Triumph Tiger 800 Series

triumph tiger 800 series

The Triumph Tiger 800 is a triumph of engineering, no pun intended. This mid-range adventure motorcycle has made quite a splash since it roared onto the scene, aimed squarely at the adventure-seeking soul.

At its heart lies a potent 800cc triple engine, a configuration Triumph is famed for, delivering a smooth and linear powerband. The sound? A throaty growl that's music to the ears of any biker. It's a motorcycle that bridges the gap between the daily commute and the call of the wild.

Build quality is what you'd expect from the storied British manufacturer - top-notch. It's built to withstand the rigours of long-distance touring, with a finish that manages to look good whether it's gleaming in the showroom or covered in the dust of adventure.

The Evolution of the Triumph Tiger 800 Series

triumph tiger 800 series

The Triumph Tiger 800 series emerged on the motorcycle scene in 2010, introduced by the iconic British brand Triumph Motorcycles. Designed to cater to a wide range of riders and terrains, the Tiger 800 was split into two distinct models: the XR, tailored for the tarmac, and the XC, built for the path less travelled.

The Tiger 800 XR, with its cast alloy wheels and a 19-inch front, was the quintessential roadster designed for smooth pavement and long rides, while its sibling, the Tiger 800 XC, boasted spoked wheels with a larger 21-inch front for rugged terrain, echoing the build of an off-road warrior. Despite sharing the same 17-inch rear wheel, the XC model stood taller with longer-travel suspension and a higher saddle, enhancing its off-road prowess. Both models carried the same inline-three engine derived from Triumph's Daytona 675, a steel trellis frame, and had a fuel capacity of 19 litres, ensuring both performance and range. In recognition of its dual-sport capabilities, the Tiger 800 XC was awarded "Best Dual Sport" in 2011 by Cycle World.

Over its production years, the Triumph Tiger 800 underwent several iterations. The first generation was characterized by its two models, the standard 800 and the more adventurous 800XC. Subtle changes such as the colour of the frame and special edition variants marked the evolution of the Tiger's aesthetics. The second generation, introduced for the 2015 model year, saw a revamp with a new drive-by-wire throttle system, enhancing fuel efficiency by a claimed 17%, and the addition of traction control. It also came with optional features such as cruise control, auto-cancel indicators, and an advanced trip computer. Some variants even included additional hardware like engine-protection bars and WP suspension for improved durability and performance.

The third and final generation, which debuted in 2017, boasted 200 undisclosed updates, cementing its legacy with six models across two variants: the road-focused XR range and the dual-sport XC line. Both featured switchable ABS, twin front brake discs, and LCD screens for digital instrumentation. The top-tier models dazzled with LED lights, multiple ride modes, Brembo front brakes, a colour TFT screen, and comforts like heated grips and seats. The series culminated with the base XR weighing in at 199 kg dry, while the fully-equipped XCA tipped the scales at 208 kg.

In 2020, the Tiger 800 range bowed out, making way for its successor, the Triumph Tiger 900, which promised to carry on the Tiger legacy with new technology and enhancements.

triumph tiger 800

Suspension and Handling

The bike features a suspension system that's capable of soaking up the bumps and bruises of rough terrain while still providing a comfortable ride on the tarmac. Adjustable Showa forks on the front and a rear mono-shock with preload adjustability allow riders to dial in their preferred settings, making it adept at handling both the twists and turns of mountain roads and the rigours of off-road trails. This flexibility is a big part of the Tiger 800's appeal; it's just as at home on a dirt track as it is on a motorway.

The braking system on the Triumph Tiger 800 is another aspect that inspires confidence. With twin 308mm floating discs gripped by Nissin two-piston sliding calipers at the front and a single 255mm disc with a single-piston sliding caliper at the rear, the bike provides strong and reliable stopping power. ABS comes as standard, offering additional safety and control under hard braking conditions or on slippery surfaces. This system ensures that, whether you're coming to a stop after a high-speed stint on the motorway or managing your speed on a steep, gravel-strewn descent, the Tiger 800 has got you covered.

triumph tiger 800

Main Features, Spec and Considerations

Specs - Main Features
ENGINE 799cc, liquid-cooled, transverse in-line triple
MAX TORQUE 79Nm / 8.1kg-m / 58 ft-lb @ 7,850 rpm
POWER 93.9bhp (69.1kW) @ 9,300 rpm
FUEL CONSUMPTION 47mpg / 6.01l/100km
FRONT SUSPENSION Showa 45mm upsidedown forks
REAR SUSPENSION Showa monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment
FRONT BREAKS 2 x 308mm Floating discs, Nissing 2-piston floating caliper (ABS)
REAR BREAKS 255mm disc, Nissing single-piston floating caliper (ABS)
TYRES (FRONT - REAR) 110/80 - 19 - 150/70 - 17
LENGTH 2115mm (83 ")
WIDTH 795mm (31")
WHEELBASE 1,530mm (60.2")
SEAT HEIGHT 810mm (31.5")
FUEL CAPACITY 18.9 litres
TANK RANGE 235 miles / 376km
WET WEIGHT 209 kg (462 lb)

