2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XR
There’s sure to be adventure stories aplenty when you set off on the 2016 Tiger 800 XR from Triumph. More road-oriented than its brother, the Tiger 800 XC, the 800 XR comes with cast wheels instead of laced, and lacks off-road-specific features such as a radiator guard and off-road-tuned suspension. Still perfectly off-road capable, the Tiger 800 XR comes with an adjustable Showa suspension and features ride-by-wire for better throttle response and smooth power delivery. New for 2016, redesigned cowls deflect hot air from the radiator away from the cockpit for a more comfortable ride.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XR.
2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XR
Spec-wise and for color choices, the Tiger 800 XR is a carry-over from 2015, but don’t let that deter you. With so many choices to add accessories and really customize your XR, it’s not as if you’ll have the same bike as everyone else.
The anodized black front forks keep with the whole sleek, dark look of the engine and drivetrain components. The rider triangle is set up to promote proper posture and provide comfortable riding for long stretches at a time. Triumph recognized that not all riders are created the same, and it built some wiggle room into the system. Stock seat height is 32.7 inches, but if you flip a few inserts over under the seat, you can drop it down to 31.9 inches. If that isn’t low enough, get the “low” seat and drop it on down to 31.1 inches. It’s nice of them to remember the folks with shorter inseams.
Adventure bikes are, by their very nature, purpose-built machines meant to tackle both rough terrain and long road trips with equal ease. Usually this means striking a roughly equal balance between the two worlds, but Triumph favored a more road-centric package to place the emphasis on highway cruisability, while still retaining off-road capability.
To this end, Triumph started with a stiff trellis frame to serve as the bike’s backbone, and used road-friendly, inverted, 43 mm Showa front forks with 7.1 inches of travel to keep the steering rigid in the face of hard cornering and off-road shenanigans. A Showa monoshock supports the rear with 6.7 inches of travel, and it comes with hydraulically actuated preload adjustment so you can dial in your ride. While these suspension numbers are definitely toward the bottom of the spectrum for a dirt bike, they are fairly high for a cruiser, and should provide a comfortable, if not cushy, ride on the highway. The two-sided, aluminum swingarm and cast aluminum rims keep the unsprung weight low, which allows the suspension to maintain contact with the ground in rough patches — both off-road and on.
A single-piston, Nissin caliper binds the 17- inch rear wheel on a 255 mm disc, with a pair of twin-piston calipers on the 308 mm front brake discs. This is plenty of brakes for a bike this size, and it comes with a switchable ABS feature for a bit of added safety – just another way Triumph tries to preserve your traction.
An 800 cc, water-cooled, inline triple produces 95 horsepower at 9,250 rpm, and 58.3 pound-feet of torque at 7,850 rpm – plenty of power for the 476-pound bike, even if you do need to wind it up tighter than Dick’s hatband to get it.
The sequential electronic fuel injection and stainless exhaust keep emissions low and fuel economy high, with a claimed 65 mpg and a 272-mile range. Engine control is purely ride-by-wire, and moderated by the Triumph Traction Control (TTC) system that monitors wheel rotation and reduces the throttle a bit when slip is detected. The TTC offers one final layer of traction control to the bike, and leaves all normally seen traction-related features covered.
Get your 2016 Tiger 800 XR in Crystal White or Phantom Black starting at $11,399. Triumph covers the bike and fitted accessories with a 24-month unlimited mileage warranty.
In the 800 cc adventure category, the F 800 GS from BMW comes to mind. Between the F 800 GS and the Tiger 800 XR, I like the bigger front wheel on the GS — 21 inches versus 19. I look at that as better handling. The 800 GS also has longer suspension travel than the XR by a couple of inches. That’s not as important on the pavement as it is in the dirt, so the travel on the XR is ample for its intended use — remember the XR is more road-oriented than the XC.
Weight-wise, the two bikes are close — 472 versus 476 pounds — and the brakes are nearly identical. The XR has slightly bigger front discs — 308 mm versus the 300 mm discs on the GS. Is 8 mm enough to declare a winner? They both seem more than adequate.
While the BMW has two accessory choices for lower seat height, its lowest height accessory doesn’t beat the XR’s lowest height of 31.1 inches. Yes, I’m a shorty so seat height matters.
It’s a tough call between these two. It all comes down to what your priorities are and which bike fits into your game plan. The BMW starts at $800 more than the Triumph and I can’t help but think that $800 could go toward some bags.
My husband and fellow writer says, “As much as I like Triumphs, I never gained an appreciation for the triple-cylinder engines. That said, I do like that they set up this model as a dual-sport, but skewed it heavily toward road use. Not so much to ruin it for off-road pursuits, but just enough.”
"If you plan to add a lot of accessories to your Tiger 800 XR, take a look at the Tiger 800 XRx. The XRx comes standard with auto-canceling turn signals, advanced trip computer, cruise control, selectable throttle maps and advanced riding modes, as well as creature comforts that include comfort rider and pillion seats, adjustable windscreen, hand guards and an additional 12V power socket."
|Engine:||Liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC, inline three-cylinder|
|Maximum Power:||95 Horsepower at 9,250 rpm|
|Maximum Torque:||58.3 Pound-Feet at 7,850 rpm|
|Fuel System:||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection|
|Exhaust:||Stainless steel three-into-one, high level stainless steel silencer|
|Final Drive:||O ring chain|
|Frame:||Tubular steel trellis frame|
|Swingarm:||Twin-sided, cast aluminum alloy|
|Wheels, Front:||Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 19 x 2.5 inches|
|Wheel, Rear:||Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 17 x 4.25 inches|
|Tire, Rear:||150/70 R17|
|Suspension, Front:||Showa 43 mm upside down forks, 7.1 inches travel|
|Suspension, Rear:||Showa monoshock with hydraulically adjustable preload, 6.7 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|
|Width at the handlebars:||31.3 inches|
|Height without mirror:||53.1 inches|
|Seat height:||31.9 to 32.7 inches, With accessory low seat: 31.1 to 31.9 inches|
|Wet Weight:||476 Pounds|
|Maximum Payload:||483 Pounds|
|Tank Capacity:||5.0 Gallons|
|Recommended Fuel:||Premium Unleaded|
|Fuel Economy:||City - 48.7 mpg, 56 mph - 64.5 mpg, 75 mph - 44.6 mpg|
|Instrumentation:||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:||24-month unlimited mileage warranty|
|Colors:||Crystal White, Phantom Black|