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Not too long ago, Triumph Motorcycles launched the Trident 660. The Trident 660 was based on a new middleweight platform and we were quite sure that it would spawn more motorcycles. As suspected, Triumph announced a new Tiger based on this platform soon after. So, after a year or so from when we tested the Trident 660 in Dehradun, we found ourselves in the city again. The steed this time around was the new Triumph Tiger Sport 660.
Getting to ride the Tiger Sport 660 in the mountainous loop between Dehradun, Kanatal, and Mussoorie, we got to know a lot about the smallest and the most affordable Tiger to date. Needless to say, with the Tiger tag, the Sport 660 had large shoes to fill. And we can happily report that it does its job well.
As mentioned earlier, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 is based on the Trident 660 platform. It is powered by the same 660cc, liquid-cooled, inline-3 engine. The power and torque figures remain the same as well at 80 bhp @10,250rpm and 64 Nm @6,250rpm. The Tiger Sport 660 rides on the same Michelin Road 5 tyres and the Nissin braking system also remains the same.
The chassis is also similar but with some obvious changes; a steel perimeter frame with a longer subframe and a longer swingarm for a roomier pillion seat and some luggage options. Visually too, there are some similarities between the Tiger Sport 660 and the Trident 660. But the Tiger Sport 600 has enough distinguishing features to set it apart from the Trident.
The most noticeable difference is the height-adjustable windshield along with the massive 17.2-litre fuel tank. Overall, the Tiger Sport 660 looks bigger and more imposing than the Trident 660 while remaining lithe and agile when compared to other motorcycles in its class. With the massive fuel tank along with the claimed fuel efficiency of 22.2 kmpl, the gaps between fuel stops will remain considerably longer.
The adjustable windscreen is a nifty feature but the Tiger Sport 660 has more going on for it too. In terms of electronics, it gets switchable Traction Control, ABS. and two riding modes- Rain and Road, thanks to the ride-by-wire system. There’s a fully-digital TFT screen that presents all the relevant information to the rider.
An optional extra is Bluetooth connectivity. Using the My Triumph App, your smartphone can be paired with the motorcycle for turn-by-turn navigation and notifications. It also allows you to connect their helmet intercom systems and GoPro action cameras allowing you to control the equipment on the go.
Character-wise, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 seems like a cross between the street-oriented Trident and an adventure-touring Tiger. Versatility was the call of the day and it has been inculcated very well in the overall character of the Tiger Sport 660. So kudos to the folks at Triumph for a job well done.
The very first thing you notice as you swing a leg over the baby Tiger is its approachability. The size and the heft of the motorcycle are not intimidating and all kinds of riders will find themselves at home in the saddle of the Tiger Sport 660. While the 835mm seat height is not the lowest one can find, the narrow taper of the motorcycle helps one’s feet in touching the ground easily.
That is one of the first things that engineers need to do in order to make a motorcycle more affable and instil confidence in the rider. The Triumph Tiger Sport 660 does it really well. The seats are roomy, especially the riders’. Even the heaviest of riders will easily fit in the saddle with ample room still left to move around. We did not get to test the pillion seat but simply by looking at it, we can tell the pillion’s perch is also a comfy place to be.
Moving on, the cockpit view is neat and clean. We loved the quality of the switchgear and the overall feel of the bike when saddled up. Now, compared to the Trident 660, the Tiger Sport 660 has a more neutral riding posture with the raised handlebars and revised footpeg positioning. This makes for a very comfortable riding position that will allow riders to munch miles, day in and day out without a lot of discomfort. So in the ergonomics department, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 is very appealing as a sports tourer.
Onwards to the juicy bit then- performance. Thumb the starter and the baby Tiger roars to life with a familiar inline-3 sound that has become a sort of signature of Triumph. While the idle is a muted murmur, give it some beans the Tiger Sport 660 makes its raspier side heard as well. Slot into the first gear and the motorcycle moves ahead with a balanced mix of ease and eagerness.
The first part of our ride included a jaunt through the traffic of Dehradun. The Tiger Sport 660 is mighty impressive in the city. It is amenable to the slightest of inputs to the handlebar which makes it very easily manoeuvrable, a boon in the city. On the engine side of things, the motorcycle has plenty of grunt at the bottom end which meant less frequent gear shifts.
The 6-speed transmission with slip-and-assist-clutch is a joy too; as precise and as smooth as you can expect it to be, with a light clutch pull. As we left the city behind and the traffic gave way to the twisties, the Tiger Sport 660 began to seem like a very impressive proposition. During this run through the winding roads, the baby Tiger passed with flying colours.
There is a lot of room on the seat for the rider to move forward and backwards and the tank is wide enough to hold on to firmly. That makes shifting the weight from left to ride a breeze which ultimately led to the Tiger Sport 660 being an utter joy in the corners.
The power delivery and fueling were spot-on as well making the power and torque curves of the motorcycle very linear. There were no apparent peaks or troughs but most of the meat was to be found at the bottom end and in the midrange. That made cruising through the twisties as easy as one can ask for. For the most part, we stayed in the 4th or 5th with the need for downshifting felt only when we were really looking to push the motorcycle.
Our 200+ km ride was not limited to just smooth blacktop tarmac. In quite a few places, we found quite a few off-road patches. And we are happy to report that the chassis-suspension setup of the Tiger Sport 660 dealt with all that with aplomb. Most of the undulations were soaked up without much drama and the motorcycle felt composed at all times. The twin-310mm disc setup at the front performed satisfactorily though we did miss switchable ABS on a few occasions.
Ultimately, the Tiger Sport 660 is not a full-blown adventure tourer but more of an all-rounder that can do a bit of everything and that too, quite well. It is comfy enough for long rides, easy enough for daily commutes and capable enough for the Sunday rides. So what you get is a no-nonsense motorcycle that puts practicality and versatility above all else. If you are looking to upgrade from a 300-400cc motorcycle and looking for something that you can ride and enjoy in nearly all riding conditions, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 surely deserves a look. It is an impressive package that ticks all the right boxes but there are a few misses such as switchable ABS, a USB charging socket, and probably cruise control too.
The biggest fly in the ointment though could be the price. The Triumph Tiger Sport 600 starts at INR 8.95 lakh (Ex-Showroom) which is a fair bit higher than the Versys 650 at INR 7.15 lakh (Ex-Showroom) and marginally higher than the V-Strom 650 XT at INR 8.85 lakh (Ex-Showroom). But with the price tag, you get a triple instead of a twin and, of course, more power. So, the Triumph Tiger Sport 660 does justify its price tag fairly and it is up to the rider to decide whether it is enough or not.