Genuine Adventure from Triumph

The adventure motorcycle market may appear crowded, but there are few models that deliver on the promise of remote travel and trail performance. Manufacturers often make the mistake of just addressing dirt performance with more adventurous offerings, but it requires far more than a skid plate and wire wheels to ride around the world. A proper long-distance ADV benefits from solutions like a 500-plus-pound payload, sufficient fuel range and economy, rider comfort and ergonomics, adjustable suspension, a strong subframe, all-weather ABS and traction control, tough wheels, and appropriate skid plates and crash bars. Triumph addresses nearly all of these needs with the new XCa models.

The 800 XCa comes complete with a factory skid plate, handguards, radiator guard, 21-inch wire front wheel, crash bars, tall windscreen, heated grips and seat, adjustable suspension, adjustable ABS and traction control, and even cruise control. This, combined with the specially tuned WP suspension provides an extremely capable dirt adventurer.

Roads are often part of our experience as adventure motorcyclists and a serious component of the fun. Unleashing the nearly 100 horsepower of the 800 or nearly 150 horsepower of the 1200 results in exhilarating handling and acceleration.

We tested the previous 1200 Tiger and it was limited in the dirt with a soft suspension. This is no longer a concern with the firmly valved and longer travel WP suspension. It is difficult to describe how much better the new Tiger 1200 is in the dirt, but it has so far exceeded all of our expectations.

It is so good to see legitimate competition in the ADV market, Triumph delivering exciting models and options with genuine travel credibility. The 1200 Tiger also includes adventure specific modifications, including a bash plate, off-road traction control and ABS, adjustable suspension, auxiliary lighting and more.

We intentionally exposed the new 800 to moderately technical terrain and it did not disappoint. The multi-mode traction control greatly improves effectiveness on the dirt and the 21-inch front wheel easily lofts over pumpkin-sized boulders.

Most 1200 owners never take their motorcycle on a trail, but the world of dirt is waiting. Just a bit of training and a few thoughtful modifications make all of the difference.

A few weeks ago, Expedition Portal received two new Triumph XCa Tigers for a long-term test, evaluations that will include technical terrain and long road trips. Look to these pages in the next few weeks for the comprehensive testing and results of these exciting new models. 

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Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona