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Triumph Tiger 800XcX | Bike Tests | Latest Tests

An uncaged tiger that won’t bite

Triumph keeps rolling them out and the Tiger keeps getting better. With two styles in the series, the XR and the XC as the road based and the adventure touring platform respectively in three stages of spec’ plus a low seat option the 800cc triple has lots of choices in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. Our pick is the XcX with all the right gear to go bashing for a few days or a few years of adventuring.

There is sure to be a dialogue going on at the factory about improving not only the individual parts but also every facet in the Tiger X’s. On paper this recent model upgrade has as all of its elements improved. Sampling a wide range of riding conditions over a long weekend’s camp-ing in the wilds was more Bear Gryls taking a weekend off than Charlie goes to Africa, how-ever our short revisit to the Tiger’s cage says our white unit is miles better in the saddle than the outgoing model. It is still one of my favourite adventure tourers, in any class.

The almost pedestrian figures of 70kW and 79Nm don’t tell the whole story. Behind the digits is a ’package’ that is more than just a lucky sum of its parts. Eight hundred cc’s ensure ability and versatility. Fuel range and comfort are now better. Durability and unstop-ability you can’t argue with.  More intangible is the fun and satisfaction the Xc series delivers as a large dose of la sonrisa-a grin factor.

The triple has plenty of drive, be it way down low to conquer slow rough bush tracks. Off idle, through the lower torque range-even with a high first gear-the light clutch and a natural riding position make a meal of anything difficult. Precise throttle response and seamless power con-trolled by Orwellian refinement with big brother taking control of all things electronic, almost guarantee you will win a Dakar. Save for the WP suspension the R-B-W system takes care of engine modes, TC and ABS and the level is top notch. There is plenty of mid-range to make stress-free fully loaded up (and that often includes a passenger) and a satisfying amount of power to maul distances at speed.

Highways are eaten stress free. It is streetwise power, enough to have fun and feel relaxed and never busy on the legal limit. If you twist the RBW are bit harder and the snarl is released along with dirty wheel-spinning lunacy shows its claws while the same response on the road can ramp up some excitement if you programme the settings in Rider mode.

Throw in a chassis with a solid architecture and running gear-there are times-without a load-you could just imagine this is an oversized pumped up trailbike until speed and weight warp this misconception. The combination of wire wheels, WP long travel 220mm suspension travel at both ends works well. Yes WP, that WP that gives the capable Tiger the ride of a BMW and the control of a KTM. Smart move Triumph because the sore wrists and the bottoming out after a heavy landing are gone, replaced with steering which is pin-point and all-day comfort with or without a load.

The XcX is specc’d up enough to just select the type of luggage you want to carry be it soft or hard and delving into the massive accessories list to personise the Tiger might just make no two XcX’s the same.

Ideally, the next model will rid the sub-frame of the welded pillion rests and allow us to change electronic settings on the fly.

This is a package that puts versatility first, performance and capability close behind and fun and adventuring right in with the mix. Like all true packages it really is too difficult to rate one ahead of the other. For me the Tiger covers everything, very well.




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Configuration In-line triple
Cylinder head DOHC Four valves per cylinder
Capacity 800cc
Bore/stroke 74 x 61.9mm Compression ratio 11.1:1
Cooling Liquid
Fueling EFI
Power 70kW @ 9250rpm
Torque 79Nm @ 7850rpm (claimed)

TRANSMISSION Type Six-speed Clutch Wet
Final drive Chain

Frame material Tubular steel Framelayout Diamond
Rake 24.3 ̊
Trail 95.3mm

Front: WP 43mm USD fork, 220mm travel Rear:WPmonoshock,adjustablepreload and rebound, 215mm travel

Wheels Wire spoked
Front: 21 x 2.5 Rear: 17 x 4.25 TyresMetzler Karoo 80/90-21 M/C

BRAKES Front:Twin308mmdiscs,two-piston caliper
Rear: Single floating 225mm disc, single-piston caliper
Variable and switchable ABS

Weight 219kg (wet, claimed) Seat height 840-860mm
Max width 865mm
Max height 1390mm Wheelbase 1545mm

Fuel consumption 5.8L/100km (measured)
Top speed 215km/h (est)

Testbike Triumph ColouroptionsCapsianBlue,Phantom Black, Crystal White Phantom Black Warranty 24 months, unlimited km Price $17,950 (+ ORC)

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