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Had a test drive of the 1050 Tiger over the weekend, and a chance to compare the two round a 20-mile circuit from Rochdale out over the moors and back down Calderdale.

Quite liked the Tiger, it felt so much more like a sports bike, but I was surprised to find that I was travelling faster round the bends on the Vara - I guess the sensation of speed on the Tiger is greater because there's less in front of you. The Tiger cornered effortlessly, whereas the Vara needs to be hustled round the tighter stuff, but I suppose my style has adopted to suit that. The Tiger was a touch more cramped for me, but getting back on the Vara emphasised how much heavier it is. What a barge!

The triple is possibly a bit too smooth for an old V-Twin fan like me, although conversely there was certainly more drivetrain lash on the Tiger, which got on my nerves in traffic. Parked up next to each other, there's no competition on the looks front, though - the Tiger's sooooo much prettier...

If I didn't use my bike every day, I might be tempted by the Tiger (albeit with a higher screen and higher bars), but it's at its best ridden on perfect traffic-free roads with sweeping bends and a nice clear dry day, free from even the possibility of speed cameras. Under those circumstances, the Tiger's one of the best bikes I've ridden, but on the variety of roads, traffic and weather in the real world, the sheer practicality and all-round useability of the Vara still wins.

If only Honda could slim it down by 50kg or so (and if they did that it wouldn't need any more power), it might even have a shout (suitably tyred) of getting offroad into real 'adventure' territory*...

I'd buy one, and so, I suspect, would a lot of other people.

Next up for a test ride is the 990 SuperMoto, which should be, erm, interesting...:blob:



* Due respect given to Robster and his Stella achievements here, natch...
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Had a test drive of the 1050 Tiger over the weekend, and a chance to compare the two round a 20-mile circuit from Rochdale out over the moors and back down Calderdale.

Quite liked the Tiger, it felt so much more like a sports bike, but I was surprised to find that I was travelling faster round the bends on the Vara - I guess the sensation of speed on the Tiger is greater because there's less in front of you. The Tiger cornered effortlessly, whereas the Vara needs to be hustled round the tighter stuff, but I suppose my style has adopted to suit that. The Tiger was a touch more cramped for me, but getting back on the Vara emphasised how much heavier it is. What a barge!

The triple is possibly a bit too smooth for an old V-Twin fan like me, although conversely there was certainly more drivetrain lash on the Tiger, which got on my nerves in traffic. Parked up next to each other, there's no competition on the looks front, though - the Tiger's sooooo much prettier...

If I didn't use my bike every day, I might be tempted by the Tiger (albeit with a higher screen and higher bars), but it's at its best ridden on perfect traffic-free roads with sweeping bends and a nice clear dry day, free from even the possibility of speed cameras. Under those circumstances, the Tiger's one of the best bikes I've ridden, but on the variety of roads, traffic and weather in the real world, the sheer practicality and all-round useability of the Vara still wins.

If only Honda could slim it down by 50kg or so (and if they did that it wouldn't need any more power), it might even have a shout (suitably tyred) of getting offroad into real 'adventure' territory*...

I'd buy one, and so, I suspect, would a lot of other people.

Next up for a test ride is the 990 SuperMoto, which should be, erm, interesting...:blob:



* Due respect given to Robster and his Stella achievements here, natch...
Seeing the experience I had with 2 prevoius triumphs (955i tiger & sprint 955st) even if they were selling the new 1050 tiger for £10 i would still buy the honda
 

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bigtrailie admin
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Seeing the experience I had with 2 prevoius triumphs (955i tiger & sprint 955st) even if they were selling the new 1050 tiger for £10 i would still buy the honda
Although I do read overwhemingly that the 1050 tigers reliability is up there with some of the best and certainly the 955i tiger has a proven track record, That said I have read about a couple of people with engine problems on the 1050 but all manufacturers knock out a "bad 'un" every once in a while.......dare I say it even Honda!!!! (ducks for cover):rolleyes:
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Although I do read overwhemingly that the 1050 tigers reliability is up there with some of the best and certainly the 955i tiger has a proven track record, That said I have read about a couple of people with engine problems on the 1050 but all manufacturers knock out a "bad 'un" every once in a while.......dare I say it even Honda!!!! (ducks for cover):rolleyes:
My sprint st spent more time back at the dealership having factory recalls sorted out than it did on the road. The tiger all the black engine paint has stared flaking off. The wiring loom going up to the dashboard has all but rotted out, we've cut rotten cables out and soldered new ones in to get the dashboard to work properly. It's gone through ignition coils (common fault, brings the engine management light on) due to the plugs being so low in the head with no drain out for water. All of this on bike thats covered less than 28,000 miles and is looked after. My local dealer has a 675 daytona in the showroom and the aluminium is furring on that and thats this years model . So a big never again as far as triumph go for me
 

