Cheryl & Leslie's Triumph Tiger 800XC ADV to Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by soph9, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    I need to preface this so called “review” by saying this is not expected of us to even talk about the bikes. Triumph never said you had to review the bikes as part of this “deal”. As a matter of fact we have not heard a peep from Triumph or our dealer since on the road.

    This bike is a winner for the average ADV rider like us.

    We both feel like we owe the bikes some air time because for the most part we are completely impressed. The thing is we do not want to jinx the bikes so we are going to talk in general terms hoping that our bikes keep going strong. We still have many weeks to go.

    So, the 1st thing we both need to draw attention to and these “complaints” are not deal breakers.

    The odometer. Triumph in our opinion needs to just copy BMW, add an info button on the clutch side of the handle bars and just make it easier for the rider to switch the ABS off, see your trip info, etc. You can not see the mileage on the bike unless you start the bike and it flashes for about 3 seconds or you are in neutral and toggle through the two buttons they have to try and find it. In basic terms, Triumph just make it easier for us to see the info we want without reaching while riding. Yes I do that at times and yes I know I am not supposed to. Add a ambient temperature gauge. I love seeing the temperature especially when you are riding through ranges of 30 C and then it goes down to 8. Copy the BMW button and make it yours. Simple. Don’t worry about the cost either. I doubt it would kill the wallet.

    To compare or not to compare to BMW? Here is the scoop, we are DS riders but mainly commute to work. It is only once a year we get a chance to go away and really go exploring like this trip. So, in a bike as we look for road comfort and stability as well as off road handling. We do not beat on our bikes, we do not look for the roughest terrain to ride on. We are what we are, adventure riders who love getting off the highways into the back country. We ride mainly forestry roads with some sort of ATV like tracks. Never single tracks. We both think the Tiger may have created a new niche for the 800 cc bikes.


    I am calling the TIGER a fantastic street touring machine that is competent off road too!

    Our BMW 650GS twin is a great bike and so is the 800GS. The Tiger suits us better because of the road handling and comfort.


    The seat – The Tiger is wider than both the 650 and 800GS. More like the 1200GS. We are riding with the gel seats and have NOT on issue with them. Totally comfortable as comfort goes on a DS bike. The BMW has a plank set much narrower and when riding off road easier to control the bike when standing than the Tiger. However, the Tiger handles great off road just in a heavier way. Once you get used to the wider seat it is a very responsive bike.

    The engine – The triple is smooth smooth smooth. The bike loves to be around 6000 RPMS. The power in the upper gears is crazy good. Passing in 5th not an issue at all and the bike never seems to break a sweat. Our bikes have 72 HP the Tiger has 92. You can really feel the difference riding in mountains, on dirt, mud, clay, anything and on the highway. We both love the extra power.

    Ergonomics – I added 20 mm handlebar risers, could use a bit more height and the riding position for both is us is almost perfect. Nice width, thickness to the bars and our backs do not completely get sore after 600 KM. The pegs initially felt really high but again one gets used to the location being a bit higher than our 650. Becomes comfortable yet again after riding for 1000’s of KM. This is a BIG one for us and for anyone wanting to buy a bike like this. Also, BMW will have to introduce the adjustable seat heights for the 650 and 800 bikes if they want more men and women on their bikes.

    The seats can be adjusted to 2 heights and also the rider can make the seat higher in the back or front. So, 4 adjustments plus you can get a low seat too. This makes this bike more appealing for the vertically challenged without lowering the suspension. A BIG plus in our books. I have the low gel seat and Cheryl with the regular height gel seat. We are both set on the low setting. This makes this bike more versatile then the BMW as it stands right now.

    Suspension – WOW. We have the pre load set stiff for the luggage and weight. This bike has gone through craters on the roads, bumps, you name it and I have not felt the bike bottom out yet. Cheryl has with her front forks a few times but over all great suspension for how we ride the bikes.

    Side kick stand – We both feel it sits the bike too tall, may need to be tad bit shorter. Just our opinion and adding an extra wider foot print has been a great addition to our bikes.


