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Old 26th May 2022, 20:53   #1
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Default 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Triumph Tiger 800 XRx, October 2018
Color: Matte Black
Odo / age: ~23,000 kms and 3.5 yrs+


2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-opening-pic.jpg



Prequel: The married man’s guide to buying a Superbike*


I’ve read many a bike ownerships on this forum. Some get straight to the point, others start with an engaging prologue, then again, some start with a stunning image of their steed. For me personally, I think it is only appropriate that I start this thread with a bit of a prequel on my one sage mantra, which has enabled me to buy three superbikes since 2017.

I had tried to purchase a bike on a number of occasions after I got married. But it was always summarily dismissed before I even got past the first sentence. Apparently if you are a father / son / husband, motorcycles are off the table! The closest I got to any meaningful riding during these years was a 2015 riding holiday on rental Royal Enfields in Ladakh with my college mates – one which my wife grudgingly acquiesced to, making it quite clear on my return that I wasn’t to embark on such ill-conceived reckless adventures ever again. Too late though, love! The itch was now firmly back and I was clear that I must own a motorcycle. Beaten down through numerous "Permission Denied" pronouncements over the years, it was around this time that I was introduced to these wise words …


2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-motto-v1.jpg


Aforesaid sage mantra was suitably deployed in 2017 to purchase my first superbike - the incredibly capable & desirable Street Triple 765 S. For good measure, I picked my fortieth birthday, just to improve my odds of staying married and not being given the boot. Basically booked the bike, came home and announced sheepishly that a non – refundable deposit had been paid, proceeding to duly seek forgiveness in all earnestness. That it was September helped, with the upcoming 40th, but crucially a very important bridge was crossed at home – motorcycling was now through the door. Future bike purchases will now be tested on the financial / need arguments – as opposed to the threshold insurmountable mountain - motorcycling is too dangerous!.

The selection process for that bike is a story in itself, with the first test ride starting from a Benelli 300 moving gradually up via the Ninja 650 and Street Twin till I finally reached the Street Triple as the first bike I’d like to buy. But even when I finally zeroed in and bought the Striple though, it was its larger more imposing sibling that had stolen my heart. Despite getting back on the saddle after several years, the Tiger during my brief test ride, was not as intimidating on the move as I felt seeing it from the sideline. Mind you, these were the observations of a rider who’d never owned anything larger than a Royal Enfield. The head prevailed over the heart however - and while there was a 2000 km run nearly new Tiger 800 XRx to be had for just a little more than a new Street Triple, I just felt more confident plonking a million plus greenbacks on the more accessibly sized Striple.

All was well, life insurance covers were ramped up, the wife had begrudgingly accepted that the husband had added motorcycling to running and cycling and the chances of me being found at home on a Sunday until late morning were one notch bleaker.

But it was clearly not enough. The heart still skipped a beat every time I saw Tigers and other big ADVs roaring in on our rides. A little over one year, a grand 2800 kms and many Sunday “breakfast rides” later, I was happenchance out on a Sunday ride with an all ADV group. For the uninitiated, ADV riders are the blooming sods flying nonchalantly over invisible potholes and speed breakers on village back roads, while you urgently brake your way, pussyfooting your sexy street bike to navigate these ball busters - sorry speed breakers.

Pic below from a Triumph group ride - for representative purpose only of one such blooming sod who we have to watch in envy as we navigate at drop dead speed
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tiger-rep-pic2.jpg

That ride, it would turn out, was the proverbial final nail in the coffin. I returned home with the remote intent of owning an ADV fast turning into an immediate want, and the immediate want, fast turning into immediate action. Timing wasn’t on my side though. I wanted an ADV. I wanted the Tiger! And I wanted it right away!! I loved my Street Triple to bits but I knew if I was to ride more, and to ride long, only an ADV was really going to cut it for me.

This was Sunday. Made a few calls to Triumph over Monday and Tuesday. By Thursday (sometime in October 2018), the Striple was parked at Shaman Triumph and a downpayment cheque was being processed for a brand new Tiger 800. The only hitch, this time around - I was already a month past my birthday, (in itself, an unremarkable 41 as magical number birthdays go).

One step at a time. The married man’s mantra was about to be tested a second time.


2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-getting-ready-tell-my-wife.jpg

Me: Baby!

She: Baby??? What have you done now!!

Me: You know how I always wanted an ADV. It seems that is the one bike that will really unlock the kind of riding I want to do. And its best that we sell the Street Triple asap so it doesn’t depreciate further and buy a Tiger right away. No point waiting longer.

She: What’s wrong with your current bike. Does it not get you to your breakfast place fast enough? Exactly how far DO you want to travel for omelette pav!

Me: No, no. ADVs are much better suited to our roads

(Crap! How do you pitch this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like I want to spend several lakh more, on a weekend toy, so I do not need slow down for speed breakers!)

She: Let’s sleep over this - we don’t have to decide immediately.

Me: Actually its been given to Shaman and I put a down payment on the Tiger already.

Sheepish look redeployed.

She: What??? How much?

Me: 20,000/-. Its non-refundable, unfortunately. Some October deal on with free accessories worth 1.5 lakh thrown in which would have lapsed.

