Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro & Rally Pro Review: First Ride

By Jared Solomon | on February 21, 2020

The new Tiger from Hinckley; the best roads & trails in Morocco. What more could Jared ask for?

We knew the exact specifications of the new Tiger 900 range even before we got to Morocco to ride the latest mid-segment ADVs from Hinckley. We already knew they were going to be lighter, more agile, and more powerful than the 800. But I could never have imagined just how much fun I was about to have with these beautiful machines.

The Tiger 800 was a very special machine, and I’ve had many wonderful moments with that bike. So, naturally, my expectations for new the 900 range were high, but not in my wildest dreams I wouldn’t have imagined that it would improve quite so much in so many areas! 

I rode both bikes of the 900 range for three days around Morocco on some of the most scenic roads and adventurous trails out there. And I must say that they truly blew my mind – and now I’ve got to try and put down an experience that left me utterly speechless into words. So, here we go…

Triumph Tiger 900 Fuel Tank

What’s new?
Well, the bikes themselves – and I mean quite literally! Not a single part or component from the 800 has been borrowed. Starting with the design, the 900 has changed a lot – it now has new panels, a new fuel tank, new headlights, a new windscreen, and a new seat. Basically, everything your eye can see is brand new. 

The bikes also get a new frame, with a removable subframe. Even the suspension, tyres, decals, and badging are all new. But they still look very much like a Tiger, albeit a slimmed-down version. That’s right, the Tiger may have gone up to 900, but it has lost weight and now sits at around 200kgs dry, depending on the model. 

Speaking of models, the new ones are called the Rally and GT. We rode the Pro versions of these models, which means they had as many goodies as possible.

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Details

The biggest change, though, is obviously the bigger, more powerful engine. The engine now displaces 888cc and produces 84bhp and 87Nm of torque, which is about 10% more torque than the 800. 

Triumph has also managed to lower the position of the engine, while also increasing the ground clearance of the bike. It has been done by splitting the radiator, shortening the sump, and a bunch of other stuff, which we won’t get into right now. 

The new engine does feature some new innovative engineering, such as the T Plane Crank. This new cylinder firing system essentially improves mid-range performance, allowing you to access more torque and power at lower revs. It also has some design benefits, but I want to jump right into how much fun this bike is to ride.

Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro In Action

The GT Pro
The GT Pro is the road-focused Tiger, and Pro means it has the highest spec-level, which includes all the extra tech and features, such as cornering ABS, traction control, and phone connectivity, including GoPro and navigation controls. It also gets a new electronic suspension, a quick-shifter, a heated handlebar, and a heated seat.

As I sat astride the GT Pro, I couldn’t help but notice that the seat was a little low and the handlebars were now closer to the rider. It is a slightly more compact seating position and a little bit more road-biased, of course, but, still, it’s very comfortable. We rode for 300 kilometers on the first day and covered that distance without ever feeling the need to stop and rest.

Triumph Tiger 900 Gt Pro Instrumentation

The new engine is beautiful and the acceleration is fantastic. I have to say that Triumph’s ride-by-wire technology is simply the best. There are 5 riding modes, of which Road and Sport seemed best suited to our riding requirement. 

In Sport mode, you get a very sporty feel – the bike feels more like a sports tourer than an adventure tourer. The engine really doesn’t run out of steam as you begin to pick up speed, and, before you know it, the speedometer displays a speed that would keep you wondering how you got there so quickly. Refinement levels are also good, and the engine feels very smooth. I did, however, prefer the older exhaust note compared to the new one.

Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro Cornering

The ride quality is simply beautiful, and the fully adjustable Marzocchi 45mm USD forks are perfect for the tarmac. What I really love, though, is the electronic suspension at the rear. You can simply set the suspension on the go, so irrespective of the road surface you’re on, you’re always able to enjoy the ride.

The Tiger 900 is also a whole lot nimbler now. The front-end feels nice and stable, and thanks to the higher ground clearance, you can really lean into tight corners at great speeds. Riders who like to get a little sporty will truly love the way this bike handles. On the road, the GT Pro really doesn’t disappoint at all. And, in my opinion, it’s one of the best middle segment adventure tourers for the tarmac. But, if you want to get a whole lot more adventurous, then the Rally Pro is the bike for you.

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro In Action Water Crossing

Rally Pro
This bike was made for me! It gets all the goodies of the GT Pro, but it has been set up to take on harsh terrain as well. The Rally Pro gets bigger front tyres with spokes, and it also gets a better suspension for a more versatile riding experience. The Showa USD forks have 240mm of travel, and the rear has 230mm. It does, however, miss out on the electronic suspension, but it is easily adjustable by hand.

We rode the bike on all kinds of road surfaces, including dirt trails, sand dunes, rocky patches, and, of course, on the tarmac. Irrespective of the surface we were on, the Rally Pro felt right at home. Even on the road, it was quick and nimble, and also far more comfortable than the GT Pro, in my opinion.

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro In Off Roading

But what I most enjoyed was taking this bike on the rough stuff and power sliding all over the place. The Rally Pro gets Off-Road Pro riding mode, which disengages the traction and ABS completely to give you full control. It’s such an easy bike to handle that I was in awe of my own riding abilities. The bike rides over anything, and even if you don’t intend to, the rear tyre will fishtail a lot, putting a wide grin on your face. The bike feels very light and inspires a lot of confidence, even in novice off-road riders.

After riding this bike for a whole day, I can’t even begin to explain how enjoyable the entire experience was. We were, of course, given bikes with off-road tyres, and adjusted pegs & grips, so the experience we had was perfectly optimized.

Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro Rally Pro Static

Verdict
So, I am now going to say what I’ve been wanting to say since I began writing this story. The new Tiger 900 is the best all-round motorcycle in the mid-capacity engine space and it’s superior to the BMW 850GS, both on- and off-road. 

When the bike is launched in India, it will certainly carry a high price tag, but the new Tiger 900 is better than the older one by leaps and bounds. If you want to get into serious adventure riding, or if you’re just looking to begin your adventure riding journey, then you don’t have to look beyond this motorcycle. It’s really that good, and very soon, it just might find its way into my garage!  

Also Read: 

Mastering off-road biking at Triumph Tiger Riding Academy

Tags: Triumph Triumph Tiger 900

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