Triumph upgrades Tiger Sport with revised engine and electronic safety systems
One of Triumph's best-selling models, the Tiger Sport, has received a host of updates for 2016. The 1050 cc in-line triple engine has been redesigned for more torque and lower fuel consumption, coupled with an electronic throttle, a new slip assist clutch and a collection of electronic safety features.
The name Tiger occupies a highly regarded place in Triumph's history, having been used in a number of legendary models. It first appeared in 1937 as a 249 cc single and throughout the subsequent three decades named a series of motorcycles, including the sport roadsters that eventually evolved to become the iconic Bonneville series.
In the company's modern history, the Tiger reappeared as a dual purpose T400 triple in 1993. In this form it gradually grew in capacity from 885 to 955 cc, remaining in production until 2007 when the new 1050 version was introduced. That was a pivotal point in the model's timeline, as it transformed to a purely street-oriented sport adventurer with 17-inch wheels and road tires, while dual-purpose duties were relegated to the new Tiger 800 and Tiger Explorer 1200 models.
This latest iteration of the Tiger met considerable success and went through a thorough rejuvenation process in 2013, when it acquired the Tiger Sport designation. On February 12, the new 2016 Tiger Sport was unveiled at the MCN London Motorcycle Show.
Triumph opted to retain the motorcycle's design, shape and most of its running gear, as the last version of the bike is still extremely competent. Instead, focus was turned on upgrading it with some modern electronic support systems, as well as complying with the Euro 4 ruleset.
Starting with the engine, Triumph talks about an extensive redesign without disclosing exactly what it was that has changed. What we do know is that the three-cylinder powerplant sports revised combustion chambers, a new exhaust system and a brand new Electronic Control Unit (ECU), targeting more torque, optimized power delivery and lower fuel consumption. However, no specific numbers have been released as of yet.
Until now, the Tiger Sport was part of a rare breed of motorcycles in the large capacity class to still employ steel throttle cables and refrain from any electronic safety system other than ABS. This purity of sorts ends with the new model, as Triumph equipped it with the ride-by-wire throttle system – as is now the case with every other motorcycle in its range.
With the aid of electronic throttle control, the new ECU features the typical selectable Rider Modes – Rain, Road and Sport – with each representing a predetermined set of power delivery and traction control values. Talking about the traction control, Triumph describes it as "multi-level" but does not clarify whether it can be adjusted independently of the rider modes or if it is possible to deactivate. The new Tiger Sport also features cruise control and, of course, ABS in its standard equipment list.
Triumph also added its slip assist clutch to the new Tiger Sport, a system that debuted a few years ago in its sportbikes and has already migrated to the latest Bonneville and Thruxton family, offering lighter clutch action and dialing back torque.
Updates include new grippier footpegs, redesigned mirrors, hand guards and heated grips as standard. There's also a new tinted screen that is adjustable on the go by just one hand and includes a pair of "screen aero diffusers" designed to deflect air away from the rider.
The new Tiger Sport will be available in April, at a price that is not expected to exceed the €13,000 (US$14,600) mark in Europe. It will be produced in two color variations: silver with red detailing and matte black with neon yellow detailing – the latter of which are not included in the photos released by Triumph.