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Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro First Ride Review

The middleweight Tiger gets overhauled for 2020 with no bolt left untouched.

Published on 02.23.2020

So chasing around “properly fast” Gary through some tight, twisty sandy, rocky two-track in Morocco, I was dragging the Rally Pro’s mirrors through scrubby desert pine trees, as I used the whole lane for the line rather just one side. The Rally Pro’s suspension feels terrific off-road. Any initial stroke actuation feels plush and confidence-inspiring.

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Testing
Triumph Tiger 900 Rally adventure bike

Through a water crossing, it felt planted and rode high in the stroke rather than bottoming out on the skid plate. Blasting on some faster goat farm roads with slippery smooth rock surfaces topped with rocks and sand, the firm rear shock, in conjunction with its progressive linkage and new firing order, had the rear end stepping out predictably. Gary had an edge as he started to walk away from me a few times as his planted riding style seemed favorable to my ham-fisted goon power slides.

A good twist of the throttle and the Rally Pro would let out a bark from down low and scream like a chainsaw on the top end. I started reeling our ride leader back in as I pushed the engine a little higher in the rev range. The Rally Pro showed me that I was actually riding the Tiger a little too softly or that it still had a bit more to give. When driving your weight through the pegs, the progressive feel from the rear shock linkage had the Tiger feeling stable and it hooked up rather than spinning up the rear tire.


The front end feel from the new Rally Pro’s suspension is significantly better than the old 800 XCa. A couple of times during photo sessions I would try to launch off anything available, hoping to make a little jump out of it. It felt like the bike didn’t even leave the ground, and I would feel foolish for even trying and pulling up on the bars. Later when we got our press photos, it turns out I did actually leave the surface of the earth! Sure it might have been five or 8 inches, nothing incredible but fun to look at. The Rally Pro fork just sucks up that initial hit so smoothly that it’s hard to tell if you are actually doing something impressive.

We made adjustments to the suspension settings during the ride and found that it does make a difference when you take advantage of its broad dynamic range, which means that it in stock form it should be configurable to work for most people. If you’re super fast or super slow and you weigh in at 140-240 pounds, you might be in luck, which wouldn’t have been the case with the 2011-19 Tiger 800 XCa. Mass appeal is something a lot of manufacturers are getting right these days with suspension, and because most of us aren’t 130-pound test pilots, it’s a welcomed nicety.

On-Road Performance

Our test rides actually started with a spirited road ride the day before the off-road testing, but since I can put the test in order of relevance and importance to test subjects rather than time frame, I’ve waited to talk about road manners until now. Triumph told us journalists, only 15% of all Tiger owners take their Tigers off-road. Maybe if you factor in “Roadies” (cast wheeled bikes) sure, but every Tiger “XC” owner I know rides theirs off-road. This might be why the Rally Pro is so right on the tarmac. 

With the factory street rubber on the Rally’s for the on-road segments, the Tiger 900 felt planted and predictable. Nothing really to report other than it still has on-road performance in the top of its class on curvy roads. Going down long stretches at highway speeds will make you wish the Rally had a larger windscreen though. I prefer a small bikini fairing so it can stay out the way when riding off-road and during hill climbs but the adjustable unit is big for the amount of wind protection it provides. 

New Frame Geometry

The on-road performance focus is the most frustrating aspect of the new Tiger 900 Rally Pro for me though. Too many times have I had to defend my preference for my personal Tiger 800. People would complain: “it’s too hard to ride off-road,” “it’s too top heavy,” and “just get a (insert other adv bikes).” The problem is two things. One, people need to ride more, practice and take off-road riding schools more often. The second is more complicated…

The rake angle. It’s the angle of the forks in relation to them being perpendicular to the ground. The steeper the angle the quicker the steering, the longer the angle the more stable the front end will feel.

The Tiger 800 was listed at 23.4°. That’s street bike territory and why the Tiger 800 felt so good on-road, but it would push the front wheel in sand or mud and lack stability in the gravel. It requires a little extra skill to get good at riding it and it was and has been one of my largest complaints about the old bike. The new Tiger 900 Rally Pro has a reported 24.4° of rake angle. Yes, it does feel more stable than the outgoing 800 but at high or low speeds, it still feels quick and slightly twitchy off-road. When I asked about this, Triumph said it was a decision made on compromise, but I don’t buy it. Yes, it makes sense on the GT (cast wheel, street touring) model but not on the Rally Pro.

I’m a huge advocate for getting people out on their adventure bikes, so if a motorcycle isn’t confidence inspiring for new riders off-road just for the sake of turn-in speed on-road, I can’t support that. Now there are some tricks to get the front end feeling more stable. You can be a “pro” and pull the fork tubes through so that the fork caps are flush with the triple trees; this will fix so much on the Rally Pro that I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned my opinion around. It would also add 3mm of ground clearance. 

You can turn up the spring preload on the front suspension and take out all the preload on the rear suspension, and the front should start to hook up better off-road. I know this sounds like high-level riding, but this stuff is essential, especially to new riders, and it’s why a first-gen Africa Twin with its friendly 27.5º rake is still easier to ride off-road than most ADV bikes. Triumph could easily give the Tiger 900’s a more-standard adventure bike steering head angle in the 26.5° to 28.5° range and it would still handle excellent on asphalt. 

Footpegs have been moved further back for better front end feel. In addition, passenger pegs are now removable as well as the subframe.

However, they did change a lot of things that help front end feel and make it so that the 24.4° steering head angle isn’t as steep as it sounds. One of the best changes to the frame that will go unnoticed is the position of the footpegs, now 20mm further back. This distributes the rider’s weight back on the bike and helps with weight distribution front and rear, as well as your standing position when at speed. By moving the motor forward in the frame, Triumph has also extended the swingarm, which helps with stability and weight distribution.

The second best but most welcome change to the Tiger frame is the removable subframe and removable passenger pegs! After nine long years and their fourth variation of the Tiger frame, they finally listened to the public. On the off-road riding day, the techs actually removed them for us. Such a simple design change that will no doubt make the Rally Pro easier to ride off-road and safer as now you don’t have to worry about the rear footpeg coming down and smashing the back of your leg.

The all-new removable rear subframe is surprisingly made out of aluminum, which adds to the Rally Pro’s overall weight-savings of 15 pounds over the old Tiger 800 XCa and a dry weight of 443 pounds.

New Tubeless Wheels

A change that benefits both on- and off-road handling is the addition of tubeless-spoked wheels to every Tiger 900 in the Rally line up for 2020. Tubes affect tire handling and performance more than you’d expect. By taking a heavy-duty tube out of the equation, you are now removing unsprung rotating mass from the wheel, and you’re allowing the tire to perform without the additional influence of an inflated tube causing friction inside of it. Triumph is using a common type of cross-spoke rim with the spoke heads on the outside edge of the rim and the nipples at the center of the hub.

