The history of the Triumph Tiger

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The first Triumph Tiger was introduced in 1981, and since then the model range has gone from strength to strength. Today there are four different variants of the Tiger to suit your needs.

Here, we take a look at the journey from the original Tiger Trail in 1981 to the new Triumph Tiger Sport 1050.


1981-1982 Tiger Trail
Triumph’s first big trailie was one of the last products of the old Meriden concern. Built at the request of its French importers in response to BMW’s new R80G/S it was based on the T140V Bonneville but detuned via a single carb like previous road-going Tigers – hence the name – but not a success.


1993-1998 Tiger 900
Highlight of Hinckley’s second wave of new machines (after the Trident, Trophy and Daytona) but still based on the generic 885cc triple albeit detuned slightly to give 82bhp. Later versions switched to fuel injection.


2001-2006 Tiger 955i
All-new, second generation, Hinckley Tiger was based around new 104bhp T595/955i engine with similarly updated chassis and styling making it among the most powerful and quickest ‘monster trailies’ – but no off-roader.


2007-2013 Tiger 1050
All-new third generation model this time derived from latest 1050 Speed Triple and is more road-orientated than ever – right down to its 17-inch cast alloy wheels. Triple now 1050cc putting out 113bhp.


2011-2013 Tiger 800
New ‘junior’ Tiger aimed at BMW’s F800GS and based on a stroked version of Hinckley’s 675cc triple from the Street Triple and Daytona 675. Like its German rivals it’s available in two guises – base, street 800 and more off-road orientated ‘XC’ form.


2012-2013 Tiger 1200 Explorer
All-new flagship model aimed directly at BMW’s class-leading R1200GS and, like that bike, equipped with shaft-drive, fancy electronics and a glut of adventure accessories. More off-road ‘XC’ version added later.


2013 Tiger Sport
Major update of old Tiger 1050 aimed at emphasising its street prowess in the new middle-ground between the 800 and 1200 Tigers.