Triumph Tiger 1050 Problems: 5 Known Issues (Explained)

The Triumph Tiger 1050 is an extension of Triumph’s dual-sport Tiger line.

While it shares the three-cylinder engine derived from its dual-sport siblings,  the Tiger 1050 turns more towards the sport/street bike category.

The Triumph Tiger 1050 is an industry-leading piece of monster-machinery. Every bike has quirks, though, and we’ve scoured the scene for the leading complaints about the Tiger 1050 and the steps owners took to rectify them.

Let’s dig into the details!

1. Faulty Clutch Systems

The clutch is an essential part of a motorcycle’s transmission, and therefore, its operation.

The engine propels the outer clutch hub directly.

An inner hub is centered inside, which is fit to the gearbox shaft.

Clutch problems affect not only acceleration but the gear-shifting process.

We’ve encountered a few Tiger 1050’s who’ve had some issues with their clutch.

Below, we’ve put together an analysis of some of the common clutch-problems they’ve faced:

Difficulty in Changing Gears:

If you experience jerkiness when switching gears or shifting seems clunky, you might have a bad clutch or a damaged clutch cable.

It could be as simple as a lack of free play in the clutch cable, and all you need is a cable adjustment.

If it’s not the clutch-cable, it might result from a stiff/stuck clutch.

It could be that the plates themselves are worn out.

Sometimes it’s as simple as cold oil. Anytime something feels stiff, check your oil first. If it’s clean and the bike has the proper amount, run it for a few minutes to warm the oil and thin out its viscosity.

If you have the proper amount of the appropriate oil type and your bike is warmed up, it’s time to look into adjusting your cable or inspecting your plates.

Clutch Drag:

Some Tiger 1050 riders have reported clutch drags. This is common on any bike that goes unadjusted for too long.

Clutch drag occurs when the clutch plates don’t fully release. The first symptom is generally the difficulty changing gears we talked about.

Clutch drag is caused by an inadequately adjusted clutch, damaged clutch-cable, or a faulty clutch release system.

A worn clutch basket or clutch hub can also cause clutch drag.

Clutch Slipping:

We’ve encountered a few Tiger 1050 owners who’ve reported another common clutch-problem poorly maintained bikes experience.

A clutch slip happens when the friction plates don’t engage fully. This allows the flywheel to spin at a different rate than the friction plates. What happens afterward is described as the clutch slipping.

Here are some ways to fix clutch problems on a Tiger 1050:

  • Use the proper amount of manufacturer-recommended oil.
  • When changing oil, drain old oil thoroughly.
  • Clean and lubricate clutch plates.
  • Replace worn clutch (or any worn clutch component).
  • Service and inspect the bike routinely, adhering to the schedule in the owner’s manual. 

Most of the clutch-issues we’ve heard about with the Tiger 1050 could have been prevented with a more attentive routine maintenance schedule. Everything wears out eventually; it’s important to stay ahead of wear and tear.

2. Broken Head Gasket

Some Triumph Tiger 1050 owners have reported problems with a blown head gasket.

A head gasket seals the break between the cylinder block and the cylinder head, allowing the combustion chamber to pressurize.

A blown head gasket means the seal is broken. If this happens, your cylinder won’t fire at full power and may not fire at all. 

It also permits more air into the cylinder than usual- forcing your cylinder to run lean.

A Tiger 1050 is liquid-cooled; your compression stroke pressurizes your coolant system. A gap may lead to coolant evacuation, and your motor could overheat.

In extreme cases, the coolant mix can leak into places it’s not meant to go.

When the head gasket blows, the impact is always immense because it handles so many activities at once.

Here are some of the ways a head gasket may fail:

  • The head gasket could fail between the exterior part of the engine and the water passage. When this happens, the coolant fluid leaks outside while the amount of the coolant diminishes.
  • If the top gasket fails, compression can infiltrate the oil system and hinder the engine’s lubrication. Hence, you may notice blue smoke exuding from the exhaust.
  • Engine oil could mix with the coolant if the head gasket fails between a water passage and an oil gallery. The result of this is often contaminated oil.
  • Failure of the head gasket across the hot rings will result in a compression leak between cylinders. Compression is lost, and gases from the exhaust are retrieved. This might lead to a loss of power and misfires.
  • A leak between the outer engine and the cylinder can cause noise while the machine is idle.

Gaskets never reseal the same way. If you experience a blown head gasket on any motorcycle, it’s highly recommended that you replace it with new gaskets.

If you’re not comfortable doing this job, take the bike to a Triumph mechanic to ensure that it gets done in a swift and informed fashion.

3. Faulty Master Cylinder

This is an issue more relevant to riders of older Tiger 1050: problems with the Master Cylinder.

Before 2006, Triumph brakes used “sticky pistons” and a master cylinder diameter that was too small. The pistons had an issue sliding by their seals.

Now and then, a piston would retract by the seals just slightly too far from the rotor, claiming more fluid volume to create the brake-pressure required to stop the bike.

