2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Getting off the beaten path is what it’s all about on the 2016 Tiger XC from Triumph. The more off-road-oriented brother of the Tiger XR, the XC comes with laced wheels instead of cast and has standard features you want when you abandon the pavement and hit the dirt, such as a sump guard to protect the engine, off-road-tuned suspension and a radiator guard.
Reintroduced for the 2016 model year, the Tiger 800 XC is very nearly a carryover from the 2014 model, but with a few changes and improvements. WP replaces the Showa suspension from 2014 and new for 2016, the XC has redesigned cowls to deflect hot air from the radiator away from the rider.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XC.
2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Let me make one point right off the bat. This is not a trail bike. If that kind of riding is your main interest, the Tiger 800 XC is a little too much bike. The XC is an adventure bike meant to take you on a journey — think of it as a tourer for off-road. It’s a little too big and heavy and doesn’t have the ground clearance for a proper trail bike.
That being said, what the Tiger 800 XC does, it does well. Repositioned handlebars create a more comfortable riding position for long stretches in the saddle. Seat height is adjustable between 33.0 and 33.8 inches; but with the accessory low seat, you can get that down to 32.3 inches. That’s not as low as the Tiger 800 XR, but remember, the XC is the off-road-tuned sibling and ground clearance affects seat height.
For even casual adventuring, you’ll want to add some storage. The accessory catalog has Expedition Aluminum Panniers made of 1.5 mm thick aluminum that are waterproof and add almost 17 gallons of storage. The Expedition Aluminum Panniers are lighter weight and give you more storage space than the Adventure Panniers. The Adventure Panniers are injection molded with a brushed aluminum fascia. Each pannier set has its own matching topcase and fitted soft inner bags, all available through the accessories catalog.
The 800 XC serves as Triumph’s off-road-centric adventure model, so it needs a tough rolling chassis to handle inhospitable terrain. It starts with a trellis frame for torsional rigidity with guards on the radiator and the engine oil sump to protect these areas from damage. The factory strove to strike a balance between agility and control whether on the tarmac or some far-flung trail. Suspension also gets the off-road treatment with WP products front and rear, as opposed to the Showa suspension on its adventure sibling, the XR. You can tune the compression and rebound damping on the tough, 43 mm, inverted front forks via the click-adjusters on the caps, and the rear shock also comes with rebound and hydraulic preload adjustment so you can dial in for changing loads and conditions. Suspension travel is ample for nature work at 8.7 inches up front and 8.5 in back.
Dual front brakes use 308 mm floating discs and two-pot Nissin calipers, while the 255 mm rear disc gets a single-pot caliper. An ABS feature manages brakes at both ends for safety, but you can switch it off for a more natural feel and feedback at the brake levers. Finally, insulated Nissin pads help isolate the caliper from the waste heat in the discs and pads to prevent brake fade on particularly grueling treks.
Laced rims add a bit of give to the wheels, a desirable attribute for off-road work, and the 21-inch front wheel makes it more suitable for the job than the 19-inch wheel on the XR.
A liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 800 cc, inline triple powers this Tiger with 95 ponies at 9,250 rpm and 58.3 pound-feet at 7,850 rpm. The rev limiter kicks in at 10 grand even, so you can really wind this thing out like a boss.
A ride-by-wire throttle connects your right wrist to the engine electronically, and a traction control feature monitors wheel speeds, intervening when necessary to prevent rear-wheel spinout and preserve lateral traction stability so no dreaded lowsiders on this bike. These control systems contribute to the 65 mpg fuel economy and help it meet the stringent emissions requirements.
Power runs through a wet clutch to the Daytona-inspired, six-speed, constant-mesh transmission with a redesigned shift mechanism that, according to the factory, provides quick and smooth shifts.
MSRP on the 2016 Tiger 800 XC is $12,399. Your color choices are Crystal White or Phantom Black. Triumph cover your XC with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty on replacement parts.
There’s no shortage of suitable comparisons for adventure bike nowadays. I try to match up engine size to keep apples-to-apples. Going head-to-head with the Triumph Tiger 800 XC, I’m looking at the F 800 GS Adventure from BMW.
Both are off-road-oriented versions in their respective adventure classes, the two are very close spec-wise; but the XC seems to be a better ride on the pavement. The powerband is smooth and the ride is comfortable. On the flip side, the GS Adventure is torquey lower in the range, which works better off-road. Torque figures are close — 61 pound-feet for the BMW versus 58 pound-feet for the Triumph — but the GS Adventure reaches maximum grunt 2,100 rpm before the XC. You don’t have to wind it up as much in first gear to get power out of it, so slow maneuvers and muscling through rough terrain is that much easier to handle.
