Tiger 800 and XC buyer guide: owners say

What do Tiger 800/XC owners think of their bikes?

THERE was a lot of Tiger love in the 129 responses to our owner survey for our Triumph Tiger 800/XC buyers' guide! Here are some owners' accounts of their bikes and what it's like to live with the Tiger 800 and 800XC. 

David Shaw

I had a Tiger 1050 and while I loved its engine and handling, I just found it a bit of a handful at very low speed, as I'm only a shorty – 5'6” and a 29” inside leg. I had a fair idea of what the 800 would be like engine-wise, so took a test ride. The dealer, Dublin Triumph, offered me an extremely good trade-in. One Venom Yellow 2011 Tiger 800 please, as quick as you like. 

The Tiger is my first new bike since my Puch Maxi when I was 16. It's just a brilliant package, but I've added to it and made some changes, as you do. The Triumph low seat was a must and thankfully I've found it more comfortable than the standard. I've braced the touring screen to stop the wobbles, even managed to retain a level of adjustability with some home made brackets.

I replaced the handlebar risers for the XC risers and added SW Motech risers (+50mm in total), replaced the rubbish horn with a Sterbel Nautilus, moved the starter solenoid fuse from under the battery, added a remote computer switch using another Triumph aux light switch, liberated the hidden hazard flashers, made my own rear suspension splash guard and suspension joint guard and fitted a voltage monitor for the craic. Oh and the disc warped, so I replaced it with an Armstrong wavy disk.

John Cox

I am so glad I bought my 2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC. I never gelled with the Moto Guzzi I owned previously, and if the Tiger had been available in 2009 I’m certain I would have bought one then. 

The Tiger came with a hugger, rack, rear bobbins and fender extender. I’ve fitted a taller Givi screen, Triumph centre-stand, and a Scottoiler + lube tube. The original screen was poor, and I resent having to buy a centre-stand. 

This is my third Triumph and definitely my best one yet. 

Martin Holland

I test rode a Tiger 800XC January 2011 and was hooked. It felt so nimble even with the 21” front wheel,had enough grunt for real world riding and fitted me very nicely. Deposit placed, I waited not very patiently; it was nearly the end of April before I got it. The reason for the delay was the change in frame colour, which I was pleased about because the graphite frame looks so much better. 

My XC has taken me down to the Pyrenees and the Alps, and handles the mountain hairpins with ease. Third gear is sufficient either up or down, the engine is happy pulling from tickover to the red line without a glitch. 

The seat, though comfy at first, does get a bit uncomfy after a while. I have eased this by having it on the high setting at the front and the low setting at the back. This relieves the pressure on the coccyx by making the back of the seat flatter. I also run the  bars in the forward of the two positions, it gives me more room for my long arms & puts more weight on the front wheel. The spokes are a bit of a pain to clean, but I like the look of the spoked wheels. 

The only gripe has been the centre stand and the length of time it took to sort. But it is much better now & Triumph replaced the swinging arm as well, the stand had chipped the powder coat. 

Sebastian Szulc

I’ve had my Tiger 800 for 15 months now, and I wouldn’t replace it with anything else.

I chose the bike for its character and looks, as I was looking for an 80% commuter with 20% adventure. My first impression when testing the bike at the Jack Lilleys dealership was mixed; I’m 5’8” and the bike seemed a bit tall and heavy. However, after I went for a spin around Windsor, I realised what the Tiger was about.

Riding position is pleasant, cornering easy and forgiving even at higher speeds, suspension smooth and comfortable, but the most amazing thing about the bike is the engine. It gives amazing torque across the entire rev range starting at 1500-2000 rpm, and has a semi racing character at the top end. The exhaust sounds great, with slight bass and the signature Triumph whistle. 

I’ve added the low seat option, heated grips, Scottoiler, alarm and a top box. To make it a bit more adventurous I added Trax side panniers, SW Mototech hand guards and meshed light protector and Bagster tank cover, and converted the lights to full xenon with two blasters.

Updating the engine tune to the latest one (20652) via TuneECU, exchanging the spark plugs for iridium ones and resetting the TPS has made the Tiger much smoother and increased the fuel efficiency by 3-5%, which is on average is 45-48 mpg (90% in London traffic).

This is the best bike I’ve ridden so far and will be for quite some time…

Simon Baker

I planned to buy the road version, but out of the corner of my eye I saw the green 800XC and fell in love. I get a sense of pride of riding something British made. It also brings back memories of my granddad turning up on his Tiger Cub. Although I’ve only done just over 900 miles on my 2012 model, I can confidently say it’s the best bike I’ve ridden. 

I love the sound it makes – I get a big cheesy grin riding into my garage and just sitting there listening to the sound echoing around.

The seating and handlebar position is very comfy and I’m sat upright making me feel very superior, no smugness intended. 

If I was forced to say something negative about the bike, it would have to be the brakes, they just are very poor compared to my last bike (2010 Honda Hornet 600FA) which would stop near instantly without much effort.

All in all, I am very satisfied with this bike, along with being part of the Triumph club.

Steve Robinson

I traded my Caponord in against a five-month-old Tiger 800 with just 2,200 miles on the clock, in August 2011. The bike already had an aluminium bash plate, centre stand, panniers, fog lights, crash bars and a 'beak'. I removed and sold on the first three; the centre stand clanked about and the rich-hand-side pannier is tiny inside due to the huge OEM exhaust. I tried several huggers, but it just seems to eat them, so I gave up and just fitted a metal AMC chainguard. I've also added a Stebel Magnum horn, an OEM rad guard, touring screen and tank pad and my favourite mod, an MTC carbon fibre exhaust. 

The suspension is built to a budget and the rebound damping is too restrictive, so I invested in Maxton's revalving of the front forks and their standard rear shock. Combined with either Michelin PR3 or Dunlop Roadsmart tyres this transforms the handling no end.

The engine is a peach and provides linear power right through the rev range. Fuel economy varies from 45 to 50 mpg. The twin lights are excellent and, combined with the fog lights, give a good spread of light even on dark country lanes. Brakes work well with HH pads fitted. The clock now shows 26,000 miles, the majority of which is down to my 70-miles-a-day commute, but I also like to go on solo and forum-based rideouts on the weekends, often with my wife as pillion (she finds it very comfortable with the passenger gel seat), and it's never let me down, rain, or shine. This one's a keeper!

Emma Morter

I chose the Tiger 800 as I had owned a Street Triple for five years and am a big fan of Triumph's triple motor. I took a test ride and knew straight away that the Tiger was my next bike.

Living on the Isle of Man, I wanted something that could handle the twisties and the potholes, with the ability to do some touring thrown in. The Tiger 800 (mine's called Tony, cos it's ggggrrreeeat!) ticks all the boxes.

I've done lots of laps of the TT course, touring in Wales and England, club meets with the Curvy Riders and really enjoyed the comfort combined with the whistle and roar of that fantastic triple engine.

The build quality is good, it goes, it stops, it handles well and it's not too thirsty.

I've had great service from Jason Griffiths, my local Triumph dealer and former TT racer. I can't say there's been a moment's regret in the eight months I've owned my Tiger 800.