Welcome back to one of the hardest working Tigers in India. I say this because even with last year’s lockdown (which meant my bike sat unused for more than four months), I’ve still clocked nearly 10,000km and three rear tyres on it since the last report exactly one year ago.
But, as a friend says, it’s not the distance that matters, it is the experiences that count, and I agree. The first notable experience after the lockdown was late last year and it was also the first time my bike left me stranded. Circa November 2020, I was on my way to The School Of Dirt when the smell of rotten eggs hit me, soon after that the instrument cluster lights flickered and the bike died.
There’s this mild, but annoying 3,000-4,000rpm vibration in every gear as the bike gets older.
Turns out that the rectifier unit was shot and in its dying throes, burnt the battery as well (the boiling battery acid is where the rotten eggs smell came from). I trucked the bike back to Triumph in Kochi and as usual, they got it fixed in a jiffy (they had this uncommon part in stock!). What’s more? I had luckily opted for the extended warranty that Triumph had introduced for older bikes and that saved me about Rs 13,000 in replacement costs. Phew!
So, my top tip for owning these big bikes – don’t hesitate to take up that extended warranty offer, especially if you really use your motorcycle to do what it was designed for. Apart from this, it has been life as usual. I’ve seen Tigers clock big numbers and so, at 51,000km, mine is still a cub.
I have nothing to fear when there’s such solid backup from Triumph Kochi.
That number also prompts a lot of people to ask me when I’m upgrading to the new 900 and, to them, my answer is that I want to get to the day when I have both, the 800 and the 900 in my garage. The 800 because it still teaches me a thing or two every time I hit a trail. The 900 because I can attempt a lot more on it without soiling my pants.
The 800 because its seats are more comfortable for touring and its WP suspension is plush. The 900 because it effortlessly demolishes huge distances. The 800 because of the smooth way the revs climb to 10,000rpm and how its soulful howl never fails to raise the hair on my neck. In fact, even after 50,000km, it still raises the hair on my neck. And that is why I am seriously tempted by the 900 but I’ll never sell the 800. Here’s to the next 50,000km!