The words non - refundable have a magic effect on the fairer sex. Free and 1.5 lakh were for the “belts and braces” approach to clinch it.

She: So why even bother telling me. Just do whatever you please!!

The typical married man would often buckle under the pressure of these words. But not the committed motorcyclist - once you’ve leaned into this curve, the only exit is to throttle your way out. We’re made of iron butts and thicker skin after all!

This declaration is typically followed by a cold shoulder period of 24 hours. You have to be prepared for this wade through this silent storm. The information will eventually sink in. Normalcy will soon prevail. Conversations must now immediately be veered towards how happy you are with the purchase, and how much you look forward to several aspects of it etc. That makes the purchase itself a foregone conclusion. We are now being berated for what trips we “shouldn’t” be taking on the bike in the immediate future - a perfectly acceptable proposition to lose for the aspiring motorcyclist (“How to embark on forbidden motorcycle trips” is reserved for a later series).

Finally it was through. The Striple was out and the Tiger was in. I have to say while the kms may not speak much, I did dearly love my time for the Striple however much the above narrative may suggest otherwise. I'm dropping below some images of the beautiful red Street Triple on its last ride and some of the initial few pics of the Tiger.


My Street S on its last ride ...
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-striple-moving-pic.jpg

... and a pic collage from the same ride.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-striple-collage.jpg

The big cat on delivery day. Note the larger stock windscreen in these early pics (also the "absent" beak, which has to be added aftermarket). Most recent images will show the aftermarket shorter powerbronze windscreen that I installed sometime in the middle of life of my Tiger's ownership.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-delivery-1.jpg

Side by side pic of the Tiger and a friend's Street Triple for some size perspective.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tiger-striple-black.jpg




On that note, on to some motorcycling and more specifically, some Tiger talk!



* - End Note:
Before anyone embarks on misadventures based on the above, please note that this post (even though factually accurate for most part) was formally approved by the missus, who is a stellar sport, contrary to what the post might suggest!

The author disclaims any liability that may arise from said misadventures attempted by other husbands aspiring to be motorcyclists based on such misguided inspiration.

Last edited by Axe77 : 2nd June 2022 at 17:38.
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Old 26th May 2022, 20:54   #2
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Tiger 800: A brief introduction

The Tiger 800 is arguably one of the most popular big ADVs out there in the Indian market with the Tiger moniker carrying a massive sub brand identity in its own right. The 800 - 900 segment in itself is considered by many the sweet spot of ADV ownership. Its proper big bike territory unlike its 300-600 cc counterparts and not in full fat 1200 cc weight class category to make itself needlessly unwieldy when out on tougher terrains. If you read and follow specific international owner groups, there are plenty of 1200 cc Tiger / ADV owners who’ve moved back to 800 / 900 Tigers from the 1200 cc segment or alternately made a conscious decision to stay in the 800/900 cc segment.

This particular model (MY 2018) is slightly unique. It followed on and made up to 200 changes from the MY 2014-2017/18 vintage bikes including notably moving on from analog to that glorious TFT screen paired with the user friendly 5 way joystick controller, (previously seen on the Street Triple RS variant). This was sold till about 2020 before the all new Tiger 900s were launched. If you absolutely love that sweet, true blue 800 cc inline 3 engine variant over the newer 900s with the revised firing order giving it a twin like character - AND - you love your TFTs, then these 2018/2019 bikes are the only ones that will give you this combo. The creamy smooth and sporty inline 3 fun factor with the modern TFT screen to behold.

The range nomenclature remained the same, the XR brought in the base road biased version which loses several features. The XRx is the fully loaded (absent the XRt in the Indian market) version of the road based model. Next follows the XCx - which is the off road biased variant. There also sits an XCa on top of the range which gets a few additional goodies over and above the XCx. Amongst other differences like heated seats IIRC, the XRt was sold internationally with full LED headlights while the XRx in contrast only come with with LED DRLs. The DRLs itself add a neat touch although the full LEDs would of course have been more than welcome.

In this particular generation notably, choosing any XC series bike meant getting spoke tubed wheels. The downside here is that you don’t have the same ‘on the fly’ puncture repair convenience of its tubeless, alloy wheel shod XRx counterpart. The spoke wheel shod Rally Pro in the new 900s most importantly now come with tubeless spoked wheels - a MUCH welcome change.

At the time of purchase, this bike went head on with the BMW 750 / 850 GS twins and arguably the Africa Twin DCT (although that bike sort of sat somewhere a hint above these bikes and somewhere below the GS 1200


Options considered:

At the time of buying this bike, none.

The GS 1200 was well out of budget. I really wasn’t interested in the GS 750 / 850 (or maybe those weren’t in the market just yet - I can’t recall. The Versys and similar were never ever in the fray - 17” wheel, too top heavy and tall, much more road touring biased, parallel twin would have been a meaningful step DOWN from the Striple’s inline 3 - it wasn’t what I was looking for - period.

I was selling the Street Triple in order to make the purchase palatable. In a perfect world I would have loved to keep the Striple too but there’s only so much that post facto “forgiveness” can deliver 14 months apart and I had every intent to remain married - at least for the foreseeable future. In any event, it was beyond budget and justification at that point to keep both. I had after all put in a mere 2800 kms in just over a year of ownership.

