2018 Tiger 800 XRx - rambling impressions
I'm an Aussie living and working in Norway and bought the current model XRx last month. I have owned 3 bikes since moving here; including a sporty Aprilia and the BMW650GS (800cc). Footnote: I have been riding bikes in Oz for well over 25 years. I have not had much time with the Tiger but enough to form an opinion - take it or leave it.
In 2015 I walked into the dealership prepared to buy the Tracer 900. I had ridden it and thought it capable for handling the twisty mountain roads and odd weekend trips. However the dealer had a cheaper Aprilia Shiver 750 as a demo bike. I decided to give it a go. The Italian V-Twin was everything that the Tracer was not; lovely character, stiff frame, lively and response torque and lots of fun in the bends. So I bought it. I have had lots of fun on the mountain roads with the Aprilia. For weekend camping trips I bought the last model of the BMW F650GS, the 800cc parallel twin. This bike is underpowered, but paradoxically also under-rated. If it had a few more ponies it would be brilliant. Anyway, being a bike consumer, I decided to sell both and buy something in-between them. Hence the Tiger.
I´m not brand or bike-type loyal. I do my homework and compare. The bike needs to match the roads and weather conditions and my riding style at the time. So, to the Tiger..
Appearance: It is a pig. A butt-ugly looking thing. Thin skinny tyres and wheels, thin legs, bit of a droop in the middle and a higher lumpy tank. From the rear quarter its a camel. BUT.. this is what happens when bikes are designed for function foremost. The ground clearance is sufficient, the engine added also sufficient, the the tank added for range also sufficient. The seat heat was able to be lowered and tucked in behind the mass ahead of it. The right suspension was added. Handlebars were set in a controlling position and a windscreen added. Its a bike designed for function first. I like that.
Riding it: It's certainly not the Aprilia, but it's not the BMW either! To some extent it can be both. Touring around it´s docile, easy to handle and surprisingly light-weight. Low speed handling is a breeze. The bike feels half the size it looks. Put it in sport mode and ride the bends over 4000rpm and it's a whole lot of fun. Where I live it is all twists, turns, uphills and downhills. The Tiger is very much at home here.
Seat height: I have both the standard seat and the lowered comfort seat (790mm). At 5´7´´ I can manage the seats up to the max of 820mm no problem. This is personal preference. You need to find the right height for you.
The windscreen: Crap! It might have been changed for 2018 but its crap! I have tried all seat heights, all my helmets and the buffeting around my head is uncomfortable and disturbing. I will be buying the Madstad screen as soon as they commercially release it.
Weather: The bike can handle more weather than I can. When the roads are wet and nasty, the Tiger reassuringly brings me home.
Summary: It´s ok for me right now.
2015 Triumph Tiger 800xcx
Just broke 50,000km's this month (August '18). Been to Alaska from Toronto, and everywhere in between. Will take her to Downtown Toronto and ride the dirt roads north of Guelph to Owen Sound. I'm always loaded up and I am 6ft 2 and weigh 230 myself. I have wiped her out on Lyndon Johnson's ranch (in the mud thankfully!) and just broke the break lever ball piece. My rear bearings went on a trip to Texas in June 2018 which was a little interesting, but other than that I plan to put another 50,000km's on this baby before I even dream of trading her in. Pound for Pound, Dollar for Dollar, this has got to be the best bike on the road in it's class! Thank you Triumph!!
Triumph Tiger 800 XRx - all rounder
I purchased the Tiger XRx in August 2015 as a demo bike. It was one of the bikes used in the original launch of the model in Australia. Some accessories had already been added including panniers and heated grips. I had a topbox and tall screen added at purchase. I've now done over 50,000km on the bike including a 7-week, 15,000km+ trip from Canberra to the Pilbara and down the WA coast. This is a great all round bike. I commute every day. I can load it up for camping trips and I can get down dirt trals while having fun on the twisties getting there. If you are buying one there are two things to replace immediately: the screen (I replaced with the Madstad) and the tyres. The Scorpion Trails that came with the bike are the worst tyre I've ever used (although I've heard that the latest version is an improvement). Changing to Michelin Anakee IIIs transformed the handling. The settings menu is not intuitive but you get used to it. I've had virtually no mechanical problems during this time. I've just replaced the rear wheel sensor as this had come loose and the wiring was damaged. The bike was still rideable, just no feedback for ABS, traction control etc. I'm about to replace the heated grips as these have worn through. other than that, its been a joy to ride.
Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer is just OK but not as good as an older BMW GSA.
I bought a 2015 Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer in November 2016. It was a Triumph Australia demo with 2000 ks on the clock. I got the pannier boxes with it and crash bars. The short ride I had before purchase was good. After having the bike for a few weeks I realised how uncomfortable the stock seat was so I had to get a better seat. The right pannier box broke on the first really corrugated road I rode on so had to be replaced under warranty. The fuel tank was too small for real long distance riding and the bike was very top heavy. One of my previous bikes was a BMW R1150GS Adventure. The BMW was a far superior bike in comfort and travel distance. The BMW was idiot proof in that all servicing and repair could be done by riders with novice mechanical knowledge. The Triumph was completely user maintenance unfriendly. I could change the oil and that is about it. Everything else meant the Triumph had to go to the dealer. I just sold the Triumph after ten months ownership and I lost a fair bit of money due to the low resale value. I sold it to buy another BMW r1150GS Adventure and now I am much happier. The BMW is way slower than the Triumph and does not have the bells and whistles that the Triumph has. The low kilometer one owner 2006 BMW cost me the same as I got for a two year old Triumph. 30 litres of fuel in the BMW does not feel as top heavy as the Triumph. If I ever have to change bikes again I will not be considering a Triumph but pay the extra for a BMW. Of course this is only my opinion, that of a rider of many brands of motorcycles over forty years on the road.
