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Old 10-15-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
lbyvik OP
Ummmmm?? REALLY?!
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Fauquier County VA
Oddometer: 671
Tiger 800xc vs 1200cx HELP!

Im looking at getting a new or newish beast, adv bike etc....I've been on my k100rs for MANY years and love her tremendously but Im 50 and the position is wearing on me on long hauls. I do the 900 miles from NOVA to P'Cola about 6 times a year and in warmer weather all in one shot.

I've been looking at and test riding the Big GS's, 12's and 8's thinking of going that way. The ergo's are good for me. My housemate is a Triumph guy. Has 4. So yesterday he convinced me to go a test ride the Tiger 8 and 12 XCs.

LETS JUST SAY WOOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW! For me the Ergonomic fit was PERFECT on each. (I'm 6' 170lbs. Long arms, short legs)

We were able to put a solid 45 minutes on each of the XC models.

I really liked both, But I LOVED the 800!!! WAY better than the 12... My riding needs are simple. 30 mile RT daily commute. Rain or shine, all seasons. 6-7 trips to Florida from VA annually. Add about 4000 miles of two up with my girl. I do about 30K yearly on my moto's.

No question the 12 was BEAST! Growly and strong etc....But it felt like I was in a car. I felt the same about the 1200gs as well. The 800gs is just an expensive KLR in my opinion. and I LOVE my KLR. The Tiger 8 was remarkable to me. Im slightly disappointed they didn't go shaft drive for a few more $$'s. I'd prefer that to a chain. Buuuutt........

I cant really put my finger on WHY I liked the little 8 better. Im a teacher and the money may be factoring in my subconscious, but I can afford either bike at this point.

So here's my question. Have any of you people out there in the interwebs had a similar experience with the two tigers? Any of you Lucy's able to give some splanation why I might like the 8 over the 12?
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
Dubl-A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbyvik View Post
So here's my question. Have any of you people out there in the interwebs had a similar experience with the two tigers? Any of you Lucy's able to give some splanation why I might like the 8 over the 12?
If you're doing mostly street stick with the 1200. The 800 does exceptionally well on the pavement but is also a blast in the twisty's and off-road.

I ride 2-up with my wife cross-state loaded up and also do quite a bit of actual dirt biking. The 1200's would just be for fire roads at the most.

Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbyvik View Post
So here's my question. Have any of you people out there in the interwebs had a similar experience with the two tigers? Any of you Lucy's able to give some splanation why I might like the 8 over the 12?
I have yet to own a motorcycle that made me think, "gee, I wish this bike weighed 50-100 lbs. more."

I think that might be your answer.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
btao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbyvik View Post
Im looking at getting a new or newish beast, adv bike etc....I've been on my k100rs for MANY years and love her tremendously but Im 50 and the position is wearing on me on long hauls. I do the 900 miles from NOVA to P'Cola about 6 times a year and in warmer weather all in one shot.

I've been looking at and test riding the Big GS's, 12's and 8's thinking of going that way. The ergo's are good for me. My housemate is a Triumph guy. Has 4. So yesterday he convinced me to go a test ride the Tiger 8 and 12 XCs.

LETS JUST SAY WOOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW! For me the Ergonomic fit was PERFECT on each. (I'm 6' 170lbs. Long arms, short legs)

We were able to put a solid 45 minutes on each of the XC models.

I really liked both, But I LOVED the 800!!! WAY better than the 12... My riding needs are simple. 30 mile RT daily commute. Rain or shine, all seasons. 6-7 trips to Florida from VA annually. Add about 4000 miles of two up with my girl. I do about 30K yearly on my moto's.

No question the 12 was BEAST! Growly and strong etc....But it felt like I was in a car. I felt the same about the 1200gs as well. The 800gs is just an expensive KLR in my opinion. and I LOVE my KLR. The Tiger 8 was remarkable to me. Im slightly disappointed they didn't go shaft drive for a few more $$'s. I'd prefer that to a chain. Buuuutt........

I cant really put my finger on WHY I liked the little 8 better. Im a teacher and the money may be factoring in my subconscious, but I can afford either bike at this point.

So here's my question. Have any of you people out there in the interwebs had a similar experience with the two tigers? Any of you Lucy's able to give some splanation why I might like the 8 over the 12?
Hey, glad you're looking at the Tigers! I personally went with the 800 XC because it was light enough that I could pick it up as I wanted to take it off road, and the TEX is something like 100lbs more. That said, the only short coming of the Tiger 800 is the weight. It's amazingly capable and I get tired quick if I drop it too many times on a trail. I would imagine it would be prohibitive if you got the Explorer, and you would be limited to the boring, easy dirt roads.

