Triumph's trusty Tiger is comfortable, reliable and good fun to ride. But does it fall short anywhere? We find out
This review is part of the Monster Trailies Lap France mega-test review. Click the link for the rivals.
Five more minutes in bed to savour the starched pillow and lumpy mattress - tonight the ground won't be as forgiving. My body feels like I've already done a day's work. It wasn't the 400-odd miles yesterday, that was the easy part, it was the 800-plus the day before that have cumulatively done me in.
Lugging the Triumph's heavy panniers onto the bed, I start the routine again. My kit goes in the left-hand pannier,the odds and sods in the smaller right. Left one fully laden, I lean on the top to compress the contents, then flick the catches over to secure it. The locks remind me of suitcase locks, strong and beefy, and they shut with a solid 'click'.
When you do a huge mileage on a bike you start appreciating little things that make your life easier. It's the Tiger's simplicity that has really drawn me to the bike over the last two days. It's not the newest here, in fact it's been relatively unchanged since 1998, but it has a reassuring feeling, like an old, battered armchair whose foam has moulded to your shape over the passing years.
Into the cold morning air and a quick fumble turns on the heated grips. Neat handlebar-mounted controls? No, the switch is stuck on a free space in the dash, an obvious afterthought. In the last few years Triumph has given the Tiger heated grips, panniers and a centrestand as standard, as well as modifying the gearbox (not that you'd notice). All of which is aimed at giving extra value, even though at £6999 it's already among the least expensive.
Pulling out of the hotel, the Tiger clunks between gears and a few fast changes to catch up with the others yields the odd missed engagement and resulting clatter of cogs. I grimace and say sorry to the old girl.
Through the town of Brive and the dim morning light reminds me of another shortcoming. The green and white clock faces are lit from behind with a red hue, making them tricky to read, especially in half-light. I've had to settle for memorising the position of the needle at the velocities I require.
Click here to read the final page of the Triumph Tiger 955i review.
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