Triumph’s entry into the mid-range dualsport arena via its Tiger XC has been met with universal acclaim.
Aimed squarely at the rider who wants a degree of agility that things like the BMW R 1200 GS (and the brand’s own upcoming release, the 1215cc Tiger Explorer) are simply too cumbersome to possess, the XC has carved a strong market niche worldwide. That’s clever – because it sends out a siren call to the hardcore-heads who need a bike that can cope with pretty serious off-road going, while still offering appeal to the newbie who needs it light and friendly.
Making use of the brand’s stock-in-trade triple layout, the 799cc engine has its lineage in the powerplant used in the Daytona 675, but it is in fact all-new, sharing very little with the little sports-screamer. This is not a parts-bin special, built with modular ‘jack of all trades’ design principles that save manufacturers plenty, but that deliver a ‘master of none’ userexperience. None of that.
What you get is a welded steel truss frame, longtravel suspension, a nonadjustable 45mm USD fork and a Showa monoshock at the stern. Nissin ourspot calipers on twin discs do the job at the front and a single disc with singlepiston caliper is utilized down the back.
Seat height is adjustable from 845mm-865mm and there is an 820mm low seat option. Nice wide ’bars allow for easy stand-up work and the suspension is supple and forgiving. The spoked wheels not only look the business, they offer better off-road strength than cast items and that big 21in front keeps things nice and stable in rough going.
Little spoken about is the dualsport’s ease of use as a commuter. A seating position that offers legroom aplenty, great ’bar leverage, a good view over traffic and a deal of midrange nip, all add up to a traffic beater. Yet another reason to opt for a mid-sized duallie.
There are a whole bunch of add-on bits for the bike, something that Hinckley Triumph has always done particularly well. You can option the thing up to the hilt and hit the long-haul, around-Oz trail, or bask in the admiring glances associated with looking like you could.
So, we reckon mid-sized duallies could proliferate in the market. And, if the XC is indicative of what’s to come, no wonder.
SPEX - 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, fourvalves- per-cylinder, in-line triple
Bore and stroke: 74mm x 61.9mm
Compression ratio: 11.1:1
Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection
Type: Six-speed, constant mesh
Final drive: Chain
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Frame type: Welded tubular steel truss
Front suspension: 45mm USD fork, non-adjustable
Rear suspension: Showa monoshock, adjustable for preload
Front brake: Twin 308mm discs with Nissin four-piston calipers (ABS $1000 option)
Rear brake: Single 255mm disc with Nissin single-piston caliper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Kerb weight: 215kg
Seat height: 845/865mm
Fuel capacity: 19lt
Max power: 70kW (94hp) at 9300rpm
Max torque: 79Nm (58.2ft-lb) at 7850rpm