2011 Triumph Tiger 800 Road Test Rider Magazine Triumph Reviews

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Triumph Tiger 800

2011 Triumph Tiger 800 Test

Greg Drevenstedt

14, 2011

We motorcyclists are a lucky The source of our passion is, in most inexpensive, fuel efficient, and a fount of endless joy and fascination. machines, racebikes and customs may or may not any of these criteria, but street-legal that rolled off the production in the last decade or so are a pretty bet.

Unlike boats or we don’t have to tow them on trailers behind expensive or pay exorbitant fees to store behind barbed wire Unlike RVs, we save and money and have fun commuting to or running errands with Unless we’re blessed (or with a burgeoning stable, don’t take up much in the garage.

And thanks to modern and manufacturing, maintenance and repairs are minimal.

Triumph ’s new-for- Tiger 800 is all of these things and With a sub-$10,000 price gas mileage as high as 50 mpg, build quality and more than MacGyver with a Army knife, this adventure bike will you away from the poor gas station, repair shop and couch. Playful as a puppy but likely to leak on your (or help you meet girls at the local park), the Tiger 800 is a companion ready for any adventure.

My tryst with the Triumph 800 was last fall, at Triumph’s press introduction in Spain ( . March 2011). I logged 150 pavement miles on the street-oriented 800, about half of were spent fighting winds on cold, wet, mountain roads, and nearly as miles—with about 30 offroad—on the Tiger 800XC.

My initial impression of both was favorable, but the true measure of a is logging more miles, it fully gassed on our own scale, it on a reliable dyno and, if comparing it with a worthy We’ve done that the Tiger 800 (see our 2011 Tiger 800 vs. Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS ), and my appreciation for its all-around practicality and fun factor has deepened.

The Tiger’s is based on the Daytona/Street Triple 675 but is to 799cc and is 85 percent new. sound and feel are close to

During the Tiger’s development, took a great engine—the Street ’s Daytona-derived 675cc in-line reengineered it for adventure-touring duty. It the overall layout, used the cylinder head and throttle and left the cylinder bore at 74.0mm. Displacement was increased to by lengthening … from to 61.9mm, and cam timing was relaxed, overlap was reduced and compression was lowered from 12.7:1 to

The result is a more user-friendly that runs on regular-octane On Jett Tuning’s Dynojet the Tiger 800 churned out 83.9 at 9,900 rpm and 51.2 lb-ft of at 7,700 rpm. As the dyno shows, power is delivered in a linear fashion with no or irregularities. And the torque curve is flat, with over 90 of peak torque available 3,700 and 9,400 rpm.

With flawless fuel immediate throttle response and no buzziness, the Tiger is a real

Long-travel suspension and a slender give the Tiger 800 ample clearance. This angle shows the 3-into-1 stainless-steel and the standard hard-plastic skid

A rugged tubular-steel trellis holds the engine in place as a member, and the dual-sided cast-aluminum attaches directly to the rear of the Clutch pull is light and the transmission shifts well for a slight hitch between and second gear. Cost, and weight are saved with the chain final drive. the 5-gallon tank full, the 800 tips our scales at a respectable 481

Also respectable is the generous load capacity—more than find on many touring The Tiger’s strong chassis, curb weight, narrow (110/80-ZR19 front, 150/70-ZR17 and wide handlebar contribute to handling. With 23.7 of rake and 3.4 inches of trail, geometry is sharp. Light on the bar easily directs the 19-inch wheel’s course, but not at the expense of

ZR-rated Pirelli Scorpion tires provide good and turn-in on the street, and aired they offer commendable and bump absorption offroad.

The long-travel suspension found on tourers is a key aspect of their comfort, though it usually a tall seat height. The offers a Goldilocks happy with moderate seat (as low as 31.9 inches) and 7.1/6.7 of front/rear suspension travel to with pockmarked pavement and fire roads.

Tuned for damping in the initial part of the to mitigate squatting and diving but only for rear spring the Tiger 800’s Showa performs quite well. a spirited blast on a rutted and goat path known as Road, the Tiger 800 took the in stride, keeping the tires skipping or breaking loose and well to prevent bottoming

My only real complaint the suspension is some chatter irregular pavement when pushing it in the twisties. The bike got badly out of shape, but it reminded me not to the Tiger like a Daytona.

twin-piston calipers provide power but too much lever and some numbness sap confidence aggressive riding.

The Tiger is down by triple-disc tranquilizer from Nissin. Most of the power comes courtesy of two-piston floating calipers squeeze 308mm floating in front, with the balance by a single one-piston floating that squeezes a 255mm disc. There’s quite a bit of lever travel that a sense of numbness, but a deliberate gets the job done.

Our test bike was not equipped ABS, an $800 option. On so equipped, ABS can be disabled for offroad or parking lot shenanigans.

Comfort is one of the 800’s real strengths. A nonadjustable windscreen provides wind protection without the view. The two-piece seat is but generously padded, and the height of the seat can be easily changed 31.9 to 32.7 inches—a feature that’s become common.

Naturally, the higher better suits my 34-inch For even more legroom, I the rubber inserts from the which lowered my feet half-inch. The cleated metal provide more grip but vibration damping.

The rise, and position of the tapered aluminum motocross-style handlebar feels right, allowing a natural to the grips while sitting upright. The handlebar can be rotated and bar risers can be reversed to position the bar and farther forward. The only with the stock setup is the clutch and brake cables rub on the part of the fairing at full-right though it doesn’t affect

Triumph Tiger 800

The offroad-oriented 800XC has taller bar which give it more lock and prevents the cables rubbing. I wished for the XC’s during my ride on Goodenough Though the cut-outs below the edges of the gas tank provided purchase for my knees while up, I had to bend awkwardly to reach the and operate the hand controls.

Analog tach and digital are complemented by a fully featured LCD and onboard computer. Buttons be easier to reach.

Many 800 buyers will never it offroad, but it was designed to accommodate who chose to do so. The tail section has no that could break in a the tank is encased is rugged plastic that resists and a standard hard-plastic skid protects the oil sump and header Nonetheless, with just 6.5 of unladen ground clearance, rock hopping should be

Dig into Triumph’s accessory and you’ll find added such as handguards (standard on the an aluminum skid plate and for the engine, radiator and dual You can also add a centerstand, taller windscreen, gel rider/passenger seats, grips, tire pressure system and more. The Tiger oil-cooled 645-watt alternator power a GPS, auxiliary and heated gear, and a 12V socket is

A toolkit is located under the and there’s room for an accessory tire repair kit or other Normal maintenance seems with the bigger job of adjusting the valves only surfacing 12,000 miles, though the manual lacks detail on chores such as servicing the air

All the bits and details that up the Tiger 800’s mosaic sense, but it helps to zoom out and the focus to the overall picture. As I in my earlier report, the Tiger 800 was to ride from the first I let out the clutch, and its reassuring and user-friendly has made it a pleasure to ride in all but the challenging conditions. Triumph has into the middleweight adventure with a capable, versatile, fun that’s priced right.

Should your styling or tastes lean toward the rugged end of the spectrum, then the taller, beefier XC model. way, anyone would be to own one.

Angular windscreen good protection; taller version is an accessory. Twin shine brightly.

2011 Tiger 800 Specifications

Base $9,999

Warranty: 2 yrs. miles

Frame: Tubular trellis w/ cast-aluminum swingarm

61.2 in.

Rake/Trail: 23.7 in.

Triumph Tiger 800
Triumph Tiger 800
Triumph Tiger 800

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