Archive for June 2012
This past year has flown by so fast. I bought my Tiger June last year and was going to use it for my primary transportation. I travel around to various military installations as part of my work as an MSF RiderCoach. There was a snafu early on with getting my plates, which turned out to be a problem between the DMV and the Postal Service. Without a plate and a base sticker, it usually is a time consuming experience to get a temporary pass at each installation I would be going to so I opted to ride my DR650 to and from the various bases. I ended up getting my plates mid August, and started using the Tiger exclusively. As of today I have over 16,000 miles on the odometer.
I performed my own oil/filter changes at 500, then 3000 and every 3000 miles after. Of course I use Amsoil products (MCF 10W40). The chain is cleaned and lubed about once per week with Amsoil Metal Protector. Other than that, the Tiger was taken to Rocket Motors in San Diego for the 6000 and 12000 mile checkups. There was a water pump seal that was weeping ever so slightly on cold mornings, so that was replaced under warrantee at the 6000 mile checkup. I also had Michelin Pilot Power Road 3′s installed front and rear. At the 12000 mile checkup, I had maybe 1000-1500 miles left on the rear, but opted to replace it again. I enjoy having the radial tires more than the bias ply tires that came with, plus I like Michelin tires.
I have ridden up and down the coast (Point Mugu & Port Hueneme) , across the deserts (Yuma, Barstow and 29 Palms), and commuted almost daily a 100 miles (round trip) in heavy traffic when working semi-locally at nearby Camp Pendleton. Got to ride over the Sonora Pass (9600+ ft) and ride in the beautiful area of Bridgeport, Ca. The Tiger has performed flawlessly. I never had the “stalling” issue that some of the early users experienced.
I did experience a left fork seal leak, which Triumph covered under warantee because of a faulty bushing in the fork leg. Rocket Motors again proved why they are one of the best Triumph dealers in the US. They took my Tiger in on Tuesday, and had it ready to go the next day, and I was able to make my trip to Yuma that afternoon.
The Tiger has taken the place of the many bikes I owned at the time. I have since sold my Bonneville, both DR650′s, and my Speed Triple. I only have my Tiger and my race bike (DRZ400 Supermoto). The Tiger does all I need with smoothness and comfort. I can ride over 200 miles on a tank of fuel. I have, on many occasions rode almost 200 miles non-stop and really could have gone farther except for the need to go to the restroom and eventually refuel.
I originally had wanted to get a Kawasaki Versys, and at the time, there were some good deals to be had on some ’09′s across the country. The only ’09′s in San Diego County at the time were at South Bay Motorsports in Chula Vista. It was almost impossible to get a good cash deal and they did not follow up during negotiations, it was almost as if they did not really care to make a sale or even work with someone offering to pay cash. And, I was supposedly working with the owner! It was during this time that I took my Bonneville in for it’s 12k checkup at Rocket Motors, and that is when I saw the Tiger 800. Even though I spent more than twice of what I was willing to pay for a Versys, Rocket Motors got me a couple discounts ($900 worth) and they made me feel really happy about the whole process. I think of my Tiger as a Versys on Steroids! I never thought anymore about the Kawasaki and what could have been, but was really turned off by the experience at South Bay Motorsports.
In conclusion, the Tiger 800 has taken me all over California and parts of Nevada and Arizona, with comfort, smoothness and complete reliability. I use the Tiger to perform demonstrations while coaching the Military Sportbike Rider Course, the Advanced Rider Course, and the Basic Rider Course. Many students comment on how smooth the Tiger performs. Easy to maintain and 50 miles per gallon make this a most versatile motorcycle especially for someone who rides everyday and goes almost anywhere.
Be safe out there (and watch out for the IDIOTS texting and talking on their cell phones).