Easier Tiger! New Triumph Tiger 850 Sport is a relaxed route into adventure riding

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The Triumph Tiger 850 Sport is a new base model Tiger for next year, which replaces the base-spec Tiger 900 as a more accessible entry into the range.

Before we get into the mechanics of the bike too much, let’s clear up the name. So for a start the 850 is no relation to the old 1050 Sport – a popular adventure sports model that was killed off by tightening emissions standards. Also, despite the 850 name, the engine is the same 888cc triple used in the Tiger 900. There’s no difference in bore, stroke, cams or other hard parts, instead all the changes are in the mapping. It’s pretty much the same trick that BMW pulled when it came to differentiating their F750GS and F850GS models.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport in two colours

The result is a peak power of 84bhp @ 8500rpm, down from 93.9bhp @ 8750rpm, and peak torque of 60ft.lb @ 6500rpm, down from 64lb.ft @ 7250rpm. Bringing the power and torque in earlier, with a slightly lower peak, should make the new Tiger 850 Sport easier to handle for new riders. It should also make it simple to manage through traffic around town, if that’s your plan.

The new model is also A2-licence compliant, which is a boon for new riders because the old base model Tiger 900 wasn’t – even though the fancier models were. The chassis, suspension, brakes, wheels and tyres remain the same as the base model but it was nifty stuff anyway including Brembo Stylema brakes (it was only two years ago they were the preserve of £24,000 superbikes…) and Marzocchi suspension.

Where the really clever stuff happens is in the electronics, which are closer to the Tiger 900GT. That means the 850 Sport gets the full-colour 5in TFT dash (but no connectivity), two riding modes (Road and Rain), ABS, switchable traction control, LED lighting throughout with a daytime running light and even a useful power socket for your phone.

TFT dash on Triumph Tiger 850 Sport

You can also buy all the same fancy accessories as the rest of the Tiger 900 range, as well as luggage sets to increase the overall touring capabilities. Arguably most amazing of all is that even with all the extra bits and pieces you get with the new model, the price has come down by £200 to £9300. What’s more, because the engine is less stressed, service intervals have been extended to 10,000 miles, while the bike itself comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty. Not bad for an entry-level machine.

How does all that compare to the competition? Well if you add LED lights and a TFT dash to the base model F750GS, it comes to £9290 – funny that. The GS has a three-year warranty and weighs less than the Triumph but it is slightly less powerful. The big difference is that with BMW you can spec all the really flash stuff (electronic suspension etc) onto the softer model, whereas with the Triumph you’d have to go for the full-fat 900s if you want all the additional toys.

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport spec

  • Engine: 888cc inline triple
  • Power: 84bhp @ 8500rpm 
  • Seat height: 810mm 
  • Dry weight: 192kg 
  • Price: £9300

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport Brembo brakes

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.