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Old 07-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #1
Burren Rider OP
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Tiger Tales - Dialling in the 800XC for the dirt

Thought I would fire up a thread for my new Tiger. The plan is to take the impressive platform that Triumph has put together and add some finishing touches to produce a really good, dirt orientated adventure bike.


When I first rode the new Tiger, I came away impressed with the motor but somewhat disheartened by the road orientated feel and gearbox that felt "compressed". As my first ride on a Triple, it seemed like it was a bit doughy down low and you were forever changing gears. While incredibly smooth and torquey, it felt like a sports bike motor in adventure clothing.

While I wandered off to look at other alternatives, the dealer was keen to help out and I was back for another run on the demo after a bit of setup in the workshop. We rolled the bars forward, removed the rubber inserts from the standard foot pegs and he gave me a crash course on riding Triples'. Heading out for a second time, the transformation in the ergo's was instant. With the bars higher and pegs lower, I could now stand on the pegs and it started to feel like a big dirt bike. The next thing I noticed was just how good this motor is. Basically you pick a gear, any gear, and just ride the thing. Yes, the gearbox still feels a little close to me (as in 1st could be lower and 6th taller without sacrificing too much?), but it doesn't really matter when the bike has such a wide power band. The engine is so smooth and linear that you often find yourself riding around a cog or two lower than you anticipated. Likewise it isn't unusual to be carrying a higher gear and find it roll on effortlessly when required.

Walking away after the second ride I was hooked. I had been close to pulling the trigger on a KTM 990 but for some reason the Tiger appealed to me and so that’s what I bought.


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Old 07-06-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
Deano955
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You've got excellent taste in Tiggers!



This is my 4th Triumph Triple. Like the 3 before it, it has a wonderfully linear torque curve and horsepower delivery. You will likely come to appreciate the drivetrain like I have with all of them (Tiger 800 XC, Tiger 1050, Tiger 955 and Daytona 955). Hence the screen name...

I've gotten my 2012 out into a little bit of dirt. Rolled the bars up like you did. Removed the rubber mounts in the foot pegs as well. Still has the street tires on it... With the exception of it being in the shop for 2 days now I'd say Triumph have done quite well with the new beast. Looking forward to getting mine back on the road, whenever that may be...
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:30 PM   #3
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I'm in!! My wallet may regret subscribing to your build...
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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Tyres

Tyres

The first change to the new bike was a quick tyre swap. I will admit the the idea of running proper dirt tyres on an adventure bike excited me so a new Dunlop MX71 found its way onto the front (with an UHD Tube of course) and a worn Mitas E-09 Dakar (left over from my V-Strom) was spooned onto the rear. I was initially concerned about the Dunlops ability to handle the extra weight of the Tiger but so far the combination appears to be a clear winner. Road handling is solid and the stability in the dirt is amazing. For a big bike it tracks incredibly well through all sorts of trail riding surfaces and on yesterdays ride I found myself looking for increasingly tricker tracks to see what its limits are. Depsite its size, I suspect a good rider on a Tiger shod with proper knobs would be hard to stop in the bush.


There are a couple of limitations though and I plan on addressing them soon. The first is clearance to the front guard.


Its a bit skinny in there and yesterday on a long stretch of tacky mud, I could feel the front pinch on a couple of occasions. To be honest, I thought it may have been more of an issue but i can only summise that the aggresive pattern clears the tyre better than a dual purpose tyre like the TKC80? Either way the guard will be getting a lift kit under it as soon as possible.


The second issue is mud spatter. On my first ride, I found that it funnels up off the front wheel, covers everything in it's path via the triple clamps and ends up residing on your goggles / visor. This only seems to happen on fast dirt roads but I still find it annoying. Now, before anyone makes any disparaging remarks about my adventure riding worthiness, it is a pain to be cleaning your goggles every km or two simply because you are roosting on your own helmet? I am guessing that all of those granules of soggy dirt are probably not overly condusive to happy wiring in the long run either. The plan at this stage is to raise the guard and add a fender extension and see if this solves the problem. If it doesn't, I am looking to fabricate some sort of deflector plate to attach to the bottom triple clamp to stem the flow northwards.




It's the same story with rear but the solution is easier. The XC's in Australia include an extended mud fender but Triumph has advised dealers not to fit them as they clash with the mounting of the number plates. The problem with this though is that it leaves some holes underneath the rear guard that make for a straight through path for mud and debris, right into an area where the dealer plug and other electrics sit.


The fix here is to drill some additional holes in the extended fender to facilitate number plate mounting and the bolt it up to the rear. This also braces the rear guard extender and seems to take some of the chatter out of the rear end on corrugations.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Armour


The standard engine protection plate is some type of plastic but actually quite solid.


