Off-road, long distance, night riding and more
The Tiger Training Academy and two happy Sundays riding trails is what the Tiger did off-road. Now that I’ve stood up on its pegs, slid its rear around and ridden it considerably off-road, I’ve learnt a couple of things about the bike. Stand up and use the power to get through tricky bits. Slow down over rocks and water crossings and the bike’s 203kg comes into play and you don’t want that to happen. At slow speeds it wants to tip over and like all big adventure bikes, once it tips past a certain angle, just lay it down as gently as you can on the ground if you don’t want to screw up your back.
Stand up on the pegs, move your weight about and use the power and you’ll find a different beast. You can ride it over pretty much anything and all you have to do is point, squirt and hang on while the WP suspension pummels everything in its path. I also set the rider mode to this configuration – engine map to off-road and ABS and traction control fully off. I find that the Tiger’s traction control system in off-road mode is still too restrictive. I prefer letting the rear break loose and controlling it with the throttle rather than let traction control chop in when it feels like. Trust me, it isn’t as scary as it sounds – I am a very average rider and I find the Tiger friendly enough to slide its tail around.
I also rediscovered what a phenomenal long distance tourer it is. The other Sunday a friend of mine who owns a Tiger suggested we go for a 500km ride. The plan was to leave Pune early, get to Chiplun for lunch, Mahabaleshwar for tea and back home for dinner. The Tigers were so effortless that we ended up in Chiplun for breakfast, Mahabaleshwar for lunch and home for tea. Brilliant!
It’s not been all hunky dory though – I’ve eaten through the second set of rear brake pads. The first set was replaced at 3500km and that time I thought it was me accidentally riding the brakes. They wore out again at 6500km despite me making a conscious effort to keep my foot off the rear brake pedal. Yes, I use a bit of trail braking into corners but even then, they shouldn’t wear out this fast. They got replaced under warranty.
One of the rubber strips that prevents the chain from rubbing against the swingarm fell off and the result is the occasional chain lash rattle as the engine spins between 4000-5000rpm. A replacement part has been ordered and I hope it gets here soon.
Other than this, there’s been nothing wrong with the bike at all. I thoroughly enjoy riding it and I like it so much that I still use it for everything I do – getting haircuts, to the laundromat, grocery shopping, ATM runs – it’s all on the Tiger. It has clocked 7500km in the three months I’ve had it. That is how much I like it.
Date acquired: March 2016
Duration of test: 4 months
Total mileage: 7,495km
Mileage this month: 3,044km
Overall kmpl: 19.0kmpl
Costs this month: Nil