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Offline Tigraid

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 11:29:33 AM »
*Originally Posted by wrinkley [+]
I was a BMW man through and through for over 25yrs. I didn't even look at anything else when purchasing a new bike. In that time, with the exception of the R850gs, I had every configuration of the GS boxer twin up until and including the latest W/C version, which I purchased in early 2014.

 For me this is where it all started to go pear shaped. I won't bore you with the details, but my relationship with that bike was less than harmonious. I had a new Guzzi Stelvio for 16mnts, loved it, but it lacked a bit of grunt. A good mate of mine had an Explorer, which I'd ridden, but didn't like the riding position. Anyhow. I ended up buying a very lightly used GEN1 and tweaked the position to suit me. I soon began to realise what a bloody good bike this was and have now progressed from a Gen1 through a Gen2 and just last week picked up my Gen3 XRT.


Now I'm no great offroader, but I have taken both GS's and Explorers on some light offroading. There is no doubt the Gs is the better mannered bike offroad. This is where the misconception, that the GS is a better bike than the Explorer, is born. I don't know anyone who takes their 15k+ bike offroad, but because the Journo's rightly rate the GS as a better offroad bike, it suddenly becomes a better and more capable bike.


Let me tell you, this couldn't be further from the truth. Yes the GS is a fine motorbike, but in my opinion it's no match for the new Tiger 1200. Build quality alone on all the generation tigers would put the gs to shame. Yes it's a big lump to move around the workshop and can be a handful if you've got a gravel drive,as do I.

 Get that Tiger out on the road and it's a much much more pleasurable bike to ride than any GS.


So, are we doing enough to promote the Triumph. As has been alluded to in previous posts, many folks will go with the masses because the feel comfortable in their own belief, that if so many folks own them they must be the best. It's called 'Lemming syndrome'.


I believe the Triumph is the thinking mans bike. The type of owner that has enough savvy to understand that whilst not perfect the Triumph is a bloody good bike and as a large capacity road going bike one of the best out there. It's promoted fairly well, but no amount of promotion is going to stop the Lemming from jumping off the cliff.

 :047:  Absolutely nail on head!

I was also a BMW rider and had boxers in several flavours as well as an earlier Hinkley triple.  I came to a Triumph Explorer this year, ironically enough, whilst searching for a used 1200 RT or GS.  My trawl around various outlets raised one red flag after another with BMW's up to around my budget, which stretched to a 3 or 4 year old bike.  I couldn't get over just how many had out of warranty issues with some serious faults ranging from final drive failures to electronics issues, failure of frame parts and suspension, to electronic issues and serious corrosion problems (which I witnessed on loads of used examples).  Yet the bike press, helped a lot by the perceptions of the IAM group who seem to ride little else have somehow shrouded GS bikes (and RTs) in some sort of false glory, and the elephant in the room which is both new costs (by the time options are ticked which would be standard on early TEX machines) and reliability issues are both ignored.   The IAM riders can look down their noses all they want (I have nothing against them and am starting my own journey into advanced riding training but their attitude towards BMW I feel is blinkered by brand loyalty which may have belonged in the past but doesn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny now unless you can afford a new bike every few years).

My own 6 months searching uncovered issue after issue and one of the main ones was BMW dealer service itself.  Once out of warranty, you're stuffed and even within warranty, some claims seem to take BMW UK an age to rectify (suspension recalls taking one owner I know 6 months to sort after his rear shock failed on an 18month old bike)!

Whilst in a local dealership looking at a mint condition GS1200TE, I happened to look at a Gen1 TEX whilst there, so had a sit on both.  The Triumph just fitted me perfectly whilst not needing a ladder to get on and off the thing.  The GS had a stupidly high seat height and that ruled it straight out for me as unlike many buyers of GS bikes, I'm honest enough to know that I'll never take one off road bar some fire trails or gentle green lanes.

That got me thinking....is the suspension on the Tiger therefore compromised and do the real weight difference and off road handling characteristics make the TEX a worse bike than the GS?  What does "better" even mean when spouted by bike journos who clearly haven't ridden both mainly on road in touring guise over extended trips?

Well the only way to find out was to ride both and compare, which I did.  The GS had great low down pick-up but ran out of puff quite quickly if wound on a bit on tarmac. It handled nicely, especially at slow speeds but as soon as foot down was needed it took forward planning and the avoidance of adverse cambers.  I soon tired of it as it lit no fires of excitement and comfort I found average.  further more, I didn't rate the weather protection nor did I particularly like the way instruments and switches were laid out.  A good close inspection revealed many instances where the triumph was clearly far better finished and had way more attention to detail paid to just about every aspect of the bike.