Choice of variant

Coming to the choice of variant itself, for the uninitiated, the Tiger 800 basically comes in two families - the XR series denotes the 19" alloy wheel shod road biased version while the XC series represents the more off-road biased version, complete with 21" spoke wheel keeping it true to its purpose. At this point, it must be said, that unlike many sports touring 17" front wheel ADVs, both series of the Tiger are equally accomplished across the range of riding spectrum. The road biased XRx is tremendously capable in most off road scenarios as well while I've seen accomplished riders throw around the XCx on tarmac the way one would treat a sportsbike. For the shorter rider, the XRx is just that little bit more accessible from terra firma and that pretty much was an easy decision for me. If I were to buy a 900 Tiger today though, I'm pretty sure I'd opt for the Rally Pro (XCx equivalent in 2022 speak), having gained a little more confidence handling tall heavy adventure bikes over the last four years.

Dealership: The buying and delivery experience
Shaman Triumph, Mumbai.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-delivery-day.jpg

There’s not much I recall about the delivery itself but Shaman Triumph were as always uber efficient with every aspect of the delivery process. At the time of purchase, there was the option of getting a cash discount of INR 45k or so (IIRC) or alternately the full three set expedition pannier kit worth approximately Rs. 1.45 lakh. I wisely chose the latter, a decision I have ultimately not regretted considering just how much I have put the top box alone to use and also on the odd crucial occasion, the hard side panniers.

The bike effectively cost about Rs. 16.16 Lakh or thereabouts IIRC (the MRP without the cash discount) and the three set panniers thrown in. The accessories listed below are of course over and above that price and while a lot of it was purchased over the period of ownership, its a tidy amount in itself).

Dealership: The service experience
Shaman Triumph, Mumbai (and occasional support from BU Bhandari, Pune)


In one word: stellar. I have used the services of both the Mumbai as well as on the odd occasion, the Pune & Goa dealership - they have both been absolutely fantastic without exception.

Atul at Shaman Mumbai is utterly reliable and I trust him completely with all matters concerned with my bike. I know a lot has been said of the negative experiences with several dealerships in other parts of the country, specially down south, but I have never had cause to complain with the quality, turnaround time or the general responsiveness of the Triumph teams - ever!

Service intervals are 10,000 kms or one year apart (whichever is earlier) and routine services can cost anything between Rs. 10,000 - 20,000 (it follows alternate year major / minor service). AMC service packages can make some sense in the context of cost of ownership. Brakes and other wear and tear / consumable items aren’t cheap and neither are tyres, which on a bike like this you might find yourself changing every 13-15,000 kms depending on how hard you’ve been riding.

In terms of extraordinary issues, the only one I’ve had is a clutch that gave way prematurely because it took more than its fair share of beating on the soft dunes and sand trails in Rajasthan. Although it did get cooked (my inexperience I’m sure) during that ride, it still got me back safely to Jaipur base before routine trucking back before I had to replace it when I returned to Bombay. Cost me a whopping 75,000 bucks give or take, that little adventure.

Other than that, the Tiger is built SOLID! I’ve had no out of the ordinary issues and this is despite using this ADV in every kind of condition. This bike has seen less of Starbucks at Horniman and a lot more coffee on the fly by lakesides & other wilderness. You can drop the bike, abuse it all you like, but you have that confidence that - IT WILL START and get going at the back of all of this.

Bike: Accessories installed

Mechanically speaking, the bike is bone stock with no engine / technical mods whatsoever - not even an aftermarket exhaust. ADVs require and can involve a disproportionate quantum of accessories though - I’ve listed below the ones I have added. Some of these accessories were installed immediately while many others have been installed over a three year+ ownership period.

In short, this is pretty much a FULLY KITTED OUT bike, ready for touring or adventure. I’m hard pressed to think of a single “must have” accessory that one would “need” to install on the bike for any kind of use - perhaps at best a side stand extender if I were to nitpick. It even has a Givi toolkit installed inside the left pannier mount. Saves regular luggage space while touring.

1. Triumph OEM Beak
2. Radiator guard (Triumph)
3. Engine guard (Triumph)
4. Fuel tank guard (Hepco Becker).
5. Bark buster hand guards.
6. Side pannier mounts (OEM)
7. Fork bobbin protector
8. Aluminium sump guard (replaces the stock plastic one) (Triumph OEM)
9. Main stand (Triumph OEM)
10. Headlight protector (Triumph OEM)
11. Powerbronze aftermarket shorter screen (easier while trail / rain riding).
12. Givi toolkit case (fixed within the left pannier frame)
13. Full three piece by Triumph (Givi) - the top of line OEM Expedition pannier kit.
14. One set of Aux lights (Baja Squadron Pro) with removable (yellow) fog cover. Bought and installed from Shaman Triumph.
15. One set of Gold Runway Aux lights (bought from Speed Merchant, installed by Shaman Triumph)
16. SW Motech tank bag clamp (used for my 5 - 9 ltrs expandable day bag)

Last edited by Axe77 : 2nd June 2022 at 18:28.
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Old 26th May 2022, 21:41   #3
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-bike-emoticon.jpg

Likes, dislikes and then some

Bike: The Yayys

# Engine:
Is a GEM! Absolutely smooth in classic inline character, I MUCH prefer this engine to the new Tiger 900s. It can effortlessly potter about at 30 - 50 kmph in 3rd or 4th gear if you need it to; 3rd gear is almost like an automatic - its that tractable - can pretty much cover everything from 30 - 100 kmph, which essentially comes down from the extremely wide torque spread on this bike. Push the bike and it transforms into an absolute hooligan - Iíve thrown it into Wai - Panchgani twisties with absolute ease, all with fully loaded hard panniers mounted.

# Build quality:
Iíve said this before. The Tiger is like buying a Toyota Fortuner. It is absolutely solid and as adventure bikes go - gives a heck load of peace of mind on ownership cost (in a relative superbike sense). Quality of switch gears is pretty solid with the only casualty to date being my never used Cruise Control switch that is apparently not working. Iím now in possession of a 2017 Multistrada as well and having seen both, I can say the Tiger sports the better quality and more hardy switchgear (admittedly the MTS has twice the miles on it though).

# Well specced:
The 2018 iteration brought the lovely TFT screen to the Tiger. The bike is respectably specced with four riding modes (road, rain, sport and off-road). Comes with heated grips - didnít realise how handy - pun unintended - it can be, till I needed it in Rajasthan winters.

# Versatility:
Road touring - check, off-roading - check, dang it - its gone to the track too. In XRx guise with this 19Ē alloy shod front wheel, it is a true jack of all trades - and thatís fine with me. Iím very happy with a bike that does a LOT of things VERY well as opposed to ONE thing the BEST and sucking at many others. I take it for my early morning run, for the nip around the corner to the barber, Sunday rides to local coffee shops within 15 - 150 km range and of course to the mountains of Himachal when I can - and its equally at ease in any and all of these places.

# Presence:
Koi shak?? The catís got presence - there is no two ways about that. It is a genuine head turner and while the street triple despite its diminutive size got its fair share of eyeballs thanks to its distinctive headlights, this one turns heads wherever it goes.

# 19Ē front wheel
Yes. For me, this is a distinct positive. I now also own a 17Ē front wheel shod ADV and Iíve done my fair share of riding on 21Ē front wheel bikes - like the 900 Rally Pro, the occasional ride on the Africa Twin etc. Admittedly, the stability of the 21 incher fronts are kick ass. The agility of the 17Ē front is also amazing, but my skill sets simply donít allow me to make the most of that incremental extra agility of the 17 inchers - whereas I certainly appreciate the added stability that the 19s offer over their 17Ē counterparts.

All in all, I feel that 19Ē fronts are that perfect sized wheels for an all rounder ADV. While I can certainly live with a 21Ē wheel, its the 19Ē that hits that sweet spot combo of agility and stability for me.

# Rider and pillion comfort]
I'm 5'4" and have kept the bike completely stock - no lowering links that reduce suspension travel, no low seat - nothing. I'm just as comfortable carving corners on this bike as I am tackling off road terrain while standing and riding. The ergonomics are absolutely spot on and like most other ADVs, 600 - 750 km day rides have also been dispatched comfortably. I rarely travel with a pillion but when required, it doesn't disappoint and the seat is absolutely comfortable for a pillion as well. All in all, I'd give the Tiger full marks on this front for both rider as well as pillion.


Bike: The Nayys

# Weight:
Or rather, where she carries it. I have nothing against the number she comes in at. Its the top heaviness of it thats a dampener at times. The papa GS (BMW 1200/1250 GS) is about 30 kilos heavier but just doesnít feel it.
This one - sheís top heavy, something youíre made distinctly aware of in the trickiest of situations. Gravel, uphill on a broken stony path meets tight U turn - and youíll be reminded of this without a doubt.

# Engine heat:
This can get somewhat uncomfortable in heavy traffic. Its definitely nowhere as bad as my Ducati but clearly not as comfortable as the GS 1200/1250.

# Suspension:
Its perfectly fine in its own right but simply putting this as a point because the XCx suspension is definitely a distinct notch or two above the XRx suspension and you can feel the plushness in the ride quality when you ride the two back to back. All other things being equal and if both had been equally manageable to straddle, Iíd have picked the XCx in a heartbeat, just for the superior quality of suspension.

# Headlights:
Now that I know better, having experienced the Multistrada headlights, I wish the Tiger too had better stock headlights. Nothing too bad though and given most of us run Aux lights on our big motorcycles, not a fatal flaw by any measure.

# Toggling riding modes:
Cannot be done on the fly. If you want to switch from say road mode to off-road mode, you have no choice but to bring the bike to a halt, change modes, and then carry on. This is extremely annoying and I really wish this could be done on the fly while riding. The Ducati Multistrada - even in its 2017 1200S guise allows this and its a real boon.

