Triumph motorcycles is building on the success of its Tiger 800 range with a new model enhancing its ability as an out-of-the-box bike prepared for adventure.
The new Triumph Tiger 800 XCx adds crash bars, brush guards, and a meaty-looking aluminium sump guard to protect the bike’s more fragile components. The new model also has upgraded suspension, with durable high-quality units supplied by WP, to cope with off-road riding conditions.
While I didn’t get the chance to take the XCx on an atrocious road I did fiddle with the settings through the twist-knobs on top of the forks. I can’t say I achieved a better ride but I can attest to the ease with which the suspension can be set up.
Triumph has retained the same 70kW 800cc inline triple cylinder engine used on the two existing 800 models, but has updated the gearbox selector mechanism to smooth out shifting performance.
There are also two 12-volt power outlets, one up front for plugging in a GPS unit or charging your phone, while the other is between the rider and pillion seats. Ergonomically, the XCx provides typical Triumph comfort. The sit-up-and beg riding position is easy on the body and matched with wide bars makes for great leverage of the 21-inch front wheel.
The 800 XCx comes with a small windscreen which sadly is not adjustable for height, which makes for a bit of buffeting on the helmet on the motorway. A fully adjustable unit would be a nice addition to the bike, or else an excellent optional accessory.
Pulling the Tiger XCx to a stop are dual 308mm disks with 2-piston Nissin calipers up front with a 255mm single piston at the rear. Further aiding the off-road potential, Triumph has gifted XCx riders with switchable ABS for those situations when sliding under brakes is the safer option.
The ABS system is more sophisticated than a simple on-off switch, with three modes for the rider to adapt to any situation. While many experienced riders will opt for the off setting, the off-road setting retains ABS on the front wheel, while turning it off on the rear, allowing the bike to lock the rear wheel and slide.
Other electronic wizardry Triumph has fitted the Tiger 800 XCx with is traction control to mirror the same settings as the ABS, and four different throttle maps with the usual rain, sport and off-road included. All this tech is easily controllable on the go from the handlebar.
The huge 21inch front wheel is a natural fit for off roading, with plenty of gnarly tyres available
With an adjustable seat height of 840-860mm the Tiger XCX is an approachable machine, though shorter riders will need to adjust the seat to the low position, or opt for the accessory low seat which drops seat height to 820-840mm.
Fully fuelled with 19 litres, the Tiger XCx weighs a manageable 221kg even though these triple cylinder Triumphs have a relatively high centre of gravity.
The Triumph cockpit is quite a nice place to find yourself, with easy to read dash and a comfortable riding position
The Tiger XCx has very few annoying habits, but there were two that stood out.
The first is the inclusion of self-cancelling indicators to the technology package. While I understand the idea behind them, they become a hindrance for lane splitting riders trying to escape the city (indicators on is a requirement for legally lane splitting).
Second is the plastic cover for the clutch cable where it meets the engine and tends to catch on loose trouser legs. While it doesn’t cause you to stumble off the bike, if you managed to get decently hung up on it, it would break and require a trip to the local parts dealer.
That said, when it comes to the least fun part of ownership, servicing, 10,000km service intervals mean you can get plenty of adventure in before you’ll need to visit the local bike shop ... at least for the first year while you have an unlimited km warranty under your belt.
Priced from $23,990, the Tiger 800 XCx is aimed directly at BMW’s F800GS and while it comes in $2000 more than the Beemer, the Triumph offers significantly more tech for your money — and arguably the better engine.
TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCX
ENGINE: 800cc inline 3-cylinder
PROS: Comes with factory crash bars, seat not too tall, low weight, protection from the elements, long service intervals.
CONS: High centre of gravity, bit hard for short-legged passengers to mount, auto-cancelling indicators.