Triumph bike on test: Tiger Sport 660 - all-rounder with that certain something

With the Tiger Sport 660, Triumph is launching an all-purpose weapon in the middle class.

Triumph bike on test: Tiger Sport 660 - all-rounder with that certain something

With the Tiger Sport 660, Triumph is launching an all-purpose weapon in the middle class. Above all, the engine of the Englishwoman can inspire. A chic, not particularly expensive, well-equipped and well-motorized motorcycle - also for beginners.

At the end of last year, Triumph turned its attention once again to its entry-level class and put a sister alongside the Trident 660, the Tiger Sport 660. It differs from the Trident primarily in that it is half-faired and thus offers more comfort even on longer tours. The fact that two suitcases with a total capacity of 57 liters and a 47-liter top case that accommodates two helmets is offered as an extra underlines the travel ambitions of the Tiger Sport.

The chances that non-beginners will turn to the little tigers are not bad. It's light, has a strong engine and looks really good - especially the red with gray stripe version we drove. And above all: it is not expensive and it can be throttled to 48 hp.

But first things first, let's start with the engine. The triple was already impressive in the Trident and it does the same in the Tiger Sport. The descendant of the formidable 675 engine of the first Street Triple generations surprises with its 60 kW/81 hp, especially when accelerating from low revs and it even picks up a bit from the middle of the rev range before it strikes the sails at 11,000 rpm. It offers the best conditions for a brisk tour of the Alps - and above all, a comfortable journey. Almost across the entire rev range, it seems more powerful than the horsepower would suggest and gives the bike that certain something.

Because thanks to the low weight of 209 kilos, the power is always sufficient, even on mountain stages, to keep up with bikes with more displacement. The drive is supported by a shift assistant in both directions, which sometimes let us down, so that we had to take care of the gear changes manually. No problem, because the gearbox works precisely and the clutch forces don't overwhelm anyone. It can be comfortably cruised through the city as well as chasing down the country roads with verve and a roaring three-cylinder whistle.

The chassis largely plays a role in these tasks. It offers 15 centimeters of spring travel at the front and rear and you can adjust the spring preload on the hindquarters using a practical handwheel. There is no setting for damping and rebound. The upside-down fork at the front does not offer any adjustment options, but the chassis as a whole finds a good compromise between travel and brisk tours. It only acts too softly when it is fully loaded and used by two people. In view of the class and the price, however, one should generously ignore this.

So we sometimes missed a steering damper, because the front wheel tends to be a bit nervous. The Nissin brakes with 310 or 255 millimeter discs have no problem with weight or speed, and the handbrake lever is adjustable.

In digital times, connectivity must not be missing. The multifunction instrument with TFT display is prepared for the Triumph system and enables navigation with arrows. In addition to the two riding modes Rain and Road, the Tiger Sport 660 offers switchable traction control and ride-by-wire motor control. An anti-hopping clutch and an immobilizer are also standard. The menu navigation using four buttons is logically structured and clear, the display is always easy to read. The bar on the rev counter was just too small for us.

How ever the equipment for the class is quite neat. One or the other would perhaps wish for a cruise control for the motorway, which is not available for an extra charge. But much more important: Unfortunately, there is no main stand either, which should annoy some travel enduro riders because of the necessary chain care when travelling, because it cannot be retrofitted because of the exhaust silencer attached under the engine. The windscreen can be adjusted in seven stages and provides good protection against the wind.

Heated grips, quick shifters, tire pressure monitoring and, of course, the accessories that are always available in abundance with Triumph, such as the luggage system mentioned, are subject to a surcharge. Nice gimmick by the way: The turn signals have a function that has been known from cars for a long time: touch them briefly and then they flash three times, done.

For the 8,800 euros (plus additional costs) quoted by Triumph, you get a chic, well-equipped and excellently motorized (entry-level) motorcycle. With a few extras, the price can also quickly be driven over the 10,000 euro mark. The consumption leveled off during our tours at 4.9 liters, which takes you a good 300 kilometers.

Conclusion: With the Tiger Sport 660, Triumph has made a nice hit in the middle class, which should appeal to many bikers, a chic all-rounder at a reasonable price.

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