I just got back from a trip down Baja with my buddy, I rented a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro and he rented an Africa Twin (2020 model) in San Diego for a little over a week. We switched bikes a couple times but I really got to know the Tiger 900 well by the end of it. We rode to Mexicali, Mike's Sky Ranch, Coyote Cal's, Cava de Pirita in Camalu, Ensenada and ended up crossing back in Tecate. We spent a little over 10 hours off road and over 1100 miles on road. It gave me a good taste of the alternate universe if I had bought a Tiger over a Norden.
Here's what I loved about the Tiger:
- Nice big screen (night mode looked really good, but day mode not so much)
- Good top end power (over 5k rpms)
- FACTORY HEATED GRIPS!!! with a dedicated button on the grip
- Windscreen that was adjustable while riding with 1 hand
- Really nice seat foam, thick, soft and wide
- Decent suspension, maybe a little better than the Norden as it never bottomed out with my 260lb, 6'4 frame and 50+lbs of gear.
- The quick shifter was AWESOME!!!! After this trip I have a bone to pick with my dealer, my Norden is shit compared to the Triumph's quick shifter!
Here's what I did not enjoy so much:
- Really small ergonomics, even with the seat lifted to the high position I was smashing my knees into the crash bars constantly. I still have bruises.
- Terrible low end torque, the triple made me miss my Norden's tractor mode
- Horrendous user interface, Took me 15 minutes to figure out the odometer and every time the bike turns off, it goes back to on-road mode (this caused me to lay it down once on some slick rocks after the traction control turned itself back on)
- Low clearance (it may have just been perceived but I bounced it off of several rocks I thought I would clear)
- Glossy tank paint that scratched easily and on the black model it looked like shit
- Crappy fuel economy especially if you are cruising over 85-95mph
- Starting the bike from the off position took up to 10 seconds sometimes, even in N, with the kickstand up and fully pulling in the clutch lever. This sucked off-road.
I only rode the AT a couple of times and liked the Tiger a little better of the 2 but it seemed really small and weak compared to the AT once you were on the bike. The other only crappy part was the guy who we rented the bikes from had street tires on the Tiger, this made the off-road parts suck, a lot! but it still worked out. The AT had major clutch slipping issues and it only had about 6k miles on it, I adjusted it 2x on the trip so there was almost no friction zone left and it still was bad.
At the end of the trip, both the Tiger and the AT were good, capable bikes. However, my buddy and I both came home missing our Norden's. I won't be selling mine anytime soon.