The baby version of Triumph’s Tiger adventure bike range didn’t really set Geoff’s pants on fire, but bikers are voting with their credit cards and pre-purchasing them to the larger and pricier Tiger 850 Sport
Triumph Tiger Sport 660
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend sweeping through British motorcycling lately – bikers get smarter as they get older.
Well, that’s normal for normal people, but you get what I mean.
As a result, motorcyclists are realizing that in the real world there is little point in spending a fortune on a 200hp superbike that they will not even come close to realizing on the road and only on the track if their name is Rossi and its potential they started racing when they were three years old.
Hence the success of mid-size bikes such as Royal Enfield’s Interceptor 650 and even the humble Meteor 350. At one point the former outsold the normally all-conquering BMW GS in large bike sales in the UK, and the former is the UK’s best selling motorcycle in the nation under 500cc .
So an obvious move for Triumph to jump on the bijou bandwagon with the stylish and refined Trident 660, and then put its sleek triple engine into a baby version of the Tiger 850 Sport, 900 and 1200 Adventure Bikes.
And baby it is – when you walk up to the Tiger Sport 660, it looks like a Tiger 900 that’s shrunk in the wash, although once you climb on board it’s reasonably comfortable, with wide, tall bars, decent mirrors and a small but adequate digital device dash.
With a light clutch, smooth gearbox and linear torque curve, progression is smooth up to 7,000rpm, at which point the speedo starts flashing in a stern warning to stop being a naughty boy and shift gears.
Which is a bit of a nuisance, because even though you already have peak torque at 6,250 rpm, you don’t get peak power until 10,250 rpm.
There are big 310mm dual discs up front that you’d expect to stall a 206kg bike with extreme bias, but I’ve had to use the rear as a backup at one point to avoid crashing into that old blind treasure in the Nissan Micra to push, who has pulled out of a side street without looking. It wasn’t my first time at this track so I’m sure it’s following me.
The handling, being a Triumph, is spot on and makes it a joy to sling through corners with happy abandon, and the suspension is both firm enough to match the handling and pliable enough to absorb bumps without soak up bruises.
While the screen isn’t the tallest in the world, it does a good job of keeping the wind at bay at highway speeds.
The only downside is actually that the seat is a bit too hard, so after an hour I was happy to get off, stretch my legs and collect my thoughts on the bike.
Sit aside, it has no obvious flaws and it’s smooth and fast, but the problem is that it’s not very exciting and doesn’t look as attractive compared to the less powerful Enfields.
The problem is, it’s not one or the other. It’s not sporty enough to be a sportbike or a naked roadster, and doesn’t feel bulky enough to be a proper adventure bike, although adding luggage can help it gain a bit of bulk.
But here’s the thing – dealers are selling them out as fast as they can, and bikers are pre-buying the Tiger 850 Sport, which costs just £950 more.
Mind you, its 888cc engine only has four extra horses and weighs 9kg more, so performance is pretty much the same.
Bikers vote with their credit cards, so of course they’re not as old as me – but a lot smarter.
Triumph Tiger Sport 660
Engine: 660cc liquid-cooled triple engine
Power: 80 hp at 10,250 rpm
Torque: 47 ft lb at 6,250 rpm
Colours: red/graphite; Blue; Graphite; black
* Test bike supplied by Phillip McCallen Motorcycles, phillipmccallen.com
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/theyre-selling-like-hot-cakes-26633173 They're selling like hotcakes, but I'm not sure why: Triumph Tiger Sport 660 Review - Geoff Hill