Triumph Tiger 800 XC or BMW 1200GS Adventure

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Kali Trailrider, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Kali Trailrider

    Kali Trailrider PLATED X2

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    Looking to ride a few and purchase one or the other.

    Thoughts and advice welcome!!

    I am a dirt rider mostly with over 20 years under my belt.
    Currently ride a 2010 KTM 450 XC-W
    Hard enduro riding, motocross and desert.
    I have road riding experience. I once owned a CBR600 in my younger days.

    I am mostly looking for a touring bike that I can hit some fire roads.
    Long trips and camping off the bike is in my future.

    My concerns
    The 800xc has a much more comfortable feel. More like I am used to in a dirt bike.
    The 1200gs is much heavier and bulky. but the bike feels like a solid bike.
    I am a little short 5'-10" 190 lbs. So a heavy bike is a concern for me.

    I don't really plan to do any serious off roaring... just some fire roads. But as I get more comfortable...:wink:
    You never know???

    Thanks in advance for your input!!
    #1
  2. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    One is a heavy Dual Sport and the other is a heavy Adventure Touring bike.

    (You will LOVE the Triumph Triple)
    #2
  3. HelmetHead Cycle

    HelmetHead Cycle Been here awhile

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    I've got an '08 BMW GS Adventure which I bought new and wanting to sell it to get the Tiger 800XC. Does that tell you anything?

    Wanna buy an Adventure??
    #3
  4. lmychajluk

    lmychajluk Long timer

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    I'm about your size, and was dreaming about a GS a couple of years ago (either the F800GS, or the 1200). Sitting on both, I never really felt comfortable. Not so much the weight, but the height - I couldn't get my feet down. Mind you I didn't try the lowered seat / suspension options, except for the lowered seat on the F800GS, which was just passable for me. I recently sat on the Tigers at the motorcyle show, and had no problem with either the 800 XC or the Explorer XC. I'm now looking to pick up a 800 or 800XC this spring. Just my $.02.
    #4
  5. Photo Boy

    Photo Boy Adventurer

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    Buy the Tiger for that wonderful Triumph triple engine. So much nicer than the Boxer.
    #5
  6. nomad5326

    nomad5326 Xventurous

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    Curious why the 1200GS vice the 800GS since your comparison is the 800XC. Ridden all, esp the 800's and different animals each!

    What the 800GS does on the trial (yes it does need a new suspension) the 800XC crushes on the road (the triple is amazing). Both are very capable in the aspect your looking at.

    1200GSA is a different animal, very capable but so far from the scope your looking at w/the 800XC. Each is very easily capable on/off road on trails/roads/sand/etc. Just not single track bikes.
    #6
  7. Kali Trailrider

    Kali Trailrider PLATED X2

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    Well from what I have heard and read. I have heard the triumph XC was a better choice than the f800gs.
    So that is why I choose that bike for the 800 class.
    My thoughts on the BMW 1200gs is really for the long trips I hope to take.

    But I have to agree with Imychajluk. Because when I set on the 1200 gs a couple of days ago I could barely touch the ground. It felt bulky and when I revved the motor the motor torc would pull the bike to one side. Which really caught me off guard.

    I am going to stop by the Triumph dealer Saturday to test ride the tiger. It is much more affortable and probably a better starter bike for me. So at this time I am leaning toward the xc800.

    Thanks again for the input any more opinions are welcomed!!
    #7
  8. Pacific

    Pacific Left Coast Adventurer

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    The 800XC is a very capable tourer, and it's a more versatile bike. With the big front hoop, you have to push it into the corners a little. It won't fall the way the big GS will. If you're not doing two-up touring, my guess is that you'll have way more fun on the XC. I have owned both bikes and would have kept the XC for good if not for the fact that my plans include substantial long-distance trips 2up.
    #8
  9. Dirty bike

    Dirty bike Eval Innovations Inc

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    Between the two you list, the 800XC will be more fun for you. If you're doing more street and the occasional fire road, no worries. If you start loading it up with gear or two up, then you will want more CCs and comfort.

    You might want to check out the Yamaha Super Tenere too. Much cheaper, much more reliable, shaft drive and bullet proof, but still a heavy bike like the 1200GS, so that is a detraction. The seat has a low and high setting. I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam and on the low the Super Ten is quite comfortable. At 43k, I've yet to spend a dime on repairs.

    If you're wanting to go cross country, the 800XC is a little lacking on road for highway speeds, but much more flickable and pleasant in the two lane twisties than any larger bike. The triple loves to rev and rewards you with wonderful response for it's size. It will certainly get you there. A tad more maintenance than the bigger bikes, but not a deal breaker. If you're a lite packer, no worries. If you like to bring it all, well, the larger bikes start to have an advantage. You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph. On the smaller 800, expect to run out of throttle now and then on the interstates. And be willing to pack a spare set of sprockets and a chain in the bottom of your pannier for long trips. Sometimes things don't last as long as they should. And it sucks to be waiting on sprockets for a couple of days.
    #9
  10. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    .



    I ride a 1200GS and my GF rides a Tiger 800 "Roadie", and I dissagree with much of your assessment.

    In March we rode from PHX, AZ to TX hill country sustaining a constant 80-90+ mph the whole way. When she rode it out here to Cali in Oct she says she did a lot of 100 mph thru Utah and Nevada (from Colorado). My GS IS torquier and pulls harder at speed, but the 800 triple is very capable at anything close to legal speeds.

