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Tiger 800 vs 1200 comparison, vibration and heat dumping

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by longslowdistance, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,799
    Location:
    Virginia
    Anyone notice a difference in handlebar vibration or heat dumping from the radiators between 800 and 1200?

    My moto is a 2018 Tiger 800. A lot to like, but I find the vibration at the handlebars annoying, even with damping risers and added bar end weights.
    Here's asking the same question a different way: How functional are the mirrors on your Tiger 800 or 1200, especially the right, while riding at normal highway speeds?

    And it fries me in hot weather.

    Just rented a Tiger Explorer, the prior model I guess. Really liked it, and the vibration seemed to be much less, at least the buzzy high frequency vibration. It wasn’t warm enough for the radiators to put out a lot of heat.
    Any wisdom out there? Thanks.
    #1
  2. Trooper

    Trooper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    245
    Location:
    Left Coast
    Well, here is my two cents. Having both a 2016 800xrt and a 2017 1200xrx in the garage I find the 800 a better "over all" motorcycle. It's lighter, smoother, cooler and easier handling, especially around town. It's also very comfortable on long trips and will run all day at any legal speed, or higher, in the country. On the other hand the 1200 shines on the open road. It's big, powerful, roomy, comfortable and being 100lbs heavier, crosswinds do not push it around like the 800 and I find the wind management better on the 1200. The 1200's engine is "asleep" at speeds well above any state limit and is difinitely a mile eater. I live in an area of California where triple diget heat is common 3 to 4 months every year. I've owned bikes that put off much more heat than either the 800 or 1200 but comparing these two the 1200 puts off more heat. After all it's 400cc's larger and will cook you if stuck in traffic. As far as vibration, I find the 800 much smoother than the 1200 even though I don't find the 1200 to be intrusive at all. It's vibrations are of a lower tone than the 800. I'm on my 2nd 800 and third 1200 and have experienced handle bar vibration too. Each time the cause was the throttle bodies being out of balance and was always corrected when serviced. Both bikes are set up with 2" Rox risers. Hope this helps.

    Greg
    #2
    MrMac, cristobal and CharlieBarley like this.
  3. ontheroad68

    ontheroad68 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    262
    Location:
    Seattle
    I have had my 2016 Tiger 800 XC for 3 weeks and am still amazed at how smooth it is. I have zero vibration anywhere. Although I am coming from years on various V-Twins.
    #3
  4. stevh0

    stevh0 Super Retard.

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,703
    Location:
    Cape Town, ZA
    I love my 1200 Tex. I've had about 12 950 and 990s combined a 1150 gs a few Africa twins and I can't fault the triumph for Weight. It's large and comfortable and if you are a tall guy, the 1200 makes sense. There is no way I would be happy with the 800, be it a gs or triumph. There is just not enough power there.
    #4
  5. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,469
    Location:
    Dacula, Ga.
    I have a '13 Explorer and '15 800Xcx. And I pretty much second everything Trooper has said except I really don't experience much noticeable vibrations from either bike; what little I do is mostly from the tires on the 800. I'm currently running Shinko 704 front with Mitas E07 rear whereas I'm running BS A40's (street biased) tires on the 1200 which are smooth as silk. The 1200 certainly puts out more heat which can get a bit uncomfortable on hot summer days stuck in traffic, but it seems to come from the clutch side more so than radiator.
    #5
  6. Actionable Mango

    Actionable Mango Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    238
    I've seen a few people here complain about Tiger 800 vibration and it absolutely astonishes me. My Tiger is incredibly smooth. Triumph triples in general have an industry-wide reputation for extreme smoothness.

    I have vibration-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, so I have to be very very careful about which bikes I can buy. I've limited myself to very smooth bikes like Japanese and German inline 4's. For many years I thought I couldn't dual sport at all, because every dual sport seemed to be thumper, parallel twin, or boxer and they are all just WAY too buzzy. So the Tiger's absolute smoothness was like a dream come true and has enabled me to join the ADV ranks.

    I'm not doubting that you are feeling noticeable vibration enough to bother you, not at all. I believe you and you're not the only one who has claimed this problem. But it makes me think that something is wrong with your particular bikes. It reminds me of the time my friend's RT had a vacuum line come partially loose. It still drove around fine, but it was just out of balance and had extra vibration.

    Prior to doing something drastic like selling your new bike and buying a different one, I would say your next steps are to try someone else's Tiger 800. Maybe a test drive at the dealer or another local ADV friendly rider with a Tiger. If that one is smooth compared to yours, you know your bike is the problem. Might be mechanical--might be just the tires. If you have knobbies and the Explorer had battlewings, that could be it right there. OTOH if it feels just as bad, then you know the bike is not for you and you can move on with extra confidence.

    All that being said, yes the Tiger 800 dumps a lot of heat on me.
    #6
    pjensen641 likes this.
  7. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,799
    Location:
    Virginia
    Helpful reply, thanks.

    Here's asking the same question a different way, and I've revised my OP with the same question: How functional are the mirrors on your Tiger, especially the right, while riding at normal highway speeds? Mine aren't so good. I couldn't distinguish a LEO from a UFO, due to the vibration.

    There is a post out there from a Tiger 800 owner who reported that he (she?) changed the chain and the vibration almost vanished. I was wondering if the shaft drive of the 1200 made it smoother.
    #7
  8. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Dacula, Ga.
    Ha! Sounds like my old KLR! Mirrors were superfluous on that thing..

    No problem at all with mirrors on either Tiger. If there is a buzz, I'm just so used to it I don't notice.

    Check chain, sprockets, tires, clutch, maybe engine mounts or even frame..
    #8
  9. jwdub

    jwdub Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,368
    Location:
    SW Washington
    Other than a bit of buzz at about 4k rpm, my 2015 800 XCX is very smooth. Recently had the 12k service and adjusted valves to the mid point of clearances -- no real change in vibration pre and post adjustment. Mirrors are vibration free. I recently picked up a 2011 Tiger 1050 and do find that it is smoother even than the Tiger 800. Mainly, there's no buzz anywhere.
    #9
  10. bowlerman

    bowlerman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    113
    I had a 14 800 and have a 15 1200. My 800 had a little vibration and my 1200 has enough vibration at 4500rpm that you can't see out the rear view mirrors. I wish I could have kept the 800 but the 1200 suits my needs better. Both excellent Motorcycles. Also I have had no issues with heat dumping.
    #10
  11. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    BKI Sabah
    Question for fellow Tiger 800 owners.

    Noticed I've been getting a lot of engine heat recently.
    Bike was bought new in 2019 and it didn't feel that hot previously until the last 2 rides. Current mileage is 16,000 kms or just shy of 10,000 miles.
    In fact I had a short ride this morning and noticed that in traffic the heat was much more then it was previously.

    Engine temperature gauge looked normal.

    I'm going for another ride tomorrow morning with a few buddies and see if I still feel the same.
    #11
  12. hawkbox

    hawkbox 800 (Ironhide!) Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I've got a 12 800 and in slow traffic when it's warm the inside of my right leg gets extremely warm from the fan.
    #12
    9w6vx likes this.