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Old 02-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #3691
Steinbuck
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Valley of Heart's Delight
Oddometer: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriKTM View Post
Thanks for posting here, Steinbuck! I'm eating up everything I can find on the Tigers, as the hubby and I have bikes on order, sight unseen.
I don't usually like to "ride the spec sheet" but it was easy enough to put in a down payment based on specs alone, and ensure our place in line.

I do have a few questions about your ride in Baja..

1) What is your motorcycling background? Previous post you mentioned being a "dirt novice", but what other bikes have you ridden/enjoyed? How tall are you?
I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam. Other bikes I've ridden include a DRZ400, Buell Ulysses, BMW GS, KTM SM-T, various sportbikes...and a Desmosedici on the racetrack.
Back in the day (I love that phrase), I was the guy that everyone else waited on when we went dirt biking. I started riding on the street and just never trusted corners that were dirty; made for difficult dirt-biking. Since then, almost all my dirt experience comes from 2 prior Baja trips and some time last year at Big Bend NP, Monument Valley, and a few others.
The best "dirty" thing that ever happened to me was going to the RawHyde school before my first Baja trip in 2008. I rode my Uly and learned that it could do things I never imagined...and that I could be in control. It completely changed my attitude, but there are still many things for me to learn about true dirt riding.

Quote:
2) How many miles per day did you average in Baja? Were you comfortable enough on the bike to ride longer?
Miles per day varied from 100 to 300. I stopped a LOT for photos, so continuous seat time was usually short. Even so, I consciously paid attention to the seat comfort. I've long thought that the Buell has the most comfortable stock seat, but the Triumph may change that. It's gel with a fabric (not pleather) cover and was always comfortable. I was seriously impressed.

Quote:
3) How about little maintenance issues on the Tiger? Such as, the air filter. Is it a washable foam filter? I suspect Baja, like New Mexico, would require frequent attention to the air filter. Any other little adjustments you made while on the trip? Anything you'd like to see changed, or have better access?
The only maintenance I did was to check the oil (the level never changed) and lube the chain. A centerstand would have helped with the chain but this model didn't have one.
You'd have to check the specs for the air filter since I never looked at it.
There were some minor issues that I'll list in a separate post of the highlights and (rare) lowlights.

Quote:
..and did anything break? I remember reading that the sidestand was flopping a bit on some of the roads, but did you notice any other issues at the end of the trip?

Thanks!
My last Triumph post corrected the note about the sidestand; it was actually the chain slapping on the swingarm guard. The chain slack was in spec but toward the loose end. I'd guess that running it a little more taught would minimize the slap, but 1) I didn't want to have it too tight, and 2) it wasn't damaging anything. It was only in the roughest stuff.
Nothing broke. The "check engine" light came on when I first barged through a water crossing, and stayed on for a few days. It didn't affect the bike's performance at all so I ignored it and wandered deeper into the wilderness. Besides, it was fun to know that the Triumph folks were freaked out about it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:06 PM   #3692
Steinbuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Dave View Post
How about the MPG? Reports seem really mixed so far, what were your results for highway and dirt?
Well, I can answer that question! The Triumph has a cool display that shows:
Miles so far (i.e., regular odometer)
Average mpg
Instantaneous mpg
Average speed
Running time (or some other timed thing, I forget)
Miles left on tank

With 1200 miles of freeway, highway, stop-and-go, rain and dirt--in other words, a typical mix--the XC averaged 44+ mpg. That included high speeds on the freeway (hey, it IS southern California) and lugging it in the dirt. At 65 mph it was common to read 60 mpg instantaneously. The few times that I dared glance at it while in the dirt, it read in the mid-30s.
Even when Jon and I were in the dirt it was easy to get >150 miles per tank. It's 19 L (5 gal) and on pavement would easily reach 200 miles.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:12 PM   #3693
Steinbuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMPAJIM View Post
That is one smooth engine. Turbine like. Very well mannered at low speed, but a lot of power with no buzz when you twist her up.
+1 on the engine
It lacked low-end torque compared to my Ulysses, but then so does everything else. Other than that, it was fantastic. It would lug all the way down to 2000 rpm, and on the other end of the spectrum it would jump ahead when rolled on at 80 mph...So Cal freeways, ya know.
It also had the sweetest sound. Rolling on the throttle sounded like a jet taking off.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:13 PM   #3694
Steinbuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Multhaup View Post
It's five gallon tank had essentially identical range to my 1150GS with it's 6 gallon tank. I usually get close to 40 mpg on the GS for a 240 mile range. I think the Tiger beats that.
When Jonathan and I filled up, I would consistently take about 20% less fuel.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:27 PM   #3695
gatling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steinbuck View Post
Hola,

I got lucky and spent last week in Baja with the 800XC.

