Had a chance today to take the new Tiger 800 for a two up test ride. Conditions were pretty poor and the bike was still in the running in period so I was gentle with it.
First impressions then; very low and compact for the genre. A bit too small for me to be honest. The pillion seat was described by my co-pilot as the worst she'd tried. The engine feels light and fresh, happy to rev and not buzzy. It's a good thing it is happy to rev, as you need to keep the revs up in the mid range in order to make progress.
The bike feels long and no doubt the addition of a pillion added to this. Adjustment on the shock is preload only (that I could see) and I wound it in 2/3rd of the way to account for the pillion. The test bike had the Arrow silencer and alloy sump guard fitted from the accessory catalogue; the silencer gave a little rasp to the exhaust note, though most on board sound came from the airbox. The sump guard appeared a little extraneous and was really there it seemed in order to take your eye away from the under-sump catalytic convertor.
I was a bit disappointed in the bike to be honest. I had hoped for something with a bit more grunt to it. There was no denying the bike was smooth to pull from low revs even in a high gear, but it really needed revving to get the most from it. Rumour has it a 1200cc version will be with us mid next year. I will hold on until then.