In the suspension, both bikes are riding on 43 mm inverted forks. The GS Adventure has a slight edge in front wheel travel — 9.1 inches versus 8.7 inches — but not enough to write home about. Brakes are nearly identical as are wheels and tires. For an adventure bike, payload is important to me and these two bikes are again nearly identical at 496 versus 492 pounds.
Fuel capacity could be a deal-breaker if your plans don’t include trips to a gas station. The BMW carries 6.3 gallons of fuel versus five gallons in the Triumph. Both bikes come with ABS, but traction control is optional on the Beemer.
There is no clear winner; it will all depend on your priorities. If you have to travel a long way on the pavement before you get to the dirt, the XC will be a more comfortable ride. If playing down and dirty off-road is your thing, the F 800 GS Adventure may be a better choice for you. The XC squeaks in a little less expensive at $12,399 versus the GS Adventure sticker at $13,695; but for me, at least, whichever one I’d pick, I need to get some bags. Who goes on an adventure with no place to carry gear?
My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says “I’m starting to dig these adventure bikes, and as usual, Triumph puts out a solid product. While it looks nothing like Trumpets of old, it still has a decidedly-British flavor and is definitely built to handle some serious terrain. If there is a down side to this ride, it would have to be the lack of storage capacity – I wonder how adventurous you can be with just what you can carry in your pockets.”
"If technology is your bag and you like more control over your ride, consider the Tiger 800 XCx. The extra "x" means you get more advanced features than come on the XC. On the XC, you can switch the traction control off or on. On the XCx, you have a choice of "Road" and "Off-Road" settings as well as the ability to turn it off and you can program a mode with your own settings to suit your style. The XCx also gives you a choice of four different throttle maps and you can switch between modes on the fly. With the XCx model you get self-canceling turn signals, an additional 12V power socket and some off-road doo-dads like handguards and engine bars that are optional on the XC."
|Engine Type:||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder|
|Compression Ratio:||11.1 to 1|
|Maximum Power:||95 Horsepower at 9,250 rpm|
|Maximum Torque:||58.3 Pound-Feet at 7,850 rpm|
|Rev Limiter:||10,000 rpm|
|Fuel System:||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection|
|Starting System:||Electric Starter|
|Battery:||YTX-16BS - 12 Volt, 14 Ah|
|Alternator:||12 Volt, 34 Amp at 4,000 rpm|
|Exhaust:||Stainless steel three-into-one, high level stainless steel silencer|
|Primary Drive Ratio:||1.667:1 (85/51)|
|Gear Ratios:||2.313:1, 1.857:1, 1.500:1, 1.285:1, 1.136:1, 1.043:1|
|Final Drive Ratio:||3.125:1 (50/16)|
|Final Drive:||DID O-ring chain, 124 link|
|Transmission:||Six-speed, Constant Mesh|
|Frame:||Tubular steel trellis frame|
|Swingarm:||Twin-sided, cast aluminum alloy|
|Front Suspension:||WP 43 mm upside down forks, adjustable rebound and compression damping, 8.7 inches travel|
|Rear Suspension:||WP monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment, 8.5 inches travel|
|Brakes, Front:||Twin 308 mm floating discs, Nissin Two-piston sliding calipers, Switchable ABS|
|Brakes, Rear:||Single 255 mm disc, Nissin single piston sliding caliper, Switchable ABS|
|Front Wheel:||36-Spoke 21 x 2.5 inches, aluminum rim|
|Rear Wheel:||32-Spoke 17 x 4.25 inches, aluminum rim|
|Rear Tire:||150/70 R17|
|Height without Mirrors:||54.7 inches|
|Seat Height:||33.0 to 33.8 inches - With accessory low seat: 32.3 to 33.0 inches|
|Tank Capacity:||5.0 Gallons|
|Curb Weight:||474 Pounds|
|Maximum Payload:||492 Pounds|
|Fuel Economy:||City: 48.7 mpg, 56 mph: 64.5 mpg, 75 mph: 44.6 mpg|
|Instrument Display and Functions:||LCD multi-functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, analogue tachometer, two trip meters with journey distance, odometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature and clock|
|Warranty:||Two-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty|
|Colors:||Crystal White, Phantom Black|