TRIUMPH TIGER 900 GT PRO (2020 - on) Review
- A decent step up over the previous Tiger 800
- Clever new engine tech adds character
- GT Pro is pick of the range for road riders
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 has big shoes to fill. For many the Triumph Tiger 800 was the adventure bike ideal; lighter and more manageable than larger capacity adventure models, but still capable of big two-up distances, daily commuting or light trail duties.
- Latest news: Triumph Tiger 850 Sport is new entry-level model
- Related: see the Triumph Tiger 900 in the new James Bond film No Time to Die
- Related: 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 - The story
Since its launch in 2010 Triumph have made 85,000 of the 800s. It was significantly revamped in 2014 and 2018, but this time round they started from scratch. The new 900 is a completely fresh motorcycle.
The design brief for the new bike meant it needed to be more agile, but more stable too. More powerful, but lighter. Better on and off-road, more comfortable, with longer range, reduced servicing costs, better equipment and a wider range of accessories. That’s quite a wish list.
- Also read: Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro review on MCN
The new bike makes a really impressive package, and the GT Pro is arguably the pick of the bunch for riders who’ll never venture off tarmac. Revised engine characteristics and extra power make it more engaging and better for pillions than the old bike, and the chassis dynamics are better all round, but maybe the most impressive thing is that, despite sharing no components with the outgoing 800, it still feels like a mid-range Tiger, just a better mid-range Tiger.
Watch Triumph Tiger 900 video review on MCN
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
A glance suggests that not much has changed with the chassis – the main section is still a tubular steel trellis, but the rear subframe is now removeable and made of aluminium. A crash damaged subframe will no longer write off the bike.
The new frame and new fuel tank have also allowed the bike a narrower waist and added an extra litre to the fuel capacity. On the GT, the two position seat offers 810 or 830mm seat heights, but because it's narrower at the front, the standover stance is improved to make life easier for shorter riders. And if you really need it there is a low seat option too (760-780mm).
Despite the changes the riding position feels very similar to the old XR models; you sit into the bike, but the bars are now slightly closer to the rider. The new screen has five-position adjustability with a 50mm height range using a simple push and lift arrangement. It works really effectively and it's easy to imagine doing long days on the bike.
The really clever part of the chassis is more to do with weight distribution. Customer demands for more ground clearance, greater stability and more agility seem impossible to square, but splitting the radiators allows them to be moved higher, allowing the engine – itself re-packaged with a smaller sump and reduced oil capacity – to be moved forward.
So, although the engine’s mass is lower in the frame to drop the centre of gravity, ground clearance is better too, thanks to that smaller sump.
The result of all this smart packaging is that the 900 GT is utterly stable at speed, but has better low speed agility than the 800. It’s a neat trick, and it means that the GT can switch from speeding down smooth A roads to scratching along a badly surfaced and twisting B without drama.
But that’s also helped by the electronically adjustable shock absorber fitted to the GT Pro. On a pot holed Moroccan route or on the equally lumpy North Circular, you just tweak the ride from the comfort of your saddle and without slowing down.
Triumph's claimed overall weight of 198kg is dry, so the bike will be a chunk heavier than this fully-fuelled and ready to go.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The really clever part of the new engine is the crankshaft. Every previous Triumph triple, right back to the pre-Hinckley Trident in 1968, has featured a 120° crank layout. The new Tiger has a 90°-90°-180° arrangement of the crankpins that Triumph are calling a T plane crank. This allows a firing order that feels and delivers power more like a twin.
Cylinders one and three fire close together, then a pause then the second cylinder, then a pause, then repeat. The theory is that this makes the engine more tractable at low speed, improving agility. It sounds different too.
When combined with an increase in capacity of 100cc, it means that the new engine delivers more torque and better response at lower rpm, with more power across the rev range. On the road the 900 feels more characterful than previous Tigers, there’s a more visceral feel throughout the range, but impressive mid-range performance (and Triumph quote a 10% increase in torque across the rev range compared the old 800).
