Ollie Rooke feels like James Bond while riding Triumph’s new Tiger 900 Rally Pro
During my first week working at ABR, I was despatched to Triumph’s headquarters in Hinkley for the grand unveiling of the new Tiger 900. As I immersed myself in the glitz and glamour of the event, a James Bond movie stunt rider proceeded to jump over a Land Rover on the most off-road focussed variant of the bike, the Rally Pro. The bike certainly made a memorable first impression on me.
So, it was with much excitement that I found myself clutching the keys to a shiny new Tiger 900 Rally Pro a few months later. The bike had just become the newest member of the ABR long-term review fleet and I was the lucky lad chosen to ride it. Swinging a leg over the saddle for the first time, I thumbed the starter switch and heard the three-cylinder engine roar into life. Angry clouds on the horizon threatened rain, but they couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the new bike as I struck out across the Cotswolds. It’s safe to say the impending deluge was doing little to dampen my enthusiasm for the new Tiger.
It was my first time riding Triumph’s showpiece triple engine, and boy, was it worth the wait. It is buttery smooth, as is the quick shifter, which effortlessly snicks up and down the gearbox. The exhaust note is intoxicating, while dropping a gear and wringing the throttle provokes a delighted response from an engine, with bags of torque and power to help me get a shift on.
It was also clear this bike offers comfort in abundance. With the saddle in its highest setting of 870mm, the backside, feet, hands triangle is perfect for my 6’ frame. The seat is delightfully cushioned, and the choice of two heated seat options indicates this is a bike I could ride for long stints with little complaint. The 20-litre tank and effective touring screen also did a cracking job of keeping me out of the turbulent wind that was whipping up ahead of the rain clouds.
Despite the Tiger’s tall and narrow stature, it felt reassuringly planted and darted into turns eagerly. After tightening up the stock suspension a tad, the steering became sharper and my confidence grew, so much so I found myself riding like I’d lived with it for months, rather than an hour. As I began to filter slowly through traffic, the throttle response didn’t feel snatchy in the slightest, even in Sport mode, and overall the bike felt incredibly well balanced.
Unfortunately, the rain finally caught up with me so I reluctantly headed for home. And, while I may not have jumped over any Land Rovers during my ride, I admit to feeling as cool as James Bond riding the stunning new Tiger 900. I can’t wait to throw on some luggage and head off on an adventure with it this summer.