Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Test Ride Review: 2011 Triumph Tiger 800

5.23.2011

Test Ride Review: 2011 Triumph Tiger 800

Last week I took a field trip to Akron, OH to participate in a Triumph demo event hosted by Northern Ohio Ducati Triumph with hopes of test riding the new Triumph Tiger 800 and Sprint GT 1050. For the second time that I've attended these events in the last year (the other one being at MOTOHIO European Motorbikes in Columbus), Triumph didn't make the Sprint GT available for test rides. I speculate that they're selling them like hotcakes. Here's my last blog post regarding the Sprint GT.

Triumph has two versions of the Tiger 800: the 800 and 800XC. The latter is a more off-road oriented version with spoked wheels, a taller, wider seat, and handguards. I test rode the regular 800 in Crystal White.

2001 Triumph Tiger 800. The XC model (also in Crystal White) is in the background.
Test Ride Remarks:
I rode an 8-9 mile round trip route through main streets and residential roads. The crawling traffic allowed me to test its balance in slow speed maneuvers and I was extremely impressed. Acceleration was quick and shifting was smooth. Like its big brother, the Tiger 1050, the powerband was easily accessible in every gear. In the sharper corners, the Tiger leaned into curves without much effort and its lightweight chassis made it easy to flick around. Braking was crisp and sensitive with stainless steel brake lines included standard (Japanese bike makers, please take note).

The Titanium/Carbon Fiber Arrow exhaust is definitely a nice upgrade!
The on-board controls include a digital speedometer, fuel gauge, dual trip odometer, analog tachometer, and *drum roll* gear indicator!
Factory option saddlebags (as shown on the Tiger 800XC). Notice the notch made to accommodate the exhaust pipe.
I would like to see how this bike would fare in long distance or prolonged rides. In terms of traveling range, the 5 gallon tank in addition to it being an 800cc triple cylinder bike would make it a formidable long-distance rider. I would estimate this bike to get anywhere from 45-55MPG which would make it super economical at the pump.

Pros:
- Well-balanced and extremely easy to handle around corners and slow-speed maneuvers.
- Spirited six-speed engine with full range of power available with the flick of a wrist.
- Optional Arrow titanium exhaust has a wonderful deep sound and burble to it.
- Cleated footpegs are standard and ready for those occasional dual-sport excursions.
- Adjustable stock seat height from 31.9-32.7 inches.
- Just knocked the Tiger 1050 off my already short list of bikes to acquire!

Cons:
- Handlebars are a quite wide and could be tilted back a bit further.
- Clutch's friction zone takes longer to engage (the lever has to be nearly all the way out for the bike to start moving).
- High-mounted exhaust pipe will make mounting saddlebags a little challenging.
- Shorter inseam riders may need to make a few adjustments.

Special thanks to the guys at Northern Ohio Ducati Triumph for hosting this test riding event. If you're ever in the Cleveland (Akron) area and want to stare at bikes and hang out in their gorgeous showroom, come by for a visit!

For manufacturer information about the Triumph Tiger (and their other bikes), visit http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/.