When the covers were pulled off the 2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660, it made sense. Triumph has its adventure bike bases covered with its various Tiger 850, Tiger 900, and Tiger 1200 models. But since the Tiger 1050 and Trophy were dropped from the lineup in recent years, it no longer has a sport-tourer in its lineup. Rather than go after the high-dollar, high-tech open-class sport-touring segment – which has all but dried up due to the popularity of adventure bikes – Triumph focused on the valued-priced middleweight segment, where it goes head-to-head with stalwarts like the Honda NC750X ($8,699) and Kawasaki Versys 650 ($8,899).
The Tiger Sport 660, which has a base price of $9,295, is built on Triumph’s Trident 660 platform that was introduced last year. From the 17-inch cast wheels to the Nissin braking system and Michelin Road 5 tires, Hinckley leverages much of the Trident’s core components for the new model. Unique in this price and displacement class is the Tiger’s liquid-cooled, 12-valve, 660cc inline-Triple, a versatile engine that produces 80 horsepower at 10,250 rpm and 47 lb-ft of torque at 6,250 rpm (claimed at the crank). It also has ride modes (Road and Rain), switchable traction control, and ABS, but alas, no cruise control.
The Tiger Sport 660 is more than a middleweight naked bike with a fairing and windscreen bolted on. Triumph still employs a tubular-steel perimeter frame but steepens the rake to 23.1 degrees. The longer and sturdier subframe accommodates optional panniers and a top box, while the long-travel suspension promotes comfort and two-up touring.
Its new front fairing adds wind protection and a one-hand, height-adjustable windscreen allows riders to reduce buffeting on long road trips or amplify airflow in congested urban environments. In the lowest position, oncoming air hit me at chest level; in the highest setting, wind danced around my helmet’s chinbar. Results will vary for shorter and taller riders, but at 5 feet, 10 inches, the top position suited my frame best.
Triumph enhances that comfort with a taller handlebar and extra distance between the seat and footpegs compared to the Trident. Thanks to the neutral position and generously padded seat, the Tiger encourages all-day riding. The lengthened subframe also provides extra space in the cockpit, enabling users to scoot forward or rearward for an optimal rider triangle. Throughout our 150-mile test ride at the Tiger Sport 660’s global launch in Portugal, not once did my back, wrists, or knees ache, and larger riders in the group echoed those sentiments.
While the ergos can be classified as relaxed, the handling lives up to the Sport moniker. The upright position places the rider’s knees flush against the fuel tank, providing an ideal anchor point before tip-in. That’s when the Tiger is at its best. Side-to-side transitions are swift and fluid. Steering is precise and direct. Couple that with grippy sport-touring tires, and the Sport 660’s handling borders on telepathic.
Due to its steep rake, the Tiger stays light on its feet, ready to dive into the next corner. On the other hand, the 55.8-inch wheelbase helps maintain stability at lean. That nimble nature allows the rider to put the bike anywhere on the road. While the non-adjustable 41mm fork and preload-adjustable shock, both from Showa, favor comfort with 5.9 inches of travel at both ends, the setup delivers sufficient support and feedback for spirited riding as well.
The suspension’s only blemish is the fork’s soft spring, but only heavy braking exposes that minor shortcoming. In a straight line, the dual 2-piston Nissin front calipers mated to 310mm discs bring the 454-pound Tiger to a rapid halt. The axial front master cylinder yields surprising feel and feedback at the lever when trail braking into a bend. Dual-channel ABS increases confidence, while switchable traction control and Rain mode, which softens throttle response versus Road mode, act as safety nets for less-than-ideal conditions or technique.
Triumph adds such rider aids to favor newer riders, but the ultra-tractable 660cc Triple is innately user-friendly. With 80 ponies and 47 lb-ft of torque on tap, the retrofitted 675 Triple is equal parts thrill and chill. Away from a stop, the mill delivers 90% of its torque between 3,600-9,750 rpm. The linear powerband may benefit novice riders, but it doesn’t stop experienced pilots from exploiting the power potential at the top of the rev limiter.
However, most riders won’t need to push the Tiger to those limits, especially when engine vibrations course through the footpegs at 8,500 rpm. Luckily, in 6th gear at 70 mph, it trots along at around 5,000 rpm. That mild-mannered quality caters to tourers, but the engine remains manageable even when the pace picks up. With usable power accessible throughout the rev range, the middleweight also helps compensate for rider mistakes.
On several instances during the ride, I forgot to drop a gear – or two – going into a corner. Fortunately, the readily available torque helped pull the Tiger through. Despite its accommodating demeanor, the Triple also wails up to its 10,500-rpm redline. It’s that combination of performance and practicality that makes the Sport 660 such a versatile bike. Those looking for the utmost performance can add on an up/down quickshifter from Triumph’s accessories catalog, but the standard unit offers smooth transitions and reliable gear engagement out of the box.
The Tiger Sport 660 may not feature a fire-breathing engine, trick suspension, top-tier brakes, or state-of-the-art electronics, but that doesn’t stop it from being a well-balanced package. Each component contributes to the 660’s end goal. The electronics enhance safety without adding complexity. The inline-Triple produces enough power for seasoned vets without scaring beginners. The suspension and brakes complement the Tiger’s mild and wild side.
As an affordable yet well-appointed sport-tourer, the Tiger Sport 660 is undeniably well-rounded. From commuting to canyon carving to touring, Hinckley’s latest middleweight does it all. The competition better look out because there’s a new Tiger on their tail.
2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660 Specs
Base Price: $9,295
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, inline triple, DOHC w/ 4 vpc.
Bore x Stroke: 74 x 57.7mm
Horsepower: 80 hp @ 8,750 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 47.2 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
Final Drive: X-ring chain
Wheelbase: 55.8 in.
Rake/Trail: 23.7 degrees/3.8 in.
Seat Height: 32.8 in.
Wet Weight: 454 lbs. (claimed)
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gals.