TRIUMPH TIGER 900 RALLY PRO REVIEW

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The Triumph 900 Rally Pro in grey and orange photographed in a forest
2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro in Ash Grey and Intense Orange
  • 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro
  • Highest seller in the Triumph stable
  • Packed with standard equipment
  • $25,950 ride away

In 2020 something changed at Triumph.

The company announced they were signing motocross great Ricky Carmichael and enduro legend Ivan Cervantes to head development in the dirtbike division.

This year and for the first time ever, we saw two Triumph 250Fs make the main event at an AMA Supercross.

Triumph also debuted the Tiger 900 range consisting of five models that included the Rally and Rally Pro.
Triumph had made a Tiger 900 before, ending the model line in 1999 with a Lime Green version that looked like it could earn a few extra bucks on a stripper pole.

The 2020 models were significant upgrades from the previous Tiger 800, and they were sales champions for the company from the get-go.

Alongside the announcement of the dirtbikes, it felt like Triumph was crafting not only new model lines but a fresh image for the brand.

Triumph’s TF 250-X motocross machine

My history with Triumph has been a mixed bag and I’ve rarely really felt comfortable on one with the single exception being the 1200 XCa, which I thought was an outstanding adventure tourer.

My reticence was particularly around the 800s and came from a serious lack of confidence in the front end and not quite understanding how to get the best from the engine.

And so, standing before the 2024 Tiger 900 Rally Pro I found myself wondering how the next two days of the Australian media launch will play out.

We hit 48 hours of epic riding in Victoria and much became clear.

The Tiger’s road manrers have always been excellent

WHAT MAKES IT A RALLY PRO?

Triumph’s mantra regarding the 900 is more performance, capability, comfort and attitude. To tick those relevant boxes Triumph has found 13 horsepower more out of the 888cc inline triple as well as 3Nm more on the torque curve.

The power comes on a little mellower early on but from about 4300rpm the 2024 900 Rally Pro separates itself from the 2023 model. Once you reach 6500rpm the ’24 has quite a bit more to say where the ’23 had begun to sign off.

Triumph says the engine now offers 9 percent better fuel economy with a practical range of about 400-425kms and CO2 emissions have been decreased by 9 percent.

The gains have been made by introducing new pistons which increased the compression ratio to 13.01:1 and allowed for more efficient combustion.

The new cylinder head has larger inlet ports as well as revised exhaust ports. New inlet and exhaust camshafts, new intake trumpets, exhaust header assembly and silencer are also each playing a part in refining the ‘24’s output and feel.

While the 900 GT and 900 GT Pro run Marzocchi suspension, the Rally Pro received Showa kit which is a very important detail as the trust factor for offroad riders will always be weighted heavily in favour of Showa.

The GT Pro is the blacktop version of the model line



Triumph made small changes to the ergos with a flatter seat that actually has thicker foam for maximum movement and comfort. The seat height can be very easily dropped from 880mm to 860mm (an optional seat can lower that by another 20mm).

The handlebars have been moved 15mm closer to the rider and feature damped mounting to reduce vibrations.

Some other details on the 900 Rally Poro include a 7”-inch TFT display, 6 rider modes, heated grips and seats as standard, USB-C dash charging as well as an extra USB-A under the seat.

There is, of course, Bluetooth connectivity and an app that you can download to provide turn-by-turn navigation on the TFT screen.

The screen is height adjustable and easily done with one hand on the fly.

Bringing the whole show to a halt is a set of Brembo brakes with Stylema callipers which are pulled right from the top shelf and will leave you in awe at how they pull the 900 up.

So that’s the detail stuff. Triumph has improved upon an already popular model and now let’s talk about how it skids and roosts.

The 900 Rally Pro has zero problems kicking up dust

LET’S TAKE TEST RIDE

The sitting position on the 900 Rally Pro is neutral which means it will suit a wide range of riders. I lifted the seat to its highest setting, which took about 20 seconds but didn’t feel the need to move any levers or roll the bars back or forward.

The standard bar bend is excellent, and the grips are decent. The offroad-style footpegs are pretty good and certainly nothing on the 900 Rally Pro screams to be replaced before you go play in the dirt.

The two-piece seat itself is all-day comfortable and well-shaped to allow movement. The contact point for your knees is the front of the seat so you can solidly grab hold of the bike which feels narrow down to the footpegs with the only slightly obtrusive presence being the clutch casing.

The Rally Pro is a quiet bike but has an audible growl as the revs increase. It never gets rowdy, but it has a commanding tone that’s pleasing to the ear.

Selecting an offroad mode is a fairly intuitive and quick process. You can switch between road modes without stopping but you can’t switch between road to off-road without coming to a halt first.

The top-notch ergos covers neutral sitting position and a standing position that puts you over the front wheel

Once you’re in the offroad modes you can jump between Off-Road and Off-Road Pro without pulling over.

I started the ride in Off-Road mode (ABS off at the rear + TC on) but found the traction control to be too intrusive, particularly on loose climbs and moved to Off-Road Pro mode which removed traction control as well as ABS at both the front and the rear.

While I would appreciate a less active traction control and the bike would be improved if it had levels of TC to choose from on the fly, the 900 Rally Pro has amazing mechanical grip in the low revs.

The 888cc triple grips impressively well right up to about 4300rpm and it has a nice throttle to rear wheel connection which makes hill climbs and navigating sloppy or technical trails where traction is in short supply pretty damn easy.


I found the oncoming rush of power at 4500rpm a little hard to manage though. It goes from quite a mellow and very useable output to aggressively wheel spinning very quickly. It’s hard to slide the bike under that 4500rpm, but almost impossible not to thereafter.

