Originally Posted by reenmachine
Interesting. I've been lurking here because this spring I want to step up from my G650GS to a Tiger 800, and as my riding is 80% pavement I was planning on getting the roadie. Are you saying I wouldn't be giving anything up on my daily commute handling and weekend canyon twisties by getting the XC?
Are you sure 20%? If it's even 10% you want the XC. If it's 100% road you want the T800 roadie.
What the road version has going for it are the cast alloy wheels (lighter) and tubeless tires. Suspension is firmer so hard cornering is better. The 19" front turns in faster, it's a quicker handling bike. And it's a grand less. How can you miss?
But...and it's a big 'but'...if you're going to do any off pavement the XC's suspension is miles ahead, and the 21" front is far superior. The offroading GS guys install 21 fronts, it's just that much better.
For me, 90% pavement, I didn't want to give up road performance for off pavement performance. So my major criteria was that I lose nothing on the road. The XC's road manners are stellar, you really don't give up anything. Yes, the front grip patch is smaller, and you have to give a little harder tug of counter to lean the bike over. It's a beautifully cornering machine though. And the suspension is really plush, I prefer it for even road going, it's really comfy. One of the things I hated about my Versys was the hard riding suspension - the XC is just a dream. And I have mentioned before, unless you're really aggressive, there's not much brake dive or see-sawing, corner yawing. They really set them up nice.
The downside are the tube type tires and spoked wheels. They do require keeping the spokes tuned, and if you have to repair a flat you have to remove the wheel and patch or replace the tube. To me, a center stand is a must-have for the XC, without a doubt.
Looking back on the purchase decision now after 5K miles, I know I got the right one, without any hesitation. It's a fantastic motorbike that puts a big smile on your face every time you get on it.