Triumph Tiger 800 XCx: FIRST REVIEW

Michael Mann - Web Editor, Bike Social
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike Web editor of Bike Social. Been riding bikes since he was four-years-old. Fast and smooth road rider, just about hangs on in a track day quick group.

Smooth,comfortable and holds the road better than some sports bikes

For those familiar with popular culture you may be forgiven for confusing current chart sensation Charlie XCX, singer of recent hits 'Boom Clap' and 'Break The Rules', with the all new off-road focussed Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. Like the singer, the Tiger 800XCx is due to storm the hit parade and/or local dealerships at the end of January 2015 for £9,999.

Thankfully we're concentrating on the two-wheeled version of the XCx which still has plenty of Boom Clap of its own.

While the headlines at two recent motorcycle shows in Cologne and Milan have been stolen by 1000cc, silly-fast 200bhp sports bikes, Britain’s very own Triumph Motorcycles snuck in with not one but four brand new incarnations of the much-loved adventure-touring bike, the Tiger 800. Bike Social was invited along to Malaga, Spain to the world riding launch.

The top spec Tiger XCx

Consistently one of the Hinckley-manufacturers best sellers since 2010, the Tiger 800 is an important bike for Triumph and the updates bring its technology up alongside competitors from the likes of BMW and KTM in this middleweight adventure sector.

In its simplest form the bikes are:

  • XC & XCx; more off-road focussed
  • XR & XRx; more road focussed

All four new models include traction control, thanks to ride-by-wire throttle control, and switchable ABS as standard. There's new styling and a claimed improvement of 10mpg up to 65mpg from the second generation 3-cylinder, 800cc engine. Use this statistic with the 19 litre fuel capacity and Triumph reckon that 272 miles from one tank is achievable, an improvement of 50 miles over the existing model. It's something we will have to check when we get the bike in the UK.

New fuel injectors, higher fuel pressure, a new air box and catalyst are just a handful of the new parts to improve engine efficiency and reduce emissions.

Chief Engineer on the project, Stuart Wood said, "Replacing the Tiger was always going to be a struggle. We wanted more efficiency, more refinement and we wanted it to go further too. We now believe we've got a Tiger for everyone." 

On the XC model, the standard equipment includes spoked wheels, high level front mudguard, fully adjustable front suspension, fully adjustable rear suspension, trip computer, radiator guard, sump guard, hazard lights, adjustable brake and clutch levers and a 12v Power Socket.

Should you opt for the XCx then you can expect additional engine protection bars, advanced trip computer, road and off-road riding modes, three configurable rider riding modes, auto-cancel indicators, cruise control, a centre stand, hand guards, an aluminium sump guard and an additional auxiliary 12v power socket.

As comfortable off road as it is on road

So what's it like to ride?

Triumph have, well, triumphed with the new version of the XC.

It weighs in 6kg heavier than its predecessor but that's down to all the added extras which now come as standard such as three-mode ABS, three-mode traction control, cruise control, three riding modes, a centre stand and hand guards.

By comparison to its two main competitors the Triumph sits in the middle, with BMW's F800GS tipping the scales at 229kg and Suzuki's updated V-Strom 650x the relative lightweight at 215kg.

However, it doesn't feel heavier than the original. In fact the XCx is so well balanced both on and off-road. The suspension also works so well that bonus points should certainly be handed out to the engineer responsible for choosing WP suspension.

The upside down forks on the front and mono shock on the rear coupled with the improvements to the riding position make the bike extremely comfortable.

We covered around 5 miles off road and a further 115 miles on road, including the fabulous Ronda road which leads north from the Marbella area climbing up into the mountains. The scenery is stunning and when equipped with such a well behaved and agile bike, bear in mind this is a mid-capacity adventure bike with off-road focus, the view is even more impressive.

Spoked wheels on the XCx The Tiger's dash
The howl from the in-line triple cylinder engine higher in its rev range is superb and the despite its bulk even in standard spec the 94 horsepower and 58 ft. lbs. of torque provide all of the required Boom and Clap to haul it around admirably. Thanks to the new-for-2015 ride-by-wire throttle the power is delivered smoothly and with minimal fuss. Be as aggressive with the right-hand side twist grip as you want but the bike will still look after you.

The power band is wide so you can use the full set of revs available. The red line sits just below 10,000rpm and the three-cylinder second generation motor works tirelessly responding to every input. It's lively especially around the 5-6,000rpm mark, though peak torque is claimed to be at 7850rpm.

Excellent chassis and suspension

Bridgestone Battlewing BW 501 tyres adorn the spoked wheels that are only present on the two XC models and on test they performed admirably both on and off-road. In my first impressions article I mentioned the long first gear which, when descending on loose surface, doesn't provide all the engine braking one might need.

The electronics are controlled by two switches on the left hand side of the handlebar plus a further mode button attached to the digital display. The buttons are a little clumsy at first but once you get used to the menus and options they soon become clear. Same with the cruise control; not the easiest system to operate, in fact I couldn't work it at all at first but as my mother used to say to me, patience is a virtue, so stick with it and you'll be controlling your cruising in no time.

Overall, the Triumph has really impressed. It's grown up, developed its character and got itself some excellent upgrades which slot together well and give what was already a very successful machine a new lease of life with some added 21st century polish. And all for less than £10k.

Tiger 800 Range at a glance

XR

XRx

XC

XCx

Cast wheels

3 selectable riding modes

Wire spoked wheels

3 selectable riding modes

Traction control

ABS with On/Off-Road/Off

Traction control

ABS with On/Off-Road/Off

Switchable ABS

TTC with On/Off-Road/Off

Switchable ABS

TTC with On/Off-Road/Off

Trip computer

4 throttle maps

Adjustable WP front suspension

4 throttle maps

Sump guard

Cruise control

Adjustable WP rear suspension

Cruise control

Hazard lights

Centre stand

Trip computer

Engine protection bars

12v Power Supply

Comfort seats

Radiator guard

Advanced trip computer

 

Hand guards

Sump guard

Centre stand

 

Adjustable screen

Hazard lights

Hand guards

 

Advanced trip computer

12v power socket

Aluminium sump guard

 

Additional 12v aux socket

 

Additional 12v aux socket

The Triumph Tiger Range

Photo credit: Alessio Barbanti, Paul Barshon, Matteo Cavadini and Freddie Kirn

KIT CREDITS

Action camera: Drift Ghost-S

Helmet: Shark Race R-Pro, designed by Rich-art Concepts

Jacket and trousers: Richa TG2 jacket and Richa TG1 trousers

Gloves: Savage Waterproof by RICHA

Boots: S-Speed by TCX