erik350: i will PM you to get your contact info. i will definitely have some questions, and i will take you up on the offer to stay at your place. thank you so much!
aviatorbdm: welcome aboard. i've been looking for an excuse to rave about the Triumph Tiger 800xc
! i nearly purchased a used BMW f800gs
after test-riding it and the KTM 990
(which are both good bikes), until i test rode the Tiger. it was love at first ride, so don't test one out unless you intend to buy it.
here are the advantages i see to the Tiger:
the street triple engine is rediculously smooth on the road. even pushing 8000rpm passing cars, you barely feel the engine vibration. great for those long, iron-butt sessions. the transmission is also ridiculously smooth - you don't feel it when you shift, no jerkiness. very, very clean.
the 800cc engine is very responsive all the way through the power band. on the freeway, you don't even need to drop into 5th to tear around cars. and if you do, it will take all of 1 second to see them in the rear view mirror. anytime you roll the throttle, it produces very big smiles... even loaded up with 125 lbs of adventure gear. caveat: the 1st gear is very tall and can feel a bit 'whimpy', but it is set up that way to produce a good idle speed for off-road work.
the stock seat is actually pretty good, as compared to the f800 and the ktm 990. and the height of the bike is very good. i'm 6' 4", and it fits me great. there is a seat adjustment for shorter riders. i don't know why, but i didn't like the fit of the f800gs. and the ktm 990 was like riding around on a 2x4 with an engine... i know it's very capable off-road, but i would be hesitant to take it on long trips for fear my ass would fall off. i made 2 additional comfort alterations: airhawk R
seat pad (amazing for any bike), and ROX 2" pivot risers
the stock suspension out of the box is very, very good. i'm 225 lbs, and it doesn't mind me, nor my 125 lbs of luggage at all. it eats up pot-holes, big bumps, rocks like they are not there. but it's also very firm on tight corners at speed. i honestly don't know how they did it. there is a pre-load adjustment for passengers or heavy luggage, and even a dampener adjustment for the rebound. very well desinged. IMO the f800gs suspension is garbage out of the box and requires replacement. the ktm is probably on par or better than the triumph.
i wasn't expecting it after the farkel-fest i went through on my last bike, spending way too much time hunting down the best accessories, but triumph offers a very well-though out package of adventure touring accessories for the tiger 800xc
- everything you need, and nothing you don't. part of it could be that the aftermarket companies haven't had time to R&D stuff yet, as the tiger is only 2-3 years out in the market. or it could be that they realized they got beat out by triumph. i ended up with the sump guard, engine protector bars, center stand, radiator guard, fog lights, heated grips, adjustable windshield, and a few other goodies. i'm very happy with all of them, and it saved me a ton of time shopping around for other variations.
: the tiger 800xc is a good looking bike. it's got a je ne sais quoi
advantage over the f800gs, and IMO the ktm is 'fugly'. temper this opinion with the fact that i already own it and am in love with it.