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Riding in tough terrain is rewarding, especially when you and your motorcycle are equipped for the task ahead. The Tiger 800 we tested was the 2018 model, for 2018 it’s more refined and polished. We rode the bike in Marrakech and it was six degrees at the time, luckily, the aero and large windscreen on the Tiger was doing a good job at blocking this cold air.
What’s new on the bike?
At first glance, the scooter looks very similar to the older motorcycle. Also, the frame and swing arm on the motorcycle also remain untouched. However, the bike maker is still claiming over 200 changes, many of which are part of the bodywork. Let aside the fuel tank, every panel on the bike has been redesigned including the headlight. Overall, the bike looks considerably slimmer than the previous generation model. Even though the headlight unit is redesigned, only the top-of-the-line models get all-LED lighting.
The windscreen on the bike is revised and is easily adjustable. There is still a small amount of wind that will hit your helmet at higher speeds, more so if you’re tall. However, towards the rear of the bike, the bike doesn’t have much bodywork, it’s mostly bare. The bike features a new seat that is soft and supportive. To add to that, the top-spec models also get heated rider and pillion seats.
Big changes come in form of new TFT display and high-quality switchgear. This unit is similar to the one seen on the new Tiger 1200 and the Street Triple RS, we found it was really nice to use. This screen can be found on mid and top models of the motorcycle.
What’s new mechanically?
The frame of the Tiger remains the same, but the in-line three-cylinder motor is where most of the changes have been made. The bike continues to make 95hp and 79Nm of torque. The manufacturer claims that for 2018, the engine is now more refined and reactive. The bike also comes equipped with a new crankshaft and clutch. Triumph has also reworked the gear ratios on the motorcycle. They have done this to make the bike a better handler at low speeds. Also new is the exhaust, which is lighter and lounder this time around.
How does it perform?
Riding the Tiger 800 is a good experience, like always. The smooth throttle response and the tractable engine performance help considerably on a motorcycle of this type. The sixth gear does well above 40kph since the motor is so torquey. What one can instantly tell is that the motor is now quicker revving and more responsive. The bike also has an impressive gearbox but lacks a slipper clutch and this makes the clutch lever heavy.
The bike has new Brembo brakes, which offer good performance, but the bite is slightly soft. Triumph has said it has done this to suit the bike’s off-road characteristics. The Tiger is not a hard core sports bike, but it does surprisingly well on curvy tarmac. The suspension on the bike was beautiful, it soaked in all kinds of bumps and rocks and the tyres had impressive grip. This made the Tiger unintimidating for riders of different skill levels.
The bike has a new ‘off-road Pro mode’, which is only available on the top-spec model. This switches of all the electronic aids, ABS and traction control. Overall, the new Tiger offers up to six rider modes on the top-spec XCa, Road, Sport, Off-road, Off-road Pro, Rider, and Rain.
When will it be available?
Triumph India is expected to launch the Tiger 800 shortly after the Speedmaster and Tiger 1200. This could be sometime around April. At present, there is no official comment on the same but we will likely get some of the models of the range. In terms of pricing, we expect the new Tiger range to be priced slightly higher than the current ₹10.87 - ₹14.37 price range. In terms competition, it will take on BMW’s well-priced F750 and F850GS.
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