Triumph has given its Tiger adventure tourer an upgrade so comprehensive for 2013 that it's also been given a new name: Tiger Sport.
The rear half of the bike is completely new, almost every visible component in the front has been revised and there's an extra 7kW on tap from the proven 1050cc three-cylinder engine.
The Tiger Sport no longer makes any claim to soft-road credentials; it's an adventure-style street bike for the rider who wants a big engine with lots of mid-range punch, taut handling and a riding position that doesn't leave him (or her, let's not be sexist here!) feeling like a monkey on a stick.
This bike, says Triumph, is intended to take over the mantle of the Sprint RS, recognised in its day as one of the world's top all-rounders, second only to the Honda VFR800.
Its stronger, stiffer chassis has a slightly longer wheelbase and a half degree steeper steering angle to improve steering precision without, hopefully, sacrificing stability.
The fully adjustable suspension has been revised with new springing and revalved damping to give the Tiger Sport a sharper feel, while the anti-lock braking set-up has a new modulator to reduce the pulsing under your fingers that makes many riders nervous of ABS.
The roomy, relaxed seating position makes it comfortable for all-day rides and its wide spread of power helps it cut through traffic on the weekday commute.
A redesigned kezorst and revisions to the intake system provide an extra 7kW and 6Nm at peak, with a small but welcome boost across the rev range. Hinckley now quotes 92kW and 104Nm, while recalibrated fuel-injection maps deliver a claimed seven-percent reduction in fuel consumption.
The gearbox innards have been fettled for smoother selection, and a one-tooth rear sprocket improves acceleration, while a new, single-sided swing-arm allows more space the new exhaust and larger panniers.
The tail unit, side panels and screen are new, giving the Tiger Sport a leaner, sportier look, and there's a new belly pan as standard. Four reflector-type headlights replace the previous projector units; they not only throw more light, according to Triumph, they're also a little lighter than the old ones.
The rider's seat is 5mm lower at 830mm and narrower at the front to make stopping less heart-stopping to challenged of inseam, while the seat itself is longer to make more room for taller riders.
The handlebars are lower and closer to the rider for a more direct steering action, and a new screen offers more wind protection, while new left swichgear replaces all the button on the dashboard, so the rider never has to take their left hand off the 'bars.
The passenger grab rails have been revised and the step up to the pillion seat has been reduced, allowing the passenger to tuck in behind the rider on the open road.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
The stronger rear sub-frame has also allowed Triumph to fit bigger panniers - each capable of swallowing a full-face helmet and rated for double the payload of the old luggage at 10kg a side.
The panniers are slightly loosely mounted, with a connecting cable between them that's supposed to isolate turbulence-induced movement from the chassis. It looks dangerously unstable, but experience with a similar system on the 1200cc Explorer has proved that it works.
A lot of work has gone into the details, from the colour-contrasted stitching on the seat to the special, tough material under it, so it doesn't get frayed when you put it down on the ground to get to the storage compartment under it.
The pannier mounts are cast alloy rather than agricultural fabricated steel, the triple clamps and engine side casings have been restyled, as have the footpeg brackets.
The Tiger Sport will be available in red or white towards the end of February 2013. Prices will be announced early in February.