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Triumph Tiger 800 XCx Review: BikeWale Off-Road Day 2019

18 November 2019, 06:52 PM Pratheek Kunder


Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Right Front Three Quarter

The Triumph Tiger is quite an established name in the world of adventure riding. In fact, it is the bestselling premium ADV in the country. And rightly so, for it has all the right boxes ticked to make it an enticing proposition in the segment. Be it styling, high ground clearance, long front travel or the 800cc engine; the Tiger’s got it all to make the enthusiasts go gaga over it. Now, many Tiger owners will swear by its touring capabilities but, when it comes to going off the road, only a small minority might have actually explored its full ADV potential, probably due to the fear of damaging its expensive components.

At the 2019 edition of the BikeWale Off-Road Day 2019, we took the XCx version of the Tiger and put it through the paces against some of our basic yet scientifically laid-out off-road tests to see whether it lives up to its name of being a true ADV. The results were extremely surprising...

Test 1: The Walk

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action
Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

  • Displacement800 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)94 bhp
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 14,01,808

Score: 20/30

It takes quite some time to get acquainted with handling the Tiger when not on the saddle. The handlebars are wide, but they are placed a bit higher than some of the other adventure bikes out there. So for someone who is on the shorter side, walking with the Tiger might pose a problem. But for the ones over 6ft like me, the ergonomics feel right on point. 

The top-heavy nature of the motorcycle, however, started to bother me a bit. Sure, the throttle and clutch modulation works wonderfully. It’s just the weight at the front which made me put in extra effort, especially when I was switching directions and this was because of the change in the lean angle. 

Test 2: The Braking

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action

Score: 19/30

Unlike most bikes in this test, the ABS and traction control system on the Tiger can be switched off. And we did switch it off! As a result, the first brake test ended dangerously. And it’s because I accidentally switched the ABS off on both wheels and the traction control on the front wheel. The 60-0kmph brake test could also have ended dramatically, but we managed to hold our stead.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action

The braking distance on the Tiger was decent. The brake feel and power were good too. But the way the front nose-dived at hard braking made things a bit unnerving. And that’s why the Tiger lost a lot of points. The tyres can also be blamed here. It didn’t bite into the tarmac as efficiently as we expected it to.

Test 3: The Slow Slalom

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action

Score: 20/30

The Tiger is a mammoth of an ADV. No doubt there. Small wonder then, it feels a bit intimidating every time there’s a slow-speed ride involved. To tackle this, during the slow slalom exercise, some technical skills had to be employed. Due to its overall weight and top-heavy nature, we had to move our own bodies to manoeuvre. This turned out to be a tiring ordeal, even for someone who’s a regular at the gym. 

Test 4: The Log Hop

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action

Score: 22/30

The Tiger 800 has all the necessary elements to help it go over the biggest of logs. We, however, had an average-sized one for this test, and the Tiger 800 XCx went over it like it was child’s play. The 800cc motor had enough dynamism to propel the 21-inch front spoke wheels effortlessly. The front suspension worked brilliantly, and the large ground clearance meant there was no way the log would touch the floor of the motorcycle. We had to engage and disengage the clutch at the right time and gas a bit, and it was all that was needed to get some really cool photographs. The landing too was soft, and stable. And considering all of this, the Tiger does make for a good motorcycle to go on jumping adventures. 

Test 5: The Cornering

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Action

Score: 21/30

This picture makes me look like I was made for adventure motorcycling, right? Well, the credit goes to the Tiger. This motorcycle is equipped with all the gadgetries that aren’t just there to protect you, but also to make you look like an Instagram “influenza”. It does induce fear while entering a fast corner due to the front heaviness and those not-so-grippy tyres, but the exit angle, the linear throttle response and the strong mid-range help you pull off some really good slides. But yes, the traction control has to be switched off for this.


Triumph Tiger 800 XCx 2018 Left Side View

Score: 102/150

Rank: 5/6

The Tiger 800 XCx came fifth in our test which was a bit surprising. We thought it would do a lot better in these tests. But then, it made us realise the importance of having a well-balanced motorcycle in technical tests like such. I’m not saying that the Tiger is terrible in that, but the front-heavy nature of the motorcycle is a big turn-off. Other than that, the motorcycle has the ability to take on some hardcore obstacles and can jump and slide around it effortlessly. But on the downside, the Tiger is likely to tire you out over long trail hours.


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