2011 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride – Motorcycle USA

10 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride – Motorcycle USA

Triumph Tiger 800
Triumph Tiger 800

2011 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride

See our two-day ride through Southern California with a whole fleet of new Triumph adventure bikes. Watch them in action with the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride Video .

What better way to celebrate July 4th than with a motorcycle that embodies independence. Freedom from the confines of the paved jungle. Liberty to explore any route. Triumph introduced the 2011 Tiger 800 this year after lot of hype around its new middleweight adventure touring machine.

As a midsize ADV motorcycle, the new Tiger has a lot to live up to in regards to its intended use and a well-established market competitor in the BMW F800GS. Triumph offers the bike in two versions, one with a street emphasis, and one targeted at off-road. We’ve already tested the dirt-slanted version which you can read about in the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC First Ride and see how it stacks up against the BMW in the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC Comparison Review.

Even though the two British machines share most of the same vital components, Triumph invited us to sample the road-going Tiger 800 during a two-day camping trip in Southern California.

Powered by a fuel-injected Inline-Triple suspended in a steel-trellis chassis, the primary differences between the 800 and 800 XC are the suspension and wheels. The Tiger has a unique engine displacement for the British manufacturer, but it does borrow its 44mm throttle bodies from the Daytona 675 sportbike. The adventure machines’ engine makes 799cc of usable horsepower and torque. Internal bore and stroke dimensions of 74 x 61.9mm don’t change from either model.

We ran the XC on our in-house dyno and saw it post 81.63 horsepower and 49.74 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers

The Inline Triple powerplant churns out high-revving horsepower and usable torque.

should be the same for the standard 800 and it feels identical from the rider’s standpoint. Smooth delivery is the highlight and the Tiger thrives on tight, twisty roads where a rider can push through the six-speed gearbox and keep the engine rpms high.

One of the bikes was equipped with an Arrow slip-on exhaust ($800). Riding a slew of machines with different luggage combinations and varying weights made it difficult to discern any performance difference (claimed three horsepower), but we can say that the Arrow is much smaller. It looks as though the weight savings will be significant from the titanium and carbon fiber construction.

The 800 uses a 43mm fork compared to the 45mm unit found on the XC. This is one area where we felt some significant difference. The XC (which has 8.7 inches of travel versus 7.1 inches) has a bit more dive to the front end on hard braking, despite the larger-diameter suspension.

Preload adjustment on the rear shock is simple with a hand-operated knob within easy reach. We spent virtually all of our time on a machine loaded with some type of luggage, so while the ride height adjustment was nice, we also found that the extra weight starts to add up quickly on the compression damping. Even with only a few articles of clothing in the saddlebags, the Tiger will bottom on sharp impacts such as small water breaks. Jumping is really not something the Tiger wants to do.

The 800 has 6.7 inches of travel on the shock while the XC gets 8.5 inches. The XC also has an external oil reservoir and rebound adjustment.

Though softly suspended and boasting a claimed wet weight of 462 pounds, it’s still possible to carry a fast pace as long as the rider keeps an open eye for larger obstacles. On the pavement the suspension is fantastic. We latched onto a few faster journalists and our tour guide at the end of our trip to see how quick the 800 is willing to go. Suffice it to say that it was at the top of our comfort level in the twisties.

The stock tires (110/80-19 front, 150/70-17 rear) provide enough grip to easily reach their edge and the chassis and suspension are completely up the task, even with luggage installed. The 800 has slightly different steering geometry with a 23.7-degree rake and 3.4-inch trail (23.1/3.6” on XC). Wheelbase is compressed half an inch to 61.2 inches.

An Arrow exhaust trims considerable size and weight from the stock unit. Riding the Tiger is a joy with solid build quality and usable features in the rider cockpit. Triumph also makes a wide range of accessories.

A 19-inch front wheel is slightly smaller than the 21-inch XC version and the 800 feels a bit more nimble in the paved corners as a result. Front and rear wheels are 10-spoke cast opposed to the wire spoked hoops on the off-road version. This gives it slightly less dirt capability but we were happily surprised by the 800’s competence off the pavement.

Our routes never called for extreme dirt riding, but we did get to spend time on smooth decomposed granite which we rode at an elevated pace. The 800 was very stable and planted, and the difference between the XC was less than we expected. There were a few side roads which featured more rocky terrain and this is where the smaller wheel showed some weakness by not holding its line with confidence.

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