Off-roading on motorcycles has been a very popular trend in the modern era, but what one must realise is, that can these bikes can bikes can prove to be quite practical on the road too. One of the best Adventure motorcycles is BMW’s F 850 GS Adventure, but we pit against Triumph’s Tiger 900 Rally Pro to see which one turns out to be the better of the two. The bikes we’re riding are fully equipped variants and very off-road focused in nature. Both bikes are pretty expensive, so we help you decide on which one to spend your money on.
The Tiger 900 Rally Pro features spoked wheels, metal bash plate, new suspension and a couple of other bits that make it talented off the road. The 900 looks somewhat similar, but the staid graphics and stickers aren’t particularly attractive. The BMW bikes, however, looks the part and is much heftier, while the Triumph is lighter and slender, making it appear less muscular than the 850 GS Adventure. The BMW is also heavier than the Tiger, thanks to its massive fairing and fuel tank. The Triumph also sports new lights, but the BMW’s looks smarter. You get digital instrument clusters on both bikes, but on the Triumph, you get the option of choosing from different layouts on the display. You will also find a big 21-inch front wheel on both bikes. We love both the design on both bikes, but the BMW’s is that little bit luring.
It’s all about power
These ADVs make for great tourers and can go off the beaten path as well. The BMW has a ride experience like no other. The bike offers plush ride characteristics and the BMW is powered by an 853cc parallel-twin engine that makes 90bhp and 86Nm of torque, which is ample grunt for the highway. The motor is refined and seat provides ample comfort and support. The Tiger 900 comes nestled with a 888cc, inline, 3-cylinder engine that delivers a really strong mid-range. It produces 94bhp and 87Nm of torque. The engine feels like a twin, but the BMW’s engine is smoother, but the Triumph can be ridden more aggressively. The Tiger’s ride-by-wire system is great, and the bike gets six riding modes, compared to the BMW’s four riding modes. The Tiger also gets electronic suspension at the rear. The Triumph is the sportier of the two, but the BMW brings with it a very comfortable, unmatched riding experience.
Rocky trails ahead
These ADVs are built for the off-trail, so that’s where we’re heading. The Triumph is the more forgiving motorcycle of the two. It is also lighter and you can adjust the seat height. You can adjust the front fork and rear shock-absorber as well. The Tiger shines off the road and comes with more suspension travel and Off-Road and Off-Road Pro modes as well. You can even stand on the Tiger, whereas the BMW is wide and not very simple to handle off the road. The weight of the bike demands that you ride it more carefully. Riding the BMW will make you confident over time. But the Triumph is the easier and more fun motorcycle to be with.
Which one, then?
The Triumph is the more technology-laden of the two, as it gets rider aids and rides modes too. Your GoPro and mobile can be connected to the bike, and it also gets heated grips and seats. The BMW gets good kit too, but isn’t as equally impressive as the Triumph bikes. The Tiger is a great all-rounder; it handles well, is more confidence-inspiring, while the BMW is the better highway bike. We think the Tiger is better suited to Indian roads.