Posted On 26 Apr 2024
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This entry is part 2 of 29 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#28



Triumph’s Tiger 800 XC has been a hit since its launch back in 2011. For 2015, there are two of the off-road orientated XC – the XC and the top end model with an extra ‘x’ at the end. You can also get the XR and XRx, aimed more at the road and occasional off-road rider, which we’ll be sampling shortly.

In both cases, the little ‘x’ refers to not only a more sophisticated electronics package including cruise control,switchable traction control and the ability to configure different riding modes, but also to other add-ons such as a more advanced trip computer, auto-cancelling indicators, a centrestand, handguards, a plastic radiator guard and an additional 12V power socket.

The entire Tiger 800 range of six bikes

now comes with ride-by-wire technology for the first time – bringing the bikes into line with the Explorer 1200. The 800’s engine is still the flexible triple cylinder we’re used to, now 1cc bigger than its original 799cc. There have been key changes inside to produce a design consistent with Euro 4-spec which not only reduces emissions but improves fuel consumption by a claimed 17 per cent. The bike we rode had the accessory Arrow slip-on muffler ($1295), which sounds legal but gives a little bit of bark when you get it high in the rev range.

I achieved fuel consumption of 4.8 – 5.3L/100km. I was in fact quite shocked that I just seemed to keep riding and riding without needing to put fuel in it! Fuel tank capacity is 19 litres, so expect somewhere around 350km+ from the tank.

Changes to the engine include new Bosch fuel injectors, new throttle bodies, new cam profiles, hydraulic cam chain tensioner, improved cooling and a smaller alternator that puts out 476 watts.

Power and torque remain the same, but that’s fine because the linear characteristics of the triple cylinder engine have always made it a great bike to ride on or off the road. The gearbox has been smoothed out and with short gearing, you can quickly punch the XCx up into a high gear and cruise along.

Some 42 changes have been made to create the XCx, a lot of them not immediately obvious such as the revamped powder coating on the frame, grime-proofing the suspension clickers, lengthening the chain guard and changing the throttle bodies so they are a closed unit that dust cannot get into.

Obviously Triumph has listened to owners and incorporated requested changes into the new model. For the serious off-roader, for whom the XCx is intended, you get an aluminium sump guard and engine protection bars. The rear view mirrors are from the Explorer 1200, as are the Saxess wire wheels.

The suspension on the XCx is now from WP. Compression and rebound adjustable 43mm inverted forks up front and a preload and rebound adjustable monoshock in the rear give good adjustment for the type of riding “OBVIOUSLY TRIUMPH HAS LISTENED TO OWNERS AND INCORPORATED REQUESTED CHANGES INTO THE NEW MODEL” for which the XCx is intended.

Even though suspension travel remains the same – 220mm at the front and 215mm at the rear – there’s now virtually no bottoming-out. The previous model, if pushed hard over some jumps, would bottom out quite easily.

Balance is very good on this bike, slow speed manoeuvring is dead easy, handling on the bitumen is fl owing and it’s easy to ride, and even though the new model has porked up a bit by 6kg, you wouldn’t notice except for me telling you here.

Styling of the Tiger 800 has changed with different tank side panels and a redesigned radiator shroud for a sharper look overall.

As noted the XCx features an extensive electronics package. Cruise control is similar to that of the Explorer 1200 and easy to operate. Anti-lock braking (ABS) can be switched between ‘Road’ (On), ‘Off’, and ‘Off -Road’ modes.

‘Off-Road’ disables the ABS to the rear wheel and allows a certain amount of front-wheel slip.

Triumph Traction Control (TTC) can be switched between ‘Road’ (On), ‘Off’ and ‘Off-Road’ too. In the ‘Off-Road’ mode, the system allows increased rear wheel slip compared to ‘Road’ mode.

Four different throttle maps are available. They can be changed via the RH switch cube. The difference between the maps is given by varying the butterfly position for a given twist of the throttle grip. You get full power with all the maps, but the rider needs a different opening of the throttle to achieve the same response. The four maps are – Road – Standard throttle response.

Rain – reduces throttle response compared to the Road setting, for wet or slippery conditions.

Sport – Increases throttle response when compared to the road setting. Off-Road – Optimal throttle response setting for off-road use.

A key feature on the XCx is the ability to confi gure the bike to the terrain at the press of a button. There are three modes available – Road – automatically sets the ABS, traction control, and throttle map to ‘Road’ setting.

Off-Road – automatically sets the ABS, traction control, and throttle map to “Off-Road” therefore reducing the ABS and traction control intervention allowing for a level of slip.

Rider – this mode is fully confi gurable and allows you to set ABS, traction control, and throttle maps independently. To swap between ‘Road’, ‘Off Road’ and ‘Rider’ mode, simply press the mode button, release the throttle and pull the clutch lever. This automatically confi gures the ABS, traction control, and throttle maps even if the bike is still in motion. As an added safety measure, should you select a mode that requires ABS or traction control to be disabled, simply come to a stop and push the mode button and pull the clutch lever (or select neutral).

The seat height adjustable from 840 to – 860mm is good for different sized riders. I (obviously) liked the higher setting, but I also found the lower setting to be comfortable. The seat itself offers good support for touring and the bar is at a good width/height for a combination of leverage and comfort.

As with most of the Triumph range, the accessory line is extensive. For the Tiger 800 there are sixty odd for you to choose from. They include an aluminium top box and panniers, soft panniers and seat bag, comfort and lower seats, heated grips, folding gear pedal, tank bag and LED fog lamps just to name a few, so expect to set up the XCx just how you want it for your travels.

I thought the Tiger 800 XC was good upon its release, but the minor and major enhancements made to the new XCx offer you a bike that really can do it all. Now all you need to do is pick the colour – I’ll take a blue one, thanks.


PRICE: $17,690 (plus on-road charges)
WARRANTY: Two years, unlimited distance
SERVICING INTERVALS: Every 10,000km or 12 months
ENGINE: Liquid-cooled in-line three cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
BORE x STROKE: 74.05 x 61.94mm
POWER: 70kW @ 9250rpm
TORQUE: 79Nm @ 7850rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed, wet multi-plate clutch, chain fi nal drive
SUSPENSION: Front, 43mm inverted fork, adjustable preload and rebound, travel 220mm. Rear, monoshock,adjustable preload and rebound, travel 215mm.
DIMENSIONS: Seat height 840-860mm, weight 221kg (wet), fuel capacity 19 litres, wheelbase 1545mm
TYRES: Front, 90/90/21. Rear,150/70/R17
FRAME: Tubular steel
BRAKES: Front, twin 308mm discs with dual-piston switchable ABS calipers. Rear,255mm disc, single-piston switchable ABS caliper.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 4.8-5.3 litres per 100km, premium unleaded
COLOURS: Crystal White, Phantom Black, Caspian Blue

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