Triumph Tiger 850 Sport

Tiger-850 Feature

After a year spent riding the Triumph Tiger 850 sport, Ollie Rooke sums up the three things that most stood out about the mid-capacity adventure bike

Almost one year ago, a large Mercedes Sprinter van arrived outside ABR headquarters with Triumph’s unmistakable logo emblazoned on its side. The ramp fell down and out rolled its cargo, a brand-new adventure bike with my name on it, the Tiger 850 Sport.

Now, it’s not that I’m ungrateful, but I have to admit that I had mixed feelings when I first set eyes on that bike. You see, the space it left in the van was promptly filled by the Tiger 900 Rally Pro that I’d spent a very happy year riding. And, since the 850 Sport had been billed as a base spec, detuned version of that very bike, I didn’t exactly see the switch as an upgrade.

It just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover. While on paper the 850 Sport is ‘just’ a detuned Tiger 900, in reality, it’s a cracking adventure bike. In the past year, I’ve had a brilliant time riding it, and when Triumph comes calling in the near future, I’ll be every bit as gutted to see it taken away. So, before that day comes, here are three things that stood out about the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport over the past 12 months.

The engine

That detuned triple-cylinder power plant produces 84bhp and 82Nm of torque, a step down from its bigger siblings, but on the road that translates to a peppy bike that absolutely loves to fly along. It’s fun and lively to ride without ever feeling intimidating, a quality I think is pretty understated in a market increasingly dominated by punchier and more powerful machines.

Touring comfort


Price: From £9,300
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
Final drive: Chain
Power: 84bhp at 8,500rpm
Torque: 82Nm at 6,500rpm
Suspension: Front: Marzocchi 45mm upside-down forks. Rear: Marzocchi rear suspension unit, manual preload adjustment
Brakes: Front: Twin 320mm floating discs, Brembo Stylema four-piston monoblock callipers. Rear: Marzocchi rear suspension unit, manual preload adjustment
Weight: 192kg (dry)
Tank capacity: 20l
Seat height: 810-830mm

This is Triumph’s forte because the British manufacturer has a reputation for making comfortable adventure bikes, with soft seats, great ergonomics, and effective windshields. And it’s delivered again with the 850 Sport.

The 20l tank is good for 220 miles, and I’ve done 18-hour days on the Tiger, finishing up tired but without too many aches or pains, and certainly less than I’ve experienced when riding some other bikes.

The price

Pricing for the 850 Sport starts at £9,300 which, at £2,100 less than the cheapest Tiger 900, is a bit of a steal. For that, you get everything mentioned above, plus a smattering of technology including an attractive 5” TFT display, and two rider modes, Road and Rain.

Overall, I’ve found the Tiger 850 Sport, to be a mid-capacity adventure bike that delivers plenty of bang for your buck. Don’t let the detuned engine or status as Triumph’s base spec adventure bike fool you. It’s an absolute hoot to ride and a real pleasure to have in my garage. I’m dreading the reappearance of that Mercedes van already.