While I’m a bit skeptical of the durability of these rims, I have them on my Triumph Scrambler 1200xe and have yet to have a problem with them in 3,000 miles. At the launch during our offroad day, Triumph’s techs lowered our air pressure to 22psi. I thought for sure I’d end up bending a set and even still suggest that people don’t run less than 27 psi but, no problems to report either way so far.

Compact Design

Putting your cheeks to the seat may seem a little daunting at 33.46″ high with the seat in the lower position, and 34.25″ in the upper position on the Rally Pro. This is adventure biking, and high seats are part of that. I’m 6’2″ so I haven’t met a bike that’s too tall yet. While three or four of the other test riders were below 5’7″ I never heard any complaints, and I credit a big part of that to the new bodywork and layout of the Tiger 900. Having stripped down my personal Tiger 800 significantly, I didn’t think it could be possible get the Tiger to feel smaller and more compact while increasing displacement at the same time.

But Triumph did, if I had to put a percentage on it… and I scientifically couldn’t, but let’s call it 10% smaller in overall feel. The gas tank is less intrusive and ergonomically suits standing up better than the old 800. The bend in the handlebars is more subtle and visually more attractive. For height, they feel good, but I’m personally not a rider that likes bar risers anyway. The seat feels like it’s easier to move around on and the stepped rear seat never got in the way for me.

New Electronics

Looking over the handlebars,there is a beautiful 7-inch TFT screen. The intuitive menu is easy to cycle through without ever reading the owner’s manual, and setting preferences and selecting modes is as easy as ever. The big negative for me is the tachometer. There are four tachometer readout options for the menu, and all of them are unreadable. They feel like they were designed by someone who’s never ridden a motorcycle but has a degree in design. The one Tach option that could be readable shows an increase in RPMs from Right to Left. AKA the opposite of the way most people read a book or examine something. That and the color schemes that seemingly separate the rev meter has every other pixel missing and shows as the background color, and it is just flat out horrible. Triumph did not clarify if this would be fixed before going to production or with a future update.

Phone connectivity with the bike, on the other hand, is phenomenal! Let’s face it… we’re here in the future. We have drones, magic cell phones, and motorcycles with built-in Bluetooth to connect your phone to your in-helmet communication device. It can all be controlled through the switches on your handlebars now as it displays your phone’s navigation on the dashboard of your bike. It’s pretty impressive, and the Tiger 900 can even play your music for you from your phone.

You might elect never to hook up your phone to the Tiger 900 Rally Pro, and that’s fine, but the option is there. If you’re a control freak like me, you’ll want to be able to manipulate as many of the ride modes (Off-Road Pro) on the Tiger 900. Which means you’ll have to buy the Pro model for the Rally. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on ‘Off-Road Pro’ and ‘Rider’ as mode choices, and you won’t be able to entirely shut off the rear wheel abs or the traction control. I think this is a bit cheeky as it’s only software! Whether you buy the Rally or the Rally Pro, you should be able to access the modes, but Triumph wants you to pay for it, and they shook their heads “no” when asked if you could pay for it later or buy a “pro dongle.”

Ride Modes

Ride modes for the Standard Tiger Rally are well, just that; standard for most modern ADV motorcycles. Rain mode decreases throttle response and initial power delivery with traction control and lean-sensitive ABS on full alert. There is a straightforward Road mode that delivers smooth “touring-style” on and off throttle inputs. For the twisty sections of road, a Track mode setting detunes the traction control and allows for a small amount of front wheel lift and turns the throttle map settings to their highest level of responsiveness.

Off-Road mode allows you to turn the traction control off completely, or leave it on and it will allow some wheel slip when off-track in the dirt. Triumph couldn’t provide a specific amount at the time but I would judge it to be 50% wheel spin between it and the front wheel, which helps keep aggressive riders in line. The rear wheel ABS can not be turned off on the Standard rally trim level but allows some rear wheel lock. I couldn’t tell the difference between off-road ABS and ABS off, on the Rally Pro model.

Rally Pro models come with Off-Road Pro as a rider mode as well as just Off-Road mode. Off-Road Pro allows the user to turn off the traction control rear wheel ABS completely. Default is an off-road specific throttle map for all Off-Road modes that I was surprised to find didn’t feel disconnected or laggy as most off-road throttle maps do. The other additional mode that comes on the Rally Pro, as well as the GT Pro, is a fully customizable “Rider” mode that saves any combination of on-road settings (ABS, TC, throttle maps) as a preference in the display. Unfortunately, all the Tigers revert back to Road mode when keyed off and back on again. 

Improved Braking

Other aspects of new technology are the six-axis IMU that highlights lean-sensitive ABS for all riding modes. The ABS governs all new brakes but not just any old caliper. Every new Tiger comes with Brembo Stylma monoblocks. They’re even more potent than M50’s on the Scrambler 1200xe. Imagine going from the two-piston sliding caliper brakes to essentially superbike four-piston brakes! That’s what happened and makes it apparent that the old 800’s were lacking in the stopping department. 

Initial feel on the Rally Pro’s brakes is fantastic and immediate. Fork dive can be seen as excessive from time to time during aggressive riding if you lack smoothness with your inputs. I found myself using the rear brake a lot during off-road sections. It’s very smooth and not grabby at all. Matching a smooth rear brake pedal with the slipper clutch resulted in me stalling the bike out only twice in off-road sections. Only one resulted in a crash though. 

Brembo Stylma monoblocks bring superbike-spec braking to the Tiger 900.

I was riding on a wide two-track, and apparently, I was in a gear too high. When I went to apply the rear brake, the bike shut off on me (my fault). By the time I realized the bike was off, it was too late to save it by pulling in the clutch, and I instead rode it to a stop from 40 mph on its side. Technically it’s not a crash if you ride it to a stop and never fall off it, right?

Normally on stock adventure bikes, this would result in a smashed handguard, broken blinkers, broken levers, and even bent up foot controls. The Rally Pro, however, took this little low side like a champ. The plastic handguard took the brunt of the crash, along with the stock lower crash bars. The Rally and Rally Pro both come with off-road spec, high-end, folding cast aluminum foot controls with plenty of adjustment available for off-road boots. They’re a nice touch and give the new Tiger 900 a premium feel.

The Bottom Line

After almost a decade, Triumph has finally done a complete overhaul of their middleweight Tiger in a way the ADV market was asking for. Tubeless wheels were high on the list for most adventure riders, although I would have preferred an 18 inch rear wheel (instead of 17″) over tubeless for improved stability. The motor is not just a small improvement but a massive one; more than anyone was expecting. The suspension is now tuned for its intended purposes and works like it should. Besides a tachometer that could hopefully be fixed with a software update and rider modes that are “pay to play,” I can’t really fault much else besides the rake angle that was “sacrificed” for street use.

