2010 Triumph Tiger SE | Review

Motorcycle Review

If you say the name Tiger these days you are most likely talking about some-one rather than some-thing. As a motorcycle enthusiast, what you should be talking about though is the 2010 Triumph Tiger SE, because this bike dominates on many levels.

The motorcycle is a winner as a day-to-day weekly commuting rocket–which was mostly what I used it for–as well as a curvy mountain road master, and just an overall useful and comfortable moto.

I made sure to take it into the twisties on the very strong recommendation of the Triumph press fleet folks and it leaned deeper than any adventure-type bike I have ever been on. I touched it to the right peg feeler a handful of times in almost 2000 miles of riding, and twice to the left. The Michelin Pilot tires that are wrapped around its 17-inch ZR wheels grip the road with authority even when leaned way over in turns and on the gas.

Speaking of being on the gas, I did experience a slight throttle hesitation inititally when getting back on the power mid-corner, which is not where you want to experience a power lag. I worked on altering my wrist application to smooth it out, and the problem quickly went away. Like anything else, especially when it comes to fuel-injection systems, you just have to get used to the individual characteristics of each one. Still, the fuel delivery on the Tiger has room for improvement.

Ride height on the Triumph Tiger is tall, which allows you to have a clear view of the traffic ahead. The comfortable seat is positioned 32.8 inches off the ground. It’s a nice view, but shorter riders may find that seat height a challenge.

Fortunately, the Triumph goes easy on you in the weight department. It’s fairly light, checking in at a claimed 443 pounds. The aluminum perimeter beam frame and aluminum alloy twin-sided braced swingarm help reduce the bike’s overall heft.

The SE version we had to test came standard with hand guards, ABS brakes, and color-matched sidebags. The bags look awesome, adding to the unique lines of the machine, and are easy to open as well as remove. Riders who want to stow a full-face helmet will be disappointed to learn that one will not fit in either bag. You will have to buy a trunk to be able to put your lid away when you get where you are going.

The 2010 Triumph Tiger has a 1050cc three-cylinder engine that produces a claimed 111 horsepower at 9,400 rpm and 72 ft/lbs of torque at 6250 rpm, which is plenty of grunt. The power is on-tap all the way up to its 10,000 rpm red line, and it is punchiest around 5-to-6 grand.

Truly, the torque curve runs all the way through all six of the rather tall gears, so you never have the feeling that you need to constantly be shifting. The throaty sound that bursts from the pipe when you are revving up adds to the adrenalin rush you are sure to feel as you pour the power on.

You can dial in exactly what type of suspension setup you prefer on the Triumph Tiger SE. Its adaptable Showa suspension package features fully adjustable 43mm upside down forks and a single rear shock with adjustable preload and rebound damping.

This motorcycle is aimed at commuting/touring/sport performance and, although it nominally falls into the “adventure” category, Triumph does not recommend riding the bike off-road. Unexpectedly, I found myself on a few hilly fire roads and it performed very well, despite Triumph’s street-only designation. It did go up every hill I threw at it and it did it with balanced confidence.

Assured and precise Nissin ABS brakes performed well in the wet, on gravel-strewn roads, as well as the aforementioned dirt. The brakes boast twin 320mm floating discs with four piston radial calipers up front and a single 255mm disc with two-piston caliper at the rear. Stopping power is nothing short of stunning as a result.

But stopping is not something you will need to do once you top off the 5.2-gallon fuel tank with “go juice.” The range on a conservatively ridden Tiger is just around 200 miles–a respectable number on any bike, let alone one this sporty, but something you’d expect on a bike with sidebags and is ready for touring.

The Tiger’s computer is also able to let you know roughly how many miles you have left once the reserve light trips on. That is a feature I wish every bike had. The instrument panel on the Triumph Tiger SE is also able to tell you lots of good stuff, such as your average miles per gallon (even at the exact moment you are looking) and, of course, it has multiple tripmeters as well.

The price for the standard 2010 Triumph Tiger (without ABS) starts at $11,999, while the ABS version starts at $12,799. The SE version tested here goes for $13,399.

2010 Triumph Tiger SE | Motorcycle Specs


Type: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Capacity: 1050cc
Bore/Stroke: 79 x 71.4mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI


Final Drive: X ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox: 6-speed

Cycle Parts

Frame: Aluminum beam twin spar
Swingarm: Braced, twin-sided, aluminum alloy
Front Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy, multi spoke, 17 x 3.5in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy, multi spoke, 17 x 5.5in
Front Tyre: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Tyre: 180/55 ZR 17
Front Suspension: Showa 43mm upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping, 150mm travel
Rear Suspension: Showa Monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound damping 150mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes: Twin 320mm floating discs, Nissin 4 piston radial calipers (ABS model available)
Rear Brakes: Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2 piston sliding caliper (ABS model available)


Length: 83in
Width (Handlebars): 33in
Height: 51.9in
Seat Height: 32.8in
Wheelbase: 59.4in
Rake/Trail: 23.2 degree/87.7mm
Wet Weight: 502lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.3 USgal

Performance (measured at crankshaft to 95/1/EC)

Maximum Power EC: 111bhp @ 9,400 rpm
Maximum Torque EC: 72ft.lbs at 6,250 rpm