    I've put a few hundred miles on her Tiger and I'm confident I can ride my GS faster in the twisties than her "Roadie" which is better in the twisties than the XC with it's 21" front tire(Roadie uses exactly the same tires as the GS).

    As for chain and sprockets; keep em lubed and you'll easily get 20k miles from a set.

    For just pavement and fire roads, I'd get the roadie :deal


    Edit; The '12 Tiger 800 Roadie packed for the trip to Cali...
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. invicta1

    invicta1 Been here awhile

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    You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph. On the smaller 800, expect to run out of throttle now and then on the interstates..[/QUOTE]

    You won't be particularly close to running out of throttle at 100mph on the 800, and heavy headwinds with large (madstad) screen and full panniers at 75mph won't stress the engine at all - if you were wringing it out you'd be well into the triple digits regardless of wind. At least that's my experience with the XC.
    #11
  12. xathor

    xathor Not actually Gnarly

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    If you're wringing out the throttle at interstate speeds your 800's broken or you are pulling a drag chute.

    :rofl

    Even my WR250R with big flappy backpacks hanging over the edge loaded with me and extra junk still had a little left at 70.
    #12
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    golden rule for dirt: lighter is better.
    get the XC
    #13
  14. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    Test ride a Super Tenere. Best of both worlds.
    #14
  15. pju

    pju Adventurer

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    As an XC owner and my ride buddy the proud owner of an 800GS, and another friend with 1200GS (i have ridden) I can offer you my 2 cents worth.
    If you intend sticking to fire-trails only plus the road all 3 will do it easily. The big 1200 eats road miles up easier than its smaller brother, but the XC will easily stay with it. Just revving more.
    The "little" 800's will do over 200KPH so there is no issue being slow on the road.
    The triple engine is a peach.:1drinkThe 800GS is rough over 4200RPM.
    The XC will cruise at any non legal speed easily with no vibrations.In my opinion and my 800GS mate as well the 800GS gets vibey after 110KPH and is fatiguing. He rarely goes over 110KPH (70MPH) for that reason.
    Its generally not a problem as we are adventure riders and like lots of off road mixed in with twisty mountain roads. The tiger is faster on the road.
    The less weight and 21" front wheel of the 800's make a huge difference when you end up in technical off road riding. My 800GS friend and myself like you have a strong MX / Enduro background and love the balance of the 800s.

    I also like riding fast in bitumen twisty roads and that's why I got the XC over the 800GS.
    I can easily keep up off road in technical trails but the 800GS has a more off road feel to it and carries its weight a bit lower as well.

    As a rider with a strong dirt background you WILL venture off road as like us the fire trails got boring and these bikes will surprise you as long as you understand they are not like EXC KTM's or in my case WR450F's.
    So for me its the 800's, or a KTM990ADV. Its the 21" front wheel you will appreciate in the long run.

    cheers :1drink
    #15
  16. Dirty bike

    Dirty bike Eval Innovations Inc

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    Color me surprised then. Not what my friend with one tells me, (the XC). And the wife rides an '11 F650GS twin, (798cc) and it is wrung out at 75-80 and though it will go faster in ideal conditions, wind or mountains and she's downshifting. Granted it's a parallel twin and not the triple, but the smaller displacement bike is working a lot harder to maintain what are normal speeds, and sometimes simply can't.
    #16
  17. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    My choice:

    [​IMG]

    Very smooth on gravel roads. Very comfortable for long distance travel. 200 miles between tank fills if speeds are kept in the 60-70mph.
    #17
  18. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

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    You really have no clue to what you're talking about do you? A 94hp 800cc 3 cylinder motor has no problem running Interstate speeds fully loaded. I am 205lbs, and have my tiger set up with a Givi E52 (loaded), Wolfman Expedition bags and rack (loaded), tall windshield, Wolfman tank bag, and of course the bash plate, engine bars, and centerstand. I have no problem whatsoever running interstate speeds and average 40 mpg at 80 mph. Need to pass a line of cars while running 80 mph, no problem just twist the throttle back. You won't run out of throttle on any road in North America "touring".

    The only maintenance that would be extra on the Tiger, would be spraying your chain if you feel the need. Personally I would rather do that than pull my "pumpkin" and lube my splines. All of them require oil changes, so that's no different. The only thing a Tenere may have over the Tiger or most bikes in general, is the valve maintenance schedule.

    How long has it been since you've had a bike with a chain and sprockets? I wouldn't waste my time hauling that stuff around, as a matter of fact I don't keep extras in my garage. Modern chains and sprockets last 10's of thousands of miles. How many "trips" consist of that kind of mileage?
    #18
  19. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

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    A DR650 or Dakar 650 will cruise at 80 mph on the interstate, and still have enough to pass if needed. Granted when you start loading it down with panniers, you will feel the drag.

    A parallel twin is nothing like a triple. I've had two parallel twins (Versys and Scrambler), and while they would do 100+ mph they were certainly more happier at legal speeds. A parallel twin isn't much more than a hopped up single IMHO. A V-twin is a lot more "comfortable" on the interstate than a parallel twin, and the Triple is heads and tails above a twin. For me the Triple is the perfect balance between a V-twin and Inline 4. You have the torque of a twin, but the rev range of a Inline 4.
    #19
  20. Fethiye Phil

    Fethiye Phil fastfornow

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    If you're short in stature as I am, the only way to go is the Triumph. I had a GS adventure which was a great bike and good for long distances but it was just far too big and cumbersome at slow speeds and that's why I got rid of it.

    If you're not sure about the Triumph, take a look at this http://rideatriumph.com/icons-portland-to-dakar-adventure/.
    #20