First Look: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XC and XR

Gabe Ets-Hokin
by Gabe Ets-Hokin

More Tiger in your tank.

On November 7th, 2017, Triumph Motorcycles showed updated Tiger 800 on/off road adventure motorcycles at Milan’s EICMA show, with a huge list of changes for each. Both the XC and XR models get engine changes, new electronics, new bodywork and other luxury and performance feature upgrades. It’s one of the most comprehensive updates to the 800, now in its ninth model year.

Triumph claims over 200 updates to engine and chassis, including a more responsive engine, a shorter first-gear ratio, new exhaust, new electronic rider aids, new instrumentation and switchgear, and new styling.

The engine is said to be more responsive. Triumph says “optimized,” but I think that means a shorter first gear and lighter exhaust system with a growlier (is that a word?) sound. Also, there’s a new riding mode for the off-road-oriented XR models – Off-Road Pro – for expert riders to have more control over rear-wheel traction in the dirt.

Higher-spec 800 XRx has a 19-inch, pavement-oriented front hoop.

Chassis upgrades include new Brembo front brakes (the bottom-spec XR keeps the Nissins from last year) and upgraded suspension: Showa for the XR models, long-travel WP for the XC’s. WP – KTM’s suspension supplier – should lend the 800 some serious off-road cred.

There are also comfort, convenience and styling upgrades. There’s redesigned bodywork, a new five-poisiiton windscreen with adjustable “aero diffusers,” LED lighting, and new seat foam. You also get your full-color TFT display, up to six engine-mapping modes (depending on model) and backlit handlebar switches and even little joystick-like switch cubes to toggle through the various displays and menus.

We’ve always enjoyed riding the Tiger 800 – it really provides great bang for the buck and is fun to ride – so we’re eager to get our gloved mitts on the six different models (XR, XRx, XRx low, XRT, XCx and XCA) to see how they stack up against the competition. We don’t yet have information on availability and pricing.

Follow the rest of our 2017 EICMA show coverage

New bodywork keeps the 800 looking fresh.
Five-inch full-color TFT display keeps the new Tiger owner informed.
Off-road-leaning Tiger 800 XCA.
Gabe Ets-Hokin
Gabe Ets-Hokin

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