You can read my blog posts on the Triumph Web site under News:
http://www.triumph.co.uk/usa/News_9420.aspx

There's lots more I could put into a Ride Report but Triumph doesn't want me to start my own topic. HOWEVER, if there was a new Topic, say, with something like..."Hey, I saw some stuff on a Baja ride on the Triumph site and wondered if we could get more info here on ADVrider..." then I would have no choice but to expand.
Good report, Kevin. I posted it on the California Scooter blog.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #3696
LoriKTM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steinbuck View Post
I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam. Other bikes I've ridden include a DRZ400, Buell Ulysses, BMW GS, KTM SM-T, various sportbikes...and a Desmosedici on the racetrack.
Thanks for the great info, Kevin!

My husband has a Buell Ulysses, that I've ridden a few times. The comparisons between the two bikes are much appreciated. You are very lucky to get to ride Baja, AND get to do it on a new Tiger!
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:53 PM   #3697
Steinbuck
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800xc +/-

Cool:
The seat is perhaps the most comfortable stock seat I've ever used.
The seat adjusts by 1" using two rods in the seat pan. You can't lose the rods because they're held in place by thick elastic straps.
Handlebars can rotate (they're indexed) and the standoffs can be turned around to give about 1" fore/aft change.
The footpegs have rubber inserts that are easily removed and have aggressive teeth when "bare".
The tank holds 19 L and would easily do 200 miles of highway travel.
The tool kit included 3 locksets so the optional hard bags would be keyed to match the ignition.
All the info that's available on the dual resettable tripmeters. (See earlier post.)
Headlights were extremely effective, especially on high beam. There's a little flip lever to quickly adjust for a load on the back.
There's a sight glass for oil level.
Shock has adjustment for preload and rebound damping.
There are several tabs on the subframe for looping a bungee cord.
Chain adjustment is easy as long as you can handle two wrenches at one time.
The accessory tank bag was really useful without getting too much in the way. The platform stays in place and the bag attaches with two snap buckles on the front and a magnetic rear.
The accessory tail pack is a good size for a weekend or a picnic with your honey. There are two end panels useful for quick-access items. The pack includes two handles that hide in zippered pockets and a shoulder strap.

Uncool:
The tool kit didn't include the allen keys necessary to adjust the handlebars or another big allen key necessary to remove the front wheel. (I suggest that you get these and carry them with you; there's room in the toolkit bag.)
The throttle-side cables abraded the paint on the fairing panel. (Triumph's UK warranty office is investigating.)
The plastic cover on the tailpiece broke. This one takes a little explanation, so bear with me. The underside of the tail pack has a strap that slides over the tailpiece. The pack is then held in place with four straps and snap buckles. I had those straps pulled really tight for the first day off-road; the underside loop pinched the plastic cover on the tailpiece and broke both sides. Learn from my mistake and it won't happen to you.
Those four buckled straps looped around the grab handles and abraded the finish.
There are two rails inside the gas filler to prevent sticking the nozzle way down there. Instead, they caused gas to splash out.
The headlights caused the windscreen to glow at night. (I found it distracting. YMMV.)

Cool IMHO:
Stock Bridgestones did well in the soft stuff at 25 psi. Triumph's manual actually had a recommended low-pressure setting of 22 psi!
Stock headlight guard looks the biz.
The shift lever can easily be switched to a race pattern (1 up, 5 down). I had to remove the countershaft cover but it just made the bike look more...purposeful.
The paved-road handling was outstanding. I didn't quite drag the pegs but could get close.
The handlebars were perfect for highway travel, albeit a bit low when standing on the pegs.
The Triumph warranty department contacted me the next day when I pointed out the cable abrasions.
There's a PASS button to flash the high beams. It felt so European.
At night, the tach appears to glow with a soft blue light.
It sounds so sweet when accelerating through the gears.
The frame looks like a piece of sculpture.

The coolest thing? Having Triumph NA trust me with a machine that had been in the country only a few days. Do you know of any other company that loaned their hottest model (now, now--keep it clean) for a week in a foreign country? I must give kudos to all the folks within Triumph who made this trip possible. It wasn't easy for them to arrange a bike that had very limited availability in the U.S.; a special thanks goes to Monika who, on short notice got critical paperwork and riding gear to my place on time.
Last but not least to Reg Kittrelle, who somehow convinced Triumph to trust a non-journalist whom they had never met. Muchas Gracias, amigo.