Throttle action is smooth, even from a closed throttle and there’s decent mid-range shove, so you don’t need to rattle the gear lever to make progress, though that’s no hardship with the excellent quickshifter that’s fitted as standard to the Pro models. The whole powertrain is 2.5 kilos lighter than the previous model, and further clever engineering means that it is more compact too.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Overall build quality looks convincing, but there are some flimsy looking bits of plastic on the bike, like the covers on the accessory kit fog lights. Triumph reliability and build quality are usually strong. Oil capacity is reduced because of the smaller sump, but that shouldn’t affect reliability.
We don't have any Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro owners' reviews at this time.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The air filter can now be accessed without removing the tank, which now doesn’t need to be removed until the big 12,000 mile service, saving a lot of servicing time.
The mid-capacity adventure sector is crowded but the well-equipped Tigers look like decent value against the BMW F850GS (prices starting at £10,170) and KTM 790 Adventure (£11,299). Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 is cheaper, but doesn’t have bells, whistles and power of the Tiger.
Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro vs Ducati Multistrada 950 S
What you’re looking at here are two of the most desirable adventure-shaped sports tourers. One’s a V-twin, the other a triple and both are designed, in theory at least, to handle a spot of light off-roading.
On the face of it they’re very much alike. Triumph’s new Tiger 900 GT Pro and the Ducati Multistrada 950 S are both generously equipped, power and torque are similar (the Ducati edges it slightly), they have 20-litre tanks with 220-mile-plus fuel ranges and they’re both designed to waft their occupants big distances in comfort and skip serenely through backroads.
So, we decided to see how they fared head to head on the UK’s toughest test route, the MCN 250.
The Tiger 900 was new for 2020 and replaced the uber-successful Tiger 800. It might look uncannily similar to before, but the bodywork is new, as is the chassis, electronics and its 88cc bigger inline three-cylinder engine, which makes the same 94bhp, but has 6lb.ft more torque and a new ‘T-plane’ crank layout.
Its thrumpy, V-twin-like irregular firing order is designed to let the Triumph’s rear tyre find grip in the dirt, but on the road its character change is a lot more subtle than when the R1 went from screamer to crossplane crank. It’s still the smooth, long-legged, raspy, easy to manage triple we’ve come to know and love.
It also comes with an astonishing level of standard kit: a cinematic 7in Bluetooth colour dash, five rider modes, cornering traction control and ABS, semi-active Marzocchi rear shock (and mechanically adjustable forks), superbike-spec Brembo Stylema calipers, an up/ down shifter, heated seats and grip, illuminated switches, grips and cruise control.
There’s no question it’s ultra- polished, easy and supremely comfortable, but it doesn’t instantly wow the Gore-Tex off you, or slap you around the face with a wet glove, mainly because it’s relatively heavy (well over 220kg with fuel – ‘middleweight’ is a slight misnomer) and modestly powered. Instead, it’s a slow burner and longer you spend with the Triumph the better it becomes.
Rain follows us just about the whole way around the test (although it’s dry on our photography day) and the conditions tip the balance towards the Ducati. It’s plusher, more sure- footed and has better weather protection. It would beat the Triumph in a dry weather fist fight, too, but throw some dirt into the mix and the Tiger would clear off into the distance.
All but the budget 900 come with a high level of equipment and electronics; the dash screen is an easy to read seven-inch TFT instrument with a range of display styles and heated grips, cruise control and mobile phone charging are standard as is the reassuring cornering ABS and traction control. The GT also has four riding modes.
