Triumph has successfully mastered the art of making the premium feel accessible. The prices are a little higher but not so much so that they seem unattainable ands material and assembly quality is undeniable. Triumph has been juggling higher-end and accessibility with success.
Now that the top shelf is well stocked, the maker is now on a mission to appeal to a population that doesn't want or need a top-specs bike and, in the process, prove that entry-level doesn't have to mean "cheap".
It all started with the launch of the new, sub-$8,000 Trident 660 back in October, 2020. Triumph now follows suit with the addition of a new base Tiger trim level, the 850 Sport.
For 2020, the British maker completely overhauled its popular mid-range adventurer and launched the Tiger 900, powered by an upgraded 888cc inline-triple. The new 850 takes all the good stuff the 900 has to offer and tones things down to create a more accessible, road-focused experience.
The 850's underpinnings are exactly the same as the 900's, with the triple mounted to a tubular steel frame with bolt-on subframe and dual-sided, cast aluminum swingarm. The chassis is supported by a 45 mm Marzocchi inverted fork with 7.09 inches of travel at the front and a preload-adjustable Marzocchi monoshock with 6.7 inches of travel at the back. Like on the 900, the seat is adjustable and can be set to two high and low positions, at 31.88 and 32.67 inches.
All the dimensions are the same between the 850 and the 900 and the bike tips the scales at 423 pounds dry.
The 19-inch cast alloy front wheel is fitted with two 320mm discs with Brembo Stylema four-piston calipers while the 17-inch rear wheel gets a single 255mm disc paired with a single-piston Brembo caliper. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Anakee Adventure tires and ABS at both wheels is standard.
Gallery: 2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport - Details
The engine itself is also the same and everything from bore and stroke to firing order to compression ratio is unchanged. Triumph did, however, change the fueling map to reduce the output from 94 horsepower and 64 lb-ft of torque to 84 hp and 60.5 lb-ft of torque. Triumph claims that the engine is specifically tuned to be more versatile in commuting and touring situations with power readily available even in the low-end.
The bike gets throttle by wire and a slip and assist clutch attached to a six-speed transmission, and features two riding modes (Road and Rain). Other features include a 5-inch TFT screen, LED lighting at all four corners, a 12V socket, an adjustable windscreen, and selectable traction control. Triumph also offers a collection of over 60 factory accessories that includes luggage, handguard, heated grips, sump guard, and more.
If we're pretty much getting a detuned Tiger 900, then why call it the 850? To that, Triumph answered that it's a question of market placement. It gave the example of the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS which are pretty much the same bikes but the different numerals positions one on top of the other and that's what Triumph is going for with the 850 Sport. It wants to make it obvious that this Tiger is more frugal.
Pricing on the 2021 Triumph Tier 850 Sport starts at $11,995 and the bike will land in dealers in January, 2021.