A base model Tiger 900 with cast wheels rings in at $12,500, which you can expect to see very few of them in the US. The GT (cast wheeled bike) starts at $14,300, and the GT Pro bumps the price to $16,200. The Rally begins at $15,000 and tops out at $16,700 for the Rally Pro. 

Personally, I’d go for the Rally Pro that comes with crash bars, shift assist module, heated grips, LED fog lamps, advanced ride modes, a skid plate, and heated seats front and rear. Not entirely for those parts (although I would use the crash bars and shift assist) but primarily for the rider modes due to preferences and ease of use. I do wish the Tiger would stay in the mode I left it in when I key off the bike and that I could switch between off-road mode and on-road mode while moving but Triumph insists that’s not available due to DOT laws. If that’s true, then I’m not sure how BMW’s R1250GS stays in the mode where I left it and allows you to choose between all ride modes while moving.

Comparable mounts would be the BMW F850GS or the Africa Twin — bikes that are the right middleweight size and feel, but the Tiger’s triple has a smoother power delivery compared to those parallel twins. The Tiger also feels better suited for aggressive off-road riding, as it has an advantage in weight and suspension travel. Sure the 790 Adventure R lands in the same general size range and is incredibly capable in the dirt but it lacks some aesthetic refinement compared to the Tiger.

When thinking about competition in the middleweight ADV segment, I know where I’d spend my own money. The Rally Pro is everything I want in an adventure bike — goes like hell on the street, feels capable off-road, provides great value for the money, and puts a smile on my face. The Tiger Rally Pro does all those things now better than ever, in my opinion… like a Pro.

Triumph Tiger 900 Specs

ENGINE TYPE:Liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
BORE X STROKE:78×61.9 mm
MAX POWER:93.9 HP (70kW) @ 8,750 rpm
MAX TORQUE:64 ft-lbs (87 Nm) @ 7,250 rpm
SYSTEM:Multi-point sequential electronic FI
EXHAUST:Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system
FINAL DRIVE:O-ring chain
CLUTCH:Wet, multi-plate
GEARBOX:6 speed
FRAME:Tubular steel frame, bolt-on subframe
SWINGARM:Twin-sided, cast aluminum alloy
FRONT WHEEL:STD/GT Cast alloy, 19″ x 2.5″; RALLY Tubeless spoke, 21″ x 2.15″
REAR WHEELS:STD/GT Cast alloy, 17″ x 4.25″; RALLY Tubeless spoke, 17″ x 4.25″
FRONT TIRE:STD/GT 100/90-19; RALLY 90/90-21
REAR TIRE:STD/GT 150/70R17; RALLY 150/70R-17
FRONT SUSPENSION:STD Marzocchi 45mm USD non-adjustable; GT Marzocchi 45mm USD rebound and compression; RALLY Showa 45mm USD rebound, compression and preload
REAR SUSPENSION:STD Marzocchi preload; GT Marzocchi preload and rebound; GT PRO Marzocchi electronic preload and rebound; RALLY Showa preload and rebound
FRONT BRAKE:Twin 12.6 in floating discs, Brembo Stylema 4-piston monobloc calipers. Radial front master cylinder
REAR BRAKE:Single 10 in disc. Brembo singlepiston sliding caliper
ABS BRAKINGSTD ‘standard’ ABS; GT/RALLY optimized cornering ABS
HEIGHT (W/O MIRRORS):LRH 54.5″-56.5″; STD/GT 55.5″-57.5″; RALLY 57.2″59.1″
SEAT HEIGHT:LRH 29.9″-30.7″; STD/GT 31.9″-32.7″; RALLY 33.5″-34.3″
RAKE:STD/GT 24.6º; RALLY 24.4º
TRAIL:STD/GT 5.25″; RALLY 5.74″
DRY WEIGHT:STD 423.3 lb; GT 427.7 lb; GT Pro 436.5 lb; RALLY 432.1 lb; RALLY Pro 443.1 lb

Author: Steve Kamrad

Steve has been labeled as a “Hired Gun” by one of the largest special interest publishing groups in America. His main focus now is video content creation as a “Shreditor” (thats shooter, producer, editor all in one nice, neat, run and gun package). If he’s not out competing in a NASA Rally Race you can find him on the East Coast leading around a rowdy group of ADV riders. Some say Steve_Kamrad has the best job in the world but he’s not in it for the money. He’s a gun for hire that can’t be bought and that’s the way we like him.
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Author: Steve Kamrad

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117 thoughts on “Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro First Ride Review

  1. Nice review, Steve! I may be tempted to trade up from my old ’13. But before I do, are they sending you one of those new 1200s to try and break anytime soon?

    • Hey Lee, i have a personal 1200 scrambler xe but if it was my choice I’d have a 900. I don’t think I’ll love the 1200 tiger offroad as much as I do the 800 or 900 so go ahead and don’t wait for that day, but if you email triumph directly maybe they’ll listen to you and send me one! Big race this weekend on the scrambler. Sand blast rally

    • Yeah man. That upward force smashing a catalytic converter into the bottom. I had all sorts of pucks and rubber dampers. It was basically bigger than the oil pan. Also i was riding way too hard

      • The old skid plate was poorly designed. Loosely connected by a few bolts and every time we’d take it off-road it would bang the header, push into the oil filter and start drooping down in the rear.

  2. I’ve got a tiger 1200 now but looking to get a lighter bike to do more off-road. I’m stoked about the new tiger 900, will you give us a video review on it? How would you say the tiger 900 compares to the ktm 790 adventure?
    Your articles and videos rock Steve, keep up the good work!

    • Review video on the way but really the article will have more information in it than anything. Check my long reply below for 790 vs 900 feelings. Get a 900 you’ll thank me later

  3. Excellent article Steve! When you send the tiger guy to review the new tiger, youre sending its biggest fan and its worst critic. I wouldn’t be interested in anyone else’s opinion.

  4. Solid Review and the best one I’ve read to date. Much love to my favorite funny talking, east coast Sasquatch. There are few people who know the various iterations of the Tiger like Steve as he has properly thrashed each one he’s ridden. It’s expressly why I will never let him ride mine.

    I’m excited to get on the new Rally Pro. Maybe some time soon. My biggest gripes with my own 800XC is the stock suspension, which I’ve since modified for my weight and riding style, and the low-end power delivery when riding technical sections off-road. Like Steve said, The Tiger 800 “is” a bike you learn to ride off-road. It takes a little coaxing but can get where you need it to.

    Best quote of the article: “Character comes from being odd, unique, or having a particular bias in one direction or the other,” yup, that’s Steve for ya and all of us who think taking a big bike off-road is a good and merited idea. 🙂

    • Sam don’t ride one unless you have the money to buy one. You’ll like it that much. The motor is soooo good it leaves the 800 behind without even trying. You’d still need springs front and rear cause you’re a giant but in stock form they would work for a while.

