The Tiger XRx won't instantly blow your mind. But, spend sometime riding it, and its tall stance and bulky aura dissolves away into kilometres of relaxed travel. Firstly, the seat height at 790mm is quite accessible for the average Indian. You can raise it to 810mm by moving a couple of rods under the seat as well.
Then the seating triangle – the relation between the seat, the handlebar and the footpegs – is oriented towards comfort over all else. The bars are wide but not too far forward; the footpegs are neutrally positioned; and the seat apart from being low is also large and luxurious. Seating for the pillion is equally good, barring the higher perch, of course.
And then when you start rolling, the Tiger’s lovely weight distribution makes it feel much lighter than it really is. It weighs 191kg dry. Add the prerequisite 19-litres of fuel and a few other litres of liquids like oils and a coolant and you are looking at a running weight of around 215kg. So, it’s not exactly light. But, on the move, even at crawling bumper-to-bumper pace, it feels more like an 180kg motorcycle. So, its maneuverable and not too bad to filter through traffic with either, thanks to good leverage on the handle bar and good visibility.
The only catch when commuting on the Tiger XRx is the weather. If it’s cold the XRx feels great; nice and warm like a good cup of coffee. But, in every other season, with the kind of heat it generates around the rider’s thigh area, it’s more like a barbeque oven. And I have mildly roasted thighs to show for it. But, of course, in the spirit of good taste we haven’t carried a picture of it; you see, I don’t have Deepika Padukone’s legs.
The engine – the 800cc, liquid cooled, inline triple – is,otherwise, a good fit for the city. It has good low and mid range torque that completely takes away the need for constant shifts. It has a near seamless and linear throttle response, giving the rider better control. And even if you have to shift, the clutch isn’t too heavy and the gearshifts are decently precise and weighted. The Tiger, especially at 3,000rpm and beyond, almost behaves like an automatic; just roll on the gas and pick those gaps.
This torquey nature of the triple also gives the Tiger XRx good legs for touring. Shift to 6th by 60kmph and from then on it’s a calm but quick ride. Every time you open the throttle thereon the bike just squats and shoots ahead. But, don’t expect it to set your pulses racing. The XRx might make 94bhp and 78Nm of peak torque. However, with its running weight as part of the equation, it’s no surprise that this Tiger isn’t exactly the leaping, attacking kind. The power, all across the engine’s rev range in that sense is more accessible than intimidating.
What you should be mindful of is that even with all the talk about the Tiger XRx being a long distance adventure and touring machine, it still doesn’t have the refinement or smoothness expected in a motorcycle that you’d be spending long hours on. There’s never a ‘no-vibe’ moment on the XRx. Under 5,000rpm there’s a constant tingle at the handlebar and tank. But as the revs keep rising, so do the vibrations. And by the time the engine is bouncing off the rev limiter, things get quite buzzy.