Triumph Tiger 800 and BMW F800GS, separated at birth?

Dailies -



It’s no secret that Triumph is gunning for the mid-capacity GS with its new Triumph Tiger 800, but with this morning’s leak of 37 high-res photos, we can see just how similar the two bikes are. The commonalities between the Triumph and the BMW F800GS are stunning, let’s list all of them.

800cc water-cooled engine? Check.
Steel tube frame? Check
Black-painted motor? Check.
Un-braced, contoured black alloy swingarm with silver adjusters? Check.
High-mount, single-side exhaust can? Check.
21-inch front wheel, 17-inch rear? Check.
Chain final drive? Check.
Steel tube pillion peg hangers permanently welded to tubular steel subframe? Check.
Huge steel tube grab handles that run parallel to the rear seat? Check.
Rear luggage platform? Check.
A serious lack of engine sump/exhaust protection? Check.
Radiator wider than the frame with only some plastic cladding for protection? Check.
Long black air-intakes mounted on top of the “tank”? Check.
Dual headlights housed in black plastic surrounds? Check?
Dinky, contoured screen mounted to the lights? Check?
Abbreviated front mudguard? Check.
Front fender extended rearwards to protect the radiator? Check.
Gold USD forks? Check.
Four-piston calipers and dual front discs? Check.

Indeed the only significant mechanical difference between the two bikes — other than the Triumph’s three-cylinder engine to the BMW’s parallel twin — appears to be in the fuel tank, which on the BMW is mounted under the seat. It does look like the Tiger adds a shock linkage to the BMW’s direct-mount item and one bike is more surprised and less squinty than the other. Then there’s the seat, Triumph pull the two-parter off a 1200GS, not the 800. Hooray for original thinking.

Can you spot any other similarities? List them in comments.

  • UrbanRider

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I don’t think Triumph need to beat BMW at their own game, just picking up all the Triumph fans who currently ride a BMW through brand loyalty will make this a shrewd move.

    If they can get Ewan and Charlie on them then BMW should be very worried.

    • Beast Incarnate

      I’ve been hearing that “great artists steal” quote all over the place lately. I humbly submit it here.

      • UrbanRider

        Stealing is fine I guess. I know as a business we ‘steal’ ideas from other sectors that we think are relevant to our own.

        However, what Triumph seem to have done is ‘steal’ from a direct competitor which I don’t think is right.

        If I were head of design at BMW I’d be pretty irked.

        Perhaps Triumph would point at the Kawasaki W800 and say that everyone is at it in some way.

      • MichaelMM

        There are only so many designs one can do with mainstream motorcycles.

        • Grive

          I’m not sure that such an excuse applies when it comes to BMW’s busy, bug-eyed-alien spacecraft design aesthetic.

  • gkanai

    Need more details on the Triumph’s front suspension. When F800GS owners have to look for forks from an Aprilia Shiver in order to get adjustability, there’s clearly a problem.

  • nicktp

    The Triumph has a clear advantage, there’s no BMW logo on it.

  • MichaelMM

    If the Triumph Tiger 800 looked anymore like the BMW F800GS; I would not be out of place to assume Triumph had shifted its operations to China.

    Still, I think they are both very good looking bikes.

    Still, still; one could say the same thing about all the sportbikes as well.

  • holdingfast

    doesn’t the Triumph Tiger ALSO totally look like this guy from Transformers?

  • the_doctor

    The headlights on the Triumph are not Igor-esk. That’s all I got.

  • Pete

    I want them both. There’s another similarity…

    • UrbanRider


    • holdingfast

      haha indeed!

  • R.Sallee

    You could do the same with pictures of a CBR600RR and an R6. Or really any class-competitive mid-size sport bike.

    BMW’s established a class. No longer a class of its own.

  • Random

    Nah, it’s just converging evolution. :)

  • Johndo

    I think if BMW wanted to update their design and get rid of the asymetrical lights, it probably would have ended up looking like the Triumph. On a blind test though the difference between these bikes will be significant, sound. :)

  • Random

    Are triumph’s forks gold too?

    • Johndo

      On the road version they do appear to be gold yes. They probably aren’t using the same forks for the off-road version for obvious reasons.

  • markbvt

    Form follows function. Nobody complains about 450cc dirtbikes all looking essentially the same; why should the 800cc dirt-oriented adventure-touring category be any different?

    Anyway, who cares what it looks like, as long as it handles well and offers good dirt capability?

    • Johndo

      Good point. But…there’s much less parts on a dirt bike…the less parts you have the more chances function will have them look alike (and even then Honda innovated with a completely different frame a few years ago). In this case, they just brought a BMW in their factory and copied it, I mean it’s too obvious.

      • markbvt

        That doesn’t bother me. I would have bought an F800GS by now if it weren’t having all sorts of quality control problems, came equipped with better suspension, and didn’t mean I’d have to be a BMW owner. Triumph has built me that bike, so it really doesn’t bother me that it looks similar.

        Besides, what are the “extra” parts that Triumph could have made look different? Hmm… the headlights and instrument cluster… and they look different!

        I expect that if Aprilia ever gets around to building that Tuareg, it’ll look pretty similar as well.

  • miles_prower

    LOL! Great article!!!

    BMW vs Triumph? The biggest swaying factor for me is that my local BMW dealer, when I walked in several years ago ready to plunk down cash for a new bike, tried everything they could to sell me a metric cruiser instead. I eventually walked out, and on that very same day, bought a Multistrada at my local Ducati/Triumph dealer.

    Because of that experience, I would not even consider a BMW today, unless my Ducati/Triumph dealer picked up BMW.

    (An interesting aside, the head of the service dept at my Ducati/Triumph dealer rides a BMW as his primary bike.)

  • ripped4skin

    Delve deeper and I think you’ll find Triumph were on the design of the bike at the same time as BMW – they were playing a game of second-guessing what BMW would unleash on Europe and then the world.

  • Johndo

    As its been reported in a forum, the original inspiration of BMW might as well be from the Suzuki DR800…So I guess even BMW cant get points for innovating here.

  • MelikeeBikee

    Is there a rumored selling price (USD$) and will ABS be available? Any idea of seat height?

  • Johndo

    I think price should be similar to F800GS, based on pictures ABS will be an option is not standard, and seat should be adjustable.

  • Cajun58

    Say what you will about Triumph coping the GS 800 you have to be impressed by there ability to get a new product to market in
    an exceptionally short time frame.

    • Johndo

      Depends when they started to work on it. Their teasers lasted almost a year, so its certainly been in development for a while. And copying from another bike, can’t be that long…
      Still think it looks great and might buy one..but still…