It does very little to protect the oil filter and sides of the engine though so an upgrade was in order. I went for the SW Motech plate because it provides good protection for the oil filter, wraps around the cases nicely and also has a lip at the back to offer some protection for the shock linkage.


Continuing on in the Motech catalogue, I bought a set of crash bars too. I quite like the look of the geniune Triumph ones but I prefer the way the SW Motech version mounts to the frame at the top and provides some side impact protection for the radiator and tank.


The next port of call was the radiator. Seeing as though it is in the flight path from the front wheel, it got the Touratech treatment. I am also hoping that a fender extension at the front will stop a bit of the debris flicking its way.


Concerned about the amount of mud thrown at the rear shock I have also ordered a universal shock protector from Acerbis. I haven't had a chance to mount it yet but I have seen some pictures on the UK Tiger site and looks like it will do the job nicely.


The last thing on the protection front (for the moment) was a SW Motech Resevoir cover. For no other reason than it was cheap and I thought it looked trick.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano955 View Post
This is my 4th Triumph Triple. Like the 3 before it, it has a wonderfully linear torque curve and horsepower delivery. You will likely come to appreciate the drivetrain like I have with all of them (Tiger 800 XC, Tiger 1050, Tiger 955 and Daytona 955). Hence the screen name...

I've gotten my 2012 out into a little bit of dirt. Rolled the bars up like you did. Removed the rubber mounts in the foot pegs as well. Still has the street tires on it... With the exception of it being in the shop for 2 days now I'd say Triumph have done quite well with the new beast. Looking forward to getting mine back on the road, whenever that may be...
Great photo

What is happening with yours? Hope it is something they can fix without too much of a delay?

That motor certainly is a thing of beauty. Seems to be content crawling up rocky hills, purring along the highway or doing big skids on dirt roads. Hard to ask for more than that.

Edit: Just read your thread, nothing worse than getting something back worse than when you dropped it off. Hope they get it sorted soon.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by IbleedORANGE View Post
I'm in!! My wallet may regret subscribing to your build...
I am trying to not go over board here, but then I see something else that I am sure I will need. It could get a bit costly
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:27 PM   #8
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Subscribed! I'll be doing many of the same things right along with you. This bike is already very capable off road and it will soon be better!
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burren Rider View Post
I am trying to not go over board here, but then I see something else that I am sure I will need. It could get a bit costly
Subscribed!
I hope you will post up links to your other earlier threads here to give folks a sense of your history on ADV.

I remember your Vstrom and DRZ reports. Things tend to get lost and forgotten on ADV .... but respect needs to be paid!
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by av_mech View Post
Subscribed! I'll be doing many of the same things right along with you. This bike is already very capable off road and it will soon be better!
Yeah, I am really impressed with how the bike handles the dirt. Once you are up on the pegs, floating down a trail, it is easy to forget how big the Tiger actually is. The suspension works brilliantly and with a proper knobby on the front it just goes where it is told. Precise is the word that comes to mind, definately no wallowing so far. There are a few things that need doing to get it customised for the bush but it looks like being a very promising platform.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:30 AM   #11
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Ergonomics

As delivered, the bars area really low and this made standing on the pegs fairly awkward. The solution seemed to be rolling them forward (and up) in the clamps which improves things immensly. I am now beginning to think a different bend of bar is called for though as they feel a little too far away when sitting. I have a set of Henry/Reed Pro Tapers left over in the shed so I will try those (they seem to have a bit more sweep) and see how they go. One thing that needs doing when moving the bars up (or switching them) is grinding off the little locating tabs in the switch blocks. Two minutes with a Dremel and the job is done.


The standard pegs (once the rubber inserts are removed) are actually pretty good for a standard adventure tourer but I have been talking to Pivot Pegz here in Oz and they will have a production run of their new Mk3 pegs available by the end of August hopefully. Having used these on my DRZ for the last few years you get used to the flexibility and I will be throwing a set on the Triumph when they are available.

The standard seat seems really good and the standing position is excellent with MX Boots. I find it is hard to lock your legs in on the frame in jeans whilst standing but proper off-road boots allow you to just grip it and go.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:37 AM   #12
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An excellent build along. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:40 AM   #13
Aussie Trev
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This is exactly what I've been looking for Danny. I'm trying to make a decision about a Tiger 800 XC but with a DR650 and DRZ400 in the garage, and only just competent on them, I hoped I'd find a down to earth rider who can properly assess a Tiger for me.

Very interested in your feeling of it on dirt because that was my area of concern. Is this your first BIG dirt bike?
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:54 AM   #14
Killboy
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Outstanding...... my XC needs some of this!
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:14 AM   #15
levain
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In order to subscribe and follow along, I'm required to say something constructive. Can't think of anything
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