THE BIKE IN PICS - moments through the years:

Sunday city ride. Is there any way we can make the Taj look even better? Apparently, yes!
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-against-taj.jpeg

A typical Sunday long ride with the BAM fam! With my riding group, the Bombay Adventure Moto
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-move.jpeg

Just like me, she loves her coffee, especially if its by the Sea. @Bandstand Pantry, (Bandra)
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-bandstand-2.jpeg

Chasing sunrises
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2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-rising-sun.jpeg

Random bridge - outskirts of Mumbai
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-bridge.jpeg

Cafe Monza: apparently, if you own a superbike in Mumbai, an insta post against this backdrop is mandatory
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-cafe-monza.jpeg

More coffee: @Subko, Byculla - one of my favourites.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-craftery.jpeg

The bike looks great all spic and span ...
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-sun-local-ride.jpeg

... but it truly shines when its at its muddiest.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-dirty-wheel.jpeg

My riding mate's bike and mine: staring at a Panchgani sunset after a full day of off-road training
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-staring-sunsets.jpeg

Catch it at the right time and sunsets at Marine Drive can be exquisitely beautiful.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-sunset-md.jpeg

Moving cities - no problem! During one of my many Bbay Pune rides when I'd be moving between one base to the other.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-house-move.jpeg

The revised Tiger font on the 2018 edition. Also showing the Barkbusters reinforced handguards - an essential accessory that most ADVs attach straight out the door.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tiger-livery-red.jpeg

I love matching stuff. The second (Cardo equipped) Schuberth matches sweetly with the new neon yellow livery.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lakeside.jpeg

The Team BHP sticker has an entire side all to itself on the top box.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-top-box.jpeg

Bird's eye view, from a recent trip to Goa. @Postcard, Moira
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-top-view-line.jpeg

Off-roading is tiring. A quick afternoon nap at the end of an intense session! Note the stronger sump guard - invaluable if you're pre-disposed to frequently stray off tarmac.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-nap-time-underbody.jpeg

@Pune home: Taking Junior on a short city breakfast ride. Helmet is mandatory, however short the ride! Put on my cycling gloves on his hands for whatever its worth.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-e5322cbd87b04c568de5f3e2895f01ad.jpeg

Outside Asiatic library.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-asiatic.jpeg


Last edited by Axe77 : 1st June 2022 at 15:12.
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Old 26th May 2022, 22:00   #4
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Cat on the move: Engine; suspension; ride quality; & more

Straddle the Tiger and you do feel you're on a big bike, specially since the top heaviness is still present in this iteration. But the moment the bike is on the move though, that weight simply disappears.

Controls are well designed, easy to understand and ergonomically speaking, fall easily at hand. The clutch has just the right level of resistance to it. The clutch and brake levers are adjustable to a comfortable to 3 - 4 preset positions. The gear lever is not a quick shifter but is smooth enough in operation. I rarely struggle with false neutrals and the like (in contrast, the Multi's gear is a lot notchier with more frequent false neutrals).

The seat itself is adjustable to two positions - 810 mm being the lower setting and 830 mm when its at the higher setting - as ADVs go this is fairly accessible territory for shorter riders - so long as they accept that its not necessary to flat foot both feet to ride a bike. The bike ergonomics work really well for me, both seated as well as for stand-up riding. I've not had to install handlebar risers to be comfortable for standing and riding.

The bike is extremely easy to pilot on the move. The engine - if I had to describe it in just two words - SMOOTH and TRACTABLE. The engine is the same liquid cooled triple cylinder motor shared with the Street Triple 765 although its tuned slightly differently with ~94PS power and 79 NM coming in at 9,500 rpm and 8,000 rpm respectively.

Potter about in the city and the wide gearing & torque spread ensures that the bike moves smoothly and easily with minimal gear changes. Traction control works brilliantly and is rarely over intrusive. Whack the throttle in the right gear and the Tiger snarls ahead with urgency. This bike is equally at ease cruising peacefully around the city and can completely transform if you want to ride it like a hooligan. The Tiger, specially the XRx, can properly attack twisties in a manner that would give many middle weight nakeds a run for their money.

It is versatility personified and when I think of it in comparison to 17" sports tourers on the one side and 21" off-road biased ADVs on the other, the Tiger XRX is almost the perfect middle ground of agility and stability. While the XCX definitely sports a cushier ride thanks to its superior suspension and is definitely more capable off - road, I'm hard pressed to think of scenarios where the XRX hasn't been able to cope with the kind of off-roading that we might want to throw at it. The suspension, which comes with adjustable rebound at the rear, is remarkably competent for most situations one would throw at it. Further down the review you'll find images of the Tiger in some off road scenarios and I've rarely felt it to be inadequate. The XCX does score with its additional "Off Road Pro" mode in certain situations, but personally, given its top heaviness in this iteration, I'd be more at ease with the XRX than I would be with the XCX. Having said that, if I had to make the same decision with the Tiger 900 though, the weight reduction and lowered CG would likely veer me towards the Rally Pro variant.

Braking is superbly competent with the Brembos up front. The tyres out the factory are Metzeler Next which are 90:10 road biased. I changed these to regular Metzelers sometime around 14k kms - these shift the onroad / offroad bias a little more - to 80:10 or 75:25 maybe.

All in all, while you will find bikes that are more agile than the Tiger on tarmac (the Multistrada for instance) or which could outperform the XRX off-road (its XCX sibling or the Africa Twin) - the beauty of the Tiger is its sheer versatility - its a jack of all trades that does almost all things REALLY REALLY well. Heck, I've even taken it to the MMRT track for two days of track training and it was a blast!

All in all, its a brilliant ONLY bike to have in one's garage, which would pretty much do anything you ask of it with little complaint.