I came from a Bandit 1250S with enormous amounts of power and torque, and I haven't missed it at all.

With the TEX you feel loaded before you even put bags and a passenger on it. I did the Rip Van Winkle Rally at the Max's Color in the Catskills with luggage and 2-up and still passed people on the backroads easily.

I bet you liked the 800 because it was all useable and manageable in a way that just makes you comfortable. If you are going to venture off road at all, get the XC. If not, the roadie is great. Great accessories available for both.

Unless you're a big guy (which you're not) who might need the extra power and will only ride the street and easy dirt, there's only one choice.

You can get lowering links if the seat height on the low setting is still too high if you go XC.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
TAMPAJIM
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I'm close --Had the T800 Roadie and now the Explorer Roadie and I rode each up to Pensacola several times..

First observation since you seem to be primarily going to use the bike on pavement, I would suggest you go with the road version. They have tubeless tires which are safer and can be plugged to get you home. I speak from experience, having two punctures out in the middle of nowhere in the past three years. The cast wheels are also easier to clean and maintain.

I would also recommend the tire pressure monitor system. Last trip it saved my bacon 150 miles from home on a late Sunday afternoon.

The Explorer is superior at highway speeds but the 800 is a lot better than others-namely the F800GS.
Mileage is about the same.
The EXP has cruise control but you can put a throttle lock on the 800.
Both have crap windshields but a Madstad will turn either of them into very comfortable touring bikes.
I preferred the 800 gel seat over the EXP.
The EXP is a heavy beast when not rolling.

Bottom line, if I had to do it over, I would have kept the 800. It's just a great all round ride and very capable tourer. The EXP is also great but at my age it's overkill.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
markbvt
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When I rode the Explorer, I was immediately comfortable and felt like I could point the thing at the horizon and just keep going. It handled superbly in the twisties, was stable and comfortable on the straights, and was just very confidence-inspiring all around.

I got off the Explorer, and the first words out of my mouth were, "When I finally do that trip to Alaska, I have GOT to budget for one of these!"

Then I got back on my T800XC, and by comparison it felt like a big dirtbike. Narrower, nimbler, more minimalist, tons of fun. Definitely what I'd choose for a day ride on narrow roads and, of course, for dirt road exploration... and yet it's very capable at long-distance touring too.

If money were no object, I'd get an Explorer too for long-haul riding. But I'd still be taking the 800 out as my everyday bike. And since money is an object and I have to choose, I'd choose the 800 XC again if something happened to mine.

--mark
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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Let me take the contrarian position. I, too, am a teacher, and will retire in June. I plan to tour the country when I retire next June, so I wanted a bike that could eat up the back roads comfortably, and still be useable on good dirt roads such as one encounters out west. Having read all of the threads on the Trans Lab ride, including MarkBVT's, the whole maritime circuit is also on my bucket list. Most importantly, with one daughter just finished with college, and one about to begin, a new bike would be a stretch.
Since my other bike is a classic triple, I knew it had to be another Triumph, as I couldn't live without that torque curve. Also, I do all my own work, and so I wanted something which I could maintain myself. That didn't necessarily rule out the new Tigers, but since I am not into the "transformer" styling of the new ADV bikes from any manufacturer, I patiently searched and finally found a 95 Steamer in great condition with low miles. It has carbs and the same engine as my Legend, so it was an easy choice. Once I swapped the bars and foot pegs it fits me great, and I absolutely love it. Oh, it cost $2500.
If you are trying to keep a tighter budget, I'd be looking at a mint Girlie, which will be somewhere in the $4000 range. Still lots of parts and they had full luggage, etc. available.
The downside is the alternator output doesn't match the new Tigers, which is enough to light a small city. If you're not running lots of stuff, though, that may be a moot point.
The new Tigers have their strengths and weaknesses, and the 800 hasn't had much done since it was new to update it. Yes, it is a great bike, but the other companies keep raising the bar, and Triumph hasn't responded.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Yea, this is a tough one. I've often thought that if I were strictly a solo rider, then the 800XC would be the perfect bike to replace both my KLR and Vstrom 1K. However, I primarily choose the TEX for doing 2-up touring, thinking (and probably rightly so) that it would be better than the 800 for the same. But I really enjoy it when solo as well! Yes, it is heavier to push around in the garage, but once you start moving, it doesn't matter.. Best I can tell, fuel economy is pretty close to the same (I'm averaging about 45-48mpg over the last 6k miles). However, if you want to do a lot of off-road, the 800 will have the advantage. Otherwise, the 1200 (with shaft drive, cruise control, traction control, etc.) is an excellent mileage cruncher and fine for occasional trips onto gravel/dirt roads (better than my Vstrom!). I could be happy with either, but I'm glad I choose the TEX. Ultimately, it is whichever makes you smile the most!
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:07 AM   #9
markbvt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
I patiently searched and finally found a 95 Steamer in great condition with low miles. It has carbs and the same engine as my Legend, so it was an easy choice. Once I swapped the bars and foot pegs it fits me great, and I absolutely love it. Oh, it cost $2500.
The Steamer is a great bike. My friend David picked up a '98 last winter and is loving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
The new Tigers have their strengths and weaknesses, and the 800 hasn't had much done since it was new to update it. Yes, it is a great bike, but the other companies keep raising the bar, and Triumph hasn't responded.
Well, it's only a three-year-old model, and its only competition is the F800GS, which also hasn't had any significant changes. If KTM comes out with their long-rumored 800 twin, then yeah, Triumph will need to respond.

