Ride the adventure

K SHIVRAJ
Saturday, 28 April 2018

There have been 200 changes effected to the bodywork of the new Triumph Tiger 800, which feels more smooth and refined than the model it replaces.

Triumph has launched the new Tiger 800 in India. It is an adventure bike that can be ridden on and off road. It may not look significantly different from the model it replaces, but the change is in the details. There have been 200 changes effected to its bodywork.  Leave for the 19-litre fuel tank, almost the whole of the bodywork has been revised. The twin head lamps have been redesigned to make the bike look tidier and more athletic. With the overall dimensions the same, the new Tiger 800, on the top-spec models offers full-LED head lamps. The LED daytime running lights are available on the mid-spec Tigers as well. 

Windscreen redesigned 
The adjustable windscreen has been redesigned. It still can be easily adjusted with one hand, and works in tandem with the new aero deflectors. The two do a good job of keeping the blast of air from hitting the rider. A change in material has made the seat significantly better. The top-spec XRt and XCa get heated ride and pillion seats! The exposed sub-frame under the seat and around the engine continues without any change. The rear has a bare feel to it. The new TFT instrument console is new and similar to that found on the Tiger 1200 and the Street Triple RS. It is good to look at; it is easy to read as well, and quite intuitive to use too. Available on mid-and top-spec models, the new instrument console, on the top-spec models offers a couple of viewing modes that are exclusive. A five-way joystick is part of the new, premium-feel switchgear. Cruise control is standard except on the XR base version.  

Feels more agile
Thoroughly tweaked with a new crankshaft, clutch, revised first gear ratio and some other bits, the 800cc in-line three cylinder engine produces 95bhp of power and 79Nm of torque. Feeling more responsive, refined and tractable at low speeds, the new bike, courtesy the compact and lighter exhaust system, makes a louder and better sound. Accelerating quicker and better, the new bike, thanks to better tractability, can be ridden in a higher gear at even lower speeds without the fear of stalling or sacrificing smoothness. The engine feels rev happy, and produces peak torque from 2,500rpm to 9,500rpm. The XR, with the smaller dia 19-inch front wheel, feels more agile. The six-speed gearbox, with precise shifts, helps explore torque and power. In the absence of a slip function, the clutch lever does have a fair amount of weight attached to it. It, however, does not take away the fun of riding the new Tiger 800. The XRt may feel a bit vague in corners but is fun to ride. 

Available with a new, ‘Off-road Pro’ mode, which is found on the top-spec XCa and turns off all electronic aids like traction control and ABS, the new Tiger 800 feels so much more sorted and agile. The top-spec XCa could be had with six modes: Road, Sport, Off-road, Off-road Pro, Rider (customisable) and Rain. The XRt misses out on Off-road Pro, and the XRx and XCx miss out on Rider mode. Triumph continues its tradition of offering hardly any kit on the base version. The XR thus offers just the Road mode.

One of the most comfortable and capable among adventure bikes, the long travel suspension nicely soaks up irregularities, and the tyres exert a good grip. The 21-inch dia, wheel on versions other than the XR may make for some vagueness. The XCa is comfortable on road and has more ground clearance.  The XC has a taller seat height at 840mm compared to 810mm of the XR. 

Verdict
The new Brembo brakes exert a strong bite. There is some softness felt initially, and may have to do with the way the brakes have been tuned given the Tiger’s ability to go off road, but inspire confidence by decelerating the bike under a variety of conditions. If the top-end, road biased XRt gets a fully adjustable Showa fork whereas the XC models continue with a non-adjustable fork, the new Tiger 800 has changed the orientation as much, and where the base XR and XRx models are road oriented and the XCx and XCa models are off-road oriented. The XC is perhaps the most balanced even though its spoke-rims do not support tubeless tyres. The XCx is priced at Rs 13.76 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi. 

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