2018 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride Review

MotorBikeTrend - MARRAKESH, Morocco -- Adventure bikes are becoming ever more popular, bringing new riders wooed from the thrill of researching unpaved streets; and skilled cyclists that are stepping off game cycles on more flexible machines. They include engines displacing anywhere from 300 to nearly 1,300 cc -- that the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 falls at the center of the group, using its 800-cc liquid-cooled triple.

Introduced in 2010, the Tiger 800 was refreshed in 2014, and for 2018 it gets what Triumph calls a “major evolution,” with changes to the engine, chassis and suspension, as well as a big influx of new technology.

The re-booted Tiger 800 line comprises the road-oriented XR as well as the off-road-ready XC. Visually the largest difference between both versions is the option of brakes; the XR's are cast aluminum with a 19-inch front wheel, and XC rolls spoked wheels, using a 21-incher front. Both bikes use 17-inch trunk. The XC also has higher-spec, longer-travel suspension to better cope with jumps, ruts and rocks, which raises its two-position adjustable seat height by 30 mm to 840/860 mm.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride
Via driving.ca

There are lots of spec levels to select from inside both Tiger variants, beginning with the bottom XR version at $13,500; into the completely loaded XCA at $18,500, every one having a growing amount of electronic equipment and standard capabilities. The grip heat demonstrates very convenient during the exact un-Morocco-like sub-freezing snow and temperatures experienced in this evaluation ride.

The Tiger's 94-horsepower motor was re-tuned to make an extremely wide spread of torque, which never drops below 50 lb-ft at anything over 2,500 rpm, and peaks in 58 lb-ft. The largest change is over the gearbox, which currently has a lower-ratio first equipment that's particularly valuable in the XC when rotational off-road.

Changes which offer daylong comfort comprise a handlebar that's been moved rearward by 10 mm; and seat-foam density that's been altered. The windscreen on mid- and - top-trim Tigers is flexible manually to five places, and it is easily done with one hand while riding. Recently added deflectors unite together with the windscreen to provide excellent wind protection to your torso and shoulders using minimal buffeting.

We start the two-day ride around the street aboard a Tiger XRT, that comes standard with a 5-inch, configurable TFT color screen, five journey manners, cruise control, plus a heated seat. The screen's screen is configurable, and it reveals basic information, in addition to ride-mode choice, temperature, time, equipment position, and gas intake information, among other items. The screen also varies with the ride manners, though you may set as default some of the available screens irrespective of the chosen ride style.

Ride modes include Rain, Road, Sport, Off Road, and Rider, each one with preset parameters for throttle mapping, traction control and ABS settings, except Rider, which is configurable. Throttle response is excellent, along with the Tiger accelerates in a linear way that's deceptively smooth, translating into a great deal of speed if you allow the tachometer creep toward the signaled 10,500 rpm redline.

On the street the XR displays light, neutral steering, managing everything from extended sweepers to tight switchbacks such as a sport bike. It's possible to enter turns onto the wheels without needing excess nosedive, though its suspension is on the firm side of this adventure-bike spectrum, particularly noticeable on broken stretches of asphalt in which it lifts my buttocks off the seat over larger lumps.

This day we change to the top notch XCA armed with discretionary Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires, because the day's surfaces differ from sidewalk to hard-packed dirt into sand. Overnight snow melts in the morning, which makes the dirt streets slippery, while reducing the sandy segments with water, which really offers very superior grip.

The aggressively treaded Pirellis prove very competent over nearly all unique surfaces, only showing their limitations on slick wet clay. The XC's thicker suspension is much better suited to rough terrain, along with the bicycle manages an impressively speedy pace, steering riding and precisely over comparatively large bumps without bottoming. On the street the XC gives up little in the method of managing to the XR, steering marginally slower, and this likely on account of the knobby tires.

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride
Via driving.ca

Riding through different surfaces, but shows my main gripe with what's an otherwise outstanding machine: the ride-mode choice procedure. You need to push 1 button on the left button assembly to scroll through the XCA's six ride manners (it comprises Off Road Guru that switches off TC and ABS), use a second button to pick the style, then confirm your choice by shutting the throttle and dragging in the clutch lever. Along with the off-road styles can only be chosen while ceased, therefore if the terrain varies continuously from pavement to dirt and back again, you need to stop each time that you wish to change between off-road and road manners.

Even though this isn't a deal-breaker, it is bothersome as it destroys your momentum when changing constantly between surfaces. The bike also defaults to street mode each time the ignition is switched on, and that means you need to remember to pick off-road style if necessary.

The 2018 Tiger 800 has been enhanced in virtually every way. About the only place it could use improvement is using the ride-mode choice. The base XR model is priced a little less than BMW’s new $14,550 F850GS, and Honda’s $15,199 Africa Twin, but it has very few of the appealing features found on the mid- and top-trim models. With each one the versions you may pick from, however, there's surely a Tiger 800 that will be appropriate for your own adventure-bike needs.

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