In 2006, Triumph upgraded to Teflon-coated pistons and increased Tiger 1050’s master cylinder diameter.

It’s not a good idea to mess with your brakes and pistons unless you know your way around a bike with a wrench. Take the bike to a Triumph mechanic if you’re even slightly unsure about what you’re doing.

We say it all the time, but the best offense is a good defense. The best way to know if your Triumph 1050 has the outdated Master Cylinder with a less than ideal diameter is to take it in for routine maintenance and inspection.

4. Recurrent Gearbox Issues

A common complaint heard from older Triumph Tiger 1050 is gearbox issues, namely with sticky clutch plates.

The first sign you’ll encounter is an issue downshifting without revving the motor, especially from the second to the first while coming to a stop.

Another tell-tale sign is if you’re having trouble finding neutral while the bike’s stopped.

To check for sticky clutch plates:

Start the bike in gear. If your clutch plates are sticky, the bike will lurch forward before the clutch releases.

To resolve a sticky clutch plate issue:

  • remove the plates
  • clean the plates
  • soak plates in oil overnight.

Triumph mechanics should be aware of this issue. They’ve been advised to file a notch in a specific part that increases plate surface-area exposed to oil lubrication.

If you experience gearbox issues, it is vital to get your bike checked before the problem worsens. This could lead to serious problems if gone unattended.

Other Minor Problems With The Triumph Tiger 1050 Include:

5. Uncomfortable Seating Posture

The seat of the Triumph Tiger 1050 seems comfortable to some. However, other owners have reported experiencing comfort after riding long term.

Additional reports have outlined the suspension as the culprit.

If you feel your suspension is affecting the quality of ride-comfort you’re getting out of your bike, it might be time to assess your shocks’ condition and readjust them as needed.

General Pros And Cons Of The Triumph Tiger 1050


The Tiger 1050 has an efficient engine that allows it to work effectively even during slow traffic. Additionally, it moves quickly at cruising speed, hence, giving you a comfortable riding experience.

This motorcycle model is a great build with quality materials that make it durable.

Another unique feature of this bike is the distance between the bike seat and the handlebars. The length makes it possible for a variety of riders to ride it comfortably.

This bike can easily switch to different riding modes, including on and off-road trips.

Additionally, the brake system of the Triumph Tiger 1050 is second to none, as it has a quick response system without being too harsh.

The sound of the Triumph Tiger 1050 is a perfect growl and suitable for you if you enjoy the attention it attracts.


  • A faulty clutch system.
  • Broken head gasket.
  • Faulty master cylinder
  • Recurrent gearbox issues
  • Uncomfortable seating posture.

What Do The Reviews Say?

The Triumph Tiger 1050 was made more potent than previous Triumph bike models, along with perfect ergonomics. Hence, it is easy to ride. The seats are low and narrow, while the headlights have broader beams.

Its lower pillion position and handles play a part in making it more user-friendly, while its long swing arm allows it to be more stable.

“It’s fast, fun, practical, comes with ABS, and has a commanding, upright riding position.”

The Triumph Tiger 1050’s engine gives a burst of power that packs a punch easily complemented by the exhaust system. This allows you to overtake quickly while staying stable even at high speeds.

Although the throttle is relatively good, it could get snatchy periodically, especially at low speeds.

Additionally, its torque is impressive at 77ftlb at 4300rpm.

“The throttle response is largely good but can be snatchy at low speed and throttle openings.”

The Triumph Tiger 1050 has a contemporary build in a bid to make riding more comfortable. The seat height and tall stance give riders an upright posture, while you can use this as a street bike and as an adventure bike.

The full bars of the Triumph Tiger 1050 allows it to be moved around easily and whenever you wish.

Also, the weight of this bike still enables it to be maneuverable, even around corners. Additionally, its removable saddlebags and handguards give it a more sophisticated look while its colors are bright and attractive.

“A claimed wet weight of 539 pounds is not intimidating, and the radial-mounted front calipers and more than happy to allow you to drive the Tiger hard into a corner (again, with the backup of ABS), while the Michelins retain traction and provide confidence.”

What Is The Resale Value On The Triumph Tiger 1050?

Year Mileage (miles) Price ($)
2010 6999 6,380
2011 18600 5,890
2011 18600 5,890
2012 59000 9,800
2013 18600 7,518
2014 13800 8,144
2015 11000 9,084
2016 17000 10,024
2019 1200 11,894

NB: These prices are estimated and may vary concerning your location. Also, the model and the mileage may play a part in its price range.

Final Thoughts

The Triumph Tiger 1050 is an outstanding build and impressive features that make it stand out amongst its counterparts. Also, it possesses a power-driven engine that allows it to work effectively.

However, the resale value of the Triumph Tiger 1050 is not so impressive when compared to other bike models. 

As a result of this, you might find it to be a bit on the pricey side. Conclusively, the Triumph Tiger 1050 can deliver to its maximum capacity if maintained well, but at a relatively high price point.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.