The 900 Rally Pro does not shy away from technical tracks

It’s certainly bloody exciting because the engine just keeps offering you more and more and the revs rise, but I’d personally prefer that power to come on in a more measured manner that’s easier to predict and control offroad.

An example would be an uphill with erosion mounds. Traction control has to be turned off to make any progress, but the point in the rev range where that kind of track is best ridden makes it a task to keep the back wheel in check.


Now transpose that to an open and flat dirt road and you’re having nothing but a good time and frightening wildlife for miles. The way the 900 Rally Pro puts down its power will be perfectly exciting for a lot of riders, but it’s missing an amount of control in technical stuff.


The gearbox features Triumph Shift Assist (quickshifter) which is a system that works flawlessly with a nice positive drop into gear but up and down without feeling clunky. Triumph does this stuff very well.

The front brake has to be squeezed to be believed

SOMEBODY STOP ME

The Brembo Stylema brakes are amazing. The rear has power and a decent feel, but the front is a powerful force that took me some time to get used to. Taken from the GT Pro model, I ended up re-engaging ABS at the front to counter any over-braking by my clumsy fingers.


Coming off an Africa Twin Adventure Sports where you start braking in the morning and should be stopped by lunch, the 900 Rally Pro offers the kind of stopping power that you may consider calming down a little with a different set of brake pads.


The feel is brilliant, and the ABS is also very good off-road with just the right amount of intervention, but if you don’t have a road bike background that front anchor will blow your mind.

Showa was a good choice for the Rally Pro

THE SUSPENSION

The Showa suspension is well-chosen for the bike. It’s a versatile kit that will do a good job for a wide range of riders and benefits from very sensitive clickers that allow fairly big changes to be made.

I dialled up the pre-load at the rear and then marvelled at how just three clicks of rebound and compression made a big difference to the feel of the forks.


The rear offers rebound but not compression adjustment and it took me a couple of visits to the clicker to find a happy setting, I think in part because I’m used to making much larger adjustments of five or six clicks to get a result.


Once I was where I felt most comfortable it was clear that the 900 Rally Pro will do what most riders need without the need for professional tuning.


It soaks up the smaller stuff well without any harshness and sits at pace in the mid-stroke well with little deflection and excellent grip on an angle when it’s under load.

Yes, you could improve it with some tuning and it would be bloody amazing after it’s done, but I don’t think the majority of riders will feel the need. I don’t think I would.

A simple dash design for a reasonably uncomplicated electronics package

THE PACKAGE PRICE

During the launch presentation, I was waiting for a price of around $28,000 to be read out and was a bit surprised to hear $25,950 ride away.

As a package, it’s very hard to beat and compares favourably to the Tenere 700 World Raid which is a similar price but doesn’t carry anywhere near the kit Triumph has loaded the 900 Rally Pro with.


And a lot of it is sensible stuff like a rear rack/grab handles to lash luggage down or manhandle the bike when necessary. The bike comes standard with lower crash bars which can go for hundreds of dollars as an add-on. There’s a decent bashplate and heated grips plus heated rider and pillion seats as well as fog lights.

The bike is thin from the seat down to the pegs


You get the shift assist system, a tubeless 21/17-inch wheelset and of course the electronics suite with engine modes, traction control, ABS and cruise control as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The 900 Rally Pro also has two USB charging points plus a 12-volt socket and a centre stand plus removeable pillion pegs.


To top this all off, basic maintenance is made easy by an air filter that’s easily accessed by just removing the seat and then a few screws. You’ll have it out within five minutes.


The service interval is 10,000 kilometres or at 12 months.


Compare that to competing models and there’s no way you can’t be impressed by what Triumph is offering on a stock bike.

What’s to add from there? I’d add the upper crash bars because the side fairings are susceptible to damage. That’s it.

What would I change? I’d relax the delivery from that 4500rpm mark, and I’d love to reclaim the traction control as a less intrusive rider aid. Just improving the TC will then make that sudden outpouring of mumbo easier to manage and both issues could be damn near alleviated.

This is the best Triumph I’ve ever ridden. It’s much better than the 800 was and has every right to be considered alongside the biggest players in the adventure market right now. Some of them might have trouble matching the 900 Rally Pro spec for spec let alone dollar for dollar.

It’s a premium build with an amazing array of standard equipment and Triumph will likely be enticing riders away from dealerships they never thought they’d leave.

ADV LIFE AWARD FOR:

SINGLE MOST OUTSTANDING FEATURE

heaped onto the 900 Rally Pro, but in a more ride-related view, it’s the handling package backed by the tunability of the Showa suspension.

THE CLIFF YOUNG AWARD FOR THE COMPONENT THAT GOES ABOUT ITS BUSINESS QUIETLY AND STEADILY

The exhaust system literally goes about its business quietly but has such a satisfying rumble to it under load.

THAT WON’T AGE WELL

The traction control needs to be less intrusive. Yes, you can ride without it, but decent TC is a very practical ride aid on a big bike, and it would help calm the savage drive in the mid-range.

THE RED SYMONS AWARD FOR AESTHETIC CHOICES

The Triumph presents an understated aesthetic and yet when looking at the Ash Grey and Intense Orange colourway it manages to catch your eye. The 900 Rally Pro is a good-looking motorcycle.

WHAT LESSON DID WE LEARN?

We learned that Triumph is swinging for the fences in 2024. There are no obvious reasons why this bike won’t be a huge success and capture some riders away from the other big players.

THE JOHN MCLANE YIPPEE-KI-YAY M’FER AWARD

This goes to the engine which has been gifted more mumbo for 2024. And while it can be a handful in certain situations, it can’t be accused of being boring and in particular guys with a road bike background will love it.

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