    The Look – we love the look of both bikes but the Tiger has grown on both of us and we think it is a great looking machine.


    Brakes – No issues, they work and right now after all the crap we have been riding in the pads look brand new and the rotors look great too. So, this bike can handle being ridden in some wicked off road materials that are used on the roads in the Yukon and Alaska. So, wear and tear the Tiger is doing well. No doubt the Beemers would be it the same shape by now.

    Gas Mileage – Getting better now that we have over 5000 KM on the bikes. We are getting over 350 KM per tank with the pressure up in our tires and trying to keep the bike in and around 5500 RPMs.


    Triumph Accessories on our bikes –


    Adjustable Touring Screen – A winner, a keeper and works. Looks great and once you get your set up right the shield does it job. We would keep the adjustable shield made by Triumph.

    Fog lights – Not HID but they are bright and again look good. We would keep the fog lights as they do their job for visibility. have not tested them at night.

    Sump guard or skid plate – Seems adequate but lacks oil filter coverage. we still would keep it.

    Engine guards – have not tested them but look substantial. No accessory that Triumph makes right now to protect the fairing. We would find something for up top.

    Radiator Cover – triumph makes one but for some reason did not make it on our bike. We would get one.

    Seats – we all ready spoke of them, we would keep the gel seats (They cost extra money)

    Our Tires – Heidenau K60 Scouts. Would never put another tire on this bike unless all we were doing was hard core off road riding. the Scout is proving to be a hardy functional tire on this trip. A+ for Heidenau.

    **Can’t think of anything else right now. Feel free to ask questions. Would we buy this bike over another Beemer. The answer is yes. If BMW makes a bike that would really make it easy to compare to the Tiger I would be interested. Again the way we feel this is a bike in it’s own league in a way because of how great it handles on the road and off.
  2. HighScore

    HighScore No More, all done.

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    [​IMG]


    [/QUOTE]

    Glad to see you're at least wearing safety glasses... :amazon
  3. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    :huh so out of the whole ride report you notice that?:D:clap
  4. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    Don't know if this has been answered yet.

    [QUOTE+soph9]If anyone knows what causes this colouration please feel free to comment.[/QUOTE]

    Acid mine drainage...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_mine_drainage

    Just noticed your RR. Have a great trip ladies! I'll be following along. One of these years I want to ride to Alaska.
  5. Daytonacharlie

    Daytonacharlie 2 Wheeled Backpacker

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    Excellent Tiger review. This is the first one I've read where they've actually been ridden for an extended period and mucho miles. Glad they're holding up. I expected they would tho. Your suggestion about a menu button for the odometer, that's the kind of thing you'd notice out on the road... after it's become annoying. No bike is perfect but these seem to pretty close to what I'm looking for. Thanks, well done!

    dc
  6. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    GoreTex is both waterproof and breathable. Anything can be waterproof, but if you don't let the perspired water vapor out, it feels clammy and muggy. GoreTex is a permeable membrane that blocks the entry of large water droplets but allows water vapor to pass through. Dirt "clogs the pores" and it don't breathe.

    Google "cleaning goretex" when you get back and settled, there should be a plethora of info on that...
  7. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    I have been throwing my Goretex lined Motoport jacket in the washer for 15 years now. Still 100% dry on the rainiest days. YMMV.
  8. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    We are at Adventure Cycleworks in Fairbanks getting the oil changed and a look over.

    If anyone buys a Tiger because of what we may have said about the bikes, let your dealer know u heard it from our RR. ;))
  9. dsrydr

    dsrydr Been here awhile

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    Great review on the Tiger! Much anticipated and appreciated! I am curious about the higher center of gravity with the fuel tank being up front. Do you notice the difference at slow speed Or does the bike just feel heavier in general?