  5. Steve is probably the best reviewer to compare the old 800 to this new 900. It now sounds like a top contender for the ‘middle weight’ crown. I have a 2020 KTM 790 Adventure R which for me is THE ‘unicorn’ bike. The rally pro offers a lot but is pricey, $3 K more than the KTM. I wonder if the Tiger 900 designers had a picture of the KTM 790 with a bull’s eye on it hung above their drafting boards?

    • Yeah the 790 is going to do a little better offroad but for me personally the Tiger would be the bike for road trips or bdr routes. The new suspension is super flowy over rocks and gravel. The motor is the king along with the transmission.

      • Hi Steve what are your personal experiences with the ktm 790 adventure R? It would be rad to see a video of you going nuts on such a bike?
        You are directly comparing it to the Tiger 900 rally pro, did you test the 790 adventure to it’s limits yet? And for touring? Just wondering. I just bought one (it’s my second bike, traded the tiger 800 xcx for it) i love it so much.
        I’m not experienced offroad and i’m about to tackle 3 levels of offroad courses etc.. but how the ktm is balanced and with the wp xplorer suspension kit i can’t imagine it to be just a little better offroad than the tiger 900. But i can imagine why the majority of the people think it’s a hideous motorcycle. I love ugly ducklings 😉 (except my gf )

        • So i have some trail time on the 790r and a bunch of miles on 790 dukes. When comparing the motors and the transmissions the tiger 900 takes the cake in a big way. I’ve also tried a 790r with 7k worth of rally spec suspension at the rally height and it’s both amazing but hard to turn in and hard to ride. The tigers suspension is only down on travel by 10mm at the front and you’d never notice that. At the end of the day high level riders start to max out adv bikes in a way that they all hit a level playing field which is weight. You can’t overcome it. So then ease of use and functionality come into play and I prefer the normal tank position of the 900 over the 790 every time. The 790 is good and has its advantages with tire choice. Would say Toby Price be faster on a 790 or a 900 with stock suspension and the same tires. It really depends on the terrain and even how he or you are feeling that day. I’ve been shocked that a honda AT feels better on gravel than a ktm 1090r does but ease of use comes into play. I don’t think a 790 would be a massive leap better than the tiger 900 at anything offroad because it all comes down to weight and rider ability. It’s like when people think the bmw gs is the easiest thing to ride at a bmw school, well sure it is because the center of gravity is low and the steering lock is infinite and the engine is hard to stall. The 790 would be a nightmare at the bmw gs trophy becausr they play bmw games at them. I’d prefer the size and shape of the tiger offroad over the 790 because the 790 has that low gas tank that could get in the way or make the bike feel larger than it really is. The new showa forks on the tiger felt better than anything else on the market when leaving the earth in wheelies or jumps and returning with a really nice plushness and they felt properly damped. Top level riders will prefer the 790 frame geometry as would I for deep sand but that’s at speeds over 70 miles per hour. I just got done racing the sand blast rally on my scrambler 1200xe and with its 2 inch over swing arm and 9.8 inches of travel front and rear it was fantastic and I don’t think I would have choose a 790 for that race except for the 18 inch rear tire choices. But the scrambler feels huge on tight single track because of its shape and again in that case I’d prefer a 900 tiger. The only thing that would make the 790 a massive leap forward is getting the spring rates and sag set properly, my scrambler in stock form has 40 to 43% sag and I’m looking for 33% so proper straight rate springs make a huge difference. After that. Training and putting gas in the bike and burning it up are what matter.

  6. I cam here ready to go all “meh” on the new one. Then I read the review. Dammit. Now I’ll be upgrading from my 2017 XCA to a 2020 Rally Pro. I have 17k wonderful miles on my 800 but that new 900 definitely sounds like it’s worth the upgrade.

      • I just got an 2018 Tiger XCA with very few miles on it.
        After this review I am a bit worried about the skid plate hehe :<

        • Best thing to do is a free spirits cat delete header and order a hepco becker skid plate with the big rubber pucks. Then use copper wire to suspend it from the crash bars if it ever rips off.

          • I have a 2014 XC and about every few months I re-super glue the rubber back together on those things and then also tie it back up with zip ties to the lower guards. It really was a terrible design.

      • I’ve got a 2011 base model with cast wheels and ordered the rally pro. Doing the. TET in Albania and Montenegro in October, can’t wait. Great review and loved reading it . Problem is you got me the waiting game a tad bit harder !!!

    • Man i wish I could agree with you but after riding it, it’s super plush on big initial hits, and takes adjustments really well. The downside will be finding a good shop that can rebuild and customize a valving and spring set up if Triumph doesn’t support certified Showa suspension shops. Showa builds good suspension for Hobda and their mx and desert racing teams. So hears hoping it works out but stock it’s a nice healthy improvement over the WP units

  7. Author is a bit confused about crankshaft layouts of the 800 and 900 motors. The 800 motor has crankpins at 120 degree separation and fires every 270 degrees of revolution. It does not have good primary balance as the crankshaft ends tend to vibrate conically. The balance shaft spins at crank speed to offset this vibration somewhat. The new 900 has the crankpins in a T, sort of like a cross plane 4 cylinder with one crankpin missing. Or think of it as a 180 degree crank with a third pin stuck at 90 degrees in the middle. I don’t see much benefit to this crank layout as it will still have the primary coning vibration of the 120 degree crank. Since two of the crankpins are 180 degrees apart, it will generate some some order vibration like a 4 cylinder. Perhaps can get by with two coils instead of three. Dumb idea in my opinion.

    • It was my first adv bike. The 900 would be easier to learn on. The standard Honda AT is probably the easiest full size adv bike to start on.

  8. Dammit. I have a 2016 XCA. I love it to death. Put a lot of goodies on it. I have the offroad tune on it and it runs well, but always wished for a little more power. Do you know if the alum. Triumph boxes from the 2016 can be used?

    • understood it from my dealership that yes, they are the same. still made by givi.
      /Mike ( currently on a 900 rally pro )

  9. This is hands down the most accurate review i’ve read on it. and it made me go buy one. Too bad revzilla dropped their video version already tho, sitting back with an adult beverage ( preferably whiskey ) and watch someone rip it and talk about it is always more enjoyable than the read. Cheers

    • Thanks Mike, i enjoy videos too they just take time. Even this article took some extra time to edit but it was worth the extra work. Appreciate you dropping a comment here and I see you ripping yours.

  10. great review between the two. I was set on the 790 as I am breaking my 1190 just to much. Your review is swaying me a bit… question between the 900 and 790,,,

    if you were to do a long weekend full of very technical riding (Lesotho), much like some of the riding you guys did on that rally with the 1200 scrambler (good riding there) but x10, which would you choose?

