Posted: 28 Jul 2011 10:00 PM PDT
Hey guys, Graham here, and last week, we’re at Triumph’s demo day in lovely Concord, California to test ride the all-new for 2011 Triumph Tiger 800.
I was riding the extra tall XC version, which sits a few inches higher than the standard Tiger, but is mechanically identical. I can’t emphasize enough how thankful tall guys like me are that Triumph takes the time to make the taller model. Check it out.
The Tiger 800 is built around a fuel injected 799 cubic centimeter three cylinder engine, which Triumph says has been designed with a long stroke for improved low end torque to suit the demands of the 473 pound motorcycle both on and off the road.
The all-aluminum motor puts out 95 horsepower and 58 pound feet of torque.
But more important than the specs is how the engine feels on the road, and it’s simply suburb. Unlike torquey, single cylinder dual sport bikes that rocket out of the hole only to fall flat at higher RPMs, the Tiger pulls smoothly from a start and just keeps going, it all feels very progressive and predictable, which suits the sort of big mileage riding that the bike is designed for.
I do, however, have one gripe about the engine: It sounds like a vacuum cleaner, which was confirmed by the gentleman behind me after the ride.
Needless to say, the tall and upright bike was easy and comforting to ride through town traffic, but it got even better when we hit the twisties. While it’s tall stance means the Tiger will never corner as hard or change direction as fast as it’s sportier stablemates, but it will get down into a corner when you ask it to. But the Tiger really shines when the road conditions deteriorate. While the guys on the Speed Triples and Supersports had to straighten out and stand the bikes up going over the rough stuff, the firm but long-travel suspension of the Tiger soaks bumps and cracks up like they’re not even there.
Our test bike did without the optional anti lock brakes, but even with ABS, the Tiger sells for about 12,000 dollars, which undercuts it’s chief rival, the BMW F 800 GS by nearly 1000 dollars.
We haven’t had the chance to ride one of those yet, though, so far now, the Tiger 800 XC has set the bar pretty high.
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Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to order your copy of the 2011 print edition of Inline Performance Magazine HERE at the pre-order price for a limited time.
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