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Following my disappointing test ride last year of the much hyped Super Tenere, curiosity got the better of me - I went for a test ride on the equally hyped Triumph 800.

The test route went through some local streets with speed bumps and tight roundabouts; B grade roads and few well surfaced twisties, a section of hi-way full patch jobs where roadwork are being completed - it lasted about 20 minutes and covered about 15kms.


I am a commuter/touring rider doing about 90% road and 10% unsealed road riding - not a real dirt rider my any stretch of imagination.

With that in mind, i choose the base 800 model to test ride. I did also seat on the XC and was very surprised to find that standard seat on low setting gave me the same ground reach as a stock Wee. This is no easy task as i barely have 30inch inseam. Long body and short limps are just not built for riding dirt/dual purpose bikes.

Anyway started her up and carefully and slowly go out of the dealer's driveway. First thing i notice is how very light it feels and how very stable it is travelling at less than 3km/hr and moving between dealers bikes - i have both both feet up and absolutely no wobbles- i felt like i didnt even have concentrate using throttle and clutch at all. I was so confident that as i pull out the driveway and do my traffic checks, I simply held the bike standing still for a couple seconds without putting my feet down. While i could do that on the wee strom too, it's a lot harder work, though and usually less gracious.

This is the first time i rode a triple and i am fascinated by its almost turbine whine as the speed picks up - love it! the gear-change on this 1000km sample is lightest i have ever encountered on all bikes i have ridden. it only requires foot pressure a little toddler to get it moving!

I gave it a bit with the right hand, the power is strong, obviously stronger than my Wee with overloaded farkles can punch out. But it's not scary like my old 1000 fireblade nor the FZ1 i had, which always commands a good level of respect. At one point on 3rd gear, the rev drop down to around 2,000 rpm, i roll on the throttle - it graciously picks up without any complaint.

The fueling seem very sorted - a few deliberate off-on engagement seem not bothering it too much. But made no mistake compare to the Wee, the flywheel on this bike is a lot lighter and more compareable to naked sports bike - it tugs at the leash every chance it gets.

suspension on the base model deals with surface imperfection and small bumps and potholes i rode on quite well. Rear got a bit choppy when the going gets a bit tougher, but front composure is always good as far as compliance is concerned. There's a fair amount of brake dive and the stock brake is rather ordinary - sufficient but not really confidence inspiring. Of course i am 92kg, net, :green_lol: so YMMV.

Seats on this bike is a lot firmer than Super Tenere. ST soft seat seem like a good idea to start with and u go over a bump, it bounces u up and down like u are on a trampoline.

I feel like i am sitting on top of the bike rather than in, like my Wee. Hi-way wind protection is a lot less with the Triumph on stock setup compare to the Wee. The pegs are set further behind and handlebar are quite forward for me ( but i do have short arm) - overall i feel more like riding a sports bike rather than adventure bike- HB should be an easy fix with riser though.

This bike reminds me of my old 2006 FZ1, my last bike before the Wee Strom. It's sporty, you are in a almost ready to attack position trying to catch your mate on his sports bike. It's lightness would probably make it less comfortable for touring, but appreciated when commuting (i would still put a raiser to get more comfort), and assuming ergo is correct, doing off road, manoveouring over obstacles should be a breeze.

It takes a little getting used to such a light-feeling bike again after riding my farkle laden Wee for the last 3 years.

Overall, i am very impressed with the Triumph, great noise from the engine, great tapping on the gear change. I still prefer the touring nature of the Wee - rock solid road feel and wind protection. But the triumph is the weapon for taking it to even just unpaved road, commuting, showing off the manoeuvribility in the car park, and carving the canyons. Only if they put a slightly more heavy flywheel to damp some of the bikes enthusiastic nature- i am buying a touring orientated adventure bike here-not a naked tiger sports bike! Again your preference would be different!

Australia is not getting a lot of these bike - according to the dealer one ABS version is being shipped in late july, all other ABS bikes would have to wait till November onwards. Demand definitely seem to outstrip supply

I dont know what's the reliability of triumph bike and cost of spare parts and consumerables.

