Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a 59 year old new rider. I have take the MSF riders course and have my license. My friend is letting me use his Ninja 650. That is not the bike for me. I can get a 1999 Tiger for good price. Oh yeah, I am 6'1" and weigh about 198. Spend a lot of time road bicycling. So, is the Tiger a good fist bike for me? All comments and thoughts appreciated..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
My thoughts and only my thoughts: NO. One should start with a bike with much less horsepower and one that weighs less. There is a LOT to learn over the next two years for a beginning rider. If I were just entering motorcycling at that age, I would probably purchase a dirt bike in the neighborhood of 400 cc's., change the tires out for street tires and use that for a couple of years until I had learned enough to try a heavier bike with more hp. The reason I would focus on the dirt bike line is because of the limited availability of smaller street bikes with "up-right" riding position. I like sitting upright or nearly so, with my feet underneath me--not stretched out forward or rearward.

After a couple of years of learning by riding frequently, I think the older style Tiger would be a very good choice for someone your size. I would however suggest you might be better off looking for a newer one with the 955i engine.

Good luck--by the way, I am 67 years young, but I started riding at the old age of 18.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
The Tiger does seem a bit radical for a new rider, but there again, you are tall and wouldn't want to be too cramped on a small bike. When I first got the Tiger it was definitely the tallest bike I had ridden, but I got used to it quickly. I love it.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
It's interesting that you are looking at a tiger for a first bike. I am 43 now, took the MSF course in 2005. I bought an '80 Suzuki GS550 from a guy at work as a starter bike. I put 3k on it. Then I found a 2001 Tiger with 3k miles on it on ebay. I had to have it. I live near philly and the bike was in Detroit. I flew out in the morning and drove home - 10 hours straight, having never been on anything larger than that 550. It was scarry at first but by the time i cleared ohio and got into the mountains outside of Pittsburg I was having a ball. The Tiger was a fantastic long-distance bike. It very stable, powerful and great on gas with a long range.
I am 6' about 210. I could not flatfoot the bike. I thought the bike was easy to manage except in parking lots and at low speeds. I found it frightening in tight areas and dropped it once and nearly dropped it twice more that same year. I put engine guards on it after the first mishap. Thunderbike brand I think.
I sold the bike after one year and 8k miles. It was a lot of fun and was a pretty good commuter. I road through the winter with a heated vest and felt plenty warm with the heated grips and the fairing and hand guards. But in the end it was just too darn big for me. I wanted something more agile that wouldn't scare the crap out of me at every stoplight or parking lot. If you are going long distances or you are a really good bike handler then the Tiger is probably a good choice. For me though I always worried about dropping it. But that was my experience.
Since then I have had a Sprint ST, a VFR, A new KLR and now I have a '95 Thunderbird. I still ride 60 miles round trip to work and I have to say I think the T-bird is best. It is much lower than the Tiger. It is more fun at lower speeds than both the Sprint and VFR. The KLR was fun too but the Tbird has a much better first gear that is well suited for traffic. The Tbird is probably the best allarounder of all of them. For me, and this is just my opinion, the Tiger was probably the best long range bike of them all. But that's about the only category it would come out on top. If I had to spend the whole day on a bike it would be the Tiger hands down. But for any other type of ride I would go with the Tbird or Sprint. Not that I would recommend either of those bikes to you. The Tbird is pretty short from seat to the pegs and the Sprint is a bit cramped and forward. Probably not the best choice for other than the younger crowd. Sure, the Tiger is a unique bike. But for a first road bike for a new rider, I could not recommend it. But that is just my opinion based on having owned and riden one shortly after taking the MSF course.
What kind of riding are you looking to do? Commuting, touring, weekends in the twisties with the fellas? If you have an idea of what you thing you will be doing there are lots of bikes out there to choose from. Don't feel that your next bike has to be the final choice. I have never lost money on the bikes I've sold. So if you buy the wrong bike for you you can sell it to the next rider. Bikes sell and there is a buyer for every bike. Buying new, sure you'll eat the depreciation. But if you always buy used like I do you will never loose out.
Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,434 Posts
Welcome Samaaron,

There is some good advice here, although I would suggest it's going to be a decision you're going to have to make for yourself ultimately.

If you're sensible, respectful and thoughtful towards the Tiger, you'll have no problems whatsoever.

Remember, just because it has 100 hp, doesn't mean you need to use it. Just because it's tall, doesn't mean you can't learn to deal with it.

It's all how you deal with the bike, respect the throttle and think about what you are doing when parking and manouvering and you'll be fine.

If you believe that you can't respect the throttle, perhaps a smaller bike until you're confident.