Switching to the Triumph, it was a revelation.  It also had good low down stomp but unlike the GS, the Triumph keeps delivering buttery smooth power all the way to the red line if needed or wanted for that lovely triple pot howl.  It handled more like a sportsbike which I was not expecting.  It just inspired a lot more confidence on the road. Levels of grip and confidence were immense.  So what if it doesn't measure up off road as well?  In the right hands it is still capable of more than most owners are and I've taken mine off road several times with no dramas on terrain that the bike really wasn't suited to.  I wouldn't make a habit of it, but it is surprisingly capable as long as you avoid slippery surfaces.  That's not what its about though. 

On road, I do believe that it trumps the BMW in almost every respect based on my own experiences.  I found it more comfortable, better handling (all bar the suspension dive at the front under heavy breaking by the Triumph), better power (everywhere), better fuel economy (until I remapped mine!) better build and more thought had quite obviously gone into it.  The GS may well be a well evolved concept and hugely successful but the Tiger is a ground up first time success and trumps the GS in every department that matters to me and at far lower cost used.  The icing on the cake is that whilst Triumph do have mechanical glitches with their bikes, just like all other manufacturers, they seem to bend over backwards to help sort issues out, even ones where the bike is no longer within warranty.  That for me clinched the deal and after 6 months of looking for a late model boxer, I ended up buying a top spec Gen1 TEX and am happy that I made the right choice.  My local dealership has been superb so far to deal with too.  Would I still be tempted by a GS? No...but I might just be tempted to a Gen3 Tiger in a few years.

Vive le Tiger!

Offline Icy

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 01:49:37 PM »
I converted many GS riders to TEX by merely riding with them. TEX is a better bike by almost every measure... except center of gravity, which I believe is somewhere a few inches over my head with the TEX and somewhere below the ground with the 1200 GS.

Having said that, and having ridden both bikes in off road nasty rocky trails and baby-heads and river crossings and whatnot, I would still choose the TEX over the GS. That boxer engine almost broke my shin when I had to balance the bike over a good sized boulder and planted my foot for balance and moved the bike up a bit, then sat down and the bike slid half an inch back and my foot got stuck between the engine block and the rock; I could no longer stand up and was pushed back - couldn't operate the clutch, couldn't move the bike, couldn't release the brake it was a sh#tshow. I somehow managed to press the gear lever with my left hand and save my shin. Yeah, lower center of gravity but I wouldn't be able to get out of this mess if I had a GS - I'd have to track back a mile of sand and forest. That boxer wouldn't fit through that space.

Pluses and minuses. TEX has more pluses where it counts. That inline triple is something else. For me it has better ergonomics. I still rent the GS whenever I travel though - I like it but not enough to own it.

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Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 04:37:59 PM »
There is one category in which the GS probably beats the Tiger, that being ease of resale and trade value. The Gen1 TEX that I bought was a better value than the GS with a good list of features in the base model, but prices have since crept up with more options, models and more gizmos.

One thing that impairs adoption of the TEX in N. America is a weak dealer network. Triumph don't even bother to attend the major motorcycle shows here and have not for some time, leaving it up to local dealers.

I think that my TEX is a better all-around touring bike than the GS for sure. In another year, it will become the bike that I have owned the longest since I started riding in 1973. The current longevity champ was my ST1300.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 05:16:37 PM by CaptainTrips »
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline Icy

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 08:20:31 PM »
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
There is one category in which the GS probably beats the Tiger, that being ease of resale and trade value. The Gen1 TEX that I bought was a better value than the GS with a good list of features in the base model, but prices have since crept up with more options, models and more gizmos.

One thing that impairs adoption of the TEX in N. America is a weak dealer network. Triumph don't even bother to attend the major motorcycle shows here and have not for some time, leaving it up to local dealers.

I think that my TEX is a better all-around touring bike than the GS for sure.
:0461:  :0461:  :0461:
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Offline r2uzenblot

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2018, 09:52:20 PM »
Some excellent posts and if Triumph read this forum they just may find some mileage in the comments. Rode off today on my Gen 3 XRX and as soon as I work out all the console and switch settings then I will be a much wiser man!

Offline XCaTel

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2018, 12:40:01 PM »
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
There is one category in which the GS probably beats the Tiger, that being ease of resale and trade value. The Gen1 TEX that I bought was a better value than the GS with a good list of features in the base model, but prices have since crept up with more options, models and more gizmos.

 :0461:  Of that there is no doubt. I think a Tiger purchase is driven by the heart a little more than the mind, no bad thing really. Given how long people seem to keep the Tiger it is somewhat mitigated.

I don't have any evidence to support this but I feel my cost of ownership over the next five years will be much less than a comparable GS/GSA given the service intervals and parts costs. Insured extended warranty plans seem popular with BMW owners too, you can guess what is driving that behaviour. I tried to have a discussion around service costs with the BMW dealer when I was trying to decide between a GS and the Tiger. It was a genuine enquiry but the grumpy service manager got all defensive and evasive. I cancelled the test ride I had arranged for the GS on that response alone, nothing to do with the salesman, who was fine or bikes capability, which is a given. I have a term for employees like this, he was a member of the "Sales Prevention Team"!

