New Tiger 900 GT Low is ideal for shorter riders eyeing an adventure
My first impression of the 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low was a painful one.
As the name implies, it has a seat height 5cm lower than the standard GT model - perfect for shorter riders eyeing the adventure segment.
But a misjudged right leg swing to get on the Triumph was met by the motorbike's wide and sturdy grab rail.
The sharp pain in my knee instantly reminded me to lift my right leg higher than normal when mounting the 888cc, three-cylinder Triumph.
Yet, I quickly forgot the incident as I rode away on the all-new Tiger 900, which began development after a prototype version won a silver medal in the Panafrica Rally in 2018.
Despite its tall, dual-purpose form, the Tiger 900 attacked bends like a street motorbike.
It was fun hearing footpegs grazing tarmac whenever I pushed hard and sharp into turns.
I was not expecting any eagerness for approaching corners, especially from a motorbike designed to go on long-distance adventures and some off-road trails.
While considered "mid-spec", the GT Low has the same horsepower and torque figures - 94bhp and 87Nm - as four other models in the Tiger 900 line-up, divided into road and off-road categories.
The Tiger 900 may not have explosive acceleration as bigger 1,000cc adventure motorcycles, but its manageable performance allowed me to exploit the motorcycle without soiling my pants.
With a dry weight of 193kg, it is also about 5kg lighter than its predecessor, the Tiger 800, thanks to its new engine and chassis components.
The six-speeder has a 14,000rpm rev ceiling, brightly displayed on its big 7-inch TFT dashboard.
Its rev counter has a mesmerising "stereo" effect as its two rev bars come towards you during acceleration.
The plethora of gauges, easily accessible by a toggle button on the handlebar, tell you exactly which of the four modes you are in or which functions are being used.
The GT Low has the potential of having its electronics package upgraded, which allows for enhanced connectivity with your mobile phone, infotainment, as well as control of your GoPro action camera.
Technology-wise, the Tiger 900 has the goods. It has anti-lock brakes (ABS), cornering ABS and traction control as standard features.
But the uniqueness of a three-cylinder engine is that the Triumph accelerates hard from low to the middle of its rev range.
At 3,800rpm in sixth gear, its speedometer reads 90kmh.
The ride in its wide saddle was comfortable. But on longer rides, taller riders may feel some discomfort in the knees due to the lower seat position.
The riding posture is natural and you are guaranteed a commanding view of the road ahead over the adjustable windscreen.
The GT Low has a machine price of $27,000, which includes the additional registration fee (no COE and insurance).
Unlike pricier top-spec models in the Tiger 900 line-up, the GT Low does not come with a quickshifter or engine crash bars.