2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx Review

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

When last we visited a Triumph Tiger 800 in XC guise it was in a shootout against BMW’s F800GS Adventure in 2014. This was prior to Triumph’s further diversification of the lineup which now consists of eight models – four XR and four XC including the XCx tested here.

2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

Editor Score: 87.75%
Engine 17.75/20
Suspension/Handling 13.25/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.75/10
Brakes 8.75/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 9.5/10
Overall Score87.75/100

The XCx upgrades the standard XC with a variety of niceties including cruise control, ride modes, auto-canceling indicators, auxiliary socket, centerstand, as well as protecting the bike better via sump, engine, radiator and hand guards. All of this for an MSRP increase of $1,200 ($13,700 vs. $12,500).

According to Triumph, the XCx weighs seven more pounds than the XC, mostly due to its centerstand and variety of protective guards. On the MO scales the XCx came in at 519 pounds full of fuel, making it the lightest bike among those tested in our forthcoming Wire-Wheel Adventure-Bike Shootout. The 800cc Triple of the Tiger produced marginally better horsepower than Honda’s 998cc parallel-Twin (87.5 hp at 9200 rpm vs. 85.7 hp at 7600 rpm), but substantially less torque from its 200cc-smaller displacement (52.9 lb-ft at 7900 rpm vs. 67.0 lb-ft at 5900 rpm).

The inline-three requires revs to reach its full potential. It’s fun on all paved roads, but it’s less user-friendly when riding in slow and technical areas off-road.

All XC models roll on a 21-inch front, 17-inch rear tire combo, which helps unburden off-road encumbrances. Transitions through a series of paved twisties will be slightly more lethargic, but it’s a good compromise for an ADV bike. Climbing a seriously tight roadway on our way up to Big Bear, the only thing holding the Tiger back was the grinding of its footpegs through an unrelenting stream of 15-mph corners.

2015 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx vs. Yamaha FJ-09

Also helping the Tiger in off-road situations is the amazingly well-thought-out combination of preset parameters in its Off-Road riding mode. A simple button push on the left front of the instrument cluster switched the Tiger from Road to Off-Road mode, effectively changing the power delivery, TC and ABS settings to better suit unpaved conditions. And, if you’re not happy with the factory settings you can modify them in Rider mode, personalizing them to your preferences, which is then also selectable via the same instrument cluster button.

The instrument cluster will be recognizable to anyone familiar with Tigers. The “M” button on the left selects preset Road and Off-Road modes, as well as your customized Rider mode. Other info includes speed, fuel and temp gauges, odo and tripmeters, clock and GPI.

The Tiger’s seating position is somewhat more road biased with its handlebars positioned lower than other off-road adventurers, forcing a rider to lean over a tad further when standing on the pegs. Taller riders never complained of discomfort, and shorter riders welcomed its adjustable 33.0-to-33.8-inch seat height.

For anyone entertaining the thought of longer-distance traveling, the addition of cruise control is almost worth the price of admission alone. The set-it-and-forget-it option for long stretches of straight lines can’t be beat. The self-cancelling turn signals are admittedly cool, once you get lazy enough to let them do their job.

The x model’s electronics package, centerstand, skid plate and crash bars are a sensible and affordable upgrade over the standard model Tiger XC. If you do any off-roading the extra protection can turn a potentially ride-ending error into a minor mishap.

Depending on your point of view, the chain final drive can either be beneficial or detrimental, but at least the x model comes with a centerstand that makes lubrication, adjustment and repair much less ominous tasks – especially when away from the comforts of home.

The Tiger proves to be a good option for anyone intimidated by the typical 600-pound adventure bike. Its more easily managed size and weight are something to be seriously considered, and its reasonable MSRP is a grand value considering the robust electronics package and other add-ons.

2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

+ Highs

  • Fun on the pavement and in the dirt
  • Small and light makes right
  • Good value for the price

– Sighs

  • Engine is a little revvy for technical off-roading
  • Doesn’t have the torque of larger-displacement engines
  • Bars are low when standing
Twin front 308mm floating discs and Nissin 2-­piston calipers with switchable ABS provide ample stopping power on both paved and unpaved surfaces.

2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx Specifications

Horsepower87.5 hp @ 9200 rpm
Torque52.9 lb-ft @ 7900 rpm
Engine Capacity800cc
Engine TypeInline three-cylinder
Bore x Stroke74.1 mm / 61.9 mm
Fuel SystemEFI
ClutchWet multi-plate 6-speed
Final DriveChain
FrameTubular steel trellis frame
Front SuspensionWP 43mm upside down forks, adjustable rebound and compression damping, 220mm travel
Rear SuspensionWP monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment, 215mm rear wheel travel
Front BrakesTwin 308mm floating discs, Nissin 2-­piston sliding calipers, Switchable ABS
Rear BrakesSingle 255mm disc, Nissin single piston sliding caliper, Switchable ABS
Front Tire90/90­-21
Rear Tire150/70-R17
Seat Height33.0 – 33.8 in
Wheelbase60.8 in
Rake/Trail24.3º / 3.8 in
Curb Weight519 lbs
Fuel Capacity5.0 gallons
ElectronicsCruise control, ride modes, auto cancelling indicators
ColorsCaspian Blue, Crystal White, Phantom Black
Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former Motorcycle.com staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for Motorcycle.com when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Steve C Steve C on Sep 15, 2016

    The Triumph was on my short list but now that the Honda Africa Twin is out…….

  • Vrooom Vrooom on Sep 15, 2016

    I like that thing. Let's face it you're going to add a centerstand anyway. Chain maintenance is too much of a pain without one.