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Old 17th September 2015, 20:05   #1
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Default Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Why Triumph Tiger XRX ?

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After an extensive riding stint on the Aquila GV-650, ( 2 years and 16000 kms),I concluded that I am serious about biking and that biking is now firmly imprinted on my mental fabric.

I wanted a bike which would be :


1. Comfortable for long touring.
2. Have a fuel tank capacious enough to take me at least 300 kms at a stretch
3. Be reliable.
4. Neither outrageously tall nor very heavy. The maximum I could do with was 810 mm seat height.
5. Have a upright stance.
6. Good suspension to take ANY Indian road.
7. ABS at the minimum.
8. Shouldn't be obscenely expensive.
9. Have a good dealership network.


It took me 4 months to narrow down to Benneli GT 650, Triumph Bonneville ,Triumph Tiger and Kawasaki Versys. (after studying almost all available bikes ,seeing them in person ,riding a few; however wont discuss the details )

Benneli GT 650 was high on the list since it was reasonably priced, had a past pleasant DSK experience, a 4 cylinder motor and VFM accessories.
Since the bike is new and has not proved itself yet; and due to its Chinese origin, pointedly niggling at the back of my mind ,I let it pass with a heavy heart.

I took a test ride of the Triumph Bonneville , the stance was good, the motor smooth. I had a talk with few owners and I confirmed my findings. The suspension setup is indeed stiff. If the suspension was good, I was ready to overlook the 2 cylinder disadvantage.

A test drive on the Triumph Tiger XRX was an amazing experience.
After having rode the Benneli and the Bonneville this experience was completely different. I loved the longer suspension travel, a very well poised and extremely balanced ride..
I also took a test ride of the XC, however I found it unmanageable, owing to its height.
Although there are "lower seat" options for the Tiger XC, I am of the opinion that very few people can really take this monster out in the slush and ride it like a KTM dirt bike. It's too heavy for that.

The last one on the card was the Kawasaki Versys.
It's a huge bike again, taller for my liking and weighs substantially more than the Tiger.

The likes of BMW GS 1200 and Ducati Hypermotard did not figure on my list.


DEALER EXPERIENCE.


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I booked the Tiger through B.U.Bhandari Pune.

It is situated along the long stretch of Pashan road and has a good vantage point for test drives.
There is a stretch of "kachha" road too ;for some bumpy ride, while this road connects to the Mumbai-Pune highway.
Once on the highway, especially in the afternoon time, you can, if you want, twist the throttle, till you hit the red-line.

Test rides were available easily and for as many times one wished for.
The general work culture at the dealership is extremely professional and congenial.
The riding personal accessories available at their store have a good variety and are not as pricey as BMW or Harleys.

I paid a part payment for the booking and although I was given a tentative waiting period of a month, I got the bike in 15 days.

Generally a very responsive staff at the dealership, headed by a tall gentleman, Mr.Aswin Deshpande whose passion for bikes is remarkable. You could see him designing his own scrambler from Triumph parts .


RIDE EXPERIENCE.

On its maiden trip home, 20 kms away from the dealership, the display started showing, "Low Battery " status.

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I opened the seat cover, checked for the battery connections, they all looked fine. I was worried, could this be an alternator failure?
(I recall an incidence, when my friend riding with me to Goa on his brand new RE Classic 500 , developed a problem and the bike wouldn't start. There was no juice left in the battery, the alternator had failed and it was only a 1000 km on the odometer)

I called for RSA and the team was available in 20 minutes.
The team checked with their scanner but couldn't identify the fault.
They requested me to allow them to take the bike back to the service centre.
After my bike was taken back to the service centre, I was periodically kept informed about the progress.
A properly charged battery was installed, yet on running the vehicle, a 'bat low' sign kept appearing.
The problem was in the 'charge couple connector wire’, that apparently was loose.
So ,I was left pondering, with a question: did they not check the bike before delivery?

