So after the test ride earlier this week, I have been doing more digging. When I dropped it off, Jack Lilley noted that the Adventure luggage was lower so maybe that was an option? Sadly looking at the Triumph accessories online I see that whilst the luggage looks like it would fit better, it would mean a further drop in capacity, from the Expedition’s 116L (already -1L from the Sprint GT) to 97L.
You can see the difference in position of the panniers between the two sets and also the way the top box – which is bizarrely canted forward – encroaches more into the pillion space the Expedition luggage. So to stay Triumph-branded luggage, the Adventure set would be the answer, but you lose nearly 20L of luggage space from the Sprint.
Over on Givi’s website, their solution looks much better with the same size (or larger) panniers – they’re actually the same ones made for Triumph anyway – and a better rack system that puts the top box up higher, further back and straight up (and again, there’s a much larger top box on offer too).
So maybe the answer is to go for the Triumph panniers (to keep the branding side-on), a set of Givi pannier frames to mount them further back and lower as shown in this video and a ‘matching’ Givi top box in the larger size, plus asking Jack Lilley very nicely to order me another lock barrel so one key fits the lot.
Today was cold and bright: ideal to test the Tiger and its heated seats.
I picked it up from Jack Lilley and headed back home to pick up my wife. They’d fitted the accessory Expedition panniers and top box as requested (more on this later).
As it’s not my bike, I couldn’t wire in the Garmin so instead I just mounted a Quadlock mount and my iPhone XS for navigation duties and then we set off for the South Coast and a mix of roads.
211 miles later and we’re home – too late to return it today, so it goes back tomorrow as agreed.
So then, is it a new Tiger ahoy! Well, if it were just me riding it then yes, in a heartbeat. It’s fabulous. But as we do like to ride together, i.e. with a pillion, it’s a no from me at present? Why?
Seating position means little weight on the wrists – mine are bad – so all the weight on your bum instead.
Cruise control is excellent. A little savage when you turn it off (either by rolling the throttle forward (best) or braking (worst).
Quickshifter is excellent (although my Sprint’s gearbox is silky smooth for clutch-less up changes).
Power is better than the Sprint: it just takes off over 5,000rpm
Heated grips are very good
Heated seat is even better
TFT dash is fabulous
Electrically-operated screen works well on the move, but there’s some buffeting
Shaft drive is great
Range was worse than expected, coming in under 180 miles
Clutch bit very late in the lever range
No-hands riding showed a bias towards the left for some reason
Luggage seemed very small, although allegedly only one litre smaller than the Sprint’s. You can only get one full-face helmet in the luggage.
Clasps on the luggage were very fiddly.
Panniers were way too high and forward which meant that it was difficult for me to get on an off and even worse for pillions. Also that meant that her legs were uncomfortable and my body forced her legs wide into the panniers.
Top box too high and canted forward into the pillion space, so that was uncomfortable too. There’s no reason for it to lean into the pillion seat space and lose space for the rider and pillion together.
Given the luggage is Triumph-branded Givi luggage, it’s unforgivable that the Givi frames are lower and further back, exactly what’s needed! And why should you pay an extra £152 to get the frames after you’ve spent £820 on the panniers themselves (unforgivable on a touring bike)?
Here’s a video of someone showing the before and after fix for the panniers:
Now, what about that mounting plate for the top box? Another Givi one maybe?
But as it is, the Tiger 1200 is not good enough for me.
Well this year’s Eurothrash to Austria is now getting closer so I’m making final arrangements for kit and making sure the Sprint is ready to rock.
The wiring issues were swiftly resolved by Jack Lilley – who I was very impressed with and will now be using for all my Triumph servicing, etc. – as they found that the blowing fuse was actually a problem with the accessory lead I’d bought a while back and the lack of power to the topbox was indeed down to Metropolis Motorcycles completely failing to fit the additional wiring harness when they prepped the Sprint for me when I bought it.
Ali now has heated gloves and a heated inner jacket from Keis – very good gear, it must be said – although I’m slightly disappointed that the gloves can’t be powered from the jacket if the heavy duty temperature controller for the jacket is fitted. No idea why, either. Obviously when we pack these, it will ensure that the Austrian Tyrol remains at tropical temperatures whilst we are there…
I’ve also sourced some new straps for the Kriega luggage I used for the Pyrenees Eurothrash last year so that I can strap a US-10 or US-20 to the tank. I need to see which one will work best with the Garmin and the other controls.
I also got hold of a 30 litre waterproof rollbag from Givi that can be strapped onto the Sprint’s topbox with some nifty ROK straps if we need the extra luggage capacity over the 117 litres we already have in the topbox and panniers.
So I think at the weekend, we’ll have a rehearsal to see how much stuff we can pack, where and how, and see if we do need to think about using the rollbag and the US-20 after all. I want to avoid wearing a rucksack if possible. Last year I had 20+10+10+35=75 litres and that was more than ample for me.
As for entertainment, well the new Garmin links to my iPod that’s now under the seat our intercom seems to work well, although we haven’t tried connecting to Yox’s or Purge’s headsets yet for bike to bike stuff.