TRIUMPH TIGER 850 SPORT (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Good value with an engaging engine
  • Cheaper alternative to Triumph Tiger 900 range
  • Can be restricted for an A2 licence

At a glance

Power: 84 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (423 lbs / 192 kg)

Prices

New £9,300
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It is easy to look at the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport’s spec list and label it a 'budget Tiger model', however this doesn’t do it justice. 

Yes, the Sport lacks adjustable suspension and an IMU but it is a Tiger model in its own right and one that delivers a lovely balance of power, useability and fun for those not wishing to take to the trails. It’s a pleasingly understated bike that gets on with the job in hand and is really good because of it.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

A really easy bike for cruising around on, the Sport is very comfortable (the seat is two-stage in its height) but even on its highest setting the screen doesn’t offer much in the way of weather protection and brush guards are an optional extra.

With no adjustability at the front and only preload to alter at the rear (via a remote adjuster), the Sport’s Marzocchi suspension is fairly basic in its design, however there is nothing wrong with basic if it is done well and in the case of the Sport it is done very well. As it has no off-road pretentions the suspension is set slightly firmer than you would expect on an adventure bike, something that gives it more poise in the corners and less pitching on brakes or acceleration.

The 19-inch front is assured and the Brembo brakes, as you would expect from a set-up usually found on a Panigale, are more than up to the job. Not overkill but certainly capable of delivering lots of bite if requested and braided lines are standard fitment. In all honesty the non-IMU controlled ABS and TC systems are more than up to the job and aside from extreme situations, they certainly suffice.

It’s slightly disappointing there is no cruise control on a bike aimed at road riders, which would arguably be more use than power modes as the user-friendly motor means that Rain is slightly surplus to requirements.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Sport’s triple motor has the same 888cc capacity as the Tiger 900 models, it just has a different tune. Where the 900s make 93.9bhp and 64.2ftlb of torque, the 850 produces 84bhp with 60ftlb while the bulk of the drive is also moved lower in the rev range.

On the road you don’t spot it is at all down in power and the triple is beautifully smooth with a lovely fluid throttle connection and strong mid-range. At a constant throttle it seems to have less of the 900 model’s slightly vibey buzz and yet when you explore the higher rev range you get that lovely new off-beat triple feel and character.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport engine

As a road motor, it’s really very hard to fault and can be made A2-legal if required, cutting its performance to 47bhp at 7000rpm, with 57.5ftlb of torque.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 888cc triple is a new engine and only made its debut in the Tiger 900 models in 2020, so reliability is yet to be thoroughly tested. It is de-tuned for the 850, which will improve its reliability, and the quality of the chassis components bodes well.

Overall, it looks a well-finished product. Service intervals are every 6000 miles with the valve-clearances at 12,000 and the exhaust system is stainless steel, which is good.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport handlebars

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Triumph have targeted the Tiger 850 Sport at the lower end of the premium middleweight adventure class and it is £2100 cheaper than the cheapest Tiger 900 model, the GT, at £9300.

Its main rivals will be the BMW F750GS, which starts at £8600, and the Ducati Multistrada 950, which is a hefty £11,995 in base guise. In this context, the Sport is about on the money and does offer a more grown-up look than the F750GS with the added bonus of that wonderful triple engine.

Would-be owners could also consider the slightly larger V-twin Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT, which starts at a modest £9999.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport front end

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Sport is more targeted at the budget-conscious end of the premium middleweight adventure bike market however you do get a 5-inch TFT dash (minus connectivity), two rider modes (Road and Rain), ABS and traction control (non-angle-sensitive but switchable), an adjustable screen, LED lights, two-position seat, 12V socket and adjustable position bars, which isn’t bad.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport TFT screen

The addition of Brembo Stylema calipers adds to the visual appeal and there is an assist & slipper clutch, so it is hard to complain too much.

A centre stand would be nice as standard and not an optional extra and it is a bit of a shame that it is lacking cruise control as well as connectivity and an IMU with the associated angle-sensitive electronics considering its price tag.

Specs

Engine size 888cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 192kg
Front suspension 45mm, Marzocchi forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single rear Marzocchi shock, adjustable (remote) spring preload
Front brake 2x320mm discs with four-piston radial Brembo Stylema calipers. ABS
Rear brake 255mm single disc with one-piston Brembo caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 100/90x19
Rear tyre size 150/70x17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost -
New price £9,300
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 84 bhp
Max torque 60 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 243 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2021: New model launched.

Other versions

The Sport is the only Tiger 850 model, however Triumph also sell the higher-spec Tiger 900 in GT, GT Low, GT Pro, Rally and Rally Pro options.

Watch MCN's Triumph Tiger 900 range video here:

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