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Philip Test Rides the New Triumph Tiger 800

As with all these events, this one is a fairly tight schedule. We flew out of Birmingham at 10.00 hrs yesterday and arrived in Malaga early afternoon.

Triumph put on an afternoon of Go Karting. Last time I did Karting it was in Birmingham, again with Triumph and the conditions were dreadful. To say it rained was an understatement. But yesterday although it looked like it was going to rain and it didn’t. I was out in the last group and in with a few lads that know their stuff, Mark Smith and Philip McCallum are both fairly determined.

I was seventh on the grid and finished the race seventh, quite happy with that, even though that didn’t qualify me for a place in the final, as only the top five of each group went through. Never the less it was a good afternoon, although I am not sure if it was meant to be an event where we could vent our need for speed, thus trying to keep the ride on the new bike a bit safer!

After a buffet meal and a few beers in the bar, we retired to bed ready for a reasonable nine o ‘clock start today.

This morning was scheduled to be a classroom event for some of us and a ride for the others, however the weather was absolutely lashing it down. It might not rain here often, but when it does, boy does it rain.

Anyway the sensible decision was made to have everyone in the classroom and do the training in the morning then ride in the afternoon.

The Tiger 800 has sold 3,000 units for Triumph, so it’s a very important model in their line up. For 71% of purchasers it’s their first Triumph, the average mileage on a Tiger 800 is 5189 miles a year, so most three year old bikes typically have 15000 miles on them. The main reasons customers purchase a Tiger 800, according to customer surveys are............................

...........................................“the bikes looks design and overall performance.”

Triumph are launching four new models:-

· The XR, which is the base road model.

· The XC which is the base Cross Country off road style (both the XR and XC come with ABS Traction Control and fly by wire).

· The XR x and the XC x (the all singing all dancing models with switch able rider modes).

The Engine

All bikes benefit from the second generation 800 engine. This is 17% more efficient than the current engine, due to new KN7s injectors.

Higher fuel rail pressure, increased tumble mixture, this being the profile of the cylinder head that enhances mixture of the fuel and air whilst in the combustion chamber. Better throttle position sensor and a change in air box and inlet ducting.

The engine is fitted with Daytona R valve springs and has a different cam profile.

The 476w alternator is controlled by an intelligent electrics system that sends power where it is needed. What happens here is if the rider and pillion were to be sat at tick over for over twenty minutes and they both had full heated suits heated grips and heated seats on then the system would shut down the pillion heated seat to save power. Now obviously the system is well up to riding with all this gear switched on, but we wouldn’t want to overload the system if the engine isn’t spinning fast enough.

New valve buckets as per the modified Explorer ones have been fitted along with revised cam chain tensioner, to keep valve noise to a minimum. The primary drive gear has been re cut reducing some of the engine wine. Revised gearshift pivot plates along with Daytona forks and shafts should improve feel in the gearbox.

The bike still is 95ps which sits just right for restriction to the new A2 licence. One small criticism is the throttle position sensor is attached with normal type screws, yet this must not be adjusted. This is factory set and once set if moved you would be required to buy a full set of throttle bodies. I and a few other dealers have suggested that this is fitted with a none tamper screw and I think this might be something Triumph take on board.

Fly by Wire

Fly by wire brings a lot of advantages. Improved fuel efficiency as the throttle bodies are opened in line with requirements rather than responding to what you have just done. The ability to introduce traction control along with different rider modes and cruise control are all additional features.

The cruise control is the same as the Explorer so it works in fourth and sixth gear between 30mph and 100mph. The new Throttle maps don’t alter the power but alter the way in which the power is delivered, the sport mode gives a straighter line between no power and full power where as the rain mode has more of a curve so the power is fed in more smoothly. In modes there are road, off road and rider. When in off road setting the abs light will flash at a slow rate thus alerting you that the abs and traction control are off.

When putting the bike next to the current model, there are more differences than you think. New heel guards, reduced rubber on the footrest is a good one, the rubber is reduced by 10mm which will help people with long legs. This has been achievable because the engine is so much smoother. Handlebars have been raised, widened and risers are available.

Then the obvious things like headlamp and stickers, a few nice little touches are self cancelling indicators on the XR x and the XC x. The WP suspension stands out and I am looking forward to trying this. Colours are Black and White on the road version XR, and Black, White and Blue on the off road XC.

Well another half hour and I will have my Explorer suit on, which I am eternally grateful that I brought although, it does look to be brightening up. But if the bikes good in the wet and I enjoy riding it in the rain, then I am sure a hot sunny day will be wonderful.

Riding the Tiger 800

MALAGA TIGER 800 DEALER EVENT THE RIDE - Friday 28th November 2014
We are split into three groups of ten and set off with a few minutes between each group. The conditions are fine by Lancashire standards, although it has rained I don’t feel the roads are particularly slippery. But none the less this is an ideal opportunity to put the bike in the rain mode. There is a definite feel to the rain mode, I feel this would be really good for someone that doesn't experience riding in the wet on a regular basis and could easily save your bacon. We play follow my leader up out of Malaga in the general direction of Rhonda. This road would be really good on a hot summers day when you could give the bike its head. We are being led by a lad from the factory and they want to get us all back in one piece so we sit at a steady pace, but this is good as it lets you evaluate the engine noise.

This second generation engine does feel a lot smoother than the first generation. Is that possible? Well it does. The gear change is definitely better and I don’t ever remember thinking there was anything wrong with it before. There is virtually no vibration and the mirror position seems better I think the mirrors might just be slightly higher although they are the same mirrors as the old ones. I am on the XC x on the way up and I left the seat on the high setting. Normally I would set this to the low position but touching the ground doesn’t worry me so long as I can get one foot down. My reasoning was that if I can manage it with my stumpy little 28” inside leg then anyone can. I managed comfortably but I would probably lower the seat if riding regularly.

We stopped for a coffee after three quarters of an hour so I took this opportunity to swap for the XR x This had the seat in the low position so my feet were properly flat on the floor now. The ride back down the mountain was smooth, I did try jabbing the brake at one point and the ABS reminded me of its presence, coming in smoothly and bringing me to a stop without any fuss. The ABS and traction control are superb safety features and I am sure will become standard features on all bikes in the future.

Triumph have really groomed the Tiger 800 into the best of the best, this bike was brilliant before but the re-work of the engine, the styling improvements, coupled with the advances in technology really make this bike best in class. Would I have one myself? Yes I certainly would, there is nothing you couldn't do on this bike and I reckon it will do another 35,000 bikes for Triumph.... easy.