--mark
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'11 Triumph Tiger 800 XC / '03 Honda XR650L / '01 Triumph Bonneville cafe

My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 10-15-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
lbyvik OP
Ummmmm?? REALLY?!
 
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Location: Fauquier County VA
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hmmmmm?

yeah so...you guys are giving me lots to think about. Which is the real reason behind the question.

I've always bought older, used, well maintained bikes and rarely ever had major issues. Its been a primary reason for the older Bricks. A k100 and 1100 LT. Freakin Bombproof and both have over 150K miles. ( and look it!)

I also own a 2000 Honda CRV with 225K+ miles. Self maintained. I bought this 2 yrs old and with 30K miles. The point here that I keep and maintain my vehicles for a long time, but also will ONLY buy those which have a history and reputation for durability and longevity. I'd have no problem with an older 1100 gs which can be had for under $5k and in great shape. HOWEVER! Im at a point in my life where I'd LIKE a newer bike, because I can. Housemate has an '07 1050 kitty cat which is WONDERFUL and frankly, likely perfect for me and my needs. I also can't tell the difference in performance between the 1050 and 800.

I'd like Ya'll to keep giving me fuel for thought here if you don't mind. I won't be spending the $$'s till summer anyway, but I will make my decision sooner than that. Its a bike I'll intend to have for 10+ years

One word which comes to mind as a difference between the 8 and the 12 is Feral. The 8 feels more feral. The cat thing perhaps. But that's what I get.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #11
markbvt
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Speaking of durability and longevity, for what it's worth, my 2011 XC has 48,500 miles on it at this point and has been flawless. Fantastic motorcycle.

--mark
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My ride reports: Missile silos, Labrador, twisties, and more

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Old 10-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
ssevy
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It really sounds like you want the 800. Just get it and start riding. Every day you don't ride is one that you can never get back.
It still is pretty amazing just how reliable these modern bikes are now. Do you ever really look at your bike in all of its minimalistic glory and think "I could throw a leg over this and ride it across this country without a worry"? I do that all of the time.
My point is that it really doesn't matter what anyone here says. Buy the one that speaks to your soul and enjoy it. I get the "wanna have a new one" thing completely, and say just go do it.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
btao
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Doooooooo eeeeeeeet
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
lbyvik OP
Ummmmm?? REALLY?!
 
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ssevy

yup...that's the way I'll likely end up.. I just don't have all the $$'s yet.

On your other note.....My K's are quite simple and I DO throw a leg over and just go! My brother is in Sandy eggo. I go there and back every summer sometimes twice just because. I've done it all several times on my KLR as well...But it wears on me after 800 mile days. The Bricks can handle 10 hours at 80+ mph.

I'll keep an eye out here in the lists for a deal on an El Tigre and likely go with one of the 8's.

At the end of the day, i just LOVE to be on the road and somewhere other than where ever I was today
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
Bugchewer
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I just came off a 1050 Tiger and went with the XC because it gave me plenty of power and more fire road comfort. I was apprehensive about taking it down to our annual trip to ride twisties in SE Ohio (usually WV). Well I can tell you I no longer miss the 1050. The 800 XC was perfect. I strap a dry bag on and off I go. My wife likes the XC better tahn my former electra glides and the 1050. My good buddy has a TEX and he loves the power but not the weight. He tells me he is going to an 800 XC himself. It is light, nimble and tours well as Mark stated. You can't go wrong with either. I didn't go with the TEx because I wanted a lighter bike that didn't beg me to crank the throttle like the 1050 did. The 800 XC has PLENTY of power and is fun to ride. Check the smile indicator after you ride both, buy the one with the bigger smile if $$$ is no object.
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