Triumph Tiger 800 XR

Tiger 800 XR Feature image

Don’t fancy taking your adventure bike off-road? No problem, here’s five reasons why you should be checking out the ‘XR’ prefix in the new Triumph Tiger 800 range.

If you caught sight of the last issue of ABR then you’ll be aware of the four new members of the Triumph Tiger 800 family. Plus, you’ll also be familiar with a review of the off-road friendly XCx version.

If you didn’t buy the last issue, here’s our highly considered and deeply pondered summary…we loved it.

Over the past couple of years, ‘Adventure’ has grown from being a descriptive word for a niche sector in the motorcycle industry into an umbrella term which now describes a whole range of machines – Adventure Sports; Dual Purpose; Adventure Touring.

Spotting this trend, Triumph obviously felt it important to expand the Tiger’s appeal into the fast-growing Adventure Sports category. They’ve done this by offering more road-friendly XR and XRx versions of the Tiger 800.

XR and XRx
800 XR and XRx

Essentially the XR prefix is aimed at the rider who has little or no intention of taking his new machine off-road but wants all the comfort and rider-friendly touring features that come as standard on an adventure bike.

Put another way, if you prefer the thought of dealing with gravel drives on a wine touring expedition in France than tracking through muddy river banks on a crocodile skinning trip in Africa then the XR or XRx could be for you.

The XR rider has no need for 21-inch spoked wheels, robust bash plates, high ground clearance etc. but absolutely demands the rider-friendly adventure bike ergonomics coupled with excellent manners on the tarmac.

Anyway, enough of the semantics, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on why you might want to choose an XR rather than an XC.

Cash Saving

The XC range comes with additional features that’ll boost your Indiana Jones image but also put a dent in your wallet. If you’re into off-road riding then the added protection of a robust bash plate, radiator guard and spoked wheels are essential but they come at a cost. The road going XR and XRx versions cost £500 less than their XC counterparts. That’s enough cash to fund your first venture into France, a couple of bottles of plonk and a replica Indie hat and whip.

On-Road agility

The Tiger XR comes with a 19in front-wheel whereas the XC features a 21in at the fore. Both come with 17in at the rear. Whilst it would be hard for me to say I noticed a big difference between the two bikes on the launch, the XR offers the additional on-road agility you’d expect from a smaller front tyre.

Triumph 800XR
Triumph 800 XR

Touch Down

The XR is 5kg lighter than the XC, it’s also 12mm narrower, 40mm lower and features a 15mm shorter wheelbase. And if that’s important, all well and good, but the most appealing aspect is that the standard seat height is a good 30mm lower than the XC plus there is a low seat option with a further 20mm reduction. This will no doubt appeal to a lot of adventure bike riders currently struggling around on tiptoes.

On-Road Handling

The XR suspension differs from the XC in a number of areas. First off it comes with Showa as opposed to the (excellent) WP found on the XC. Secondly, there is less travel in the front (40mm) and the rear (45mm) and all in all it makes for a stiffer ride more suited to on-road riding especially so when the red mist mood settles over you on the twisties.

Non-Proboscis

The XR looks very similar to the XC but there are two very obvious visual differences. As mentioned above the XC sports spoked wheels as opposed to the cast aluminium found on the XR. However, the second major spot the difference tick could be the deciding factor for someone way or the other. Take a look just below the screen on the XR and you’ll notice a stub. Check out the same point on the XC and you’ll find a protruding beak. I can’t think of any mechanical or practical reason for pointing this out but some adventure riders display very beak aware tendencies.

Triumph 800XRx
Triumph 800 XRx

What’s with the small ‘x’?

Same basic bike with extra bling and more advanced software. XR Standard Kit Cast wheels; Trip computer; Sump guard; 12v power socket; Adjustable brake and clutch levers. XRx Standard Kit As with XR plus: Advanced trip computer; Road and Off-road riding modes; Configurable rider mode; Auto cancel indicators; Cruise control; Centre stand; Handguards; Comfort rider and pillion seats, adjustable screen; 12v auxiliary socket

Specs at a glance: Tiger 800 XR

Price: £8499
Colours: White; Black
Weight: 213kg
Tank Capacity: 19l
MPG: 65mpg (manufacturers claimed)
Range: 250 miles (based on company quoted MPG)
Seat Height: 810-830mm (790810mm optional lower seat)
Engine: 800cc, liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline triple
Torque: 79Nm/58ft. Lbs @ 7850rpm
Horsepower: 95PS/94bhp/70kw @9250rpm
Wheels: Front 19in; Rear 17in both cast
Front Suspension: Showa 43mm upside-down forks; 180mm travel
Rear Suspension: Showa mono-shock; adjustable preload; 170mm travel
Brakes: Front twin 308mm floating disks; rear single 255mm disk; switchable ABS
Warranty: 2 Years
Service Intervals: 6,000 miles

Specs at a glance: Tiger 800 XRx

Price: £9,499
Colours: White; Black; Blue
Weight: 216kg
Tank Capacity: 19l
MPG: 65mpg (manufacturers claimed)
Range: 250 miles (based on company quoted MPG)
Seat Height: 810-830mm (790810mm optional lower seat)
Engine: 800cc, liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline triple
Torque: 79Nm/58ft. Lbs @ 7850rpm
Horsepower: 95PS/94bhp/70kw @9250rpm
Wheels: 19in; Rear 17in both cast
Front Suspension: Showa 43mm upside-down forks; 180mm travel
Rear Suspension: Showa mono-shock; adjustable preload; 170mm travel
Brakes: Front twin 308mm floating disks; rear single 255mm disk; switchable ABS
Warranty: 2 Years
Service Intervals: 6,000 miles