Switchgear & TFT

The switchgear is overall of very good quality with the buttons feeling like they're build to last. The only issue I"ve had in my 4 years of ownership is with the cruise control switch, which I was recently informed isn't working. Frankly, I've never ever tried to use cruise control so I have no idea at what point this switch actually failed. The switches are overall well placed, intuitive to use and while there is a fairly comprehensive menu available in the TFT, the switch design, layout and functionality is very intuitive to use and something I figured out pretty quickly.

The quality of the color TFT screen is also really good and I've never had visibility issues. It can be set to toggle between a black and white background depending on the daylight / darkness around - a nifty feature.

Illustrated below via pics.

Switchgear

Top left: Go pro mount is visibile.
Top right: Hazard button on top (only half visible); engine kill and starter switch; Menu button to change system settings. More on this via my TFT explanation.
Bottom left & right: My phone mount along with two switches for one set of Aux lights each; The jog dial next to the horn switch controls movement via the TFT screen; m button toggles mode; other switches are lights and switchgear.
The tiny white image on the left handlbar activates the handlebar heated grips - adjustable to three settings.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-switchgear.jpg

The opening screen when you switch the ignition on.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-opening-screen.jpg

Kms and time from next service along with the total kms on the odo.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-odo.jpg

Toggling this screen up and down shows the distance to empty and the fuel efficiency.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-dte.jpg

Two trip meters are available for viewing. I usually reset each Trip 1 on each fuel fill and Trip 2 for ad hoc other use.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-trip1.jpg

Four riding modes. Off-Road, Rain, Road, Sport. These can be further customised in the settings.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-riding-modes.jpg

Speedometer and RPM meter comes in three display styles.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-style-1.jpg
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-style-2.jpg
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tft-style-3.jpg

The right menu switch allows you to control various aspects of the bike, its settings, including riding modes. I’ve given various screenshots into the menus and various sub menus that should give a broad idea of the kind of viewing and customisation that this menu provides for.



2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-2.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-3.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-4.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-5.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-menu-6.jpg

Last edited by Axe77 : 2nd June 2022 at 11:37.
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Old 26th May 2022, 22:01   #5
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Cosmetic changes to the bike over the years

Self explanatory images below.

The original bike in matte black.

First iteration: Red highlights.
Second iteration: Yellow highlights.

Both visual iterations were carried out by Zubin at SuperCar Club Garage. The beak, the panel behind and the panel below are painted. Some of the other areas are stickers - for instance the red / yellow wheel highlights; the 800 in yellow; side pannier map etc.

The 3M stickering on the top box and the side panniers are carefully thought through. The rear facing side is red, akin to the stop light, the forward facing ones are silver / white (akin to headlights); and the side facing ones are yellow.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-iterations-original.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-iterations-red-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-iterations-red-4.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-iterations-red-3.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-iterations-yellow.jpg

Last edited by Axe77 : 31st May 2022 at 19:58.
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Old 26th May 2022, 22:02   #6
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Luggage and Accessory essentials


1. SW Motech 5-9 ltr expandable tank bag (as needed)
2. Triumph OEM Top box (almost always on).
3. Kriega US 30; US 20; US 10. All or some, as needed while touring.
4. Kriega hydration pack with waterproof storage
5. Triumph OEM hard side panniers (when needed)

For city riding, I usually ride around just with my top box. I have now acquired a tank bag as well and this is likely to also join me on some city / morning rides.

For touring my luggage solution comprises two options, which I use in combination as needed.

1. Hard side panniers (with / without) top box ;
2. Kriega US series - I have three of these - the 30 ltrs, 20 ltrs and 10 ltrs (US30; US20; US10).

The good thing about the Kriega is that it can attach itself to each other. So you could actually have a 30 ltr bag and then attach a 20 + 20 (or in my case 20 + 10) on either side. Basically a modular packing solution.

Depending on the distance of travel, volume of luggage etc, road conditions etc, I would either use the lockable hard side panniers, or the Kriegas on the pillion seat or even both together. When using the Kriegas, I often cover the bags with a rain cover (if nothing else keeps it dust free and clean) and put a bungee cord to keep the rain cover in place

For instance, for my upcoming Spiti trip, I plan to do my Chandigarh to Shimla and Manali to Chandigarh routes (where we won't have the backup support car) with side panniers and the US 30 mounted on the rear. While riding through Spiti, the panniers and US 30 will be kept in the back up car and I'll only have the US 10 on the rear plate (with my rain gear, tyre inflator etc in it) and immediate essentials (wallet, sunglasses, spare phone, battery pack etc) kept in the tank bag in front.

For Goa, I travelled with top box and Kriegas (without the side panniers) while for Panchgani earlier this year, I travelled with the side panniers alone and a lone Kriega bag (without the top box). I've left some images below which illustrate the various combos.

While using the panniers, I have a clean soft bag from Trax which fits snug inside the side pannier. It can simply be removed leaving the pannier attached on the bike if needed. Within the Trax bags, I compartmentalise the packing using Amazon packing cubes. Again, makes it easy to pull out stuff later as needed without it being a dump inside the bag.

My toolkit is permanently affixed in a tool-case that sits inside the left pannier mount. This way it does not occupy luggage space in the panniers / bags.