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bigtrailie admin
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My sprint st spent more time back at the dealership having factory recalls sorted out than it did on the road. The tiger all the black engine paint has stared flaking off. The wiring loom going up to the dashboard has all but rotted out, we've cut rotten cables out and soldered new ones in to get the dashboard to work properly. It's gone through ignition coils (common fault, brings the engine management light on) due to the plugs being so low in the head with no drain out for water. All of this on bike thats covered less than 28,000 miles and is looked after. My local dealer has a 675 daytona in the showroom and the aluminium is furring on that and thats this years model . So a big never again as far as triumph go for me
Jeees sorry to hear that, this is my first bike in 20 years and I've only had for 3 months (03 plate 14000 miles) so my opinion so far is only based on reviews and hear say, not real practical experience, I only hope I don't suffer as you have. Ihave to say that so far the enamal on the engine seems pretty good so far and mechanically I have no cause for complaint (apart from the £350 12000 mile servicing bill from triumph). I bought this bike with a view to riding throughout the year and reliability was my utmost consideration I just hope it dosn't go pear shaped :confused:
 

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yet another Dave
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i thought i just had a lemon but im glad (in a way!) its happened to others.
my 955i ST was unreliable too, in the end it ate the centre piston ring 1 month out of warranty, at 4K miles! after a whole new bottom end, pistons and liners and engine rebuild (cost me £700 labour, triumph "donated" as a "goodwill gesture" the £2000 parts) i could never trust it again and i would never buy another triumph.
this "as good as a japanese bike" reputation triumph have is a load of ********.
this experience is the main reason im with the big aitch now
 

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bigtrailie admin
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I can only hope I don't experience any of these issues, Its currently at 14000 miles and no problems yet (although I have only done 2000 miles on it)
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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i thought i just had a lemon but im glad (in a way!) its happened to others.
my 955i ST was unreliable too, in the end it ate the centre piston ring 1 month out of warranty, at 4K miles! after a whole new bottom end, pistons and liners and engine rebuild (cost me £700 labour, triumph "donated" as a "goodwill gesture" the £2000 parts) i could never trust it again and i would never buy another triumph.
this "as good as a japanese bike" reputation triumph have is a load of ********.
this experience is the main reason im with the big aitch now
Sorry to hear that mate i got to agree these triumphs don't seem to be any more reliable than those in the 60's & 70's Best stick to the Japs i think
 

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bigtrailie admin
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There does seem to be plenty of high milage examples around, I heard a few horror stories about the 885 clutches but other than here not much in the way of bad reports (mind you that was mainly on trumpet forums)......
The only negative comments are usually "sound a bit agricultural"
 

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yet another Dave
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The only negative comments are usually "sound a bit agricultural"
it was a great bike to ride, but not to own if you know what i mean.
parts were not very long lived and hideously expensive, as were services, (because triumph dealers are few and far between some of them seem to think they can charge what they like, theres one on my doorstep but i used to go 50mi each way to use another dealer) even an oil+filter change would cost over £50 even to do yourself if you used the recomended mobil1 oil.
i had it 3 years from new and as well as the aforementioned engine trouble it went through a headrace bearing at 1st MoT, 3 coil/plugcaps at £35ea, 2sets brake pads, a chain/sprocket set(even with a scottoiler), it ate tyres, and probably £1000 in servicing costs.
on the previous bike (GSXr600) i replaced a blown bulb and a few tyres and i used to ride like a banshee everywhere for 4 years, as soon as i grow up and get a big boys bike to ride calmly my costs triple! i lost a summers riding because the engine was being rebuilt, i think thats what p***ed me off the most and i'll never have another triumph.

anyway, this is getting off the thread subject so its my last post

TTFN
 

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Sorry but I think I have to comment here folks, as a Triumph owner/rider for over 2yrs I think I'm in a position to pass judgement on one of their bikes!

