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The new Triumph Tiger 800XC is a much-discussed motorcycle of late, it being Triumph's brazen attempt to knock down BMW's F800GS dualsport a few notches. By offering a ton of things BMW either didn't think of initially or failed to add since launching the bike in 2008, Britain is dropping bombs on the Germans again.
The Tiger 800XC's powerplant is a 799cc liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder, as opposed to the similarly-sized parallel twin of the BMW. The effect is to make the power delivery smoother, with less vibration above 4000rpm, where the Beemer does indeed begin to get rather buzzy (I own one). Triumph's motor makes 94bhp with 58 foot-pounds of torque. It weighs 473 pounds soaking wet and boasts a longer, sweeter suspension than its German nemesis.
Jeremy explains all
Jeremy, a sales associate from GP Bikes, a Triumph dealer and all-around biking superstore east of Toronto, gave us a walkthru of the XC. The bike is being taken very seriously and, in the short time since its North American launch in spring 2011, has already won a couple of motorcycle of the year awards in the adventure and dualsport categories.
The Tiger 800XC comes with 'wirelace' wheels, the British way to say 'spoked'. Spokey wheels, if you didn't know, tend to have more give so they're better for absorbing the bumps inherent in off-road usage.
**ABS is standard
Other features worth noting include ABS, which is standard for 2012. Whether you hate ABS or love it, you're definitely going to want to switch it off when riding gravel and dirt roads -- or you're counting on extremely diminished braking power. And switch it off you can, though, at last read of the forums, that's said a bit of a process on the XC compared to the F800GS.
The main thing is, the 800XC is winning over riders from other models like the F800GS and Suzuki's V-Strom, and as a BMW owner I'll be watching to see what the Bavarians change in the coming model years... because sometimes I do wonder if they're listening.