All three Kriegas; Kriega hydration pack & top box. Goa ride.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-13-all-kriega-top.jpg

Above setup mounted on the bike. The rain cover for good measure so the bags donít get too dirty.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-14-top-box-3-kr.jpg

All three Kriegas interlocked and attached with full pannier setup.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg2-3-pann-3-kriega.jpg

Side view of single Kriega plus full pannier set up.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-3-3-pann-1-kr-side.jpg

Just a single smaller Kriega - useful while off-roading in difficult terrain.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-11-bike-kr-10.jpg

I usually pack the side pannier with a Trax bag inside. If you want to leave the side pannier on you can just remove these soft bags and carry inside.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-7-side-pannier-filled.jpg

Above trax bag. Its expandable so can fit two different sizes of side panniers.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-8-traxbag.jpg

The Amazon packing cubes which I put inside the trax bags. Helps keep luggage segregated.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-lugg-10-side-pann-trax-cubes.jpg





Riding Gear




Boots:
Gaerne (shorter rides)
Forma (for off roading or longer tours)

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-boots.jpg

Pants and Jacket:
Held (from LABS)
Ixon one piece leather (from PRS): Recently acquired for an upcoming track day on the Multi. Not used yet.


2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-held.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-ixon-2.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-ixon.jpg

Gloves:
Scorpion; Held: general purpose; Held: dual purpose Goretex; Komine (random city use); ViaTerra (random city use)

L to R: Komine; Scorpion; Viaterra. I've lined them up aligned at the finger end so one has approximate size perspective of how much extra wrist is covered by the bigger one.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-gloves-1.jpg

Helmets:
Schuberth C4 Pro with Sena 50S (for the Sena wala dosts)
Schuberth C4 Pro with Cardo Packtalk Bold (for the Cardo wala dosts)
ARAI RX 7V: bought cheap & used and in a pinch of urgency for an upcoming track day.
Leatt Adv helmet: for off roading. Looks cool - but noisy as hell, wouldnít buy it again.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-helmets.jpg

Last edited by Axe77 : 2nd June 2022 at 11:40.
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Old 26th May 2022, 22:05   #7
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Some standout experiences with the Tiger:

The sheer versatility of the Tiger means its enabled a lot of diverse riding experiences. Some fun trips that I’ve done on the Tiger, via images below.


⁃ CSS (California Superbike School) Level 1 & 2 at MMRT Chennai. [Aug 2019]

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mmrt-1.jpg

Link to brief review thread here:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super...t-chennai.html (Review: California Superbike School @ MMRT Chennai)
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mmrt-collage.jpg

⁃ Mumbai / Pune to Hampi and back with just one more bike for company - an Interceptor 650 ridden by my college mate (who’s since graduated on to a Tiger 800 himself). [Dec 2019]

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-hampi-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-hampi-2.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-hampi-3.jpg



⁃ Triumph Tiger Trails at Rajasthan, curated by Vijay Parmar and team at XplorEarth, where we dabbled in plenty of sand riding. [Feb 2021]

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-rj-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-rj-2.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-rj-3.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-rj-4.jpg

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⁃ Various rides each to mid distances like Panchgani and Goa. [2020 - 2022]

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-3.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-4.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-5.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-6.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-7.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-8.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-9.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-11.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-various-12.jpg


⁃ Spiti - again with the XPlorEarth team. [Jun 2022] ...

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-spiti-bike.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-spiti-luggage.jpg

... Watch this space. Coming soon via a dedicated thread on your favourite automotive forum!!


Last edited by Axe77 : 3rd June 2022 at 10:53.
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Old 26th May 2022, 22:06   #8
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Postscript:

New addition: Team Red: The mighty Multistrada 1200S (pre-owned; MY 2016-17).

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-tiger-mts.jpg


While I’ve been admiring the Multistrada (/ MTS / Multi) in its various iterations, I had no serious plans of ever buying one. The MTS purchase was entirely happenchance. I heard of an MY 2017 pre-owned 1200S that had come to Ducati Mumbai and decided to check it out. Just a short ride later, it was love at first ride! While the bike had plenty miles on it (53,000 kms to be specific), and was out of warranty, it came with reliable previous owner credentials and I was confident it would have been maintained well. That it came with a ton of additional spare parts like my next change of brakes, spare sprocket and chain, even a half used set of tyres and what not, just sweetened the deal.

A lot of folks have asked me – why two adventure bikes. Honestly, while they are both indeed in the broader adventure bike category (although the Multi is much more of a sports tourer in my view), in terms of pure character, they are chalk and cheese.

Where the Tiger can be as forgiving as it can be intense, with a butter smooth inline 3 heart, twisting the throttle on the Multi is like unleashing a brutal hammer of torque. Where the Tiger makes about 79/80NM torque and 95 BHP or so of power – the Multi makes an incredible 136 NM of torque and 160 PS (I understand this is at the crank). Traction control can only do so much and if you twist the throttle with reckless abandon, you can be sure as hell that the rear will slide out viciously.

The Tiger is as happy pottering about taking in the scenery as it is blasting down highway curves kissing the kerbs. The Multi on the other hand almost always feels raring to go and its relatively gruff / staccato engine can at times make riding it slowly in the city a trying affair. I’m not even getting to engine heat in heavy traffic.

