Friday, 14 October 2016

Triumph Tiger 955i 2003 - Comments, a service and a couple of niggles.

I bought this bike earlier in the year based upon a mate's really good comments about the engine and the comfort... I've always wanted to own a Triumph of some kind, I love the sound from the engine and I've always heard good things about them plus a little bit of of pride creeping in for one of the last few British bike manufacturers!!

The Tiger is the one I chose, I needed something that could clock up motorway miles with ease and in comfort and also flip around the little back roads in the Lakes, Dales etc, so it was a natural choice as these big trailee type bikes seem to do all things.

Triumph Tiger 955i 2003

This one turned up at my local bike shop whilst I was shopping for a bike for Lucy, so we ended up with both and I ended up with a loan for two bikes, go figure that one out!! ;-)

Since I've owned it, I fell in love with the engine, it's brilliant, you can go from 25 - 80mph in 5th gear and not have to change at all... the big tank gives a massive 230 mile range, the biggest I've ever had on a bike before and the ride position is pretty comfy, (although I find this particular screen sends the wind buffeting into my head and the perfect angle to give me a headache after 150 miles). The heated grips are a welcome thing and the 'presence' of the bike on the road just allows for great visibility for both me as a rider and other road users.

It came with a battered old top box. it's cracked and has a few marks on it, but for work I just use it anyway, a very useful addition... although at 80mph it makes the bike weave like a bugger on bendy roads.

In the time I've owned it, (so about 7 months now), I've done around 10,000 miles on it, which was a surprise when I looked it up. To be fair though it is 250 miles to work each way and I've also done a few UK long rides, plus I often take a scenic route home instead of the motorway, so that adds a few miles each time I guess.

I've had very few problems with the bike in this time, it's just started and ran each time, until recently that is... now both the regulator and the stator have blown and I've had to do a fair bit of research to get the parts to replace them as the it turns out the stock Triumph versions are just crap and not upto the job. Because of this the bike has been off the road now for a month, which has been annoying to say the least.

Whilst I have the engine apart to replace bits though, I'll give it a full oil/filter, air filter, brakes and general fettle, especially as the winter is now coming around.

Oil Change - This is pretty easy and should be done more regularly by me really, I've left it to long at 10k miles so I may do a couple in quick succession now I've actually got to doing it.

The bike takes around 3.3litres of 10/40 semi synthetic, the filter and drain plug sit underneath the engine and are really easy to get at, so there really is no excuse for leaving it this long!

The oil filter goes in vertically, so you can pre fill it to almost full before you pop it on and it's a 10kn for the torque setting, so not tight at all... once I've changed the oil I generally take the bike for a little run and then leave it overnight before i check for any oil leaks, once it all good, I'll then ride it for a longer trip.

Front Brakes - These are generally pretty soft compared to the bikes I've ridden before. I've upgraded the pads to syntered ones to see if that makes a difference and will check if the fluid needs changing as they are a little spongy, so either the fluid is old or water has gotten into the master cylinder and the fluid which is making it feel awful. Pads I've chosen are the EBC ones: FA196HH.

The Stator & the Rectifier  - These turned into a bit of a mission, I looked around on the web a fair bit for some info and found a few good and informative things out, I've listed some of the better ones below: The stator came from M&P and was £94.00. The code was ESR535. I bought this after looking them up on their website. The rectifier is fine but the stator was too big in diameter, so had to go back and be replaced with an Elextrex G75 at £99.00. This fitted fine, but in hindsight I would have preferred to match the manufacturer for both parts.

A mate of mine has a 2002 Tiger 955i in lime green and in two weeks he had the same two faults crop up on his. As it was from a garage only 2 weeks previous, they replaced it all under warranty and also the fuel sender as they blow all the time too.

When re-fitting the stator, you need the gasket and some silicone sealant for the rubber block that seals the stator casing around the cable exit point. Take your time putting this in and let it set overnight before you start the engine otherwise it'll pop out due to the pressure from the engine and check it for a few days after... this is Andy's one weeping after 3 long days of riding.

It's not a long job but need some care and a bit of understanding about what to do and how to check the electrics afters... once changed instead of killing the battery I was now getting 13.9 volts which is good enough.

Fuel Gauge Issue - The other common fault seems to be the fuel gauge sender. On this bike it went after a week, as I just normally reset the trip meter anyway I didn't bother to change it, but now it's annoying me for some reason so I'll get a new one and replace it. The gauge started to jump around whilst riding, then drop to zero, then upto full and so on... this carried on for nearly two weeks before it died completely.

Screen - Andy, who has the lime green Tiger, found a couple of standard screens on Ebay so bought them both..We've both put these originals back on and have just completed a good 1200 blast around Scotland on the bikes, the end result, we both prefer the standard screen as virtually all of the buffeting from the after market ones has disappeared!!

Other than this little lot, the bike has been great. Triumph seemed to have been in the frame of mind of why use one bolt when you can have six when they built these bikes, but the upside of that is that they are very solid machines. The downside is the weight, which is all at the top for some reason and makes the bike hard to manoeuvre when you have to manhandle it, however once it's rolling, happy days.

YouTube Films: 
Delboy's Garage Vids
Engine Service
Juddering Brake Lever Service