An end to Tiger’s pu­rity

Tri­umph only teases with de­tails of an ex­ten­sive re­design to the en­gine of the facelifted model

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - SPIROS TSANTILAS — Giz­mag. com.

ONE of Tri­umph’s best- sell­ing mod­els, the Tiger Sport, has re­ceived a host of up­dates for 2016.

The 1 050 cc in- line triple en­gine has been re­designed for more torque and lower fuel con­sump­tion, cou­pled with an elec­tronic throt­tle, a new slip as­sist clutch and a col­lec­tion of elec­tronic safety fea­tures.

The name Tiger oc­cu­pies a highly re­garded place in Tri­umph’s his­tory, hav­ing been used in a num­ber of leg­endary mod­els. It first ap­peared in 1937 as a 249 cc sin­gle and through­out the sub­se­quent three decades named a se­ries of mo­tor­cy­cles, in­clud­ing the sport road­sters that even­tu­ally evolved to be­come the iconic Bon­neville se­ries.

In the com­pany’s mod­ern his­tory, the Tiger reap­peared as a dual pur­pose T400 triple in 1993. In this form it grad­u­ally grew in ca­pac­ity from 885 to 955 cc, re­main­ing in pro­duc­tion un­til 2007 when the new 1 050 ver­sion was in­tro­duced.

That was a piv­otal point in the model’s time­line, as it trans­formed to a purely street- ori­ented sport ad­ven­turer with 17- inch wheels and road tyres, while dual- pur­pose du­ties were rel­e­gated to the new Tiger 800 and Tiger Ex­plorer 1 200 mod­els.

This lat­est it­er­a­tion of the Tiger met con­sid­er­able suc­cess and went through a thor­ough re­ju­ve­na­tion process in 2013, when it ac­quired the Tiger Sport des­ig­na­tion.

On Fe­bru­ary 12, the new 2016 Tiger Sport was un­veiled at the MCN Lon­don Mo­tor­cy­cle Show.

Tri­umph opted to re­tain the mo­tor­cy­cle’s de­sign, shape and most of its run­ning gear, as the last ver­sion of the bike is still ex­tremely com­pe­tent. In­stead, fo­cus was turned on up­grad­ing it with some mod­ern elec­tronic sup­port sys­tems, as well as com­ply­ing with the Euro 4 rule­set.

Start­ing with the en­gine, Tri­umph talks about an ex­ten­sive re­design with­out dis­clos­ing ex­actly what it was that has changed.

What we do know is that the three- cylin­der pow­er­plant sports re­vised com­bus­tion cham­bers, a new ex­haust sys­tem and a brand new Elec­tronic Con­trol Unit ( ECU), tar­get­ing more torque, op­ti­mised power de­liv­ery and lower fuel con­sump­tion.

How­ever, no spe­cific num­bers have been re­leased as of yet.

Un­til now, the Tiger Sport was part of a rare breed of mo­torcy- cles in the large ca­pac­ity class to still em­ploy steel throt­tle cables and re­frain from any elec­tronic safety sys­tem other than ABS.

This pu­rity of sorts ends with the new model, as Tri­umph equipped it with the ride- by- wire throt­tle sys­tem — as is now the case with ev­ery other mo­tor­cy­cle in its range. With the aid of elec­tronic throt­tle con­trol, the new ECU fea­tures the typ­i­cal se­lectable Rider Modes — Rain, Road and Sport — with each rep­re­sent­ing a pre­de­ter­mined set of power de­liv­ery and trac­tion con­trol val­ues.

Talk­ing about the trac­tion con­trol, Tri­umph de­scribes it as “multi- level” but does not clar­ify whether it can be ad­justed in­de­pen­dently of the rider modes or if it is pos­si­ble to de­ac­ti­vate.

The new Tiger Sport also fea­tures cruise con­trol and, of course, ABS in its stan­dard equip­ment list.

Tri­umph also added its slip as­sist clutch to the new Tiger Sport, a sys­tem that de­buted a few years ago in its sport­bikes and has al­ready mi­grated to the lat­est Bon­neville and Thrux­ton fam­ily, of­fer­ing lighter clutch ac­tion and di­alling back torque.

Up­dates in­clude new grip­pier foot­pegs, re­designed mir­rors, hand guards and heated grips as stan­dard. There’s also a new tinted screen that is ad­justable on the go by just one hand and in­cludes a pair of “screen aero dif­fusers” de­signed to de­flect air away from the rider.

The new Tiger Sport will be avail­able in April, at a price that is not ex­pected to ex­ceed € 13 000 ( R229 086) in Europe. It will be pro­duced in two colour vari­a­tions: sil­ver with red de­tail­ing and matte black with neon yel­low de­tail­ing — the lat­ter of which are not in­cluded in the pho­tos re­leased by Tri­umph.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Tri­umph’s new Tiger Sport does away with cables and joins the big en­gine bike ranks with an elec­tronic throt­tle, a new slip as­sist clutch and a col­lec­tion of elec­tronic safety fea­tures.

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