhaust note grows on you. At low revs it sounds like a V-twin, like all large-capacity twin-cylinder ADVs. In fact with the low down performance, it is even more adventure capable now and also sits comfortably at triple-digit highway speeds with a lot in reserve if you want to overtake a couple of trucks in quick succession. The motor isn’t as rev-happy as before but it is something you would forgive for its tractability. The light clutch is another draw but the gearbox feels notchy at times, especially while downshifting. 

Heat management has improved, meaning the motor still runs hot but you don’t feel much of it in traffic. Tiger 800 users will point at the new motor’s slight drop in refinement but we feel this will not be a bother while touring distances and is more of a part of the engine's character. The 180mm ground clearance allows you to indulge in mild off-roading, though we would suggest a switch to a metal bashplate instead of the stock plastic one for frequent excursions. 

Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

Owing to its lightweight feel and low centre of gravity the 900 GT also feels agile and planted around corners, also because the Metzeler Tourance dual-purpose tyres offer lots of grip on tarmac. Suspension at both ends is adjustable and the monoshock gets a remote pre-load adjustment knob that's easy to reach and adjust. By default the suspension is tuned on the firmer side. We were impressed though with its ability to soak bumps even on some of the worst surfaces we rode on. With the top-spec Brembo Stylema brake caliper, there is now a better connect between the brake lever and the front brakes. Braking is now more precise and feelsome. 

Triumph Tiger 900 GT First Ride Review

Having spent a week with it, I reckon the Tiger 900 GT is the only motorcycle I need. It’s upright riding position, low-speed balance and light controls make it very easy to ride in traffic, highway manners are impeccable with almost non-existent wind buffeting and a comfortable seat. At Rs 13.7 lakh (ex-showroom) the Tiger 900 GT commands a premium of just Rs 40,000 over the previous Tiger 800 XRx. For that premium, it offers a lot more in terms of capability and versatility. The ‘Jack of all trades’ bill fits the Tiger 900 GT, almost!


Technical Specifications

Triumph Tiger 900 GT

Engine: In-line, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC 

Power: 95.2PS @ 8,750rpm 

Torque: 87Nm @ 7,250rpm 

 Weight: 194kg 0-100kmph: NA 

Price: Rs 13.70 lakh ex-showroom, New Delhi

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