As the number of available and forthcoming adventure motorcycles swells to unprecedented numbers, it seemed only wise that manufacturers like Triumph would refine their current offerings to keep pace. Usually such improvements and updates are modest, but not this year, and not for the already excellent Triumph Tiger 800.
We at Overland International have already bought into the Tiger as an excellent option. Our own Sinuhe Xavier has been chronicling the build of his beautiful white Tiger in a series of editorials featured in Overland Journal. Scott Brady, during his evaluation of the industry’s leading adventure bikes, said the Tiger 800 was the best in its class, handily besting the equally sized BMW 800. Naturally, we were thrilled to see the 2015 Tiger get updated and given the modest price, think more consumers will forgo the alternatives in favor of what is easily one of the best bikes on the market in terms of bang for buck. So, how did Triumph manage to make the Tiger even better?
For our audience, one with a genuine appetite for dirt, it is the new Tiger 800 XCx model that will hold the greatest appeal. Still fitted with a 21-inch front wheel, it now has traction control, switchable ABS, three riding modes with complimenting throttle mapping, all paired to a new ride-by-wire throttle for improved control. The engine has been modified to produce 17% better fuel efficiency with mpg numbers jumping substantially from 55 mpg to 65 mpg. The XC models, of which there are now two, now get WP suspension bits and the entire package receives modest, but noticeable aesthetic updates.
Below are more comprehensive details direct from Triumph.
The switchable ABS system is standard on all Tiger 800 models and uses the latest technology to prevent wheel lock-up, ensuring maximum confidence and control in any road condition. On the XR and XC models, the ABS can be turned “On” or “Off”.
Riders on the XRx or the XCx can further customize their preferences for the ABS settings via the bikes three advanced Riding Modes. When “Off Road” mode is selected, the ABS is disabled to the rear wheel and the system also allows a level of front wheel slip. This provides the rider with a level of electronic intervention under braking whilst optimizing their off-road enjoyment.
Triumph Traction Control:
Triumph Traction Control (TTC) is standard across all models. This feature prevents the unexpected spinning of the rear wheel, cutting the engine torque to avoid the loss of lateral grip ensuring maximum confidence and control both on or off road. The rider can select their TTC setting to either “On” or “Off” on the XR and XC models.
The higher specification ‘x’ versions provide “Road”, “Off-Road”, or “Off” settings. In the “Off-Road” mode, the traction control system allows increased rear wheel slip compared to “Road” mode. Riders can configure their traction control preferences in conjunction with the 3 Rider Mode settings.
With a choice of 4 different throttle maps on XRx and XCx models, riders can select the optimum setting to meet both riding and weather conditions. The throttle maps can easily be changed via the switch cube to provide greater levels of control to meet changing conditions.
The difference between the maps is given by the throttle opening against the butterfly position: the new engine delivers full power with all the maps, but the rider needs a different opening of the throttle to achieve the same response:
· The Rain map reduces the throttle response to suit wet and slippery situations.
· The Road map represents the standard map, extremely linear and smooth for everyday conditions.
· The Sport map offers a sharper and quicker response with less throttle twist required.
· The Off-Road map provides the optimal throttle response to face dirt tracks and unpaved terrains, perfect to suit the off-road attitude of the new Tigers.
Three Riding Modes:
A key feature on the XRx and XCx models is the ability to configure the bike to the terrain at the press of a button. When riding between road and off-road terrains, a simple press of the mode button followed by the release of the throttle and pull of the clutch lever allows the rider to swap between Road and Off-Road settings. This automatically configures the ABS, Traction Control, and Throttle Maps with the bike still in motion to best tackle the route ahead. There are three models available:
1. ROAD SETTING – automatically sets the ABS, Traction Control, and Throttle Map to ‘ROAD’ setting
2. OFF ROAD SETTING – automatically sets the ABS, Traction Control, and Throttle Map to “OFF-ROAD” therefore reducing the ABS and traction control intervention allowing for a level of slip.
3. PROGRAMMABLE RIDER MODE – this mode is fully configurable and allows the rider to select their chosen settings for ABS, Traction Control, and a choice of 4 x Throttle Maps independently. As an added safety measure, should the rider select a mode that requires ABS or Traction Control to be disabled, simply come to a stop and push the mode button and these features will be deactivated.
The new Tiger is the first bike in the middleweight adventure sector to offer cruise control. Standard on the XRx and XCx models, cruise control makes light work of long rides reducing rider fatigue and optimising fuel consumption.
All variants feature trip computers. The range topping ‘x’ models add additional functionality such as journey time, average speed, average fuel economy, range to empty, and instantaneous fuel consumption.
MORE EFFICIENT TRIPLE ENGINE
The original Tiger 800 redefined what riders should expect from the middleweight Adventure class and the new Tiger has pushed that further. Delivering an even more satisfying, exciting and rewarding ride, the new Tiger is a more comfortable and refined motorcycle with more mpg, more agility and improved touring capability for 2015.
