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Old 05-25-2010, 07:39 AM   #1
seruzawa
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Default Two Up on the Tiger 1050

We spent the last few days touring to Mesa Verde (that's in Colorado) from Salt Lake. As I expected the Tiger performed excellently. We rode 1103 miles over 4 days and returned an average of 42.6 mpg. Though mileage varied quite a bit depending on conditions.

The first day we rode from Sandy, Ut to Cortez, Co. This was about 350 mile of which only 50 was interstate. We left at about 7AM went down I-15 to Spanish Fork Canyon (Hwy 6) over to Price Ut. The temperatures were in the 30s over the mountains but we'd decided to wear solid gear which was fortuitous as we will see. We had breakfast at Ty's Table in Price. Pretty good really and we recommend the place. It's fast and inexpensive. 110 miles to Price used 2.5 gals for 44mpg. Not bad considering the 5000ft elevation gain over the mountains. The Tiger easily ran 65 in top gear up and over the summit of 7500 ft.

We continued down Hwy 6 to Green River Ut where we shed some layers as temps had risen into the 60s. On then to Moab where we shed some more in 70s temps. Put gas in.... 115.8 mi at 2.786 gals = 41.6 mpg.

On to Cortez via Monticello. We had blustery head winds most of the way south. On some legs to the west the blustery ~20 mph south winds kept us leaning at about a 5-15 degree angle much of the way. Maybe because the hwy between Monticello and Cortez is designated Hwy 666.

We got a nice room at a bed and breakfast called the Kelly Place. It was about 8 miles out of town and down by the creek. There is a guide you can follow around the area on foot to see Anasazi ruins. These ruins are all over the place. We had dinner at the brew pub on main street where I highly recommend the black and tan.

Day 2. We rode to Mesa Verde National Park and spent the day looking at Anasazi ruins. The park is pretty big and the some of the road (about 10 miles) was under construction. Worst of all was the Corvette Rally over the weekend at Cortez so we were stuck behind the clowns in their crappy cages doing 15 mph in the construction area. Aside from that the park is fascinating but eventually one finally sees enough pit houses. We had dinner at Tequila's Mexican joint. It was pretty good and my wife says that the margarita was excellent. "Excellent" = "have one of these and you need a designated driver". They also have Dos Equis on tap instead of that ubiquitous Corona swill. When we got back to the B&B there were a couple of KTM 950 Adventures parked there. I tried to strike up a conversation with the riders but they weren't very communicative. F*** 'em. Sometimes the KTM/BMW snobs are worse than the HD snobs.

Day 3. This is what it's all about. We rode north out of Cortez and visited the Anasazi Museum near Dolores, Co. After that it was 220 miles of mountain roads, except for a flat level stint where the sudden return of the still blowing +30 mph cross winds sent us heading for the ditch. Fortunately the Tiger is very responsive and I was able to keep it upright. Though it's still a pain to ride heeled over to the left at a varying angle for the 40 mile ride through the flats near Norwood. Aside from that the road was just fantastic.

We stopped for some gas in Rico, Co but I must warn you that there is only 86 octane gas and diesel there. It was 10,222 feet over the top at Lizard Head Pass. The Tiger's EFI handled it all without a hitch. Not a hint of rich running. We were on Hwy 145 part of the time, but took the Secret MO Club Road through the old uranium mining country instead of going into Telluride. It really can't be described but I've posted some photos of the road. When we finally fueled up in Grand Junction. CO the mileage came to almost 55 mpg. Though the ride from Rico to Grand Junction was mostly downhill. All I'll say about Grand Junction, CO is that it sucks.

Day 4. We originally wanted to ride to our cabin and spend the night, but another low came in and it was snowing in the Utah mountains again. So we decided to just run home. Looking at the Weather Channel it looked like we could miss most of the storm if we headed straight west on I-70 and took I-15 north. The winds were still blowing hard and the temperature was 50 when we took off. The insane south blustering winds continued to blow us around though Colorado.In Utah it changed to headwinds and played havoc with the mileage and we returned only 30 mpg when we hit Green River, Ut. The sky to the west was black so we had some breakfast and spent a couple hours in the Green River Museum where I learned more about John Wesley Powell that I ever wanted.

Around 1130 it looked clear to the West so we took off. The run west ran up the San Rafael Reef which is one impressive formation. The highest pass was around 8000 feet and temperatures dropped to freezing but fortunately the snow did not stick to the road. We made Salina UT (about 110 from Green River) and stopped at Mom's Cafe for some soup and to avoid hypothermia. I've been to Mom's several times and must say that it is quite good. Be sure to stop there if you are ever crazy enough to brave the polygamous kidnappers of Utah.

From Salina it was only 135mi to Sandy. This was naturally the most harrowing part of the journey what with all the critters slinging cellphones. At least it finally warmed into to 50s the last 50 miles. And we made really good time in the 80mph "test section" The hypothetical Tiger rider might discover that the Tiger will run quite easily and stably at 100plus with two plus sized riders and full gear, but of course I would never exceed a speed limit.