Mick :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I would agree with some of them and say no. It's to tall for a first bike. I would buy some generic used Honda/Suzuki/Kawasaki/Yamaha of your choice, learn to ride that for a few thousand miles, maybe tip it over a few times (hope not!), and basically learn to ride, then upgrade after a year to the Tiger. You wouldn't put your kid in a 12 second quarter mile sports car for their first car.

The person that suggested a 400cc dual sport bike is a great suggestion. They are easy to handle, light, and very fun, you will prob end up keeping it and buy a Tiger also when you are ready. Also, then you have a bike that you can loan out if somebody wants to go riding with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I was in exactly your position. A new rider at 58 (two years ago). I have an '08 Tiger now, but my first bike was a used GZ250, just like in the MSF class. I knew I wouldn't keep it long, but it was important to have it while I improved my skills. I then got an '07 Speedmaster, and I fairly quickly came to understand that for my own personal situation, I wanted more upright seating and standard controls. I knew the Tiger was the bike for me, but I didn't think I was ready for it. In some ways it is more agile and easier to handle at slow speeds because you are able to shift your weight on the pegs. But for me it would have been a big mistake to get it as a first bike. This is a long way of repeating the advice of others. Get a smaller used bike to develop your skills then get a Tiger. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,384 Posts
Hi Samaaron,

Welcome to the forum :)

I'm a motorcycle instructor in my spare time and have recently had a couple of guys about your age through for training.

Without wanting to mention ageism and the "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" scenario, they both struggled on relatively small bikes :(

Statistically, older "new" riders are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured riding powerful modern bikes.

The Tiger is a big heavy bike for any new rider, but add into that your age and it may be a recipe for disaster. Having said that, there are some very fit and strong 59 year olds.

You will know in your heart of hearts whether the Tiger is for you :)

I wish you all the best with your choices, and let us know how you get on. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
In all my heart...no way.

In fact, I was taking a break from an epic group ride yesterday at a Gas Station and I was talking to guy about your age...but a seasoned rider. He told me stories of his Tiger he had a couple years ago. With all his years experience, he highsided the thing. He said the Tiger has loads of power. He currently rides a BMW and he says its more tame than the Tiger.

I would recommend a much tamer vehicle. There are many out there. Maybe give the Bonneville or Scrambler if you want to stay in the Triumph Line. The resale value on those are great. Enhance your riding skill and then get the bike of your dreams.

I got the Daytona 675 as my first bike with little to no skill...and its been an expensive journey. I still have it, but if I can start all over with a smaller and tamer bike, I would have. In fact, it wasn't until I got my Bonneville a year after getting my Daytona 675 that my riding greatly improved.

Whatever decision you make, good luck, be safe, and ATGATT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Hi

i am 44 and 2 years ago i passed my Test by taking a Direct Access Scheme. I have NEVER ridden a bike of any note before.

I am 5'9" tall and bought an 05 Tiger 955i.

Yep, i thought it was tall, yep, i thought it was heavy, however, the main reason i bought it was that when on the Girlie i was on the same eye level as a bloke driving a Range Rover.

I could see over hedges, Car Tops, Walls - basically have MUCH better hazard perception awareness than on a smaller bike.

In 2 years i have dropped the bike twice (very very slow speed), been off-road twice (unintentionally-however, the Tiger supported me through that!), and put 7000 joyous miles on the bike.
I can jump onto the Tiger and control it like a 125cc bike. I am looking at changing, however, for touring and Sunday blasting, this bike delivers the GRINS evrey wheel rotation.

All that said, i would probably recommend a smaller bike (FZ6 / SV650 etc) just to build confidence for a few 1000k, then have the pleasure of considering your options.

Whatever bike you choose, all i would say is that a whole new world is about to open up to you.

Good Luck

Harley
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Sorry, but...

Just for once, I've gotta go with the majority... :(

I can't say anything specific about the Tiger, I'm just looking at my first, but don't jump on anything so big just yet... :eek:

I passed a CBT course (A basic bike control course in the UK that allows you to ride low powered bikes on the road, with restrictions- no motorways, no passengers, etc.) and used a cheap, little 125cc runabout for about 12 months before I went for my direct access (a course that gives a full licence to ride any bike, with no restrictions)

and I've built up gradually from there- a 500cc, a 650, and now a 750 (and considering the 885 Tiger as my next)

On a more sombre note, I've just lost a 22 year old work mate who had a 650 as his first (and only) bike- he died, in a crash involving no other vehircles, within a few months of passing his test...

Honnestly- however confident you may be, it's just not worth biting off more than you can comfortably chew...