The Tiger’s 95PS three-cylinder engine gives the bike a unique character and sophisticated feel. Inside the engine a range of changes have reduced mechanical noise and strengthened the premium feel of the triple. The 800cc unit is a rewarding engine that pulls strongly and smoothly from low speeds, delivers a wide spread of mid-range power and still lets the rider use the higher revs, right up to the 10,000rpm limit. Making the most of the engine’s eager character has now been made even easier thanks to a lighter and more precise gear change action, which now uses parts from Triumph’s class-leading Daytona 675 supersport bike.
Fuel consumption has been hugely improved – up by 17% on the “mixed use” cycle (European GTR2 test cycle) to 65mpg, and given the 5 gallon fuel tank capacity it now has a potential range of 272 miles to a dry tank meaning longer riding between stops. This is a 50 miles improvement per full tank of fuel over the outgoing Tiger 800.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The new Tiger has a class-leading chassis, which translates to outstanding handling on the road. The Tiger gives plenty of feedback to the rider and has high stability and neutrality, putting the bike exactly where the rider wants it to be on both smooth and uneven surfaces. The XR models are fitted with Showa suspension, calibrated to ensure excellent handling on any surface. The front suspension is a 43 mm Showa USD fork, now anodised black. The rear suspension includes a Showa mono-shock which is preload adjustable, allowing easy adjustment and flexibility to tailor the suspension setting to meet the requirements of every journey, be it a spirited solo ride or a comfortable two-up with panniers adventure.
WP suspension has been used to further boost the Off-Road riding qualities of the new XC models. The WP 43mm USD fork, with rebound and compression damping is easily adjustable through dedicated clickers on the fork tops. The rear suspension unit is a WP mono shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping and has a dedicated dirt protector for the RSU body.
The wheels emphasize the different personalities of the XR and XC models. The new Tiger XR is fitted with light-weight cast aluminium wheels, 17-inch diameter at the rear and 19-inch at the front, measuring 4.25 and 2.5 inches in width respectively, they ensure superb handling and stability. The XC models feature spoke wheels for superior durability on rough terrain: 17-inch diameter at the rear with 4.25 inches in width and off-road oriented 21-inch diameter at the front with 2.5 inches in width.
The new Tiger 800 has been given a new look with a new radiator shroud and tank side panels that have sharp lines and taut surfaces. The new bodywork gives the bike a more prone, dynamic stance but the styling isn’t all just about cosmetic gain, the Tiger’s fuel tank styling also ducts hot air from the engine away from the rider’s legs. The new “Titanium” powder coat finish on the double-tube frame highlights the rugged looks of the frame whilst the semi-matte finish on the engine combined with the bike’s black wheels and handlebars gives the new Tiger a sophisticated, premium look.
Practical touches are plentiful. Alongside the adjustable rider seat height and handlebar position the bike gets a large-for-the-class 19 litre fuel tank, a quick-adjust headlight angle lever for 2-up riding, an Auxiliary power socket near the ignition switch and sump guard as standard on all models.
Comfort has been improved with both versions getting changes in geometry designed to reduce weight on the wrists and to increase legroom. With both bikes also having adjustable seats and handlebars, the rider has the most comfortable and adaptable riding position in the class.
Weather protection has been improved whilst riding thanks to the combination of the new bodywork, which keeps the iconic Triumph ‘raised shoulder’ profile along with a new fly screen. On the XRx and XCx the screen is adjustable without tools with the x models also receive newly designed hand guards to increase rider protection.
TIGER 800 XCx
95PS / 94bhp / 70kW @ 9250rpm
79Nm / 58ft.lbs @ 7850rpm
Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC in-line 3-cylinder
840mm-860mm (820-840mm with Low Seat)
WP 43mm upside down forks with adjustable rebound and compression damping, 220mm travel
WP monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound
damping adjustment, 215mm rear wheel travel
Twin 308mm floating discs, Nissin 2-piston floating calipers, switchable ABS
Single 255mm disc, Nissin single piston floating caliper, switchable ABS
High level front mudguard
Fully adjustable front suspension
Fully adjustable rear suspension
Adjustable brake and clutch levers
12v Power Socket
Engine protection bars
Advanced trip computer
Road and off-road riding modes
Three configurable Rider riding mode
Aluminium sump guard
Additional auxiliary 12 v power socket
TRIUMPH GENUINE ACCESSORIES
A selection of accessory packs have been developed for the new Tiger range. With a choice of Sports, Comfort, Touring, Protection, and Luggage packs, riders can personalize their Tiger to meet their own needs.
The new Tiger range will be available in Triumph dealerships beginning in Spring 2015 with pricing starting at $11,399.