I've over 30,000 on my 955i Tiger and can't really fault the bike, the petrol sender unit gave up the ghost 2 yrs ago but a new sender was sourced at £48 and problem solved. As already mentioned, the build quality has surpassed that of modern Honda's and regarding reliability I think you should take a closer look at the mighty Honda's, fuel pumps, regulator rectifiers, brake calipers, need I go further?

Plenty of folk on this forum have had their own personal nightmare with Hondas, although over 100,000 on @T's personally I had no problem at all!

All bikes have good points and bad points, I'm not going to knock Honda as my personal experience with them has been excellent, Yamaha has also been very good to me, as has the Triumph.

Just wanted to balance the post a little with a positive word for Triumph, although Sean's issue with the 1050 is worrying me! Opinions are like *rseholes, this just happens to be mine! Opinion I mean! Ha ha! :thumb:
 

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bigtrailie admin
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Sorry but I think I have to comment here folks, as a Triumph owner/rider for over 2yrs I think I'm in a position to pass judgement on one of their bikes!

I've over 30,000 on my 955i Tiger and can't really fault the bike, the petrol sender unit gave up the ghost 2 yrs ago but a new sender was sourced at £48 and problem solved. As already mentioned, the build quality has surpassed that of modern Honda's and regarding reliability I think you should take a closer look at the mighty Honda's, fuel pumps, regulator rectifiers, brake calipers, need I go further?

Plenty of folk on this forum have had their own personal nightmare with Hondas, although over 100,000 on @T's personally I had no problem at all!

All bikes have good points and bad points, I'm not going to knock Honda as my personal experience with them has been excellent, Yamaha has also been very good to me, as has the Triumph.

Just wanted to balance the post a little with a positive word for Triumph, although Sean's issue with the 1050 is worrying me! Opinions are like *rseholes, this just happens to be mine! Opinion I mean! Ha ha! :thumb:
WHOOOP WHOOOP !!!!! right on africajim I thought I was on my own :thumbup:
 

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bigtrailie admin
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it was a great bike to ride, but not to own if you know what i mean.
parts were not very long lived and hideously expensive, as were services, (because triumph dealers are few and far between some of them seem to think they can charge what they like, theres one on my doorstep but i used to go 50mi each way to use another dealer) even an oil+filter change would cost over £50 even to do yourself if you used the recomended mobil1 oil.
i had it 3 years from new and as well as the aforementioned engine trouble it went through a headrace bearing at 1st MoT, 3 coil/plugcaps at £35ea, 2sets brake pads, a chain/sprocket set(even with a scottoiler), it ate tyres, and probably £1000 in servicing costs.
on the previous bike (GSXr600) i replaced a blown bulb and a few tyres and i used to ride like a banshee everywhere for 4 years, as soon as i grow up and get a big boys bike to ride calmly my costs triple! i lost a summers riding because the engine was being rebuilt, i think thats what p***ed me off the most and i'll never have another triumph.

anyway, this is getting off the thread subject so its my last post

TTFN
I suppose I'm really lucky in that I have Windy Corner (the trumpet main dealer in Hinckley) just up the road and they seem very good on parts prices for eaxple today they have quoted me £200.00 for an original race can including fitting and remapping for my 955 now thats cheaper than some of the aftermarket options available.
I know that had I had your experiences I probably wouldn't go there again but so far I'm already positioning for a 1050 within thr next two years
 

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I must add, I've owned bith Tiger and the mighty Varadero, I must point out the Varadero is probably the best touring adventure bike built today. A bike that can cover continents with ease and comfort, power to impress most riders and Honda build quality.

Like the Africa twin, I would like to see some improvements made to the Vara, the @T needed more power and a better seat to continue being the ultimate allrounder, the Vara needs to slim down and be more economical.

The 6 speed and the injection has bound to have made it a more economical bike since my old carb one but it's not been on a diet yet which is a pity!

