TRIUMPH TIGER 800 ROAD TEST
During a visit to the UK I went to a simultaneous dealer launch of the new Triumph Tiger 800 range at my local UK dealer Bill Smith Motors Chester. It was surprising how well attended it was considering the current climate, however Bill Smith motors has a long family history of motorcycle sales and racing. Having a showroom situated on the corner of a major road junction in Chester alongside a car park helps to maintain average sales of two bikes a day. Along with a massive stock of new and used bikes their showroom has a Messene balcony floor dedicated to clothing and there was a 20% discount on the night along with food, drinks and a free prize draw.
Two models of the Tiger 800 are available, 800 and 800XC. The 800 is labelled as the one to take you and the 800XC built to take it, a scratch tour and commute 3 bikes in one. Both models have Showa front forks. 43mm by 180mm travel on the 800 and alloy wheels and 45mm by 220mm on the 800XC which has spoke wheels. Addition extras on the 800XC include spotlights alloy encased. Rear rack and grab handles are included. Large optional luggage boxes are available for both models big enough for most outings!
There is a large rear seat for a passenger on both models but it is a bit thin if you’re taking a passenger for a long ride. I thought this Tiger range had replaced the 1050 Tiger with a comfortable touring seat but it is in addition to the 1050 version. As an adventure bike the Tiger 800 is tall with a low seating position, ideal if you struggle to reach the ground on other makes of similar adventure bikes.
Every Triumph bike I have had the pleasure of reviewing has been so rider friendly. I went out on the Tiger 800 round Chester and North Wales feeling at home from the first gear change.
Pulling away at just over 2000rpm in any gear the long stroke 799cc liquid cooled DOHC triple engine is so smooth with bags of torque you can easily forget to change gear. Round the city of Chester it feels light and nimble. Continuous improvements to gearboxes mean very precise gear changes and a light clutch although brakes could have been a little sharper.
Out on the Chester bypass at high speed the Tiger 800 was as stable and positive as any of Triumph’s road bikes with the screen providing more protection to my face than expected.
Other than freezing my n---ts off at 3 degrees the Tiger 800 was a joy to ride and very competitively priced at just over £7000 on the road in the UK. Another Triumph from what must now be the best motorcycle manufacturer in the world and it’s British! Not only that when Triumph replace the Trophy it must be the most complete motorcycle range in the world, all in just over 20 years! Many thanks to Kelvin at Bill Smith Motors Chester for the loan of the Tiger 800.