The bike was dropped at my residence by their staff with a full petrol tank .
I rode it for another 30 km just to check for alarms; however there were none.
After I came back home, everything about the alarms was forgotten.
The sweet triple motor music and the ride were worth all the trouble.


In the initial phases, it was a project in itself to take the bike on its Centre-stand, or remove it, move it back and forth...it was a work-out in itself with each heave and push, I could hear my heart thumping. (Not just out of the sheer physicality but due to an associated anxiety; owing to the fact that my bike did not have engine protector bars/guards). However this task became more and more easier as my muscles learnt.

Another 750 kms and a handlebar weight went missing and was replaced promptly.



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At the first servicing (at 1000 km), a thorough check up was done.

The dealership did not have engine crash guards , since Triumph had yet to release them, ADV riders had one for this bike but wouldn't ship to India.
So I happily romped, without an engine crash guard, leaving my bike at the Bike-God's mercy.
I experienced the phenomenon of 'addiction' for the first time in my life and what it meant to the afflicted soul.
In 3 months, I was busy travelling up and down the country, whenever time permitted, sometimes solo and sometimes with other bikers and before I knew it I had hit 5000 kms in 3 months time.



There is nothing to complain about the Tiger, its Ride-by-Wire throttle response is better experienced than described.

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The slightest wheel spin on that gravel or sand and the TTC takes control (Traction control)

It's as though designed for the Indian road conditions taking all those bumps, dumps, potholes in its stride like a magnificent Arabian Horse. The switchable modes from Road to Off-road, really helped. Other modes like "rain" etc, I never used.

The bike gives me an average of 21 to 23 km per litre and a full tank sees me through for a good 300 km easily.

Although not a speed-demon, I have pulled the bike on a desolate road to 210 kmph effortlessly ("normal mode" and not the "sports" mode) without experiencing too much drag, thanks to the wind deflector screen.

It's agile at the corners and brakes confidently without tail-wagging or getting unstable.

Seat height is adjustable from 830 mm to 810 mm and I can touch both my soles comfortably on the tarmac.

The pillion seat is very comfortable, since the foot peg position and the seat length is designed to carry a co-traveller for long distance.

Since the bike is recently launched, Triumph has very few accessories to offer.
Not that they are essential for long tours. The luggage tail boxes and panniers are very expensive. Those available at Triumph Stores are priced at Rs 1,000,00=00 ,with side panniers (2) ,top case ,fitting plates ,accessories and fitment charges. Hence I have decided to build my own luggage system.

Long distance touring on this bike is a breeze and I have done 800 km at a stretch in a single day on this machine.
The comfortable gel seats , the windscreen (although a bigger one would be more desirable) ,the sitting stance , the suspension quality ,the soft 3 cylinder engine with tremendous torque, efficient braking, strong dual headlights with a good throw even make night travels comfortable.

The capacity of the bike to leave the tarmac and pitch through gravel , loose mud ,slush comfortably due to its ‘all-terrain’ Pirelli Scorpion tires and traction control ;is another plus point why travelling on a Triumph is convenient ,fast and comfortable. It could surely be an alternative to cars.


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At 4000 km, I decided to change my clutch / brake levers to these:

Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-levers1.jpg


These were more comfortable.

On my ride to Hampi, Karnataka, in torrential rain, I noticed one problem. At some point my bike simply refused to start. With the key turn , the display and the fuel pump primed, but no crank.

I phoned up the RSA, and after the usual fill in the blanks, we reached to the conclusion that this problem was due to the new clutch lever we had installed. (For the record, the bike dosen't start till the clutch is fully depressed) . So a full back and forth clutch lever movement, solved the problem.


At the end of the 5000 km stint, I was getting very anxious, since I was still not getting the ‘engine crash guards’. I was at the same time putting my bike in just about every terrain (excepting snow) and a bike-drop could surely damage my engine or other sensitive parts.


Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-muddied.tiger.jpg


That’s when I decided to get in touch with my old friend Kunal who runs a superbike performance –shop, called ‘slipstream performance’. He agreed to design and fabricate engine dresser-bars for my Tiger. At the same time I was contacted by SW-Motech India ,that the Tiger crash-guards had arrived. I ordered them promptly.


Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-sw-motech-1.jpg


They are a bit heavy adding 10 kg of weight to an already heavy bike but are good. They have a very good line up of products for Adventure bike touring .( www.bigbadbikes.com).

I have ordered a DIN to cigarette lighter converter for power output .


I went on to purchase the Arrow exhaust and I was completely dissatisfied.


Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-arrow-1.jpg



After the Free-Flowing exhaust was fitted , I sacrificed the torque for the improvement in power.(marginally and I bet, I could only make it out since I had done a full 5000 km on it, anybody else who may have fitted it initially may not have made out the difference)
Also the sound becomes boring after 100 kms of ride, although you turn out to be the hero of the road. Utterly disgusted with the sound, I inserted the DB killer, fixed it for good and the sound turned soft and bearable again.


With the bike, some new additions were made to my already burgeoning bike-part possessions.

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A “Triumph Navigator “ series riding jacket; waterproof but breathable ‘sympatex’ material. I have worn it in the hottest of seasons, with all the vents opened and it wasn’t all that hot. Reliably waterproof, wore it in torrential rains, not a drop of water inside.


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A Triumph Dry-bag , for camera and accessories. Reliable, ergonomic, has a 4-point fastening system, so that the load doesn’t appear on the shoulders, good for long distance rides.

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Daytona MTX touring shoes, breathable and waterproof, also has an insole which increases the rider height by 6 cm , is a boon while riding this tall bike. Extremely comfortable, rugged and truly waterproof makes all my rides safe and comfortable.



Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-wearing-jacket-bag-me.png

A helmet cam-ADVANCE ,Korean ( I love Korean things) , just recently arrived, have not used it so far .

Will post reviews as soon as possible.


My experience with SLIME :



It so happened that while my bike had done just 600 km, a large nail punctured the rear wheel.

Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!-nail.jpg


It had to be repaired with 2 plugs. Since the puncture was on the side of the tyre and not on the crown, I decided to go ahead and use the tire.
I instilled SLIME in the recommended quantity in the rear tire hoping that, should the tire puncture at the same spot again, there would be some hope.
However at the end of 4000 km my tire was flat in a ghat section at Chorla, 55 km away from Belgaum.
I always carry my tire repair kit and a portable pump. What I found was that air was leaking from the same spot, where it was plugged previously.

So, with the pliers I pulled out the old plugs, to my dismay, the plugs had been dissolved by the Slime inside the tire. I reinstalled 3 new plugs in the same hole, prayed to God and descended the entire Ghat section and had my tire changed at Panaji, Goa.

Perhaps SLIME may not be useful, it is a deterrent .It ate away my plug and reopened the puncture site.
The new tire cost me Rs 15,000=00 .

I have adjusted the chain slack, and my bike needs new brake-pads, the rear ones are almost worn out.
Although the service intervals are 10,000 km apart, I plan to take the bike for a full service.

I am in love with my Tiger Triumph.

If there is one bike you want to stick on to for the rest of your life , want a bike with a versatility to take on any road or no-road situation, want to travel long stretches without getting tired and also want people to gloat over your bike; then this is it .Reliable ,take you anywhere bike.



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Last edited by mohan : 17th September 2015 at 20:08.
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Old 17th September 2015, 21:26   #2
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congrats on the wonderful Tiger. Excellent choice for what your needs are.
Thanks for sharing the whole buying & using experience. Great going.

Ride safe and wish you many miles of happy riding on the beast
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Old 18th September 2015, 09:22   #3
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Mohan,

Great report and I'll be following your escapades closely. I've been in love with the Tiger for quite some time now.