The Triumph Tiger 800, while not diminutive in stature, defies expectations with its agile and sprightly handling. Despite the generous dimensions, the bike's clever engineering ensures that it remains remarkably light on its feet, providing a ride that is as nimble as it is enjoyable. The fuel tank capacity, though not the largest, is more than adequate; it offers an impressive average range of 235 miles (376km), reinforcing the Tiger 800's position as a serious contender in the adventure touring sector. This, combined with its robust build and well-tuned suspension, makes the Tiger 800 a reliable companion for riders looking to tackle both the beaten path and the road less travelled.

Triumph Tiger 800 Off Road

triumph tiger 800 series

Venturing off-road, the Triumph Tiger 800 XC reveals its dual personality, one that's as comfortable on the dirt as it is on asphalt. The bike's handling on loose gravel fire roads is commendably stable, instilling a sense of increasing confidence as the front wheel negotiates the unpredictable terrain beneath. There's a sweet spot in handling the weighty nature of the Tiger; push beyond it and you might find the front end drifting out, a gentle reminder of the bike's substantial mass. Exiting corners with a controlled rear wheel drift becomes an exhilarating exercise in throttle mastery—requiring a bit more revs than might seem natural at first, but rewarding the rider with a sense of complete command once achieved.

In the more technical sections, the Tiger's bulk requires a deft touch and a keen sense of control. Low-speed manoeuvrability demands a delicate balance, often necessitating the use of the clutch to coax power into lifting the front wheel over ditches and other trail nuisances. It's a technique that may result in a few unintended wheelies, but mastery brings with it the capability to clear obstacles that belie the bike's adventurous styling. The 800 XC's resilience is surprising, withstanding numerous tumbles without damaging the seemingly vulnerable hand guards and tank-side plastics. One quirk that seems to have eluded the eagle eyes of testers is the side stand's tendency to clatter against its stop on rugged terrain—a minor niggle that could be easily silenced with a strategically placed piece of rubber. It's a curious oversight in an otherwise thorough vetting of this robust machine's off-road credentials.

Reliability is another feather in its cap, with many riders attesting to its dependability, even after thousands of miles of demanding riding. Triumph's extensive dealer network adds to the peace of mind, providing support wherever the journey may lead.

The Tiger 800 doesn't stand alone in the market; it locks horns with the likes of the BMW F850GS and the Ducati Multistrada 950. Each of these competitors brings its own strengths to the table, but the Triumph often stands out for its unique blend of British character and all-round capability.

Equipment-wise, the Tiger 800 is no slouch, often coming with rider aids like traction control and multiple riding modes to suit various terrains. Upmarket models boast additional bells and whistles like heated grips and seats, an uprated suspension, and even a TFT display, making the ride not just adventurous but comfortable too.


To sum up, the Triumph Tiger 800 series is a well-rounded package that combines performance, reliability, and versatility. Whether it's your daily commute or a cross-continent expedition, the Tiger 800 promises to be a loyal companion, offering an exhilarating riding experience with the practicality to back it up. Its strong character and robust build might just make it the perfect partner for your two-wheeled adventures.

triumph tiger 800 off road

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

To ensure that his super-stretched motorcycle would be able to perform like a conventional motorbike, the constructor rode it along a road for 100 m (328 ft) without putting his feet down.

Tip of the week:

Never grab the front brake; squeeze it!

Grabbing the front brake abruptly can cause the front wheel to lock, as it doesn't allow time for the bike's weight to shift forward.This significantly reduces the front tyre's grip on the road and may result in loss of control, posing a serious risk of an accident.

Did you know?

The aerodynamic drag on a motorcycle can increase by up to 40% just by the rider sitting upright instead of in a tucked position. It's a wind-resistance thing—like trying to walk through a pool vs. gliding through it!

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Riding a motorcycle is like savouring a five-star Michelin meal when you're absolutely famished. It's an experience that not only satisfies an immediate craving but also leaves a lasting impression. Just like that first bite of an extraordinary dish makes you forget the world around you, so does the initial twist of the throttle. Your focus narrows to the sensation of the bike, the road, and the rhythm of your breathing. It's an immediate way to bring mindfulness into your day.

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So next time you feel weighed down by the demands of life, remember that your two-wheeled 'Michelin experience' awaits you. One session on the road can recalibrate your mood quicker than you can say 'Michelin star.' It's the sort of lifelong journey that never disappoints, always offering new flavours for your soul to relish.

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