Triumph Tiger 800 XC: Expert Review
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The pros: Very comfortable seats, best switchgear quality, satellite navigation mount, great amount of torque and power from engine. ABS ensures safety.
The cons: Throttle response is not so quick.
The crux: This bike is a brilliantly capable on and off road machine.It has a peppy engine and is extremely capable off the road on wet slippery or rutted surfaces.
We always come around people who stand strong on the myth that large capacity motorcycles are not meant for Indian road conditions. Happily there are numerous aficionados who regularly engage in their routine with big motorcycles across the country. Yes, on these very roads thousands of motorcyclists converge and head out on open country roads slapping in the face of practicality and comfort.
But there is a small group among these who crave for a bit more than just tarmac riding. Off-road is their preference and the market was unable to give them many options. BMW Motorrad did cater to these off-road dual purpose machine enthusiasts, but the high pricing and even high maintenance made it a difficult option. Now however, Triumph motorcycles has given all these discerning customers a sign of relief with the Triumph Tiger 800 XC, which can effectively tackle everything you throw at it. We spend a few days with this all-purpose tourer to slightly push it to the edge.
Mean is the word that you are looking for. Bring it out on the road and it is nothing like anything anybody has seen for miles. It looks extremely rugged and built to last a thorough battering. The classic touring beak, the tubular chassis and that high mounted exhaust, all define a clear sense of purpose for this machine. The triple cylinder with the exhaust manifold also adds to the menacing and tough appeal of the motorcycle. Colour options on the 800 XC, which are white, black and this matte green are subtle yet look very attractive.
The 800 XC is built for extreme off-road capabilities and hence has the seat height at 845mm. This can be further adjusted, without tools, to 865mm as per the requirement. The seat itself is very comfortable for long journeys. The rider sits upright with lots of space to move about. Ride sitting, ride standing, you choose.
The handle bars are wide apart for more control to the rider. The switchgear quality is the best you will find on any off-road machine. And then starts the options list that includes goodies like satellite navigation mount, taller screen, levers etc.
The tiny screen might not look like much but does a great job of deflecting wind on highway speeds. Foot pegs are adjustable and are teethed for grip, even if you are trailing through mud and water. Another boon is the comfortable pillion seat. Or you can tie up a lot of luggage the 800 XC has loads of bungee hooks.
Engine and Performance
At the heart of the 800 XC is the same bewitching Triumph Triple that also powers the 675 and Street Triple, although it has been bored to 799cc for the Tiger. The maximum power output is 93.7bhp at a high 9,300rpm, at which point the 800 XC starts spitting and screaming. Peak torque is 79Nm at 7,850rpm, massive for a motorcycle that weighs at 215kg without the rider.
The 800 XC can hit a top speed of 209kmph. The engine is a smooth performer with plenty of low and mid-end grunt at the cost of some high-end performance. Throttle response is absolutely flawless, not too quick but not too slow, it gives you what you want exactly when you want it. And so is the transmission, smooth and very accurate.
Ride and Handling
The 800 XC is just faultless for our roads, urban, country or off it completely. Triple digits speeds on the highways are very relaxing as the Tiger holds its line strongly with no complaints from the front or rear. The suspension setup is fool-proof and feels like it was designed for the military.
Added to this is the ABS system that ensures safe stops, no matter what the surface. Handling the 800 XC on winding roads takes a little getting used to. But once you have cracked the bulk code, it is as good as you are. The standard 800 is a bit more eager to dive into corners, but then the XC will get back around once you have the hang of it.
The Triumph Tiger 800 XC is a brilliantly capable on and off road machine. It is a fantastic fast machine for long highways, has a peppy engine to play through the gear box and is extremely capable off the road on wet slippery or rutted surfaces. It will return a combined fuel efficiency figure of 22kmpl and you can use regular petrol from any station around the country. It will carry you and your luggage with ease across states and keep going even when the going gets tough.