Triumph took its first step into the mid-size adventure motorcycling segment in 2011 with the Tiger 800.
Fast forward to end of 2015, Triumph gave birth to the all-new Triumph Tiger XC 800 (dual purpose) and Triumph Tiger XR (road).
I was invited to review the new Triumph Tiger 800 XCx (the lower cap ‘x’ at the end XC and XR simply means it is fitted with extras) which took me on a road trip from Kuala Lumpur to the southern part of Thailand.
The ride was from Kuala Lumpur to Pak Bara in Satun to Pak Meng beach in Trang to Khao Sok in Surat Thani to Hat Yai and back to Kuala Lumpur which I rode together with the Riders Association of Triumph (Rat) Pack and a few other journalists.
Within the first hour of my ride on the highway to Sungai Perak from Kuala Lumpur, it was evident that the new Tiger 800XCx is remarkably easy to ride with plenty of power upon demand, good handling and balance and ergonomics.
The Tiger 800 XCx is comfortable with firm seating which is height adjustable, between 33 to 34 inches from the ground.
My reach to handlebar and foot pegs was natural with saddle position which was ideal for my 6ft frame that allows me to stand at ease.
While clocking above 120kph from Sungai Perak to Gurun petrol station, there was little wind buffeting.
The RM68,773 800 XCx comes with an adjustable windshield that was able to keep my head intact to my neck.
This Tiger also comes with a cruise control which is definitely useful on any long journey of this sort.
I must admit that the new 800 XCx design exudes ‘macho’. It fits the character of an adventure bike and many will surely agree with me on this.
On the highway in Malaysia I had access to ample power and torque at 3,000rpm. I could feel power surging instantaneously.
The Tiger’s power band is very progressive, strong yet manageable as it peaks from 3,200rpm onwards.
With a powerful engine matched to a 196kg weight, accelerating the bike was a breeze. I have no complaints on the throttle response.
Regardless of what speed and rpm I was on; I did not feel any twitch in power delivery. Simply awesome! In Thailand, we were challenged by numerous sweeping and tight corners.
Every corner exits in Thailand was fun because the in-line three-cylinder engine of the Tiger gave me the instantaneous power that I needed.
All together about 30 Triumph owners of various Triumph models rode together.
This fun, loving Rat Pack only reminded me that riding is all about fun and positive attitudes.
One of the more seasoned rider, Mike who is 60-plus years old on his Bonneville definitely got me thinking when he said, “I get old if I don’t ride not because I am old and I can’t ride,”. Made a lot of sense to me.
The gear shifts was smooth and quiet. I found it very easy and quick to shift the gears up and down at any speed. The engineers have definitely done a good job here.
On first gear, the 800XCx is comfortable at 75kph without any strain on the engine meanwhile the second gear gave me the necessary push to maintain a highway speed at 105kph before going full throttle on the rest of the gear upshifts.
And believe me, there was no vibration at all on this bike be it on any gear at any rpm.
While riding in the rain at about 120kph from Khao Sok to Haadyai, I had to slam on the brakes hard few times because of the huge potholes.
The 800 XCx was able to stop instantly with the reliable dual 308mm disks with 2-piston Nissin calipers up front complemented by a 255mm single piston at the rear.
The Tiger’s Ride-by-Wire throttle control, which comes with Rain, Road, Sport and Off Road riding modes are designed to adapt to any riding possibility with optimum comfort and safety.
On the highway the Sport mode is aggressive and fun. But it was just too much for me.
Meanwhile the rain mode was good enough to give me enough traction on wet Thai roads, yet the ride was pleasant and smooth. But personally, the best riding mode is the touring.
The power delivery on touring mode is very gradual yet fast.
The availability of an off-road mode on the bike gave me all the courage I needed while riding through Khao Sok’s back roads and pot holes.
Going through uneven and muddy road during a heavy downpour can be unpredictable.
But the 800XCx makes its way with ease with the assistance of the traction control and anti-lock braking system (ABS).
And I chose the off-road ride mode which was a perfect match.
The ABS is configured much differently in off-road than for the three road-going modes, which goes to say that the engineers in Triumph knew what they were doing.
After travelling close to 2,900km with the Rat Pack on the Triumph Tiger XCx 800, my conclusion is - this is one bike that I will recommend to anybody looking for a middle-weight adventure bike.