For pure tarmac based touring though, the Multi is just STUPIDLY FUN. This is not a bike that’s experienced through spec sheets. It evokes emotions at the saddle that are indescribable. Its 17” front wheel makes it incredibly agile, although the Tiger’s 19 incher definitely lends the latter more stability.

From an electronics perspective the bike is fully loaded. The menu is so detailed that it took me a couple of sessions just to get my head partially around the various options. It comes with four riding modes – Urban, Touring, Sports & Enduro, all of which can be changed “on the fly” while riding. Each mode in turn can be subjected to insane level of customisations by the rider. This is a bike which in the hands of the right rider, will give proper litre class nakeds a run for their money on a racetrack. In fact, I have lined up a session at the MMRT track in the very near future.

Where the Tiger is my go to bike for anything and everything from the supermarket to the mountains of Himachal, the Multi is meant for pure unadulterated fun for pure tarmac riding or touring as well as the occasional track day. If you think the Tiger gets eyeballs, the Multi is literally the next level of attention magnet. Its hard to find an angle where that bike does not photograph well – with its distinct imposing stance.

The Multi does have a bit of a drinking problem though – it typically gives me barely 15 – 16 kms to the litre where the Tiger in contrast almost consistently gives me 19 – 21 kmpl. Fuel stops as a result are a much more convenient 300 kms+ on the Tiger where on the Multi, I’m inclined to find a bunk closer to 250 kms.

I will find a way to keep my experience with the Multi up to date on the forum. For now, this thread is really about the Tiger – so leaving it here with a few more pics of the red devil.

The rest of this thread will be to update my ongoing ownership experience of the Tiger. Hope you enjoyed reading this ownership log as much as I did penning it.

Cheers!



2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-1.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-2.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-3.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-4.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-5.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-6.jpg

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review-mts-7.jpg


Last edited by Axe77 : 2nd June 2022 at 14:57.
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Old 2nd June 2022, 19:35   #9
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Default re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd June 2022, 09:42   #10
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Congratulations! This article is a wonderful read indeed! Wish you many safe miles.
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Old 3rd June 2022, 09:48   #11
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Axe77, you have elucidated your Tiger 800 journey in a manner that is both highly entertaining and informative. What a lovely read! I sent it to a friend who is in the process of Tiger 800 hunting.

Just a couple of days back, I mentioned on krishnaprasadgg's thread about how most of the motorcycle ownership threads on our forum are brutally honest. Yours is more of the same. I frequently ride with a two Tiger 800 owners and everything that you mentioned about your motorcycle, is absolutely spot on. My only suggestion would be to get that side stand extender. It will make your life so much easier! Both the Tiger 800 bikes that I know, have it installed and the riders dont have to think twice while parking anywhere. I, on the other hand, have to search for a stone to place under the side stand, if the terrain is not very solid.

Also, huge congratulations on your Multistrada 1200S! That was very unexpected, to say the least. I test rode a Multi 1200S on behalf of a friend, recently. Frankly speaking, I was blown away by the motorcycle. The perception that you have of the Multi 1200S and the actual experience of riding it, are worlds apart. Hopefully you will put up an ownership thread of the Multi 1200S, so that we can learn from your experiences with this Italian beast. I am a big fan of complimentary motorcycles. Hence, your adventures with the Tiger 800 XRX and the Multistrada 1200S, will be very interesting to read.
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Old 3rd June 2022, 09:49   #12
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Very well written and detailed review mate! I too attended CSS and remember you with your Tiger!
Wish you loads of miles and anime memories!
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Old 3rd June 2022, 10:51   #13
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

You have 2 of the 3 bikes am considering to add to my garage to compliment my Ninja 650. The3rd being the versys 1000.
Getting a good pre owned tiger 800 is like hunting for a needle in the haystack. Same goes for the multistrada.
The versys in in budget new .
But do keep updating your thread and please start a new one for the multi as well. That is after all one of the most famous multistrada of India

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Old 3rd June 2022, 11:33   #14
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Attachment 2313089


# Rider and pillion comfort]
I'm 5'4" and have kept the bike completely stock -


I saw a tiger in my apartment and basically had accepted that I will never be able to ride it. I'm 5'6". Your post gives me hope!

Are you able to reach the ground with both your feet? Is some planning required before coming to a stop ?
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Old 3rd June 2022, 11:52   #15
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Default Re: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx | Long-Term Review

Brilliant, brilliant review Axe77! As brutally honest as the brutal Multistrada! I had a short but memorable ride on the Multi once and agree, it’s slotted as an ADV but it’s a mad sports bike.

Please do put up an ownership review for the Multistrada, would love to read about your life with it.

From my perspective a 19” front wheel can never match the flexibility or comfort of throwing the bike around of a 17” front. 21” front I find too too lazy to turn or flick about. Of course whichever bike you ride continuously you adapt to, but it’s only when you jump back to back on different bikes (17” vs 19” vs 21”) the night and day handling difference shines through. I am only talking about tarmac riding because I have never been off-road or even inclined towards it.

Cheers

Last edited by Cyborg : 3rd June 2022 at 11:54.
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