Offline Tigraid

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2018, 01:08:09 PM »
The Tiger costs may have crept up, but so has the quality and specification. Semi active suspension and improved WP suspension back (std models?)and front, electric screen, TFT, more sophisticated electronics for a safer riding experience etc etc all cost more, and I get that.  Triumph have tailored the gizmos for those who want them and left the base bikes with still generous specification, so comparing Tigers to BMWs, I maintain that a spec'd up Tiger still represents way better value than the £20K plus it costs for the equivalent GS.

I never pick a bike on re-sale alone. If the bike is what I want and I intend to put up many miles on it over a few years, then that's enough for me.  Even if it is worth a lot less at the end, cost of ownership will still most likely be less when comparing the Tiger with GS.  A 4 or 5 year old GS still loses £6K and likely costs more to run anyway, especially out of warranty  :016:

My 4 yr old top spc XC came in at £8.5K, some 6.5K down on new so really not much in it between it and the equivalent GS.  It's ongoing re-sale where the GS loses less as residual values seem to hold well past 5 to 10 years.  I look at what the heart desires along with how the thing rides, and for me, the Tiger wins over the GS in that respect.  The attitude of most bmw dealership staff that I have experienced (but not all) leaves a lot to be desired...arrogance doesn't win sales...the bikes sell themselves thanks to massive marketing budgets and popularity.  My local Triumph dealership has proved to be very helpful and friendly...nothing really seems to be too much trouble.  So what if the Tiger fetches less once past 5 years old...I don't much care as buying another 3 or 4 year old bike in a similar amount of years will net me the latest generation Tiger at significantly less money than a GS and that's probably exactly what I'll do.  As someone said above, the Tiger is the thinking man's bike.

Offline Rowey68

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2018, 03:39:07 PM »
After suffering a broken back and having my 2018 tiger 1200 xrt written off by a ‘smidsy’ in June I find myself pondering which bike will suit my return hopefully sometime next spring
Unfortunately I do feel the tiger due to its weight may be a bit too much for me at the moment, I have been looking at all options and yes I will consider the gs, now I see the comparable gs to the tiger xca is the rallye te which from my research is £16400 whereas the tiger xca is £16950, Have I got this right as this to me puts the comparable gs cheaper than the tiger ? And I’m told that bmw now offers 3 year warranty

Offline Tigraid

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2018, 04:13:45 PM »
I think that's correct but bear in mind whilst the base specifications are broadly similar, the GS hasn't really changed much compared with the models over the past few years bar a few gimmicky additions (keyless ignition for example), whilst the tiger has moved things on significantly compared with earlier models and is arguably more sophisticated and refined than the GS.  No doubt, the GS may hold its value more down the line but as a riding experience, I would have the Triumph.  You have to try the GS for yourself though, as that's the only way you'll really reach a conclusion.  You already know what a fantastic machine the 2018 Tiger is.  It doesn't matter what anyone else's views are unless a spanner is thrown into the works.  BMW reliability is still the key worry, so watertight warranty's are a must if you decide to go down that route.

However, given your back issues, would you consider the Tiger 800? Much lighter and more manageable yet they've updated the motor for even more low down stomp, narrowing the gap between it and the 1200.  The bigger bike is still far stronger lower down, but there's not a lot in it once the revs pick up.  My only quibble with the 800 which I test rode just yesterday was its slow speed manners.  It didn't want to steer in a straight line when in slow moving traffic.  The dealership said "yep...they all do that" as it's just a function of steering geometry according to them.  I found it off-putting.  Others probably don't especially those who get used to it.  Other than that, it's a great bike.  Remember that the GS even if it carries its mass low or not is still a 244Kg lump.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 04:18:59 PM by Tigraid »

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Are we doing enough
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2018, 05:11:06 PM »
My other comment relative to the GS is that in 2012 I rented a GS for three days and did some touring with my wife with luggage. I was immediately impressed by the 2-up handling of the GS which inspired immediate confidence. This experience was what started my switch over from a heavy sport touring bike to ADV style bikes. It was furthered when we bought a 650 V-strom for my wife to ride. That led to my buying a TEX four years ago. At the time, my riding buddy said that he was surprised by my riding during that GS rental because I showed more confidence than I usually do -- he said that he was working pretty hard to keep up.

However, I have never been completely comfortable with the TEX 2-up. From memory, the TEX never quite replicated the GS 2-up experience even after some suspension tweeks. It will be interesting for me to do this comparison again when we do this extended tour in S. Africa next year on a rental GS.

"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

 


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