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Triumph’s 2021 Tiger 850—An Entry-level, Light Off-roading Option

triumph tiger 850 sport

For a midsize ADV/road bike combo, Triumph’s 850 Tiger looks like a great option. Having replaced the Tiger 900, just introduced in 2019, the 850 is now the base model for 2021. The Tiger comes with the same chassis and engine as the 900, but the former is detuned to fit into the A2 licensing category, which UK riders will appreciate.

triumph tiger 850

As a “height-challenged” rider, I like the idea of the adjustable seat height, along with the handlebars, and windshield on this road-focused adventure motorcycle. Though it shares some “sport” bike characteristics, the 19-inch front wheel and more-generous suspension travel bridge the gap between a full-on ADV bike and anything road-specific.

triumph tiger 850 sport

A convenient plus from Triumph is the 850’s 10,000-mile maintenance interval, compared to the 900’s 6,000 miles and other bikes that are required to go in even sooner.

The new Tiger comes with LED lighting (DRL in the States) and Metzeler Tourance rubber, which is more street-biased and not as grippy as the Michelin Anakees on bikes purchased outside of the US.

triumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike LED lights 2

triumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike LED lights

In competition with BMW’s F 750 GS, the 850 is closely price-matched at $11,995. The $1,000 upcharge on the 850 will get you a lighter bike (477 versus 494 pounds), better fuel capacity (5.3 gallons versus 4), and more power (84 versus 77 horsepower).

triumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike redtriumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike 3A Marzocchi fork in front allows 7.1-inch suspension travel and 6.7 in the rear shock. Brembo Stylema brakes seem an appreciated addition, along with the T-plane triple engine, giving the Tiger 850 a raspy soundtrack.

This sleek-looking, entry-level bike is one of the best options available in a midweight bike for emerging riders. Note that Triumph also offers a free eCourse for new and former riders. The company also has a stylish apparel line called Riding Essentials, so you’re all set with Triumph, especially with over 60 accessories to choose from on the Tiger 850.

two-up pillion on tiger triumph 850

PROS
888 cc
477 pounds
5.3-gallon fuel tank
Triple-E engine and T-plane crankshaft
60 pound-feet peak torque
84 horsepower peak power
“Raspy roar” (engine soundtrack here)
Adjustable seat height, bars, and dash screen
Adjustable windshield
Two riding modes: rain or road
7-inch suspension travel in front, 6.7 in the rear
ABS
Traction control (can be turned off)
Brembo Stylema brakes
Pre-load adjustable knob for passenger/luggage
19- and 17-inch wheel combo

triumph tiger exhaust

triumph tiger engine

triumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike 2

CONS
ABS cannot be turned off
Smaller screen display size (5 inches)
No cruise control (manufacture option not available)
No heated grips
No handguards
Traction control not advanced
Cast wheels
Handlebar buzz starting at 5,000 RPM

For more, see Triumph Motorcycles.

In summary, for the price, Triumph’s 850 Tiger offers an ideal road-focused adventure bike for long-distance comfort and reliability.

triumph tiger 850 sport adventure bike

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Heather Lea has traveled to over 60 countries, 40 of which were on a BMW F 800 GS during a 708-day round-the-world motorcycle adventure with now-husband, Dave Sears (Trip Blog: Riding Full Circle). Heather has been a freelance writer for over twenty-five years and a book and magazine editor for more than fifteen. Aside from Expedition Portal, her stories can be found in Overland Journal, Canadian Geographic, Kootenay Mountain Culture, and Canadian Alpine Journal. She loves doing anything in the backcountry, including backpacking, four-wheel-driving, ski touring, and climbing. Heather is a Canadian now living in Bellingham, WA. Find her on Instagram at writer_heather_lea or on Facebook at Heather Lea—Senior Editor—motorcycles.