Steinbuck screwed with this post 02-25-2011 at 11:00 PM
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #3698
Steinbuck
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Location: Valley of Heart's Delight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatling View Post
Good report, Kevin. I posted it on the California Scooter blog.
Thanks! I love being on this internetty thing.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:02 AM   #3699
warnabrother
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steinbuck View Post
Cool:
The seat is perhaps the most comfortable stock seat I've ever used.
The seat adjusts by 1" using two rods in the seat pan. You can't lose the rods because they're held in place by thick elastic straps.
Handlebars can rotate (they're indexed) and the standoffs can be turned around to give about 1" fore/aft change.
The footpegs have rubber inserts that are easily removed and have aggressive teeth when "bare".
The tank holds 19 L and would easily do 200 miles of highway travel.
The tool kit included 3 locksets so the optional hard bags would be keyed to match the ignition.
All the info that's available on the dual resettable tripmeters. (See earlier post.)
Headlights were extremely effective, especially on high beam. There's a little flip lever to quickly adjust for a load on the back.
There's a sight glass for oil level.
Shock has adjustment for preload and rebound damping.
There are several tabs on the subframe for looping a bungee cord.
Chain adjustment is easy as long as you can handle two wrenches at one time.
The accessory tank bag was really useful without getting too much in the way. The platform stays in place and the bag attaches with two snap buckles on the front and a magnetic rear.
The accessory tail pack is a good size for a weekend or a picnic with your honey. There are two end panels useful for quick-access items. The pack includes two handles that hide in zippered pockets and a shoulder strap.

Uncool:
The tool kit didn't include the allen keys necessary to adjust the handlebars or another big allen key necessary to remove the front wheel. (I suggest that you get these and carry them with you; there's room in the toolkit bag.)
The throttle-side cables abraded the paint on the fairing panel. (Triumph's UK warranty office is investigating.)
The plastic cover on the tailpiece broke. This one takes a little explanation, so bear with me. The underside of the tail pack has a strap that slides over the tailpiece. The pack is then held in place with four straps and snap buckles. I had those straps pulled really tight for the first day off-road; the underside loop pinched the plastic cover on the tailpiece and broke both sides. Learn from my mistake and it won't happen to you.
Those four buckled straps looped around the grab handles and abraded the finish.
There are two rails inside the gas filler to prevent sticking the nozzle way down there. Instead, they caused gas to splash out.
The headlights caused the windscreen to glow at night. (I found it distracting. YMMV.)

Cool IMHO:
Stock Bridgestones did well in the soft stuff at 25 psi. Triumph's manual actually had a recommended low-pressure setting of 22 psi!
Stock headlight guard looks the biz.
The shift lever can easily be switched to a race pattern (1 up, 5 down). I had to remove the countershaft cover but it just made the bike look more...purposeful.
The paved-road handling was outstanding. I didn't quite drag the pegs but could get close.
The handlebars were perfect for highway travel, albeit a bit low when standing on the pegs.
The Triumph warranty department contacted me the next day when I pointed out the cable abrasions.
There's a PASS button to flash the high beams. It felt so European.
At night, the tach appears to glow with a soft blue light.
It sounds so sweet when accelerating through the gears.
The frame looks like a piece of sculpture.

The coolest thing? Having Triumph NA trust me with a machine that had been in the country only a few days. Do you know of any other company that loaned their hottest model (now, now--keep it clean) for a week in a foreign country? I must give kudos to all the folks within Triumph who made this trip possible. It wasn't easy for them to arrange a bike that had very limited availability in the U.S.; a special thanks goes to Monika who, on short notice got critical paperwork and riding gear to my place on time.
Last but not least to Reg Kittrelle, who somehow convinced Triumph to trust a non-journalist whom they had never met. Muchas Gracias, amigo.
You missed a few
UNCOOL's
Forks have no ride adjustment
Th pillion peg / chassis "issue"
The crash bars are tied to the engine and not the chassis
The bash plate is attched to the engine not the chassis
It looks like a BMW

But the engine should be a real treat and the build quality would have to be better than the opposition (even though I have seen some real "Friday" bikes come out of Triumph)
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:11 AM   #3700
Desert Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steinbuck View Post
Well, I can answer that question! The Triumph has a cool display that shows:
Miles so far (i.e., regular odometer)
Average mpg
Instantaneous mpg
Average speed
Running time (or some other timed thing, I forget)
Miles left on tank

With 1200 miles of freeway, highway, stop-and-go, rain and dirt--in other words, a typical mix--the XC averaged 44+ mpg. That included high speeds on the freeway (hey, it IS southern California) and lugging it in the dirt. At 65 mph it was common to read 60 mpg instantaneously. The few times that I dared glance at it while in the dirt, it read in the mid-30s.
Even when Jon and I were in the dirt it was easy to get >150 miles per tank. It's 19 L (5 gal) and on pavement would easily reach 200 miles.
Thanks.

