Hot on the heels of the Tiger 900 GT Pro review last week, it’s time to turn our attention to the updated Rally Pro. The more off-road of the premium spec’d mid-weight adventure machines from Hinckley.
I was lucky enough to join the Aussie launch of both bikes, the Rally Pro launch taking in some of the epic trails in the hills around Healesville and Marysville here in Victoria. Lucky too, to ride alongside some handy steerers, Ben Grabham (known to most as Grabbo), in particular was a joy to follow and watch when I had the chance. Skill level goals right there… but back to the bikes.
The Rally Pro is Triumph’s best selling model of their top selling bike here in Australia. And rightly so. Since the 800XC debuted in 2010 it’s been a beautifully balanced platform. Capable, comfortable, reliable.
Triumph upped their game in 2020 when they introduced the 900, a T-Plane cranked 888 cc engine that gave the bike a far more tractable bottom end for increased grip in tricky conditions. And a metric shed load more character as well.
That move to a T-Plane crank did rob the bike of some top-end performance back in 2020, but that’s been solved in the latest update. The latest incarnation has been given more than a minor tinker. New cylinder head with revised inlet and exhaust porting, new pistons with a higher comp ratio of 13:1, new cams, new intake trumpets, new exhaust header and muffler.
The updated dyno chart shows what I felt on the bike – no loss down the bottom over the last model, but from mid-range up the power keeps building. Adding another 13 or so ponies to a healthy 106.5 hp and 90 Nm of torque.
While to my butt-ometer it might not feel much different power-wise down low, I reckon it pulls more cleanly off the bottom than before. Remarkably so on tricky climbs actually. It’ll easily lug a taller gear and just clamber up the hill.
It’s a ripper engine. Just lovely. And that exhaust note seems both deeper and more growly than the previous version. With the optional Akro slip-on that saves nearly two kilos even more-so. I must have said ‘god they sound good’ at least 20 times when listening to other riders approaching.
While we’re talking sound, one other callout here: that T-Plane triple is incredibly quiet from the cockpit, in terms of mechanical noise. Some of the opposition can be a bit rattly and noisy from the engine bay – not so with the Tiger. That’s another big tick from me.
There are also some revisions to the quick-shifter. Sorry, ‘Triumph Shift Assist’ as they call it. I thought it shifted sweeter across all throttle openings than the last model. The improvement is most noticeable in the half-throttle open shifts, those cog swaps that happen in between solid acceleration and just tootling along. It’s in the ‘so good you never really think about it’ category.
So, engine and box are the same in both the GT Pro (all-road oriented) and Rally Pro (off-road go wherever the hell you bloody want version). The main differences are the full-size spoked tubeless rims being 21-inch on the front and 17-inch on the rear on the Rally. The GT Pro gets cast wheels with a 19-inch front. The Rally Pro gets the longer travel suspension, as well as some crash bars and a surprisingly solid bash plate.
On the road the bigger 21-inch wheel is slightly slower to steer when compared to the GT Pro, as expected. However, even with the Karoo tyres fitted for the launch I was able to punt the bike along pretty hard on the tarmac without any issue. Changes direction nicely and that long-stroke suspension soaks up bumps like magic.
A long 240 mm of travel through the Showa forks up front matched with a shock from the same company and offering 230 mm of travel at the back. We dialled up a little more pre-load (five turns of the remote adjuster), on the rear and tweaked the rebound. Then upped the comp on the front (to five out from fully closed), and the bike was bang in the ballpark. Good quality suspension here – each adjustment having a noticeable effect.
What struck me with the suspension of the Rally Pro (and the GT Pro for that matter), was just how composed the bike stays over rough ground. We tackled some really quite serious ground on the launch including one super long, steep, rocky climb. I’m the first to admit that I’m no Ben Grabham, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get up that thing, let alone clear it in one go.
The bouncy bits at both ends are right up there. No need for re-valving or new shocks for these bad boys, even for the rowdy stuff.
I did have the centre-stand touching down ahead of the suspension bottoming out. Personally, I’d remove the centre stand and save a few kilos. Never been a fan. They’re too noisy and distracting on the trail for my liking. I know they can be handy, but… That’s just me. Allow me my foibles.
I’ll go out on a limb and say I think it holds the weight better than a Tenere too. Probably not quite as nimble or outright capable in the rough stuff as an 890 Adventure R or a Tuareg, but way more comfortable than both of those.
And of course the power level shades both the T7 and Tuareg comfortably, making for a more effortless ride. And it’s not as far behind the Austrian 890 in outright capability off-road as you might think… Only the rowdiest of riders will be needing more.
Oh. Like its sibling, I found the Rally Pro to be a doddle to wheelie. I like wheelies. Wheelies are good. The world needs more wheelies.
Let’s talk electronics for a bit. The Rally Pro gets all of the maps on the GT Pro (Rain, Road, Sport, Off-Road and Rider), as well as Off-Road Pro. Off Road defaults to TC on and ABS turned off on the rear, Off-Road Pro turns those fully off. Like other modes, they’re customisable. My preference was for ABS to be left on for the front wheel, but TC turned off.
I found the TC to be surprisingly effective on surfaces that had reasonable grip levels, those we’d call ‘hero dirt’ where it would let you slide a little before reigning it in. But I found I wanted just a little more slip than TC was happy with.
On looser surfaces and anything sandy or rocky stuff, we all definitely had TC turned off. That lovely smooth throttle and creamy, triple bottom end provides an easy platform for managing grip and slides. In fact, more often than not, the bike was hooking up quicker than you anticipated.