    • Times 10!!! I’d be on a ktm 690 or 350 excf. So for instance if I needed a dirt bike I’d go 350 over 500 unless it’s all open desert, 690 if I had to do miles. If i was doing something like 2x even it would be the 690. If i had to have a multi cylinder adv bike in that 2x scenario it would be a scrambler 1200xe because it’s so easy to see around with out the fairing. After that it’s personal preference between the 790 or the 900. I’d go tiger 900 rally pro every time due it’s engine and rock solid reliability in the 800 version. But the 18 inch rear rim of the 790 affords much more aggressive tire options but at the end of the day they’re both so similar in soze and weight that they’ll all be a handful. Hope this helps.

  11. Hi Steve,
    Really liked your article but It confirmed my worst fears, I just got last year a 2019 Tiger 800 xca and I’m torn with decision to trade it in for the new 900,It’s gonna cost me for sure…
    What u think I should do, my heart say go for it but my wallet and my wife says other wise 🙂

    • Do not ride a 900 rally pro unless you are ready to buy a rally pro. That being said the 19 800 is a fantastic bike and the upgrade would be good but not exactly life changing. I know this doesn’t help. So just don’t rode a rally pro unless you can buy one with the wifes permission

      • Great review and have a question. I’m a shorter rider (28-29 inch inseam) and the GT might be a better fit for me. How do you think the cast wheels would hold up on fire roads with decently deep potholes and some rocks. Do I need the Rally for that sort of riding? If so, any concerns about lowering it? Thanks

    • You could check my reply in this comment section to Seth’s question. Anything else hit me up and I’ll get back to you

  12. thanks for reply! if I can pick your brain some more…

    with regards to the 790 vs 900 for technical riding. which would be the least tiring? if you were doing multiple days of barely seeing 3rd gear, which bike would leave you the least tired after 3 full days of riding (and swearing)?

    • That’s really gonna come down to skill level, after talking with friends though who have more experience on the 790r than me but have riden the tiger and the 790. The 790 is going to be the winner here but for me personally I just bought a Tiger 900 rally pro and either bike will do the same things for me. Just wish the tiger had an 18 inch rear tiger. So if tire choice becomes the deciding factor the 790 would also win out.

  13. Hi Steve! Loved your review of the new Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro. I’ve been riding dual sports for about 12 years now. Started on a Yamaha WR250R and have ridden the past 6 years on a Honda XR650L. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and do a fair amount of off road riding. I’ve loved my Honda on the dirt, but it’s always disappointed me on paved roads, especially the interstate with a top speed of about 75mph. I’m 6’3” and 200lbs. I want a stronger, faster bike, but I’m a bit intimidated too, especially as bike weight is a concern (I tend to drop bikes off-roading). Trying to choose between the BMW F 850 GS Adventure and the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro? Any thoughts? Recommendations? Any other bikes I should consider?

    • Hey Seth, so make sure to check adv pulse’s youtube and watch the video review too. I specifically compared it to the F850 at the end. Thing is most people feel the f850 is too heavy and very much disagree with that when comparing it to other offroad bikes for beginners. The f850 feels easier to ride and like it has a lower CG than most and the size of it makes it less intimidating. You can also lose about 20 pounds with a full exhaust system and decat on that bike. But the F850 is expensive and not as premium as the Tiger Rally Pro. Infact I just bought one for my self yesterday. Like paid for it. Not a special deal either. I have a review of the F850gs on adv pulse and on my personal YouTube channel as well as a unconventional review of the F850gs at the sand blast rally in 2019. This year I raced my personal scrambler 1200xe at the sand blast rally and with really good tires it preformed much better than the F850 but again as a beginner bike the F850 is pretty great but on the Road the 900 is much better and the suspension package and brakes on the tiger make it a clear winner. Not to mention the quick shifter on the tiger and the transmission is way better too. So your dilemma lies in picking the right bike for you which might be the Tiger 900 for highway and easy adv riding and keeping a good dual sport in the garage. Hope this helps.

  14. Great review, thanks. Glad you mentioned the rake thing, I would have never known. Looking back at specs now, I’m used to bikes with 26-28 rake off road. Little worried about the 26 rake on the new Tiger.

    How different feeling/sounding is the new engine versus other Triumph triples like the Tiger 1200, Speed Triple, etc.? Is it as clanky as a twin or does it still retain that smooth triple character?

    Also, you mentioned talking to some friends about the 790 R that seemed to sway you and made you feel it was noticeably better in the dirt than the 900 Rally Pro? Is that the case? If so, what comparisons did they share?

    I have a 790 R now and love how small and light it feels with the low slung tank, but really dislike the rough KTM twin motor character and gearbox. The stock suspension on the 790 R is also pretty abusive in stock settings. Having a smooth Triumph triple and more forgiving suspension sounds nice, but not if I lose significant dirt handling and nimbleness.

    Also, I’m guessing the Rally Pro is around 490 lbs wet versus the 790 R’s ~470 lbs?

    • The rake angle on the tiger 900 is listed at 24.4 not 26, and yeah that could be an issue. I own a tiger 1200 and am looking to downsize to a lighter bike for off-road. FWIW I text drove the new 900 yesterday and unfortunately it didn’t blow me away. It’s sounds great but I’m not sure there’s enough weather protection. The power of the new motor didn’t floor me either. I gotta say I’m having an issue with the pricetag on the bike, and since it’s new the dealers are right at MSRP. Although it’s heavier, I find myself considering the Africa Twin now. Rake angle is like 28 and it’s supposed to be good off road.
      I suggest you go ride the new tiger 900 for yourself.

  15. I’m trying. Been itching for the local dealer to prep one to ride.

    I also have the Tiger 1200 and love it. Due to its size, its strictly a pavement bike for me. Can you give your thoughts on the differences in the engines between the Tiger 1200 and Tiger 900? My love of the Triumph triple is what is pushing me to look at the Tiger 900 Rally Pro as an off pavement bike.

    On another note, have you considered the 790 R? That thing feels like a 450 in the dirt. I used to own a 2016 Africa Twin and it felt massive compared to my 790 R.

  16. I would really like to know what kind of backpack he is wearing in the first shots of the video review? Does somebody it looks great!

