Combining pockets of super-tight Bangkok traffic and a few stretches of open road; my commute to Assumption University for school and work is roughly a 10 km ride. After recently selling the my Honda CBR 150 I was in the market for a bike with more power. Searching for a bike that had power in reserve, was comfortable on longer rides yet light and nimble to navigate Bangkok traffic was how I became the proud owner of a Thai designed, Thai built 2008 Tiger Boxer 250 RS. Tiger motorcycles are commonly seen on the roads in Thailand, however, it’s usually the Police riding them. The company has a contract with the government and is the supplier to the country’s Police departments. There is a slight difference between the bikes they ride and mine; they ride a standard 200cc bike while the Boxer RS comes with a slightly larger 250cc engine….catch me if you can!
Tiger is known for producing bikes with sleek cutting edge designs, and the Boxer is definitely no exception. Its roots trace back to 2000 when they collaborated with two Germany companies to develop a unique line of new bikes. One of their early designs was the F4. Its naked design and reliable engine are looked at as the original blueprints for the Boxer Model.
The Boxer’s look is aggressive and in a way resembles a cross between an F1 race car and a Transformer. Aside from the look, one thing that initially attracted me to the bike were its strong contrasting colors. The bright yellow livery, the red stripes on the black alloy wheels and its stainless steel Tsukigi Racing muffler definitely gave it an eye catching look. Sitting on the bike I felt right at home. The Boxer has a more upright riding position which I think comes pretty close to La-Z-boy comfort. The fuel tank is aerodynamically designed with proper indentations for the knees and legs, virtually eliminating any riding discomfort.
One thing I was missing with the CBR was a kick-starter. The Tiger comes with both an electric and a kick-start; needless to say the first time I fired it up I bypassed the electric and went directly for the kick-start. With a kick of the starter and a blip of the throttle the bike comes roaring to life. It has a deep, meaty rumble which sounds great for a bike with no modifications. It takes just one twist of the throttle to feel the torque on demand; perfect for navigating tight spots in traffic. When traffic breaks and it’s time to open up the throttle the bike is extremely responsive. The low rumble turns into a powerful roar and quickly reaches cruising speeds of 100 – 120 km/h.
The size of the Boxer makes it perfect for both riding in the city and cruising on the highway. It has a low center of gravity which is great for maneuverability in the city, and it also has enough width to provide comfort and stability at highway speeds; holding up well when speeding trucks whiz by.
There is a wealth to explore in Thailand outside of Bangkok’s city limits. With this new bike I’m looking forward to my commutes and riding in the city; but I’m really excited to cruise out of town and explore rural Thailand. I’ve got some places in mind to the Northwest and South that look like great rides and pass through some beautiful areas. I’m hoping during our upcoming semester break I’ll be able to break away for a few days and take a journey. With the power and comfort of the Boxer I’m pretty confident I’ll be looking for the long way home.