In addition the GT Pro gets that electronically adjustable shock absorber, quickshifter, LED fog lights, centre stand, tyre pressure monitoring and heated rider and pillion seats. It’s a seriously well-equipped motorcycle, and that’s before you start ticking boxes in the fat accessory catalogue. Trekker and Expedition kits are available according to your choice of hard luggage options.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder|
|Frame type||Tubular steel frame, bolt on sub frame|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||Marzocchi 45mm upside down forks, manual rebound and compression damping adjustment, 180mm travel|
|Rear suspension||Marzocchi rear suspension unit, electronically adjustable preload and rebound damping, 170mm wheel travel|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm floating discs, Brembo Stylema 4 piston Monobloc calipers. Radial front master cylinder, Optimised Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||Single 255mm disc. Brembo single piston sliding caliper. Optimised cornering ABS.|
|Front tyre size||100/90-19|
|Rear tyre size||150/70-R17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||55.4 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£150|
|Used price||£12,200 - £12,800|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||94 bhp|
|Max torque||64.17 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
The first Triumph Tiger 900 was launched in 1993 and was in the vanguard of the large trail bike movement that would become the immensely poplular adventure bike market. That bike eventually grew and evolved into the Tiger 1200 with the 'middleweight' Tiger 800 filling out the range. This Tiger 900 is the next generation of that smaller capacity model.
There are five models in the new range, the basic version (£9500), the GT (£11,100) and the GT Pro (£12,800) have cast wheels with a 19 inch front wheel and road tyres. The Pro version also has an electronically adjustable shock absorber. The Rally (£11,700) and Rally Pro feature wire spoked wheels with a 21 inch front, Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres, longer travel suspension, greater ground clearance and wider handlebars.
- Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro review on MCN
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH TIGER 900 GT PRO (2020 - on)
7 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH TIGER 900 GT PRO (2020 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Annual servicing cost: £200
The good ,It has a great seat height for a 30" inseam and the suspension is perfect controls and power a good too, a very comfortable ride. The bad the tach display's are useless and hard to read the motor vibration can be numbing at times dependent on speed and it no longer sound's like a triple but a Ducati a shame.
The ride is great the brakes are a bit spongy, usually ride 200kms without a break no problem, it has great passenger accommodation's the wife loves it as it's not cramping.
Vibrates a bit too much the power and gear box are good
It has been perfect so far, just the Triumph my ride software is clunky to use.
Nothing out of the ordinary
Bags and other parts are good quality.
Buying experience: The dealer here was great to work with
Version: GT Pro
Overall this bike could be all you need, a great commuter, tourer and scratcher. The good - The gearbox is sublime with up/down quickshifter providing seamless gear changes at any engine revs. The semi active suspension on the rear is also very good and generally a very comfortable bike. The new TFT is huge, this is both a good point and perhaps bad. The bad - personally I find the new engine characteristics provide a vibration and resonance that make my hands numb, as a consequence I find myself stopping every hour, which in the purpose of buying the bike to do some touring, defeats the object and becomes an expensive garage ornament. Vibration can be felt through the pegs but doesn’t give noticeable concern unlike those coming through the bars. The screen is ok some buffeting but this is eliminated with adding an additional top screen. The ugly - it’s purposeful is best to describe, it’s neither a good looker or ugly, just ok. Whilst the TFT is functional and great in some respect it’s also far too big and trying to find how many miles the bikes done is just a fleeting glimpse at start up.
Have I mentioned the engine vibration, I’ll not go there again! Yes, an hour and then I need to get off, must be just me! Foam grips helped a little, the anti-vibration bar risers also a little but didn’t cure. I just expected better for £14k bike, I certainly didn’t expect to find a cure to an engine resonance problem when I purchased in the middle of the covid lockdown. The ride position is exceptional, all day comfortable and when the temperature drops the heated grips and seats do a fabulous job. I find the seat really comfortable but then coming from a MT10 it’s not difficult.
Extremely reliable so far but clever engineering it may well be but it’s no Yamaha R1 or MT10 which offer similar engineering feats but smooth with no vibration or blurred mirrors.