Assuming all the box is checked, and in a couple years when there's sufficient aftermarket farkles around, AND dealers are more willing to discount, i might very well pick it as a replacement for my wee.

please share your thoughts if u have tested the 800.
 

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I sat on an XC at the dealer but didn't ride it. They didn't have any street versions. Very nice bike, will surely peel off a few Strom riders. Remains to be seen how the new Strom will dampen the flow of current owners to the 800. I'll have either an 800 or a new Strom within a year or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But the new strom is the same as the current one with a few kilos less. and yep it surely looks a bit different.
 

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Good write-up Aaron.

I think this bike will be a popular choice among Vee riders in a short while. Suzuki have obviously decided to halt development on the Vee, not even introducing ABS on newer models, so that when the time for replacement comes around, an 800cc powered modern bike like this will prove more desirable than the outmoded 650 Wee you'd have to think.

I wonder if that will stir Suzuki into going bigger on the Wee, and at the same time attending to the handful of suggested improvements from forums and owners around the world? Wishful thinking?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
not to divert too much from the topic - but i really can understand where suzuki is coming from an economic point of view - they dont have a 800cc in their line up, so why devlop just for the sake of catching with competition - the 650cc is well loved and a proven reliability anyway.

The fact that 650 sell so well over vee is an indication that the extra cc is not the "end all" - they fix a couple complaints of Stromers. the only major concern they havent addressed which is of real relevance for majority of stromers majority of the time is the susspension - better leave owners to farkle their own suspension the way they want it anyway.

Perhaps there's some subtle improvements to the suspension we are not aware of yet- maybe the uprated the spring slightly again like they did to K7 bikes, so as to make it passable for the average owner.

and if they keep the price as cheap as they are currently, and now that they look a little sexier, and it suits an average rider who spends 90% commuting and touring on sealed roads and only 10% on well maintained unsealed roads, it's still quite a good deal for bargin hunter and educated purchaser :mrgreen: alike

The only thing unknow to me with a triumph is their reliability compare to Suzuki and cost of parts....

So while Tiger 800 tingles my heart, the more i analyse the more i realise vstrom is still a strong contenter - lets how things develop in the next few years. I have no desire to get a super tenere though.
 

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Truimph parts can be costly,I spoke to a bloke with a 675 he holed a radiator and could not repair it properly . New radiator $1200 plus a 6 week wait ,he got one from England for $800 plus frieght .
Truimph make good bikes but I think Suzuki dose a very good bike for the money .Most bikes can do with better suspension even BMW Harleys and Ducati.
 

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Truimph parts can be costly,I spoke to a bloke with a 675 he holed a radiator and could not repair it properly . New radiator $1200 plus a 6 week wait ,he got one from England for $800 plus frieght .
Truimph make good bikes but I think Suzuki dose a very good bike for the money .Most bikes can do with better suspension even BMW Harleys and Ducati.

VEE/WEE radiators and oilcoolers aren't exactly bargain items here in AUS either!:jawdrop:
The headlight for a Strom is near enough to 600 bux now...but $300 for the headlight unit complete with globes and electrics to the first plug for the KTM 950 over/under unit!!

A headlight for a measly 250 Hyosung (the yoghurt-tub version) is over 700bux...yes, for a bike with a $6500 pricesticker!! The front mud guard in body colour is $85...

A 18" long/ 2" wide plastic-strip in body-colour for a Vespa 250 IE is $256 bux:confused:...but a whole headlight incl. globe is $180.


Trumpy spares aren't any more or less expensive than parts for any other bike of it group/ class. There's always the odd outrageously priced item (always "wear" items) which gets the "boohoo" -tag.
 

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Triumph 800

An interesting take on the 800 Ace, a more informative take than A.R.R. would do. I think any new bike will feel light as two new tyres will always feel that way. But your point is clear and well made. Your right in your take of the triple being turbine like. I rode a mates ST triple and later his Tiger 955....love that smoooth feeling.
I have posted elseware that I think Suzuki missed a good chance in upgrading the Wee to 800cc. My reasoning is twofold. 1) It surely would be more economical to manufacture a good 800 rather two different bikes i.e.650 and 1000
2) The V-Strom following is very strong and existing owners would I think trade up and down to a good 800.