    Really good review…thanks! 🙂

  17. I realize they added the white accents to make it look like a dirt bike but…. Matte Khaki Green brings me from 6 to Midnight errrtime I see it. The Matte Khaki Green Scrambler has had me drooling since high school and I wish they would have doused the rally pro inMKG instead of adding this white. At least made it gunmetal grey or silver if they had to go two-toned! I’m in betwixt the 900, Tenere 700, and to a lesser extent an F850gs. To be honest, (and this might sound ridiculous to some) but if the Rally Pro peaked at $14k and didn’t cause me to shell out extra $$$ to have that white removed then I’d probably be riding one right now and not be on the internet. Conversely, if the T700 looked a little less like a villain’s bike from a James Bond film and a little more like the Tiger 900 (presumably Bond’s actual bike) then I wouldn’t blink twice #Live&LetRide #TheBikeWithTheGoldenShocks. Seriously though…. Steve do you have any experience on the Yamaha T700? I would say thanks for the great review, but all it has seemed to do is convince me to spend more money. I had a hunch that once these big bore riders got tired of being ridiculed and accused of big-dicking, they would all trade down for these mid sized rides and then the price would jump. I mean obviously you don’t have to be Nostradamus to have called that because everyone on youtube worth their salt has been saying for years that the “mid-weight” adv bikes are the “real” adventure bikes and the clock has been ticking ever since. I just hope the price doesn’t get out of hand with the new trend. I realize these bikes are packed full of new tech, but tech constantly gets cheaper. The same guys that only occasionally ride a dirt road or bdr with their 1200GS are probably not going to magically turn into single-track wizards once they drop some lbs. and lose a couple 100cc’s of displacement.There is nothing wrong with that and it is totally fine. I’m not knocking them for that, I’m just not necessarily ecstatic about having to pay extra$$$ for their choices. I could end this by saying “the more people off road the better” but thats just simply not true. If that were the case then trails would be overly crowded, nature would be ruined, adv would be even more expensive than they are now, and a lot of people here would be indulging in asphalt safaris. Always Respect and Conserve Nature!

  18. Hi Steve, great review! How do you think the suspension compares to the other adventure bikes you’ve ridden for comfort? You give it a pretty good rap however I am looking for the most compliant and comfortable suspension I can find on my next adventure bike (old injuries are catching up to me) so be interested to see what you think the most comfortable bike would be. Prefer that it still wheelies and carries on like a teenager too though if possible.

  19. Every review I’ve read on the Rally Pro has the reviewer stalling the bike one or more times. Whats the deal with that? Is this bike more stall prone?

    • The older 800s were. The 900 is much better at staying on. Slipper/ assist clutch and firing order help with that

  20. Thanks for all the info. Based in part on this, I sold my 790 R and picked up a Tiger 900 Rally Pro today.

  21. On road, its really no comparison. The Tiger 900 Rally Pro is essentially better in every way. I’ll need to get some 50/50 tires on it before I can really compare the Tiger off road.

  22. I have a 2010 Concours and a 2016 800 xca. I love them both, but tring to find that one bike that will fill the adv bike and my 2500 mile sport tourer bike needs. Do you think the 900 is the bike? Seems like the 800 comes close for me.

    • If money is a concern keep the 800. If it’s not the 900 with a bigget windshield could be your do all bike

  23. How bothersome are the vibes at cruising and higher speeds? Enough to irritate after an hour or so? Would you consider alternatives because of the vibes?

  24. I don’t feel the same way as Steve on this one. I’ve got a little over 500 miles on my Rally Pro now and one of my main, albeit minor, complaints of my Tiger 900 Rally Pro is the vibration in the handlebars after a certain RPM. It starts somewhere around 6,000+ RPM. Go to the 19 minute mark of the Bennett’s 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Review on YouTube. He talks about it at length.

    I also have had a Triumph Speed Triple, Street Triple and currently also have a Tiger 1200 and none of those Triumph triple motors had this handlebar vibration issue. I also own a Yamaha Tracer 900 GT which is considered by many to be a rougher running triple engine than the Triumphs and even it has less vibration in the handlebars than this Rally Pro. Granted, the Tracer seems to vibrate more in the pegs than the Rally Pro, but for some reason, vibration in the pegs aren’t as noticeable to me.

    I took the Rally Pro out this past Sunday for a 320 mile ride chasing a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S with a 64 hp advantage, which meant I was running the RP pretty hard to stay on his tail. There were a number of times on the ride where I was really pushing hard and thought, “Wow, these handlebar vibrations are very noticeable,” but that was about where it ended for me. It wasn’t like I had to cut the ride short or anything, I just noticed it.

    I get that everyone perceives vibration differently. For example, I don’t really like the vibrations that a KTM twin or BMW Boxer motor puts off, but the way that the Rally Pro vibrates is noticeable, but not that bothersome to me. I did call my dealer and ask about bar end weights and such to see if it was possible to suppress these vibrations and will use them if it is possible. But if it turns out that there is nothing that can be done about it, I will continue to own, ride and enjoy this bike as it is a really cool bike and gets a lot of things right, imo.

    Another side note, if you never really push the bike hard or actively short shift it, you’ll never run into the issue. When I’m not our chasing 158hp bikes on the Rally Pro, I typically don’t notice the vibration. I instinctively shift before the vibes come. It’s only when you run it like a race bike that the vibrations show up.

    • Very cool comments! Which would you prefer in agressive riding through twisties: Tiger 1200 or 900 rally pro? 21″ front vs muuuuch more weight?

    • Amazing you didn’t follow the break in period on your new bike. Wringing it out above 6,000 RPM with only 500 miles on it seems like a bad move.

  25. Hi Steve,

    Was searching YouTube for 20 AT and the new T900RP content, and found your videos. That lead me here.
    Pretty great stuff! (videos and written content). Thanks for posting them.
    I’m seriously considering purchase of one of these new bikes.

    Would you feel comfortable trail braking under throttle on fast rough downhills (over off road water bars, etc.) with either of the T900 RP or the ’20 AT?

    Are the brakes powerful enough for this technique without overheating?
    Do they give you warning before fading, or boiling off the rear tire? lol

    Thanks for the input.

      • Pull the fort tubes through a bit like flush with the triples and it will improve the feel in sand and mud

      • Steve – Late to the party, but I was hoping you could help guide me towards a choice. I have an 1190R that I love on the road, but once I get off road (even with some classes under my belt) the top heaviness of the bike just intimidates me so much. I can’t really flat foot the 1190, but I’m not tiptoeing either. I’m 6’, 33” inseam. I can handle myself on road, but off road, I’d really like something that’s forgiving and confidence building. A lot of my off roading is going on a forest road, but then seeing a spur road that I would love to explore, but don’t for fear of getting stuck/ not being able to turn the bike around etc. Additionally, any dirt road that I get to requires at least 1.5-2 hours on the freeway.

        I’ve decided to cross shop the following: used 2017/2018 GS1200, 790S and the Tiger 900 Rally. What would you recommend for a beginner level off road rider, but advanced level on road rider? I got to sit on a 790S and was able to flatfoot it with the seat in the low setting. I can flatfoot a GS1200 also. Haven’t had the chance to sit on a 900 Rally yet.

  26. Not Steve, but have owned the 790 R and now own the Rally Pro.

    The 790 R is the easier of the two to ride off road, by just a little.

    The Rally Pro is the better all around bike by a larger margin.

    • Thanks. I was trying to post this as a separate question/ comment.

      As far as the 790 models, I’m definitely looking at just the 790S – not the R. The extra suspension travel on the R would make the bike too tall for me and I’d be right back where I started.

      That said, would you say the Rally Pro or the 790 is less intimidating off road?