2000 miles into owning this bike all has been as expected for a £14k bike (panniers included). Quality is good aside from the vibration/resonance created by the new engine characteristics. A recall for the rear reflector as the spring retainers were awful. Also I find a brake binding squeal at low speeds which should be subject to recall at the price these bikes cost. The pannier seals leaked on the one and only time I’ve ventured on a weekend away, it did rain heavy but I expected better.
The first 600 mile service was kindly provided by the dealer. I’ve not had any further servicing and probably don’t intend to have any completed during my ownership. I’ll sell well before the next service. Generally, the running costs are good 55 mpg provides good tank range.
These new Tigers have pretty much everything you need in terms of electronic wizardry. Im not a fan of the Bluetooth connectivity, just as well as I’ve tried and tried but no, can’t get this to work and connect so I’ve given up trying. Heated grips and seat are very good as is the quickshifter which is sublime.
Buying experience: Far from impressed, but to be fair Covid lockdown didn’t help and discussions on the ‘character’ of the engine less so. I guess some dealers just don’t like hearing about observations, experiences or complaints, once the balance is paid and the bikes departed the showroom. Triumph suggested the engine vibration was ‘character’ which is fine, perhaps this is ‘clever’ engineering.
A great bike which deserves 5 stars, and only misses out due to lack of functionality in the My Triumph app.
Power delivery is smooth and linear. Brakes give plenty of feel and inspire confidence.
Ridden in all weather, traffic and road conditions without missing a beat. A real joy to ride and even the after ride cleaning is not a chore.
200 + miles to a tank of fuel is achievable, making long distances in the saddle a breeze.
The quick shift is a joy to use The main stand is easy to use. The GoPro integration is great but limited to one camera. The navigation is ok, but does not allow the setting or saving of locations such as home location, so this needs to be input each time you start a journey.
Buying experience: Bought from Bridge Motorcycles in Devon, who provide an excellent service.
Jack of all traits as long as you stay on tarmac. Commuting, two up touring, carving twisties, it does it all!
Very comfortable but the screen could be a bit wider and maybe an 4 cm taller. No buffeting though. Low centre of gravity compared to the 800 and the brakes are superbike standard.
An absolute gem, plenty of useable power through the rev range, fueling is impeccable and the quickshifter/blipper works very well. It even sounds good with stock exhaust.
No issues so far but only done 300 km since i got it early july
See above, only done the first sevice. Not as frugal as my old V-Strom 1000, 5,3 litres/100 km.
Everything you need and more. The only possible upgrade would be hill hold control (who needs it ?) and semiactive suspension (ridden the multistrada 950 s, no noticeable difference in comfort as far as suspension matters, the Tiger superior in riding position if youre 180 cm (5 ft 11) or taller.
Buying experience: Bought it from a dealer. No complaints.
Version: GT PRO
Best : Improved low-end performance Worst: Build quality not as good as the 800. Supply chain problems. - Accessories unavailable exacerbated by failed delivery promises from Triumph factory. Would recommend friends wait until Triumph has resolved quality and supply chain problems before buying a 900.
Pulls well in low gears. Best cruising speed 60-70mph. Vibey at motorway cruising speeds.
Improved low-end torque over the 800 makes it more fun to ride. Vibes are instrusive on high speed long distance cruising.
My GT PRO has a gradual oil leak on the RH engine casing. Triumph are unwilling to fix it so I carry oil around with me, just like the old days! This is poor customer service on what is supposed to be a premium bike.
Fuel economy good (over 50MPG) Not had first service yet, so service cost unknown.
Bike is well equipped but lack of ESA on front suspension and hard to read tacho on TFT screen are disappointing.
Buying experience: Dealer experience very good on purchase. No discount due to lack of availability of GT PROs
Version: Korosi red
Annual servicing cost: £100
Very Easy to handle. Turns, brakes, accelerates perfect. Good lights. Comfort level is high! Very good balance. Looks great.
Navigation is old fashioned.