I second your thoughts here- if there is only one bike I could own, it will be a dual sport with mag wheels, and in India the Tiger fits that bill perfectly. And its quite a looker.

Ride safe and hope you enjoy many more miles on the Tiger!

Cheers
Sting
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Old 18th September 2015, 10:17   #4
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Once you shed the inhibitions to own/ride a faired bike or a low slung car, you can really discover places, ride/drive to any destination and take any route at your will.

I have migrated to a chassis based 4WD SUV just because of this & I hope, I can save enough to buy an ADV. Something like this Tiger which will cruise at ~100 on smooth blacktop and I go through all kinds of roads by standing on the pegs.

Low slung car & faired bikes to have a cup of coffee at a CCD can wait for further finances.

Thanks for sharing Mohan and please do continue to share your experience, may the tribe increase.
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Old 18th September 2015, 10:55   #5
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Mohan,
I suggest you get the OEM engine guard, the SW-Motech crash bar would save the fairing and tank but the engine is still vulnerable with this bar, have a look at both the bars and you would get the point, Tiger Explorer 1200 XC comes with engine guard , but for tank and fairing protection I got the SW-Motech bar( they are different for 800 and 1200) but the OEM engine design and purpose for both are similar. You can also look for the OEM auxiliary lights, they are good to have if you prefer to ride after sunset.


-Pramod

Last edited by pramods : 18th September 2015 at 10:56.
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Old 18th September 2015, 11:04   #6
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Mohan mate nice to see your Triumph Tiger XRX in flesh along with the photos that shows it going places. ADV Tourers motorcycles in India are on the roll and Triumph Tiger is at the forefront. Your experience about the riding it in different conditions and its behaviour will help ADV budding enthusiasts like me who are looking at ADV Tourers. I had one query with regards to the wheels, can the spoke(wired) wheels from the XC be retrofitted to this model? Keep sharing your views as I am glued to every ADV Tourer thread here and elsewhere.
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Old 18th September 2015, 11:11   #7
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congrats Mohan for a lovely tiger. Thanks for sharing your experience and i agree that tiger is a bike that can be kept for a long long time. Truly a versatile bike for our road conditions. Cheers and ride safe.
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Old 18th September 2015, 11:29   #8
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Mohan,

Congratulations on your well thought out decision and for sharing the detailed experience of buying and riding until now

After owning the Bonnie, this bike is high on my wish-list but just don't know when I can splurge 14 big ones on it

Great report and please continue to update the thread

Cheers
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Old 18th September 2015, 12:18   #9
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohan View Post
..I booked the Tiger through B.U.Bhandari Pune.
..
Perhaps SLIME may not be useful, it is a deterrent .It ate away my plug and reopened the puncture site.
The new tire cost me Rs 15,000=00 .
Congrats on your XRx Mohan! Wishing you many happy miles on that. I have ridden my friend's XR for quite a bit and all I can say is that it is mighty impressive! I can very well imagine how the XRx would feel like and what it is capable of!

Regarding the puncture, if the tire had some life left in it, you could have removed the tire and fixed the puncture from inside using mushroom plug. This can be done for big punctures which can't be fixed with 2 or 3 rubber strips and you won't have to change the tire just because of the puncture..

BTW. Nicely maintained Funduro there.
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Old 18th September 2015, 14:46   #10
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Default re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congrats and thanks for sharing your ownership experience.
This will be my next bike I know few who upgraded to Tiger from Bonnie in our group ( BRATS). And someone from our group is doing 16000kms ride on his brand new Tiger with his wife.
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Old 18th September 2015, 17:16   #11
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Default Re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Congrats and thanks for sharing your ownership experience.
This will be my next bike .
Thanks jkdas ,this bike wont disappoint you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
Congrats on the wonderful Tiger. Excellent choice for what your needs are.
.Thanks Haroon ,although I might have gone for the BMW 1200GS-LC if I had the height and the dough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
Mohan,

