I’VE GOT A real soft spot for the Tiger because I was at Triumph when the first one came out in 1993. It was the seventh new model, after the Trophy 1200 and 900, the two Daytonas and the two Tridents, and it’s been in the range ever since. How many other bikes have been selling for that long? Originally it was conceived as what we used to call a crosscountry bike, and it did really well, especially in Germany and Italy. It was a character bike – it was bulbous and top heavy with a high centre of gravity, but it had charisma and people liked that. Over the years it evolved. For example it started off as a 900cc triple, but when the T509 fuel injected Speed Triple came out, the Tiger adopted that engine – that was 1997. And then when we got the 1050 engine that powered the Sprint and Speed Triple, that went into the Tiger in 2005. And the loyalty towards it is amazing. We’ve got a lot of people on their fourth or fifth Tiger at the factory. There’s a lad in warranties who’s on his sixth – he says it’s a great bike to get to work on, and then him and his missus use it to head down to the West Country on a Friday night for weekends away. Is the Tiger Sport overlooked in the current range? Well, I remember reading somewhere that it wasn’t a star striker but a really polished defender, and that seems about right to me. It doesn’t grab the headlines like the latest Speed Triples, but the Tiger Sport has become an excellent sports tourer, taking over where the Sprint left off. Despite the new Tigers, there’s still a place for the Tiger Sport. Don’t forget that the top of the range Tiger 1200 is £19,017 and the Tiger Sport is £10,900 and with that price difference people will sacrifice having the latest electronic suspension, shift assist, or TFT screen because in today’s market it’s a good buy. And not everyone wants the latest high-spec bike. I’m of the school that doesn’t want the latest iphone 10 – I just want something to make calls on, text and get on the internet. Sometimes we underestimate the fact that some bikes with high specification are intimidating. There are no plans to drop it, though of course markets change so you never know – the Sprint ST was dropped because of that. Since day one we’ve sold just under 50,000 Tigers globally and about 12,000 in Britain. At the moment we’re selling about 400 Tiger Sports a year in the UK, which doesn’t sound much, but remember there’s only ten big bikes here that sell more than 1000 a year. And it’s popular in Europe and Australasia. It’s been a good bike for us. It helped make Triumph what we are today.