Envy or excitement, how a Tiger owner welcomes the new 2013 Triumph Tiger Sport 1050
by Mark DT
Those of you who read this site know I am a Triumph fan, and that my personal ride is a 2011 Triumph Tiger 1050 SE. For me it has been the best motorcycle I’ve owned. My Tiger 1050 is also the most fun all around motorcycle I’ve ridden after renting and demo riding numerous models from many manufacturers. I was happy to snap up my motorcycle new from the dealer a year ago, but I was a little sad to think that this great model may be on the way out to make way for the bigger off road focused Tiger Explorer. That is why I am thrilled to learn that Triumph is updating my favourite model with the new 2013 Triumph Tiger Sport.
Now the big Explorer is a great bike, but it had no appeal for me. I have zero off road ambitions, especially on a heavy brand new motorcycle that I will take many months to pay off. I prefer a lighter motorcycle with speed and handling, while at the same time staying all day comfortable. I like the ability to carry three bags, and a pillion, or have that same bike maintain the potential to do track days. I also like having a bike that isn’t overly common on the road. For me, the 1050 Tiger was the ideal steed.
Now my Tiger isn’t perfect. The stock lights were horrendous. In fact several articles on Farkle My RIde have been dedicated to improving motorcycle light articles by owners of the 1050cc Tiger. The windscreen was my only other big fault, however this is a common issue on many bikes, and I wrote about a solution here.
It looks like for 2013, Triumph listened to its owners. The new motorcycle maintains the best of the original; light, nimble, and fast; while sorting out the lighting issues and making the motorcycle more accessible to riders who have less than a 32 inch inseam.
A few highlights that caught my eye:
Improved Fully Adjustable Suspension: I found the suspension coped nicely up to legal speeds, but many riders who track the bike, or are heavier than 200 pounds had issues that were discussed at length on Triumph forums. This is a smart move from Triumph and will be well received.
Bigger Panniers: As an owner the 2011 model I can vouch that this is a big plus. Travelling on extended trips took origami like packing skills. Again many previous owners turned to aftermarket solutions that may not be necessary for 2013 owners.
10 More Horse Power: The Speed Triple always had that extra power stock, while Tiger owners used to have to go to aftermarket exhaust, and fuel maps. When has anyone complained about more power?
Better Headlights: The average non Tiger owner may not realize what a big deal this is. The lights on the 2007-2012 models are terrible. Owners of the old model like myself ended needing to go after market with HID kits, and LED Auxiliary lights. Bravo on finally addressing this issue.
Single side swing arm: Another well thought out change.
I am looking forward to seeing the new bike this spring, but it will be a while until I am ready to part with my own for a newer model. My farkling journey has made my Tiger a personal statement and I still smile every time I ride or even just see it parked in the garage. It is nice to know though that God forbid it got stolen or written off, that I can buy a new one that is even better out of the box than mine was the day I brought it home.