Very Happy owner
As a mature age rider I purchased my Triumph Tiger 800 XCx Low in February 2016 as a demonstrator with 700km on the clock to replace a Suzy DRZ400 and Moto Guzzi Road bike. Have now done 7,500 km being a combination of bitumen and gravel / tracks riding. Fitted Motoz Adventurer tyres at 5,000km thinking a bit more heavy duty tread would be good for hilly off road trails. Was happy with the original Bridgestone's which still have quite a bit of life in them. Only downside is I wish the 'Low' model came with a Centre Stand to aide cleaning / maintenance aspects. This is a very enjoyable economical bike to run. Love the performance. With C-bow soft panniers fitted have done a few longer overnight camping trips. I highly recommend the Triumph 800XCx for anyone seeking a capable mid size Adventure touring bike. Oh, and I had an Auto Electrician change the 2 accessory outlets so that they only power up through the ignition to avoid my GPS flattening the battery when the bike is left sitting for a week.
Great bike for the open road just a bit too heavy when off road.
Bought the Tiger 800 XCX after owning single cylinder bikes for a few years (KLR and GS 650). I wanted something smoother and stronger for longer comfortable rides and this bike is just great on the open road. Off road the bike is simply too heavy, doesn’t have good engine break, it gets very hot and centre of gravity is too heigh. The Tiger Xcx has great electronics on board, great suspension and overall great package for the price (compared to GS, KTM etc).
The only issue I have with the bike is that it gets far too hot for me while commuting in the lower speeds and during summer it’s just unbearable. However, once the road opens it’s just pure pleasure.
I wish Triumph Australia would add 3 years roadside assistance for free as BMW and have more available parts in stock.
A good all rounder
I've been riding my '06 Tiger 955i now for 3 months as a replacement for my previous Sprint 955i. I love it. It is a good all round bike, a real mile muncher on the highways and comfortable 2 up. It is able to do some mud & dirt, but it is definitely happier on the tarmac.
*Awesome engine - so flexible and smooth with the unique triumph triple sound. Torque everywhere.
*Decent 350km+ fuel range. Probably over 400 but I have never pushed it to the limit, nor had the fuel light turn on. Mine uses about 5.2 liters/100
*Came with Luggage Panniers
*The Left side pannier is big enough to fit a helmet in.
*Comfortable seating - it is quite a tall bike so those with legs shorter than 32" will find it tricky to ride.
*Heated grips - I seriously used to mock these things but I am now a convert. They make riding on a cold day a lot more enjoyable.
*Speedo very accurate
There are a couple of things that cost it a star in my mind.
*The original Regulator rectifiers are not up to the job and will take out the stator when they go. Best to replace before they go with a decent Series style regulator like a Compufire or SH775. (This mod strangely seems to improves fuel consumption by a small amount !?)
*It is quite top heavy, not a problem once moving, but a bit of a nuisance when maneuvering to park, or slow speed mud.
*The pannier on the exhaust side is comically small - a few pairs of socks, undies and it is full.
*Headlights could be stronger to be honest.
*Speedo is hard to read quickly, though many bikes are guilty of this. A large digital readout would solve it.
I love it. A very good bike, very engaging to ride, a gem of an engine, plenty of power, good on fuel, comfortable 2 up - Get one and I'm sure you'll love it too
Engine blew up, still waiting for it to be fixed under warranty
If you want a bike to last more than one year, do not buy the 1200 Tiger Explorer. If you want great customer service, stay away from Triumph. Due to faulty manufacturing, small bolts on the alternator came loose and damaged most of the engine including the crankshaft. It's been six weeks since the Tiger broke down and I am still waiting for an answer from the Triumph dealership.
absolutely brilliant bike
I have a 2012 1200 Tiger Explorer, fitted with panniers, topbox, tank bag, handlebar risers, fog and spotlights, engine crash bars and an air horn (best accessory for country and city riding). My bike has 45,000kms and has been perfect since I got it. I love the long travel suspension, the excellent handling, the comfort, and performance.
If you are looking for the perfect touring bike for Australia, then a Tiger is the only way to go. Unfortunately, it has to go soon....but only because I will be trading it on the new Explorer.
best bike ever
sold my faithfull KLR 650 and purchased a Triumph tiger xcx 800, 2015 model, this would have to rate as one of the best bike's I have ever owned. put a two brothers racing exhaust on it, heated grips, touring screen , led spotties ,the protection package from triumph and the lowered comfort seat, had the engine remapped with the pipe, this thing is unbelievable, the howl from the exhaust is spine chilling when you get under it , the acceleration pulls your arms , the only bad thing is you will have trouble keeping your license, would recommend this bike to anyone looking to upgrade to a larger adventure tourer ,forget the Austrian's and german machine's with the massive price's these are gold.
A perfect bike for touring, road riding or really REALLY long trips. Its comfortable fast & very agile. Its a great bike & around 10k cheaper than a BMW alternative GS, and in my opinion its 10 times better looking. As always, great build quality from Triumph.
Riding position, low down torque, heaps of power in any gear. You can ride this all day long & never feel like it!. As a touring bike its got really good street appeal, one very sexy bike! Superb 2 year warranty! (Not that you'll need it!)
Can be expensive brand new with all the accessories, so try to find a 2nd hand one or dealer demo, as you might get a better deal. But I doubt any rider would want to part with one so good luck! :)
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