We spent some time with the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 in Dehradun and have compiled a list of things that you should know about the smallest Tiger in the current line-up.
The Tiger Sport 660 cannot be compared to the larger Tigers because its styling is significantly different. The Tiger Sport 660 has a sharper, more civilized design with twin LED headlights and an angular half fairing. The fuel tank is a large and shapely unit while the tail section has been reworked to support pillion and luggage duties. The lower half of the bike has been left exposed and the front is dominated by the traditional triple exhaust header pipes. Regardless of whether one likes the design or not, it is undeniably evident that this motorcycle was styled with the contemporary urban motorcyclist in mind.
The instrument console is similar to the Trident’s and includes the Bluetooth features provided by the “My Triumph” smartphone app. The layout is simple and easy to read even under harsh light. The various menus are toggled using the switchgear on the left-hand side of the handlebar and this Tiger gets only two riding modes; Road and Rain.
Tall people are likely to appreciate the riding position of the Tiger. The 835-mm saddle height offers a commading view and a relaxed riding position. Most riders will find it easy to place both feet on the ground but for those unable to do so, Triumph also offer a low seat as an accessory.
Engine and Transmission
This Tiger is powered by the same engine that does duty in the Trident. The 660-cc, liquid-cooled, in-line triple develops 81 hp at 10,250 rpm and a peak torque of 64 Nm at 6,250 rpm. The fuelling is spot on and the ride-by-wire system makes for easy and predictable throttle response. Gear-shifts through the six-speed transmission are slick and are complemented by a reasonably light-action clutch. Triumph are also offering an up-and-down quickshifter as an accessory.
Performance: Urban and Touring
When riding through town, the generous torque band and well-spaced gear ratios allowed me to run the motorcycle comfortably in sixth gear even at 40 km/h, a blessing for city rides because not much gear-shifting is necessary.
On the open road, the faintest of vibrations creep in around the 7,000-rpm mark and become noticeable only closer to the red-line, the Tiger proved itself to be reasonably refined to handle long-distance riding. The unique exhaust note of the triple gets better as one explores the exciting end of the rev-range and it was music to my ears as I carved my way along some pristine riding roads outside Dehradun.
Suspension, Brakes and Tyres
Triumph have retained the Showa fork at the front and a preload-adjustable monoshock at the rear now with longer-suspension travel; 150 mm at either end. The ride quality was decent within city limits because the suspension soaked up all the bumps and potholes nicely without upsetting me and was well settled on the highway, too, though at high speed, the ride becomes slightly bouncy at the rear. Although it is barely noticeable in most cases, one can feel it when banking into a corner at good pace but it is not an upsetting experience.
Part of my confidence in cornering with the Tiger came thanks to the phenomenal grip offered by the Michelin Road 5 tyres and that should settle this motorcycle’s commitment to tarmac once and for all. As I mentioned earlier, this is not an off-road motorcycle but neither does it shy away from the occasional excursion on a trail.
The Tiger Sport uses two 310-mm disc brakes at the front along with a pair of twin-piston Nissin calipers while a single disc handles braking duty at the rear. The bite is strong, the feel is predictable, and should one stretch the limits, there is dual-channel ABS to keep things in check. The traction control also had my back when I needed it most.
Overview and Competition
In simple terms, I feel this motorcycle is best described as “a jack of all trades but master of none” and I feel that is part of its charm. It is easy to ride at whatever pace one fancies and it lives up to all of its promise without being a handful in any sense of the word. It is a practical and exciting first step for someone entering the world of multi-cylinder motorcycles. Concurrently, it could also be a thrilling second motorcycle for an experienced rider who is eager to tap into the full potential of the smallest of Tigers.
The Triumph Tiger Sport 660 is priced at Rs 8.95 lakh (ex-showroom) which is almost Rs 1.5 lakh more than the Trident. Meanwhile, its rivals, namely the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT are priced at Rs 7.15 lakh and Rs 8.88 lakh respectively (ex-showroom).
Also Read: Yamaha YZF-R15 version 4.0 Tested Review