There is a good argument to say there is a hole left in their lineup, well two holes I suppose, but Suzuki are capable of producing a bike as good as or superior to any opposition. Cost wise the current 650 is brilliant value but ageing. The new upgrade looks a lot better thats for sure. If not going for a full 800, why not boring out 650 to 700 as did Honda to the Trans Alp, even though it was comparatively a heavy plodder.
In the final wash-up I have enjoyed my 650, a very good bike for the money. My next bike won't be a Strom though as nothing has really changed, apart from much better looks. But I have to say, how lucky we are to have such a magnificent choice from which to choose. When I think back to what was on offer when I first started.....!


Saturn 5 Up up and away!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The triumph 800 not only feel light, but very balanced at slow walking speed - Super Tenere feel light too given its kerb weight - but it still needed my attention travelling at slow walking speed. We are not talking even 5km/hr - say around 3km/hr, about the speed u would do on a romantic stroll.

I was pretty impressed with that balance.
 

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Hey Ace. I love the analogy "a romantic stroll". I can aaalllmost remember.

I missed a chance to test ride the Triumph 800s at the Newcastle Ulysses A.G.M. but they looked appealing. The old Tiger was very top heavy with the triple set high in the frame. My mate completed a very difficult ride some 3000kms in all, back of Bourke several years ago when the roads were deep sand. He got through in the end but it wore him out in the process.

Saturn 5... Dreaming of an 800
 

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The Tiger 955i was a better offroad bike than anything else around (rode with one for a couple of years) - but - the 955 wasn't as durable as the Wee (which was a surprise) - and as noted, parts are expensive.

Certainly I'd go for the 800 rather than a DL 1000 ;), but I'm not so sure it's a replacement for the Wee.
I'd certainly trust it a lot more than any modern BMW as well.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What i want:

1) the look of a BMW big GS - dont know if it is "long way around" working its magic in my brain, but to me it's a proper, man's size bike - non a "toy" bike;

2) the power, balance, nimbleness and that turbine sound of a Tiger 800 - it almost feels like a naked sports bike; Yet capable to take me where the tarmac finishes.

3) the reliability and general low cost of ownership of Wee Strom - It just works...

Does this dream bike exist?
 

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What i want:

1) the look of a BMW big GS - dont know if it is "long way around" working its magic in my brain, but to me it's a proper, man's size bike - non a "toy" bike;

2) the power, balance, nimbleness and that turbine sound of a Tiger 800 - it almost feels like a naked sports bike; Yet capable to take me where the tarmac finishes.

3) the reliability and general low cost of ownership of Wee Strom - It just works...

Does this dream bike exist?
Nope

Suzuki went the finanically safe route. The bike will probably be as reliable as the Wee Strom mainly because very little has changed. This is why the price will probably also be similar.

I'll keep my Vee for onroad but I'm looking for a dirt road tourer. I had a DR650 but it was little under powered for road sections.
The 800 Triumph and BMW are on my list but will require cost justification (to myself). The G650GS is also making an appearance on the list.
The new (or old) DL650 are not on my list
.
 

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...
The G650GS is also making an appearance on the list.
...
.
Check out the face plant section on Advrider first. And the dedicated BMW twins section.

The Tiger and S10 owners at least aren't too ashamed to hang out in beasts with the other bikes ;)

Pete
 

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I tested the xc and the st10, and ended up getting the st10 to join the wee in the stable
Even though the st10 is a lot heavier it doent feel it against the wee
 

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The Tiger was the only real competition for the wee when i was deciding what bike to buy, i didn't ride one simply because i didn't need 800cc and after riding the F800GS, i assumed the ergo's and feel of the Tiger would be much closer to the GS than the Wee, and i found the wee far more comfortable than the GS. So it was a very easy decision for me.
 
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