Dif­fer­ent strokes

The higher-revving Tiger takes on the torquey BMW

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - TWO WHEELS -

THE Tiger, Triumph’s first foray into ad­ven­ture bikes, took lit­tle time to reach No.2 in the seg­ment. The clos­est ri­val in style, size and abil­ity is the BMW F800 GS in fourth with 172 sales. I own a GS, so af­ter sev­eral months of nurs­ing wounds sus­tained on the Tiger’s launch, it was time to com­pare the two com­bat­ants.


The Tiger wins the price war start­ing at $16,290, the GS at $17,490. ABS adds $1000 and $1265 re­spec­tively.

But the BMW comes stan­dard with a smarter on­board com­puter with a con­ve­nient tog­gle but­ton on the left han­dle­bar, hand­grip warm­ers, cen­tre stand and self­can­celling in­di­ca­tors.

The Tiger has stan­dard plas­tic hand­guards but most ad­ven­ture riders will prob­a­bly opt for stur­dier guards.

BMW’S GS Tro­phy edi­tion, for an ex­tra $500, comes with blue and white liv­ery, black and grey seat, en­gine guard and solid hand pro­tec­tion bars.


The Tiger’s triple pumps out 70kw but it needs 9300rpm to reach that but the Ger­man’s par­al­lel twin peaks at 63kw at 7500rpm. Low-revs grunt is more im­por­tant for an of­froader and the BMW wins with 83Nm at 5700rpm against the Triumph’s 79Nm at 7850rpm.

On pa­per and on the road the Triumph is more po­tent at higher revs. A lit­tle thirstier, it has a sim­i­lar ef­fec­tive range.


Prac­ti­cal out­weighs pretty. The Triumph has a slightly cleaner look; the BMW has a more bul­bous nose with one big head­light and one small.


Stop­ping power is ex­cel­lent on both with big twin front discs. Triumph uses Nissin calipers, the BMW has Brem­bos with braided lines and about 8kg less weight, giv­ing it the edge.


This Tiger’s triple makes more of a whizzing sound, pro­mot­ing rapid progress when you feed it plenty of revs, the BMW’S de­liv­ery is lazier and lumpier so the Tiger — with with a softer seat, wider foot­pegs and less buf­fet­ing from the wind­screen — is a good propo­si­tion on the road. Off-road or dirt-road rides re­quire too much fancy foot­work to keep the revs high and the BMW’S big torque is eas­ier to man­age in the dirt and it has the bet­ter roll-on power for pass­ing.


The Tiger is tri­umphant on the road but the BMW takes the spoils in the bush.

Mark Hinch­liffe

Beasts of vary­ing stripes: The GS goes the long way around and the Triumph breaks new ground

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