    Again, you did a very good job describing the bike. Thanks! :clap
  10. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Bike initially feels top heavy coming off the BMW. But after riding the Tiger and going back to our Beemer feels heavier actually. The Tiger is well balanced for the size and once you ride it for a few 100 km feels great. We have 5600 km on the bikes now and we can say you would feel right at home on this bike like any other. Slow turns easy. We also like the 21 inch front wheel.
  11. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    We are staying at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks dorms for the next 2 nights. Feel like a college kid again.
  12. wescnmbkr1

    wescnmbkr1 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    :clapThis comprehensive Report on the Triumph Tiger 800XC is excellent! According to your reporting the fuel mileage now about 350km per tank full[ equates to about 46 mpg (US) which seems reasonable for the amount of equipment you are carrying. Have you weighed the bikes fully loaded? That would be an interesting figure to know. Your travells are very similar to my ride in 2008. Have a fun & safe ride!!:1drinkQUOTE=soph9;16375410]I need to preface this so called “review” by saying this is not expected of us to even talk about the bikes. Triumph never said you had to review the bikes as part of this “deal”. As a matter of fact we have not heard a peep from Triumph or our dealer since on the road.

    This bike is a winner for the average ADV rider like us.

    We both feel like we owe the bikes some air time because for the most part we are completely impressed. The thing is we do not want to jinx the bikes so we are going to talk in general terms hoping that our bikes keep going strong. We still have many weeks to go.

    So, the 1st thing we both need to draw attention to and these “complaints” are not deal breakers.

    The odometer. Triumph in our opinion needs to just copy BMW, add an info button on the clutch side of the handle bars and just make it easier for the rider to switch the ABS off, see your trip info, etc. You can not see the mileage on the bike unless you start the bike and it flashes for about 3 seconds or you are in neutral and toggle through the two buttons they have to try and find it. In basic terms, Triumph just make it easier for us to see the info we want without reaching while riding. Yes I do that at times and yes I know I am not supposed to. Add a ambient temperature gauge. I love seeing the temperature especially when you are riding through ranges of 30 C and then it goes down to 8. Copy the BMW button and make it yours. Simple. Don’t worry about the cost either. I doubt it would kill the wallet.

    To compare or not to compare to BMW? Here is the scoop, we are DS riders but mainly commute to work. It is only once a year we get a chance to go away and really go exploring like this trip. So, in a bike as we look for road comfort and stability as well as off road handling. We do not beat on our bikes, we do not look for the roughest terrain to ride on. We are what we are, adventure riders who love getting off the highways into the back country. We ride mainly forestry roads with some sort of ATV like tracks. Never single tracks. We both think the Tiger may have created a new niche for the 800 cc bikes.


    I am calling the TIGER a fantastic street touring machine that is competent off road too!

    Our BMW 650GS twin is a great bike and so is the 800GS. The Tiger suits us better because of the road handling and comfort.


    The seat – The Tiger is wider than both the 650 and 800GS. More like the 1200GS. We are riding with the gel seats and have NOT on issue with them. Totally comfortable as comfort goes on a DS bike. The BMW has a plank set much narrower and when riding off road easier to control the bike when standing than the Tiger. However, the Tiger handles great off road just in a heavier way. Once you get used to the wider seat it is a very responsive bike.

    The engine – The triple is smooth smooth smooth. The bike loves to be around 6000 RPMS. The power in the upper gears is crazy good. Passing in 5th not an issue at all and the bike never seems to break a sweat. Our bikes have 72 HP the Tiger has 92. You can really feel the difference riding in mountains, on dirt, mud, clay, anything and on the highway. We both love the extra power.

    Ergonomics – I added 20 mm handlebar risers, could use a bit more height and the riding position for both is us is almost perfect. Nice width, thickness to the bars and our backs do not completely get sore after 600 KM. The pegs initially felt really high but again one gets used to the location being a bit higher than our 650. Becomes comfortable yet again after riding for 1000’s of KM. This is a BIG one for us and for anyone wanting to buy a bike like this. Also, BMW will have to introduce the adjustable seat heights for the 650 and 800 bikes if they want more men and women on their bikes.

    The seats can be adjusted to 2 heights and also the rider can make the seat higher in the back or front. So, 4 adjustments plus you can get a low seat too. This makes this bike more appealing for the vertically challenged without lowering the suspension. A BIG plus in our books. I have the low gel seat and Cheryl with the regular height gel seat. We are both set on the low setting. This makes this bike more versatile then the BMW as it stands right now.

