Triumph Tiger 800 XCA Review
‘Morocco is an adventure country’ said one of the Wikipedia pages. I got convinced with this line when my flight began its descent to Casablanca.
‘Morocco is an adventure country’ said one of the Wikipedia pages. I got convinced with this line when my flight began its descent to Casablanca. Lush green fields, snow covered mountains and roads that were endless with no traffic at all. Morocco was home to the 2018 Triumph Tiger media ride. Its outgoing generation changed the Indian market and for good. It gave Indians the right machines to live their life fully, explore the world comfortably and come back home to share countless stories. This resulted in the Tiger becoming one of the highest-selling motorcycles for Triumph in India. In fact, it is the highest selling adventure bike in the country.
The new Tiger 800 hasn’t really benefitted from an all new design. Instead Triumph has tried to enhance the overall appeal by making some small yet important things better. The beak and the tank panels are more angular now. The silver side panels are new which highlights the bike’s contemporary style.
The top-spec variants are equipped with all LED lights. The blade styled LED is a treat to the eyes, especially at night. Much effort has gone into making the overall component and paint quality top class and it’s evident. The detailing too, is palpable. The bike is fitted with new decals and badges to complement the new paint schemes. The aero diffusers have been neatly packed.
Technologically, the biggest addition on the new Tiger is the TFT instrument system that debuted on the Street Triple. The array of details and options it offers are just incredible. It is also adjustable. The modes can be selected via a five-way joystick and one standalone menu button on the switchgear which by the way are all illuminated. Through this, you can switch to various ABS, TC and riding modes.
The 800cc in-line three motor on the new Tiger has been revised to perform better on-road and off the road as well. But it continues to churn out 94bhp at 9500rpm and peak torque of 79Nm comes in at 8050rpm. The gearbox is the same six-speed that transfers power to the rear wheel via chain drive. But now, the first gear ratio has now been made shorter to have better off-road experience and better acceleration too. The exhaust has been completely revamped. It’s not just lighter, but smaller too and the sound is quite addictive.
The ergonomics have been marginally changed as the handlebar is 10mm closer to the rider. For riding experience, Triumph has added a six riding mode, Off-road Pro. This is where the ABS and TCS are off, and the sliding action begins. For novice off-roaders, the ‘Off-road’ mode has been retained. The cruiser control system has been updated too. The five-position adjustable screen works at high speeds, and very easy to operate.
I got the opportunity to ride both the top-spec variants of the Tiger 800, the XRT and the XCA. The former is the road version, so it is fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, whereas the latter is the off-road spec and that’s why it gets 21-inch and 19-inch spoked wheels front and rear respectively, with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres.
The Tiger XRT was fantastic on the curvy Moroccon roads. The bike is well balanced and not very intimidating once you get over the 830mm seat height (adjustable) and does a fine job of hiding its 202kg weight. The bike leans into the corners effortlessly, which is quite surprising as it’s an adventure bike. The huge lean angle is indicative of scrapped pegs and sparks, a potential that roused much interest amongst the journalists. The Showa forks tends to be on the firmer side, but it’s an adjustable setup. The wide and comfortable heated seats make long distance rides as comfortable as a carpet ride in ancient Morocco.
The Tiger XCA completely blew me away. This was my first time in Morocco but the XCA made up for any unfamiliarity in the terrain. The high speed stability, the easy-to-handle steering and the long travel WP suspension, all made up for a smooth ride. A few nerve-racking jumps and bottomed-out suspension should have made me nervous, but it didn’t. In fact, this Tiger and my lead rider gave me the confidence to attempt Dakar level speeds on the TFT screen off-road. Here, the credit also goes to the super grippy Pirreli tyres. They might be expensive in India, but it’s all for a reason.
All this action wouldn’t have been possible without the reworked 800cc in-line triple cylinder engine. The power delivery is linear and very accessible. The level of refinement is excellent, and you might mistake it for one of the Japanese ones. There are no signs of vibrations or stress, even after riding it in just second gear for almost an hour. The brakes does a fine job of stopping these heavy bikes. The bite and feel are just right for the weight.
The new Triumph Tiger 800 will be launched in India in April. Like its predecessor, this one too will be available in XR (road) and XC(off-road) formats. Along with the entry level XR, the XRx and the XRT will be sold in India. In case of the XC, the XCx and the XCa will make their way to the country. Both the bikes will be priced higher than the current models, primarily due to the recent hike in duties for completely-knocked-down(CKD) vehicles.
Photography by Kingdom Media
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