  27. Steve – Not sure how this posted as a response to some one else.

    Late to the party, but I was hoping you could help guide me towards a choice. I have an 1190R that I love on the road, but once I get off road (even with some classes under my belt) the top heaviness of the bike just intimidates me so much. I can’t really flat foot the 1190, but I’m not tiptoeing either. I’m 6’, 33” inseam. I can handle myself on road, but off road, I’d really like something that’s forgiving and confidence building. A lot of my off roading is going on a forest road, but then seeing a spur road that I would love to explore, but don’t for fear of getting stuck/ not being able to turn the bike around etc. Additionally, any dirt road that I get to requires at least 1.5-2 hours on the freeway.

    I’ve decided to cross shop the following: used 2017/2018 GS1200, 790S and the Tiger 900 Rally. What would you recommend for a beginner level off road rider, but advanced level on road rider? I got to sit on a 790S and was able to flatfoot it with the seat in the low setting. I can flatfoot a GS1200 also. Haven’t had the chance to sit on a 900 Rally yet.

    • I would suggest explaining this scenario to all your local dealers and test riding all of them maybe a 1250 if you can. If you can’t. The Tiger 900 is the best street option. I just picked mine up yesterday. Bought it. So that really puts my money where my mouth is.

      • Thanks Steve. I’m hoping to get on the 900 Rally Pro tomorrow to see how it feels. Any thoughts on how top heavy the 900 feels compared to the 790?

          • Just in case you were losing sleep over my choice, I test rode the Rally Pro and a 790 Standard. I really liked the Triumph – the engine is an absolute gem. Everything that the eyes saw and the hands touched has a quality feel to it. That said, I could feel the slight top heaviness of the bike even at a stand still.

            I then rode the 790 Standard and couldn’t get over how light it felt – nimble, agile, easy kept popping up in my head. And for whatever reason, the “Ready to Race” DNA of KTM really resonates with me.

            And when I found a lightly used 2020 790R with all the factory bells and whistles (cruise control, heated grips, QS+, rally footpegs, Scotts damper + BRP mount) for a couple hundred less than MSRP of a new 790R, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m still getting the bike to 600 miles for it’s first service, so I haven’t really opened her up yet, but I can already tell that the bike is quite “playful.”

            Thank you (and Jarrett if you’re reading this) for your feedback.

  28. I haven’t ridden the non-R 790 in the dirt, only the R model.

    That low slung gas tank on the 790 models makes them feel much smaller and lighter than they are, which really inspires confidence in a new dirt rider. Kinda feels like a 450 dirt bike or something. The R suspension is pretty abusive feeling off road though, not sure about the non-R suspension.

    The Rally Pro is a little more intimidating initially to ride off road just because it appears larger when you look down at it, but once I got used to riding it in the dirt (about 75 miles) I ended up preferring it to the 790 R off road. The Rally Pro is a little more forgiving in the dirt, I think. This is with proper 50/50 tires on it, I mean. The stock tires are a little dangerous in the dirt, imo.

    Just yesterday, we had a group ride in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. We came up on a pretty rocky incline. I was riding with KTM 690’s, DRZ 400, 350 EXC, etc. When I saw them struggling with the climb, I was worried, but the Rally Pro just walked right up it. I caught up to the 350 and one of the 690’s on the climb and the 690 stalled in front of me. I tried to get by, but ended up stalled out in the rocks behind him. I thought I was in trouble at that point, but the Rally Pro fired right back up and started clawing its way up the incline. It really impressed me this weekend. I now prefer riding it to my old 790 R off road.

  29. Steve – Have you done any testing of the off-road mode (non-pro)? I’m curious about the level of intervention, like how much it will let you steer with the throttle for example. I’m considering the Rally trim level bike, and that question is my only hangup.

    • Not Steve ,but I’ve been playing with different modes in the dirt. The traction control in the non-offroad modes are too invasive, imo. Even sport bogs me down on a rocky climb. But off road traction control works well. I’ve actually been running on Rider mode with Off Road map, Off Road TC and Road ABS as I feel the ABS works safely for my purposes.

      Side note, if you use Off Road TC in Rider mode, you still have to stop to come out of Rider mode and into Rain, Road or Sport, which is kind of a pain. I wish it would let you change in motion like the 790 R does.

      • Thanks Jarrett. Does the non-pro off-road mode TC allow any rear wheel spin, to step the rear end out under power?

        • Yes. Enough to roost constantly if you want. I havent felt TC engage invasively in regular Off Road mode. But I’m no flat tracker either.

  30. Going to pickup the rally pro this afternoon. The only thing I worry about is the rake. I live in Thailand and ride a lot of mud and sand. Only test ride I did was on the road.

    • Stock tires, front end was all over the place in even the easiest amount of dirt. But once I went to more aggressive tread, in this case the Anakee Wilds front and back, the bike got much more stable in loose Terrain. I’ve had it and everything but sand at this point and it was fine.

  31. tks for your reply Jarrett. My concern is the corner entrance. Just sold my GS850 and it was perfect after leaning and during reacceleration, but “difficult” to enter when compared to my friend’s GS1200. I also had to avoid trail braking due to the diving effect. How about the tiger? Regards

  32. Hi Steve

    So I own a tiger 800 xca 2016 model and looking to change to either 900 rally pro or GS 1250 R.. test rode both the bikes yesterday on a highway and in the city.. under pouring rain and sunny dry patches and some broken countryside roads.. eventually my riding would be 90 percent roads (good and bad) and 10 percent Offroad for fun sometimes only.. and honestly I can’t put a finger on which of the two to buy.. I am more confused after the test ride.. they both are so good.. but a couple of points I am thinking on.. since I have no choice but to choose one of the two (wish I could buy both ).. anyways ( also.. I am not a pro rider.. more like a layman who enjoys riding in a very laid back manner )
    Sitting position on 1250 is perfect but boring.. tiger slightly aggressive and more ready for fun.. BMW i was sitting ON the bike.. Tiger felt like I am IN the bike..
    Indian roads are not so smooth everywhere.. so while BMW was fine.. tiger was more springy and bouncier but would just glide over all undulations.. on bimmer I could feel the broken roads beneath.. loved the jumpiness of tiger
    BMW would reach 140kmph speed and I won’t even realise.. it’s a rocket.. but tiger’s take off is peppier.. and u want to keep doing it again and again..
    curves and twisties bimmer felt like it leans and turns on its own.. effortless.. like rider has to just sit and enjoy the scenery.. Tiger compels you to engage with the bike and make things happen but in a way that you enjoy doing those things without getting scared at all (on 800 I would never feel so confident)

    Now I rode 900 for 200kms and bimmer for a 100kms so these observations are basis that.
    The reason I am super confused is coz while I enjoy short weekend rides of 150-200 kms.. I also love touring where I would do at least 600 to 700 kms in a day..
    I know I would be more comfortable on the 1250 but also I found 900 more thrilling.. so after 1000 kms in a day on the bimmer I would still be standing comfortably alright but may not have a great recall of the journey.. on the Tiger I might be exhausted after 1000 kms in a day ride but I am sure I would have had more moments to smile.. and I don’t know which of the two things is better.. may be I will get used to BMW and start enjoying more.. and may be I would get tired of the tiger and want the comfort of GS after a few rides..
    U can see how screwed I am in my head right now and just don’t know where to put my money


    • Sounds like emotionally you want the tiger 900, me, id keep the 800xca and spend some money on adventures before upgrading from the 800 to the 900. But if i had to choose it would be the Tiger 900. The GS is to expensive and just a huge motorcycle.

