The Triumph Tiger Sport is a bit of a lost child in the Triumph line-up. As it turns out though, this bike seems to be the gifted one in the family. Triumph have the off-road biased Tiger range on the one hand and the Speed Triple road bike on the other. In the middle of these two sits the Tiger Sport. It borrows its engine from the Speed Triple with the upright riding position of the Tiger.
The engine has lost a little bit of the grunt of the Speed, but makes the Sport a more docile bike to live with. With a 106Nm of torque available at 7000rpm, the Sport can still be a handful. For that, there are three selectable ride modes: Sport, Road and Rain. When I received the bike, the first smattering of rain of the season started falling, and it was reassuring to know that the electronics had my back. In Sport mode, the power delivery is smooth and precise. Grabbing a handful of throttle to pass slow moving traffic hurls the bike forward and became rather addictive. There is a slight vibration at around the 5000 rpm mark and it is noticeable in the mirrors. Opening the throttle just a bit more was all it took to make the problem go away.
The front of the bike has a very effective windshield that operates mechanically. The Sport also gets handguards to keep wind and flying critters away from your digits. There is no TFT screen on the Sport. It still has a large analogue rev-counter, flanked by a small LCD screen. Other touches include a USB socket under the seat and a 12V auxiliary socket. The latter is however positioned on the left-hand side under the tank, so it is rather impractical for anything other than heated clothing.
Because the Tiger Sport is aimed at touring, I was glad to see cruise control as standard on this model. The upright riding position and wide handlebars also help with all day comfort. The footrests are a tad high for my legs, and I initially thought I would feel cramped. It bothered me far less than I anticipated because the generous seat allows for plenty of movement while on the go.
At R168 000 you will be hard pressed to find a 1000cc bike with so much character as the Tiger Sport. The three cylinder triple is smooth and has a throaty exhaust note, even with the standard pipes. I’m glad that Triumph have reintroduced us to its forgotten child.
Words and Pictures: Brian Cheyne