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Upright is Alright

Triumph’s new Tiger for 2007 (discussed in our article on September 18, 2006), illustrates what I perceive to be a trend in the industry. Along with the Ducati Multistrada, and other new designs emerging as popular bikes, the industry seems to be recognizing that sport riding in an upright seating position appeals to many potential customers.

As Triumph acknowledges by focusing its new Tiger strictly at the street, most dual sport riders and riders of large-displacement “trailies” ride almost exclusively on the road. These motorcyclists enjoy the sporty handling offered by these bikes (contributed to by the leverage of the wide handlebars), combined with their comfortable, upright riding position. I know from experience that an upright riding position does not need to hinder speed through the canyons (a good rider on a standard-style motorcycle, for instance, can hang onto any good sport bike rider on the street). Like Triumph and Ducati, will we see other manufacturers step away from some of the dual sport pretensions, and focus upright bikes strictly on tarmac performance? I think so.