R.I.P. Tom- see you on the road to Matlock...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Follow up

I appreciate all the great advice. I really want a bike that has some character that is why I was not considering a Japanese bike. :)My thinking now is getting a Bonnie. There is someone I know that is selling a 2007 with around 300 miles for a good price. All thoughts and comment are appreciated.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Bonnie is a good choice

I appreciate all the great advice. I really want a bike that has some character that is why I was not considering a Japanese bike. :)My thinking now is getting a Bonnie. There is someone I know that is selling a 2007 with around 300 miles for a good price. All thoughts and comment are appreciated.:)
I am a little bigger for you and like the upright style of the Bonnie. It is less likely to take you too far to fast, but my 2006 Bonnie is a good balance. A tiger might be too tempting. They also have more character than the tiger for us older fans of the classics. Good luck on finding a slightly used one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
I appreciate all the great advice. I really want a bike that has some character that is why I was not considering a Japanese bike. :)My thinking now is getting a Bonnie. There is someone I know that is selling a 2007 with around 300 miles for a good price. All thoughts and comment are appreciated.:)

Another thing to consider is just buying a cheap bike off of craigslist for a couple of K...ride it until you feel pretty comfortable , sell it and then get a bike that you really want. There's all kinds of good starter bikes for sale cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
IMO the Bonnie is certainly closer to a first bike than the Tiger. But I would still go with BigChief. Get a smaller used bike first. Don't think of it as owning a Japanese bike, you're just renting it as a practice bike!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
I got curious on what's out there for a beginner's bike and checked out cycletrader. I found a Buell Blast for 2000 bucks...500cc standard would be a perfect first bike ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
The Bonne is a great bike. I have both a Bonneville and a Tiger, and the Bonneville would be a much better starter bike. Nice and low, very good handling, and not enough power to get in trouble, but enough to get out of trouble.

That said, I STILL would get some jap used bike. You would cry when you tip over a beautiful Bonneville. They are artwork for the eyes. Yes, it will happen.

Get a dual sport bike in the 250cc to 450cc range, seriously. They are a blast and indestructable.
 

·
Registered
2007 Bonnie Black, 2009 BMW RT, 2018 Bonneville T120, 2019 Kawasaki z900rs CAFE
Joined
·
259 Posts
I'm on this forum because I too am interested in a Tiger. I was a returning rider from 20+ years ago & bought a gently used Bonnie because she was such a beautiful & well made machine.
I've had her for almost 2 years & absolutely love her. I've taken both MSF courses & have put 5,000+ miles on her, both solo & two-up.
I agree with the advice of many others here & would highly recommend looking @ the Triumph twin 1st.
The 1050 Tiger is a serious high performance motorcyle. My Dealer is loaning me one @ end of this month. I now feel I'm ready to try one out, safely. Either way, the Bonnie will stay.:)
I'd say get something that you can have fun on, handle safely, & learn on 1st.
Good luck & ride safe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I am a 59 year old new rider. I have take the MSF riders course and have my license. My friend is letting me use his Ninja 650. That is not the bike for me. I can get a 1999 Tiger for good price. Oh yeah, I am 6'1" and weigh about 198. Spend a lot of time road bicycling. So, is the Tiger a good fist bike for me? All comments and thoughts appreciated..
I'm sort of in the same situation here... I've been riding about 3 years now, starting at the age of 57. A difference tho; I've been riding a Russian hack rig!

This past weekend I bought, and will be restoring over the next few months, a 1973 Tiger 750 (TR7RV).

I've never been on a 2 wheeler in my life. Like I did with the hack rig, I'll have to start out with a MSF rider's class.

I note that most of the comments here relate to the later versions of the Tiger... compared to what I have, those are maybe twice the horsepower.

So... on the basis of a Tiger that's 448 pounds dry weight and with 47 HP... I have to once again ask the same question; how suitable is an OLDER Tiger as a "first" bike?

If it matters any... I'm 6' 0", and weigh in at about 260 pounds.

Am I taking on too much bike?

BTW... I'm a firm believer in ATGATT!


Ride Safe,


Mr. T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I appreciate all the great advice. I really want a bike that has some character that is why I was not considering a Japanese bike. :)My thinking now is getting a Bonnie. There is someone I know that is selling a 2007 with around 300 miles for a good price. All thoughts and comment are appreciated.:)
If your looking at the Tiger because of an intrest in a utility bike then I would sugest you do what I did Sort of..

The guys advice on a 400cc dirt bike is good and bad, 400 cc dual sports are tame and controllable, 400cc dirt bikes tend to be the bad asses of today so watch out on that one.

I got a XR650R as a second bike, my first was a ttr125 that I shared with my kids. the suspension was a mess for my weight but it taught me real quick where the limits are. that XR650R was soon replaced by a GasGas 300 and an XR650L. The L was a very nice controllable tall bike. I loved riding both Xrs

I moved to an FZR1000 - Talk about a power change, and am now riding a SV650 - Very nice starter bike.

All total I have riden aproximatly 25K miles on all these bikes. in 3 years.

the best advice given so far - ATGATT - All The Gear All The Time -
because when it's just you and the concrete nobody cares about style anymore.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top