So the total was 1103 miles over 4 days with an average of 42.6 mpg. That would have been much better without the last days 20 mph hour head winds where 240 of those miles only returned about 32mpg average. As usual you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Harley but I'd say that the % of AT style bikes has grown tremendously in the last 4 years. Now if I would ever actually see a GS off the pavement.....

We should have taken warmer gear, but It has never been this cold in the southern desert this time of year. Maybe Algore was at the Covette Rally. Not that it matters. It was all worth it, the cold, the wind, the uranium tailings, for that 180 miles of road between Cortez and Grand Junction.

As far as the Tiger goes I am completely sold. It rides stable as dream and changes direction easily. It handled the vicious crosswinds in conditions that might have put us off the road if we had still been on the GL1100. The EFI works flawlessly except for some very minor abruptness at small throttle openings. While power loss is unavoidable at some of the altitudes very little downshifting is necessary below 8000 feet. The bike is highly geared in 6th so snicks into 5th are handy for quick passing of Semis. Well, with 20 mph headwinds 4th gear was sometimes better for passing. My only suspension compliant is that the rear needs some more rebound damping. But it was never anything but stable. Some people complain about being soft but it easily soaks up the often nasty sections of degraded asphalt and glides on the dirt sections. You know, dirt sections.. adventure tourers... you're supposed to ride them on dirt. It's entirely different being on the actual real world roads rather than in some handpicked area loved by professional testers. Entirely different.

So the Tiger 1050 is a keeper. We expect many more great rides in the coming years. I'm never going back to the 600 plus lb "sport tourers" or any other pig of a bike. Y'all can keep the ST1300s and FJRs, Goldwings and Road Stars. The Tiger1050 is as stable and comfy as anything and is easily pushable in a parking lot. I'll just have to remember the electric gear next time.

Ready to go? Hey idiot, you forgot the electric gear.


Kelly's B&B


Turn around 180 in Kelly's parking lot and see the ruin


Anasazi stuff/ Mesa Verde


More Anasazi stuff/ Mesa Verde


More Anasazi stuff/ Mesa Verde


More Anasazi stuff/ Mesa Verde


Along Dolores river


Lizard Head Pass


Lizard Head Treeline


Norwood where we almost went into the ditch. Welcome!


Secret members' road. About 180 miles like this.


More Secret Members' road.


More Secret Members' road.


Can't get enough of the Secret Members' road.


Secret sky on secret road


Not so secret forest fire


The Reef!


Yep. Seruzawa loves The Reef.


Mom's. Don't miss the cherry pie.
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Last edited by seruzawa : 05-25-2010 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:44 AM   #2
Buzglyd
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Did you run into any biker gangs or zombie riders?
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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Did you run into any biker gangs or zombie riders?
Weather was too cold to see many riders from San Diego.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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Sounds like fun for you and the Missus. Those new Triumphs really are excellent bikes, sounds like you made the right choice for your riding style.

The pictures don't work by the by.......
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default Looks like a Great Ride

Thanks for the update Seru. You are spot on about 600 lb. plus tourers and certain bike owner snobs.WTFO is that all about? I have been lusting for a new bike and the Tiger may be the one. I don't think from a price standpoint it can be beat. Ride Safe.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
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Wow, that's an amazing array of environments and scenery for a 4 day trip. I could make it to the Appalachains and back...barely. Very envious of your locale for that. Not so much the temperatures. It's almost June! 250 miles a day is about right, much more and you get burned out, much less, you don't cover enough ground.

Glad you're enjoying the Tiger. Did you leave the top case off for the trip? How'd it do for storage?
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
seruzawa
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Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Wow, that's an amazing array of environments and scenery for a 4 day trip. I could make it to the Appalachains and back...barely. Very envious of your locale for that. Not so much the temperatures. It's almost June! 250 miles a day is about right, much more and you get burned out, much less, you don't cover enough ground.

Glad you're enjoying the Tiger. Did you leave the top case off for the trip? How'd it do for storage?
My old bones don't like to go more than 300 miles a day or so. I'd have never made it without the airhawk cushion. Usually it's 80-90 degrees by now down there but another cold front moved in at the last minute and I couldn't cancel the reservations in Cortez.

I took off the trunk and used a large river bag strapped on the luggage rack. But I do this on any bike. They just don't make trunks that hold enough.

As I said before I do not recommend Triumph's designer luggage. It doesn't have much capacity. I may pull it all off and sell it on ebay and get Givi stuff. It's probably good enough for solo touring.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:19 AM   #8
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Very nice, one more day and I'm on the way out.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:20 AM   #9
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Very nice, one more day and I'm on the way out.
Bring your rain gear.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:22 AM   #10
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I'm taking the cage, those 700 mile days are better in heated seats and AC... Learned about your thunder storms last year.
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