Great report and I'll be following your escapades closely. I've been in love with the Tiger for quite some time now.
Thank you Sting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I hope, I can save enough to buy an ADV. Something like this Tiger which will cruise at ~100 on smooth blacktop and I go through all kinds of roads by standing on the pegs.
Thanks Sheel ,yes whenever you would lay your hand on an ADV , let me know,we will ride together.With a Tiger XRX the world has shrunk to a small place

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramods View Post
Mohan,
I suggest you get the OEM engine guard, the SW-Motech crash bar would save the fairing and tank but the engine is still vulnerable .
Pramod
. Thanks Pramod ,I did go back and check and there is substance to what you have mentioned. I would have preferred the "Triumph" make dresser bars ,but couldnt get them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
I had one query with regards to the wheels, can the spoke(wired) wheels from the XC be retrofitted to this model?
I do not think this is possible ,since the wheels on the XC have different dimensions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djay99 View Post
Truly a versatile bike for our road conditions. Cheers and ride safe.
Thanks djay 99,its truly a versatile bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Mohan,

Congratulations on your well thought out decision and for sharing the detailed experience of buying and riding
Thank you mobike008, would love to ride with you guys someday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_of_steel View Post

BTW. Nicely maintained Funduro there.
Thanks man_of_steel , I read through the article and it was a very educative one. Yes I will see if I could get a mushroom patch done on my old tire. Or I could just plug it and also put a patch,alternatively.
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Old 19th September 2015, 03:05   #12
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Default Re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congrats Mohan on the Tiger. This really is the perfect bike for Indian roads. It's like the go anywhere kind of bike. Wish you many many happy miles - of both on and off roading.
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Old 19th September 2015, 08:50   #13
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Default Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congratulations Mohan. The Tiger is one superb machine you have, practical and VFM.

The trend is slowly shifting from sports to street/ touring / adventure touring.

With all that technology and reliable Triumph service backup, I too am tempted to own the Tiger.

Ride safe.👍

Last edited by Happysmiles : 19th September 2015 at 08:55.
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Old 19th September 2015, 18:06   #14
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Default Re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Congratulations Mohan, All the very best with your XRx!

You mentioned the Kawasaki Versys as being too tall and heavy in comparison. Could you please also list out the other differences? What is the price difference between the two?

How is the Versys to ride versus the XRx? On paper the Versys appears to be more powerful as it's a 1000cc.

Too many questions I know, but, appreciate your answers!

Thank you.

Ride safe!
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Old 19th September 2015, 19:12   #15
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Default Re: Triumph Tiger XRx : 6000 km ownership review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Congrats Mohan on the Tiger. .
Thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happysmiles View Post
I too am tempted to own the Tiger.
.I think its a valid temptation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post

How is the Versys to ride versus the XRx? On paper the Versys appears to be more powerful as it's a 1000cc.

Too many questions I know, but, appreciate your answers!

Thank you.

Ride safe!
Thanks Cyborg. I did have a look at the Kawasaki Versys.

First ,it did not appeal to me visually (Even the GT 650 Benneli dosent ,but the price does.)

Second, the curb weight of the Versys is 250 kg as compared to 212 kg of Tiger.

Third, the height is 842 mm for the Versys as compared to the 810 mm for the Tiger.

Lastly ,a price difference; Rs 13,28,000=00 for the Versys compared to Rs 12,10,000=00 for the Tiger ,ex-showroom Mumbai.

Yes, the Versys has better power and torque ratings as compared to the Tiger.
I did not ride the Versys ,so I would not know the difference in the ride quality.
For the record ,Kawasaki does not have an Indian website yet.

It is likely that the Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS may be launched officially in India at a very good price (some estimate it around 6 lakh,ex-showroom).
That would definitely make an impact on the ADV bike scenario in India.

But then, the Tiger XR ,the base model is soon to be launched which would be priced just around 10 lakh.

Last edited by mohan : 19th September 2015 at 19:20.
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