Launched in 2011, the Triumph Tiger 800XC
is gradually making a name for itself in the middleweight adventure bike segment. Equally at ease on pavement and gravel, it targets a large number of riders looking for a fun and friendly everyday bike that can double as a go-anywhere weekend warrior.
The 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC excels off the beaten path thanks to a great package including:
- 21" spoked wheel up front with a narrower tire than the standard Tiger 800;
- Hand guards;
- 45mm upside down Showa forks with 220 mm of travel;
- Skid plates;
- Beak-shaped dual front fender (now a staple of adventure motorcycles).
The seat is also 35 mm higher than the regular Tiger's, and offers 20 mm of adjustment (845-865 mm). Meanwhile, the wider handlebars reduce fatigue.
Civilized performance, dependable capability
|The 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC excels off the beaten path thanks to a great package. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Both Tiger models use the same 799cc engine from the Street Triple 675, so expect 94 hp at 9,300 rpm and 58 lb-ft of torque at 7,850 rpm. Within the first few minutes of riding, the numerous upgrades to the powertrain are glaringly obvious.
The 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC's more civilized, yet fatter, torque curve contributes to its very flexible nature. The engine picks up speed from ultra-low revs without bucking, and progressively climbs toward the halfway point of the tachometer. Beyond 5,500 rpm, it becomes more aggressive and delivers typical Triumph thrills and sound effects up until the rev limiter steps in.
Unlike the twin-cylinders of most rivals, the British triple of the 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC can be exploited across a wide rev range, even from just 1,500 rpm. It works wonders both in city traffic and in tough conditions over any terrain.
The 6-speed transmission it's mated to proves sharp and allows for smooth gear shifts. It also keeps engine revs pretty low on the highway for reduced vibration, noise, and fuel consumption. Speaking of which, I achieved around 6.2L/100km during moderate riding.
Designed and geared for the road less travelled
|The Tiger 800XC use the same 799cc engine from the Street Triple 675, so expect 94 hp at 9,300 rpm and 58 lb-ft of torque at 7,850 rpm. (Photo: France Ouellet)
While a centre stand and heated grips are optional, the 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC has all the standard features you need to quench your thirst for adventure. Consider:
- Easy-to-read speedometer and tachometer;
- Gear position indicator;
- Fuel gauge;
- Trip metre and range metre;
- 12V power outlet;
- Adjustable headlight.
Lockable hard cases are available. The right one is specifically shaped to accommodate the big muffler, and therefore boasts half the cargo capacity of the left one, which easily swallows a full-face helmet.
The natural riding position and nicely sculpted seat help you cover a lot of ground without feeling any strain, while the wide handlebars, and short distance between said handlebars and the rider's seat, allow you to shift your weight around to better control your drift. Not to be overlooked: Passenger comfort is provided by a soft seat, low footrests, and convenient grab rails.
When the road starts to deteriorate, the long-travel suspension and spoked wheels of the 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC soak up the various imperfections and combat inertia when cornering more effectively than the regular Tiger 800. What's more, the proper combination of longitudinal rigidity and lateral flexibility achieved by the frame and swingarm makes for remarkable riding precision. The tail always feels glued to the ground and ready to transfer all the power from the engine, both in straight lines and corners.
The front brake may lack some bite, but it remains very easy to modulate, which is a must in off-road riding. Moreover, the 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC adds switchable ABS, a competent system that proves unobtrusive.
|The natural riding position and nicely sculpted seat help you cover a lot of ground without feeling any strain. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Tailor-made for adventurers
The XC variant of the 2013 Triumph Tiger 800 is a true adventure bike, with styling, ergonomics, and handling that enhance the riding experience in virtually any condition.
Save for the engine, every component seems to have been upgraded for extreme versatility and great all-around performance. You can take this machine on long trips without worrying about rough terrain and steep trails along the way. Comprehensive equipment, GT-like comfort, a spirited engine, and a highly capable chassis are all yours for a price ($13,399) that's on par with direct rivals.
|The XC variant of the Tiger 800 is a true adventure bike, with styling, ergonomics, and handling that enhance the riding experience in virtually any condition. (Photo: France Ouellet)
- Flexible and responsive engine
- Friendly ride on any terrain
- Generally comfortable
- Sharp and agile
- Centre stand is optional
- Front brake lacks some bite on the road