Apparently, Triumph wasn’t kidding when it announced last year that it was not only diving headlong into the world of dirt bike manufacturing, but also aiming to make a name for itself in the world of enduro races. He qualified that intention by hiring five-time enduro world champion Ivan Cervantes and motocross legend Ricky Carmichael to help with all aspects of the development and testing of new off-road models, as well as preparation and eventual participation. to the new race program.
Well, Ivan obviously couldn’t wait for the smaller displacement enduro bikes (which are said to be well on their way to production), and went ahead and put Triumph in the spotlight by riding a Tiger 900 Rally Pro to first place in the adventure bike (“Maxi-Trail”) class of the popular Bassella race in Spain.
But let’s be clear, he didn’t just win the race on the Tiger, he dominated the course from the moment he left the start line wet in the rain until he crossed the finish line. finishing 25 seconds ahead of another world-class enduro rider, three-time FIM Bajas World Cup champion Alessandro Ruoso, riding a Yamaha Tenere 700. In third place was Gerard Farrés, aboard a Macbor Montana XR5 500.
Although the maxi-trail class is relatively new to European raid circuits, it looks set to become a staple, largely due to the public’s ever-growing affection for travel-ready adventure bikes. Ivan thinks it’s a good thing. “Maxi-trails are all the rage…and the idea of creating a category for them was an absolute hit,” he told Spain’s SoloMoto in a post-race interview.
“In the beginning, handling a motorcycle weighing almost 200 kilos [441 lbs] like the Triumph I was driving can induce a certain respect, but later, when you get used to it, you find that its handling is much better than you think, ”he said of the Tiger Rally Pro, which it appears to have run stock, except for the addition of a custom skid plate, knobby tires and an Arrow silencer, an accessory offered by Triumph for the Tiger 900 range. , a rider of Ivan’s caliber is said to have had the Rally Pro’s Showa suspension professionally tuned, and the decals on the bike’s Showa fork tell us it happened via Andreani’s famed tuning house MHS in Barcelona.
In the video of the race, it’s clear that the Tiger Rally Pro ate everything thrown at it, including lots of inclines, whoops and jumps. To see additional footage of Ivan putting the Tiger 900 Rally Pro through its paces, check out his Instagram post where he makes the big bike look like it was made for enduro riding.
If this heady Bassella Race win is a harbinger of Triumph’s quest to make a name for itself in the enduro and racing world, we’re eager to hear more. The bikes we expect to see soon, according to an interview Ivan did with enduro21.com on the subject, are 250cc and 450cc 4-strokes. “It will be a completely new bike, with a 100% Triumph engine and chassis,” Ivan said in the interview.
It also hints that the 450cc model could be on course for rally racing and a Dakar race, an interesting badge twist just as Yamaha announced it would be pulling out of the event after 44 years.
But for Triumph, a company famous for its street machines, it’s full throttle down to the dirt tracks, and Ivan is happy to be on board. “That’s one of the reasons why I got fully involved in it, to make a dream come true. For me, it’s great to be part of a factory project like this, where I can contribute my point of view and all my experience.
Photos of Nicki Martinez | Basselle race