    Suspension – WOW. We have the pre load set stiff for the luggage and weight. This bike has gone through craters on the roads, bumps, you name it and I have not felt the bike bottom out yet. Cheryl has with her front forks a few times but over all great suspension for how we ride the bikes.

    Side kick stand – We both feel it sits the bike too tall, may need to be tad bit shorter. Just our opinion and adding an extra wider foot print has been a great addition to our bikes.


    The Look – we love the look of both bikes but the Tiger has grown on both of us and we think it is a great looking machine.


    Brakes – No issues, they work and right now after all the crap we have been riding in the pads look brand new and the rotors look great too. So, this bike can handle being ridden in some wicked off road materials that are used on the roads in the Yukon and Alaska. So, wear and tear the Tiger is doing well. No doubt the Beemers would be it the same shape by now.

    Gas Mileage – Getting better now that we have over 5000 KM on the bikes. We are getting over 350 KM per tank with the pressure up in our tires and trying to keep the bike in and around 5500 RPMs.


    Triumph Accessories on our bikes –


    Adjustable Touring Screen – A winner, a keeper and works. Looks great and once you get your set up right the shield does it job. We would keep the adjustable shield made by Triumph.

    Fog lights – Not HID but they are bright and again look good. We would keep the fog lights as they do their job for visibility. have not tested them at night.

    Sump guard or skid plate – Seems adequate but lacks oil filter coverage. we still would keep it.

    Engine guards – have not tested them but look substantial. No accessory that Triumph makes right now to protect the fairing. We would find something for up top.

    Radiator Cover – triumph makes one but for some reason did not make it on our bike. We would get one.

    Seats – we all ready spoke of them, we would keep the gel seats (They cost extra money)

    Our Tires – Heidenau K60 Scouts. Would never put another tire on this bike unless all we were doing was hard core off road riding. the Scout is proving to be a hardy functional tire on this trip. A+ for Heidenau.

    **Can’t think of anything else right now. Feel free to ask questions. Would we buy this bike over another Beemer. The answer is yes. If BMW makes a bike that would really make it easy to compare to the Tiger I would be interested. Again the way we feel this is a bike in it’s own league in a way because of how great it handles on the road and off. [/QUOTE]
  13. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    No we have not weighed our bikes loaded but I would say we have at least 120 lbs of "stuff" including the boxes. Maybe more but doubt it.
  14. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    July 11th & 12th 2011


    Ever wonder how one sleeps in Alaska when the sun barely goes down?


    [​IMG]


    Yep eye shades, or as Leslie calls them eye goggles, and ear plugs when you are in a noisy campground. Just thought I would add this in for a little hint for those wondering and needed some advise as to sleep in day light.


    Another few days in the life of Cheryl & Leslie’s Big Adventure. We woke up to this temperature in the morning



    [​IMG]


    We managed to stay warm this time. Not the coldest but we are now getting used to being in a tent with less than summer conditions.


    Early in the morning the Barn Swallows all go nuts getting morning bugs to feed their young. I watched them for over an hour before anyone was really up in the campground.


    Hard to see them but the black specks are the adults.
    [​IMG]


    Note to self, do not head out for a rather longish day without eating breakfast. We did not stop for food until we got to Tok which was only 98.2 KM but felt too far way. We were both starving and having a hard time staying awake on the bikes.



    The ride in the beginning was really nice but then got boring most of the way to Fairbanks. Did I say boring? Well, considering where we have been riding these past few days this could not compete so I really do not have many pictures from July 11th.


    [​IMG]


    Some from the Taylor Highway
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We had a few scenic moments but not many on this day. The temperature actually got up to 30 degrees Celsius which is about 90 degrees F. What a shocker to our bodies.

    Sunglasses and feeling heat for the first time.


    By the time we got to Tok we were hot and starving. Pulled up to the first joint that had customers and bikes in the parking lot.


    [​IMG]


    Cool old bikes, old BSA and Indian!


