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2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Competent chassis
The 2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC is built on a classic steel tube frame that keeps pricing competitive and offers the best combination of lightness, rigidity and flexibility. Showa components specifically designed for off-road duty and Nissin brakes (308-mm dual discs up front, 255-mm single disc in the back) with optional ABS complete the chassis.

Rider seat height is adjustable so you can stow a U-shaped anti-theft device. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/

A centre stand and heated handlebars are available, but you should know that the 800XC comes standard with just about all the tools an adventurer needs: easy-to-read tachometer and speedometer, digital fuel gauge with range, clock, odometer and a digital indicator that lets you know which gear you have selected. There's also a 12-volt power outlet and tilt-adjustable headlights.

Not to be denied, the passenger benefits from a comfortable seat, low-mounted footrests and a pair of grab rails. Rider seat height is adjustable so you can stow a U-shaped anti-theft device.

Sporty tourer
I ventured near a swamp and found the perfect test bed for the new Tiger 800XC, including some wet clay and obstacle-laden trails. Then, I went drifting on the World’s Most Famous Beach in Daytona.

With an impossibly-high 845-mm rider's seat, only the tallest individuals will comfortably throw a leg over this machine; others will resort to tiptoeing at idle. The riding position in the city, with the chest nicely protected, arms extended and legs bent at a 90-degree angle, builds the urge to dominate traffic.

On these roads, the XC handles surprisingly well and even somewhat like a sport bike. The brakes remain easy to modulate at all times, and flawless stability is further ensured by the sizable ground clearance and quality suspensions that work wonders on rough stretches. The long travel helps the wire wheels soak up bumps and potholes better.

Predictable cornering makes you feel equally at ease on gravel roads, where power slide enthusiasts will have a blast. The versatile triple provides the necessary attributes to tackle steep, muddy terrain with added confidence.

The savvy mix of flexural rigidity and torsional flexibility around the frame/swingarm contributes to amazing steering precision. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/
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