The display sounds similar to the GS which I found the average mpg feature very useful in figuring out my actual range for the tank of gas I was on at the moment, always dead on or within 1 mpg compared to my math when filling up. Is the Triumphs as accurate?

Never found the instantaneous mpg useful as the slightest difference in throttle had huge results so I couldn't trust it for much.

BTW, I'm not obsessed with mpg at all, but really interested in usable range. Seems reports like yours where you actually put some miles on are getting decent results. For whatever reason a 200 mile usable range seems to be my magic mark where I'm not spending to much time thinking about where I need to stop for fuel next.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:08 AM   #3701
tankara fishing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriKTM View Post
Thanks for posting here, Steinbuck! I'm eating up everything I can find on the Tigers, as the hubby and I have bikes on order, sight unseen.
LoriKTM, I see you're from New Mexico. Did you order them from PJ's? When did he tell you to expect them? I'm in Albuquerque and looking forward to seeing/test riding em!
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:08 AM   #3702
Boon Booni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Multhaup View Post
It seemed to get about 50 mpg when tooling along at reasonable speeds (say, no more than 80 mph) on the pavement. Mileage didn't drop off much when working the turns hard, but did drop some when churning up sand. It's five gallon tank had essentially identical range to my 1150GS with it's 6 gallon tank. I usually get close to 40 mpg on the GS for a 240 mile range. I think the Tiger beats that.

If the new tiger has at least a 240 mile range, that's Icing on the cake. This bike just keeps getting better and better.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:19 AM   #3703
Zapp22
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Question

Steinbuck - tell me [honestly] about handling on steep rocky/loose downhill?
That steep rake is the one spec issue that I found baffling. for someone with meager heavy-bike-offroad skills [that would be me] it looks like a liability.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steinbuck View Post
Thanks! I love being on this internetty thing.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:01 AM   #3704
MarkNC
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Thanks for all the great Info the new Tiger 800 looks like a sweet bike. I cant wait to see one in person it may move to the top of my wish list. Currently trying to decide between a new Tenere or F800GS now the plot thickens haha.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:31 AM   #3705
Lion BR
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Location: Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapp22 View Post
Steinbuck - tell me [honestly] about handling on steep rocky/loose downhill?
That steep rake is the one spec issue that I found baffling. for someone with meager heavy-bike-offroad skills [that would be me] it looks like a liability.
I'm glad you are bringing this up.

Tires and suspension, one can eventually "fix" to make the bike more dirt worthy. Motor and rake not.

The motor I hear that, despite being detuned and more torquey when compared to the 675, it still has a street soul. The 10K redline is a good give away. The low torque at low rpm is another, as documented by Steinbuck.

The rake is steep on this bike, very roady. It makes it for a more direct feel, that a small twitch in the handle bars will give a more immediate turn of the wheel. Very good for aggressive riding on pavement.

But it works the other way on dirt as the input from road back to the rider may be too fast. Especially when the road has more irregular surface. A rock or deep sand or deep gravel, or a small rut, may translate into problems. The steep angle is likely to make the wheel want to "climb" the ridges faster, turning the wheel on the direction of the rut wall. Same thing would happen on deep sand and gravel making it twitchy. And on fast gravel it may bring the onset of front end wobble more pronounced and at lower speeds than what you get from less steep rakes.

I suppose a Scotts or RM dampener may take care of the problem.

The context for my opinion:

My interest on this bike is to have it as a road bike that is capable of been taken on adventures, carrying camping gear. But it won't be my choice for venturing too aggressively on the dirt part of the deal. I have other bikes for that purpose. I welcome the engine with its street soul, and the road manners the rake can bring.

Of course, if you are mainly a street rider, this bike will offer things like suspension travel and riding ergos that will be good to take on off-pavement excursions and you still will enjoy it on the road. And the frame can carry the load!

Nothing is perfect. A fair deal is the one where both parties dealing compromise some. This bike appears to be a good compromise for what I'm looking for. Testing it will be necessary, though, to confirm my spec riding, before I sign the check. So far, all the reviewers have confirmed my speculations.

Lion.
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