    [​IMG]


    Quick bite to eat then off to put back some air in our tires from the off road stuff and get a little lube on the chain because the rest of the way to Fairbanks was going to be the Alaska Highway, all paved and we found out no views and really really straight.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    So, unfortunately like I said no real pictures from the ride to Fairbanks. It wasn’t that far of a ride but seemed like it took forever. You have these types of days on long trips. Getting a little tired and run down and then to have a non thrilling ride makes for a long day. To cheer us up w spent the night in a luxurious bed at the Best Western outside of Fairbanks. [​IMG]


    For this post I combining to two days. The hotel had a decent hot breakfast and I got Cheryl eating one of her favourite items for morning food.


    [​IMG]


    Waffle with canned fruit syrup stuff.


    We met a bunch of seniors from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina who were very interested in the fact we were riding bikes all over. I gave them one of riding cards and one of the elderly gentleman said, we will indeed support your cause. What a nice guy.


    We left to go to Adventure Cycleworks to see Dan about just doing an oil change. Got there around 10:30 and did not leave 2;30 ish. This is an adventure bikers haven for tire changes, mechanical issues, oil changes, parts, you name it. Dan is a self proclaimed non-politically correct man originally from New York of all places but moved to Alaska and never looked back. he and his son Shawn work on bikes from their home and many long lost travelers go there because Dan is meticulous bout his work and bike friendly atmosphere. Dan does like to talk, probably more than me, Leslie.


    We got our oil and filter changed today.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Then after hours there, not bad hours just hours we went to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to get a dorm room. They rent rooms for $49/night and you get 2 twin beds, shared bathroom, common showers, WIFI, sheets, pillow, soap, towels, free laundry and even a TV room with pool table. On campus cafeteria and for $10.30 each you get buffet style food. Not great but not bad as Gary from Anchorage would say.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Many bikers use this as a base before and after they head up to Prudhoe Bay. That is what we are doing. Going to head out on the Dalton Thursday and will be back in Fairbanks by Sunday. That is the plan at least.


    [​IMG]


    Well, that is it for 2 days or our trip. Tomorrow we are heading to some ice castle. Will know more about that tomorrow and fill you all in.
  15. ~TABASCO~

    ~TABASCO~ www.rideonadv.com

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    AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be safe !!! :clap Reading from TEXAS ! :lol3 Love the pictures ! ! ! How are the tires? Small tire report?
  16. Liebchen & Izzy

    Liebchen & Izzy Adventurer

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    Alaska, Don't ride naked it's cold.
    That's awesome they rent dorm room like that. I live in ak and never knew that. Me and the wife plan on heading up there later this summer and will have to use them:clap:eek1
  17. Garry_88

    Garry_88 Adventurer

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  18. suecanada

    suecanada Adventurer

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    S. Georgian Bay, ON, Canada
    Review was so well done!!! Wondering if you want to add a further comment on the centrestand comparison between the Beemer and Triumph. My Bonneville is very hard to put up on the centrestand as well and have heard from 2 friends with R1200RTP's that they are very hard too when compared to the easy R1100RT's they had. Seems the engineers aren't trying themselves or they are gorilla's!! Placement seems ever so impt.on the bottom frame. Tried a 650 VStrom and it was a piece of cake so their engineering is near perfect. At 125 lbs. I just need to breathe on the centrestand of the Vstrom and it's up. The Bonneville is a pain and the R65LS is easy too until I have a full tank of gas and loaded with gear for camping.
    I have been reading your reports daily with my morning coffee and gotta give you huge cudos for handling those roads. At 64 I'm not too sure I would want to do that now. Takes too long to heal!! Great to hear more good things about the KLIM equipment too so thanks again!!

    Just remembered that I found the F650GS twin's sidestand let the bike lean too far for me....especially loaded and parked on one of those 'not quite level' gas station pads. It was heavy to get back upright. Maybe the engineers need to rethink a sidestand design that allows for varying conditons. Is that even possible?
  19. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    I am really enjoying your ride report, keep it coming. If I had one question right now it would be are the locals all friendly, and do they cater to adventure riders?:clap
  20. ocived

    ocived ocived

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    Enjoying every moment of your RR. I'm in and look forward to your daily reports.

    Be Safe.