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Dirt and Trail June 2020-2

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experience by improving

experience by improving performance where most riders are going to use it. I think the theme of this review could actually be the fact that Triumph listened to Tiger 800 owners as they designed this new bike. And a perfect example of that is the location of the new airbox. In order to get to the air filter on our current XCX, one had to remove the radiator shrouds, tank shrouds, and finally the tank itself before reaching the airbox, which had a multitude of screws holding it into place. The ritual takes upwards of an hour, and that is if you are fast and familiar with the work. The location of the new air box and air filter is a drastic improvement over the previous version. The new air filter is sensibly located underneath the seat. You have to remove four bolts holding on the lower tank shrouds and then six screws to release the cartridge air filter. The process from start to finish might take you 10 minutes. For anyone who rides these bikes off-road, this is such an important advancement because you can now check your air filter much more regularly. In extremely dusty conditions, you’ll want to check it or clean it (if you swap to a reusable filter, which we recommend) after every ride. Tiger 900 chassis Many riders like to remove those pegs when riding off-road so they don’t interfere with moving around on the bike. That wasn’t possible with the previous Tiger. The second problem with this design is that it makes it really easy to damage the frame of the bike in an off-road crash. There were multiple reports of Tiger owners who bent a passenger foot peg mount in a crash and had to get a new frame from Triumph. The Tiger 800 was the only ADV bike I can think of with this design in 2019. With the new 2020 Tiger 900, the rear aluminum sub-frame is now removable, with four mounting points to a new steel trellis frame. The passenger pegs are also removable, allowing for better range of motion for the rider in off-road scenarios. The only downside here is that I feel like the fit and finish on the welds aren’t up to what I’ve come to expect from Triumph. Also the size of the bungs where the passenger pegs attach to the sub-frame are smaller than the outside diameter of the peg mounts. Overall it just looks a bit rough. All neat and lekker and modern... Brembo Stylema brakes... Figuring out all of the electronics will take a while... At five feet, six inches tall, Kelly Callan from Ultimate Motorcycling was able to comfortably ride both GT Pro and Rally Pro models. Showa forks up front... Redesigned skid plate There are some discrepancies in the literature Triumph provided, but the weight of the new Tiger 900 is up to 25 kilogrammesm lighter than the previous Tiger 800. But what is important to note is that it feels much lighter by comparison because of the distribution of the weight. The engine now sits 20 mm lower in the frame than the previous version and 40 mm further forward, as measured from the center of the crank. The engine is also angled forward roughly six degrees. You’ll notice the radiator at the front of the bike is now split to accommodate this change. Because the new engine requires less oil, they were able to reduce the size of the sump. Therefore, ground clearance was actually improved in spite of the fact that the engine sits lower in the frame. Tiger 900 brakes and wheels The new Tiger is slowed down using Brembo Stylema four-piston calipers, which replace the old Nissins. The brake rotor size has increased from 305 mm to 320 mm and there is now a radial master cylinder. The rear brake is a singlepiston Brembo caliper and a 255 mm disc. Adjustment at the brake lever offers an extreme range of motion so you can precisely tune where the lever sits. Braking is drastically improved over the previous Nissin set-up. The initial bite is strong and the lever pull is comfortably progressive. The big benefit for off-road riders is that the rear brake pedal on the Rally and Rally Pro is now the same as that found on the Scrambler 1200. It features two different positions, so when you’re riding in the standing position you have a much easier reach to the rear pedal, as well as improved braking feel. The base Tiger, GT, and GT Pro all receive cast wheels, just like the previous XR line of Tiger 800s. The front wheel fits a 100/90-19 tyre and the rear utilizes a 150/70R17. The Tiger 900 Rally and Rally Pro receive cross-spoked, tubeless rims, a feature not previously available on the Tiger 800 XC bikes. This means that riders sticking to the street can now get away with just carrying a tyre plug kit. For those of you adventuring far off-road and running lower tyre pressure, I would still recommend using a tube. If you’ve ever tried to set a bead on a bent rim off-road with a “tubeless” setup, you’ll know why. It’s a pain in the ass. That being said, the tubeless rims are a nice win for the majority of the 40 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2020 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JUNE 2020 41