  33. Steve,

    Great review. I am just breaking into the ADV scene. I recently moved to Tucson, AZ and am looking for the right bike to utilize for desert riding and daily commuting. I don’t anticipate any long distance touring. My abilities off road are limited currently but intend on dedicating a lot of time to riding in the dirt and getting into more technical riding. I am brutally torn between the new Tiger 900 RP and the Scrambler 1200xe. As an owner of both, any recommendations or advice. Thanks in advance!

    • Man, it’s a tuff call but the tiger 900 will do more of everything and is really really well laid out and the quality is top notch. Can you ride both for a demo?

      • Thanks for the quick reply, Steve. The dealer here in Tucson doesn’t currently have any Rally Pros in stock. I plan on taking the Scrambler out for a demo sometime next week. From how keen you clearly are on the Tiger, I may hold off a bit until I can take a trip to Phoenix and ride them both back to back. They do have a base Rally here at my dealer (I believe it’s the one you went to for the Triumph immersion event). Is the base Rally close enough to the Rally Pro to at least get a feel on whether the Tiger or the Scrambler would fit my wants/needs better? I know they will ship a RP here from a sister dealership if I was ready to pull the trigger. Thanks again in advance!

        • The rally pro has some rider modes that the rally doesn’t but other than that you’ll get the full feel for the rally pro minus the ability to shut down traction control fully and some things. Definitely worth getting the RP but just ride the regular and decide from that or the scrambler. Try not to get super caught up in the cool feeling of the scrambler.

          • Right on, I will go ahead and take the Rally and Scrambler out next week and decide from there. I have sat on the Scrambler on the showroom floor and you hit the nail on the head… you can help but not fall for the badass-ry factor of that bike lol automatic +2 cool points. But as you said, I’m doing my best to look past that and towards functionality. Thanks again for your response and advise. Take care and be safe!

  34. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review. Massively helpful.

    I’m about to move out of Brooklyn, an hour North, and plan to commute in a few days a week when there isn’t ice on the ground. I’m pretty green, I’ve only got about 4k miles under my belt on a Thruxton 900 but have been looking for something safer in all conditions and comfier for the longer ride in. I also have aspirations of doing the BDR and other mixed surface trips, I have zero off-road experience, though am doing a course in VT next September.

    My question is, given my primary purpose is going to be to have this as a commuter and my lack of experience in the dirt, would I be better served getting something cheaper and more road focuses (BMW f900xr or so) and then getting a second cheaper dirt bike, or do you feel this is something someone could grow into on dirt? I had been looking at the T7 as an alt but am concerned about height and comfort for the road bits and felt this was almost a perfect all rounder. Would love you thoughts.


    • Mmm tough choice. If I could only have one bike it would be the tiger 900rp but my buddy has a t7 and loves it for commuting. It will be a little easier to handle and might be the best choice.

  35. Thanks for such a prompt reply. Yeah, it’s a tough one. I’m going to go ride them in the spring and see what feels right. Thanks again.

  36. Hi Steve: Thanks for a great review. I test ridden the Tiger 800 a few years ago, and living in Tucson, AZ, I was put off by the amount of heat on the riders legs. This idea was also mentioned in most honest reviews of the 800. In your opinion, has this problem been addressed adequately on the 900RP? Getting much, if any, heat dumped on your lower half?

  37. Hi! I have same question with no unswear as Mitch,

    Mitch on May 18, 2020 at 7:59 pm said:

    Great review and have a question. I’m a shorter rider (28-29 inch inseam) and the GT might be a better fit for me. How do you think the cast wheels would hold up on fire roads with decently deep potholes and some rocks. Do I need the Rally for that sort of riding? If so, any concerns about lowering it? Thanks
    Reply ↓


    • Hi Paul. The cast wheels will be fine but I’d stay away from continental tkc80s and get Michelin tires as they have a much stronger side wall. Otherwise I’ve put 25k hard offroad miles on a tiger roadie and never had an issue until speeds got really really fast

  38. Great review! With regard to your comment about the front wheel’s durability. I did just bend it and am being told by two shops now it can’t be fixed. Do you have any recommendations for an upgraded wheel? I’d rather not buy the stock one again and have the same problem.

  39. I Felt the same. Not good rake. Steering could be wider. Inside city on hot days, Dam!!!! Lol !!!!! My legs burning !!! Brakes are good.
    Suspension !? Please, WP. Showa is just cheap. Tiger 800 suuuuper soft.
    Engine is amazing.Tires Battlax ! Please …. Scorpion on It.

  40. I’ve put a deposit down for a 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, which won’t be delivered until Nov 22. It will have a new color called sandstone. Still keeping my DR650SE and DR350S. This will be my first ride with more than one cylinder on the second one without a kickstarter.

  41. Great review, I am trying to decide on a middleweight ADV bike. I previously owned a F650 GS Dakar that I loved. I am planning a run down the Baja (bucket list) though I am not an accomplished dirt rider and would appreciate your opinion. My choices are the Norden, the Tiger 900 and the 850gs. I am an 80/20 rider which bike would you recommend?

  42. Thanks Rick, you know maybe keeping the Dakar 650 for Baja actually isn’t a bad idea and getting a tiger 850gt for street and gravel. Under 13k bucks. Hell of a great bike. Otherwise if I was going to go with 1 bike….. you should go tiger 900rp or Ducati Desert x. The Norden just doesn’t excit me.

  43. Steve, Thank you for your review. I just put a deposit on a 900 Rally Pro and am looking forward to going places by Bonneville T120 won’t (or shouldn’t) take me.

  44. Thanks Steve, awesome coverage on the Triumph 900 rally pro.
    I just purchased the bike late summer and we just completed a trip from Vancouver Island down the Oregon coast, back road routes to Reno down to Vegas and back to Vancouver Island…roughly 6000km.
    We encountered extreme temperatures, dust, dirt and fog, freezing temperatures on the way home high elevations in Oregon.
    The bike performed like a rockstar can’t wait to rip it up on Vancouver Island.

    I did have a question, is wondering if you knew the dual fans on the rads if they kick on automatically with a heat sensor I never did hear them running and if they do they’re very quiet.

    I noticed if there was a display on the dash that showed a fan so you didn’t know when they come on.

    Either way Steve thanks again awesome review safe riding buddy

    Dan Harvey
    Vancouver Island Canada


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