In January 2007 I test rode the new Tiger 1050 demonstrator.
My initial impressions compared with my Tiger 955i:-
The Tiger 1050 felt so light compared with my Tiger 955i, both when wheeling it around and riding it. The new Tiger is
slimmer as well, the C of G is much lower. The engine is very revy and the Tiger 1050 is quick. Top gear roll ons are
impressively fast. There is less flywheel so riding in town is a little jerky. I had wheel spin twice accelerating hard on
damp roads were my 955i would not have spun the BT020. The front brake is awesome, clearly a whole generation
better with floating disks and radial callipers. The seat is wide and comfy, a bit hard after my gel seat. I could just about
get my heels down, about the same as my lowered 955i. This bike is clearly more Supermoto than Traillie, you tend to sit
on it, not in it. The suspension is firmer and the steering is quicker. You could go into a corner way too fast and worry less
about getting round than my 2003 Tiger (Both bikes would probably still make it, less drama on the new one). The screen
is OK. It will tour and I would have no problem riding to the South of France and back with a few Trails on the way. I found
the instruments are harder to read as they are well below the sight line. Keeping to a steady 30 or 40 mph is not easy
with such a frisky engine. I like the MPG option, max speed etc but I dislike not having an analogue Speedo.
Overall I really liked the new Tiger so I upgraded to one. For a shorter rider like me this new bike is much more
manageable. I rode my 2003 Tiger 955i immediately afterwards and it was still a great bike. The engine is smoother and
it soaks up bumps better. The steering is slower and the old Tiger felt really stable and planted (which I like). I did not
feel in any way disappointed or let down to be on my old Tiger. These bikes are so different I would own both if I had the
I also test rode a KTM 990 Adventure the same week as it is the only bike I would have considered buying in place of the
Tiger. I've owned three KTM 300 EXC Enduro bikes and I loved them to bits. The 990 offers good handling, brakes,
gearbox etc and of course cool Adventure looks. The latest 990's have a much lower seat height. I could get my heals
down easily. I liked the V-Twin under acceleration however the engine must have a very short stroke as it revs to 9,500!
The complete lack of flywheel and poor low speed fuelling were it's biggest let down. I stalled it twice. At 30, 40, 50 or
even 60 mph on a steady throttle it rides like a bad tempered RD350 2 stroke. On-off-on-off-on-on-on-off-off-off-on-on
etc..... Cruising round back country lanes is not particularly pleasant unless you gas it all the time. It was relief to get
back on my 955i. The Triumph Triple engine is so sweet and so sophisticated by comparison. The Adventure is better
than a BMW 1200GS but not as good as my Tiger. I would much prefer the Tiger to own and ride. The KTM Suspension is
better off road but the engine fuelling is dreadful.
I have had no trouble keeping up with the early Adventures off road, in fact it is the other way round. First a KTM Rider has
to stop the engine and go through a 30 second re-start routine that eliminates the Anti-Lock brakes. Then they inevitably
stall at some point, re-start and nearly crash on the next downhill bend as the ABS has re-engaged automatically. So they
stop the engine (again) and re-start it with the ABS disabled. By this time I've arrived at the end of the trail on the Tiger and
I've been waiting over 2 minutes. To be fair a similar rider on a KTM Adventure without ABS will just leave the Tiger 1050
for dead off-road.
My first roadtest of the Tiger 1050 + KTM 990 Adventure
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