Which brings me to the Tiger, my 955i is a better adventure bike than the Vara, it is slimmer, more versatile, more economical and has oceans of power! It is truly the bike the @T should have become. The Tiger handles well offroad and is far better than the Vara in this respect.

My final opinion? Well, the new Vara is still too heavy and wide for my liking, try standing up on one and you'll know what I mean. I wouldn't want to stand for long periods. As for touring, well I still think the Vara is the ultimate, as long as it's short trips offroad!

The Tiger? Well, the new 1050 has still to prove itself over time. Sean's one is not the only 1050 Tiger to have engine issues. The 17" front wheel is bound to restrict it's offroad ability so offroad might not be as good as my 955i. There's a few issues surrounding the offroad ability, if it's not an adventure bike I'd be as well with a Bandit, Hornet, Fazer, multistrada, etc! There are many other bikes out there far far better than a Triumph as a runaround bike, I only want a true adventure bike, one that I can use for touring, scratching, daily commuting and a bit of offroad fun, if the Triumph or Honda will not suffice I will simply go elsewhere! I have just discussed a new Tenere with my local dealer (Wullie Young for the locals) and if the right price I may go down that road.

I will add I have still not ruled out the Tri-colour Varadero! We'll see!
 

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Well I've tried the 955i a couple of times and my verdict is it's not there yet. Too cramped for me at 6' 3" Too much wind. ;) Not as comfy especially the 07-08 vara. Headlamp nowhere near the Vara league. Build and or parts finish not as good. But the 955i engine is a peach but if you are a twin person, it's boring. The Triumph is quite quick but I don't think it would shake a Vara off with ease. The Vara feels very light to ride so don't be fooled by it's bulk. The latest models are a big improvement over the early ones and are soooooo easy to live with. It's almost like a friend. Off road is ok on a sound track. If you want to do serious muddy off road,get a machine for the job. Fuel is 220 miles to the light and I'm not known to ride slow (sometimes) :rolleyes: I can't actually fault it and I've been looking for a fault since 1999 - 4 Varas and a VFR later and I think it's the best Adventure Tourer ever produced. :thumbup: Yes I did try the BMUU as well and it didna like me and I didna like it. Expensive, pretentious, over rated and German I suppose. It shakes it's head if you push it.
 

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To me the big benefit of Honda over Triumph is the dealer network throughout Europe. I had a timing chain return spring break in Turkey - 1999 bike - it was repaired under guarantee and I was back on the road in 36 hours - including a free oil change and filters :)
 

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Got to throw my Singapore dollars worth in here :rolleyes:

I have an 03 Vara, being my first bike after too many years. I hang around with a great bunch of local Vara guys, many have other bikes in addition to the Varas. Many a night we have spent over coffee discussing other bikes of that ilk and given the funds we all agree we would like to have something else as well but just for the variety and nothing else really.

I tested a Tiger recently and I was very impressed, probably most of that was down to fit, I felt right at home and a lot more confident. I am only 5'10" and not what you would call leggy. My heart is in my mouth when the Vara is at walking pace or trying to shuffle around a carpark, skill and experience lack probably more than anything but I was happier doing the same things with the Tiger, that it wasn't mine may have had something to do with it ;).

At the end of the day I will probably end up keeping the Vara in Singapore and getting a Tiger for when I am in the UK. A sage old local advised me, you can get the Honda fixed anywhere between here & Beijing, the Triumph can only fix here or Bangkok, an awful lot or road in between!

Oh and much as the Vara has a lovely sound even on standard pipes, you simply cannot argue with the blood curdling yowl from the Tiger :teeth:
 

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.... I had a timing chain return spring break in Turkey - 1999 bike - it was repaired under guarantee and I was back on the road in 36 hours - including a free oil change and filters :)
This is a case of the spring not being maintained - tightened. If you wish to ensure that other parts do not fail you must have a 'preventive maintenance' programme for your bike.
 

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This is a case of the spring not being maintained - tightened. If you wish to ensure that other parts do not fail you must have a 'preventive maintenance' programme for your bike.
I get the irony - you could have at least used a 'wink':icon_smile:

As you are probably aware, the cam chain is self adjusting. The spring that stops it rewinding has a little tag on the top - it broke off. These things happen.:icon_smile:
 
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