In truth, I think the TC is probably the only thing that stopped the Rally Pro from getting a near-perfect score for me. While I generally don’t ride with it on (as I like skids and the aforementioned wheelies), there’s no doubt that having a few levels of adjustable intervention is a nice thing to have for a lot of folks. I don’t need eight or ten levels, but I like having a few. The Tuareg has four which seems to cover every scenario more than adequately.
While we’re talking electronics – when you key off the bike while running a mode with TC off, then turn it back on, it will allow you to shortcut to your previous mode via a quick two-button stab, before it reverts back into a TC ‘on’ mode. I like that. I’d prefer it to just stay in the mode I had, but I’ll take a quick confirmation.
Ergos and comfort-wise, they’ve tweaked the bar risers, bringing the bars 15 mm closer and giving them rubber damping to reduce vibes even further. The seat is also noticeably better, and on the Rally Pro can be switched from standard 880 mm high down to 860 mm in a matter of moments. It’s a simple, nifty little bracket design under the seat that just requires you to reposition the locator front and back then remount the seat.
Plenty of tie-down points for luggage, with that generous pillion grab rail and tubular sub-frame.
At 181 cm tall I preferred the standard position with slightly less leg bend, and less effort to stand from seated, but also preferred the knee lock ergos from that height. Having said that, I did drop it down to low for one of the more intimidating climbs, just so I could more easily dab a hoof down if I needed to.
Luckily that wasn’t needed, I should have just trusted the bike and the tyres more. It absolutely tractored up without breaking sweat. Me on the other hand… More sweat than a goose in a doona factory. It was warm…
Brakes are carried over from the GT Pro and are super strong. We’re talking single-finger activation on any surface. There’s plenty of feel there for sure and that ABS system works really nicely on the front in the dirt. Such a confidence booster when you’re belting down a steep hill on a 220 plus kilo bike with both ends walking around on the loose surface.
I’d almost be tempted to run a slightly less aggressive, softer pad in the dirt, not because they’re grabby – they aren’t. I just prefer the extra feel from a couple of fingers. But there weren’t any complaints about them from anyone.
The adjustable screen is simple and effective. Adjusts something like six or eight cm just by a push-and-slide design. I left it in the low setting and had no issue with turbulence whatsoever. Really generous wind protection for what appears to be quite a minimal frontal design.
They’ve updated the bodywork, graphics and colour schemes too. The Ash Grey/Intense Orange scheme that I nabbed for the launch looks very tasty in the metal too.
And in terms of standard rider aids and comfort, this is where the Tiger starts to shine even more brightly.
Heated Grips and Seats. Plural on the latter because the pillion seat is a separate ‘piece’ and comes with its own control button on the pillions left.
USB C charger up on the dash.
USB A charger under the seat with a storage compartment designed to house your phone.
12V auxillary socket to the left of the seat.
All six rider modes and TC.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring.
7 inch TFT dash with the top of the line interface from the 1200s that includes turn by turn Nav.
Emergency braking indicator which has the rear hazards flash if you get on the picks hard.
LED running lights.
All standard. Not an extra ‘touring’ or ‘tech pack’ in sight. Boom. At just under $26 grand ride away (just over a grand more than the GT Pro), I think that’s excellent value.
I’d have the Ash Grey for sure. I’d throw on a full system and tune it because I’m a greedy sod, and more is always better. I’d fit the optional upper crash bars. Remove the centre-stand. And aim to wear out lots and lots of knobby tyres.
Triumph have taken the old 900 that I had pegged as the best ‘all rounder’ middle-weight adventure bike and made it noticeably better again. What an absolute joy. That engine is just magic. Smooth, strong and full of character. Way more engaging than any of its two-cylinder competitors can hope to be.
It’s still the leader on the road, in my opinion, and now also right up there in keeping everyone else honest off-road too. Not to be underestimated. Throw in Triumph’s impressive reputation for reliability and durability and it’s more than compelling.
If you can only fit one bike in your shed and want to do a bit of everything and do it all well, here’s your bike. Happiness awaits in the form of a T-Plane triple.
I love the Tiger 900 Rally Pro because:
Engine updates are bang on. Super flexible, torquey engine with such character.
Bottom end and midrange are sublime – and now it has the top end to match.
Suspension and handling is just incredibly smooth and composed no matter how rowdy the terrain
The bike is spec’d up to the hilt as standard.
I’d like it more if:
TC could have some adjustable levels in there no doubt. I’m not sure I’d ever use it, but it’d be nice to have for Justin.
I did see the occasional Tyre Pressure Warning thrown up that would go away again after a few minutes. They might be a smidge sensitive and I suspect that’s a software update away from a fix.
Umm. Hmm. Maybe the front brakes could have a slightly softer pads for off road? I’m clutching at straws here aren’t I…
2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Specifications
Tiger 900 Rally Pro
Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
108 PS / 106.5 bhp
(79.5 kW) at 9500 rpm
90 Nm (66 ft-lb) at 6850 rpm
Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system, side mounted stainless-steel silencer
Wet, multi-plate, slip and assist
Tubular steel trellis main frame. Fabricated, bolt-on aluminium rear subframe
Twin sided cast aluminium swingarm
Spoked tubeless, 21 x 2.15 in
Spoked tubeless, 17 x 4.25 in
Bridgestone Battlax Adventure 90/90-21
Bridgestone Battlax Adventure 150/70-R17
Showa 45mm upside down forks, manual preload, rebound and compression damping adjustment, 240mm travel
Showa rear suspension unit, manually adjustable preload and rebound damping 230mm wheel travel
Wayne loves all things motorsport, but lives for two wheels. Mountain bikes, dirt bikes, adventure bikes, road bikes, race bikes, the lot.
An ex riding coach and road racer wannabe who simultaneously ran out of talent and money.
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