Triumph Tiger 800 xRx Trail Experience
- Published On: 29 May 2019
- 7 min read
We take Triumph Tiger 800 xRx for a long ride through trails and twisties of Himachal Pradesh. Know how this 800-cc motorcycle performs in the lap of Himalayas.
Introduction: Although it has been an year since Triumph launched the updated 2018 Tiger series in India, an invitation to experience the bike through trails and twisties of Himachal Pradesh was too hard for us to resist.
The Tiger series of off- and on-road adventure motorcycles from Triumph have been well received in India. Currently three versions, the base XR, road biased xRx and off-road oriented xCx are on sale in India. The plan was to ride from Chandigarh to Shimla via some beautiful and uncharted territories throughout the day. This was to include off road patches, forest trails and even river crossings on the way. Adventurous enough?
We had the xRx to our disposal and I wasn’t complaining. Afterall, majority of the ride would be on tarmac and this is where the xRx would prove its mettle. Before I get to the route, let's talk about the bike first. The 2018 model came with over 200 changes to make it a better product across all parameters. These include design tweaks, an all-new LCD display for the speedometer console, alterations to the engine for added refinement, a new crankshaft and a shorter first gear. The bike gets four riding modes including road, off road, rain and sport.
The ride out of Chandigarh allowed me to get used to the relatively big bike. Adventure tourers do have a towering stance and this added with my tall frame of 6 feet meant the view of the road ahead was excellent. The second thing that hit were the high level of refinement. Our media bike came with the optional Arrow exhaust and I was waiting to hit the hills to enjoy the note from this add-on.
Half an hour into our ride and we hit the first patch of trails. This was a semi tarmac section with roads winding up to the top of the hills. I didn’t use the typical standing-on-the-pegs riding stance as the suspension travel (180mm up front and 170 at the rear) seemed more than ample. I was already enjoying the Tiger, even in the conventional rode mode.
Engine: Up ahead though, tarmac disappeared and we had loose stones and dirt for company. Alright then, I stood up, leaned forward and bent my knees just a bit. Right toes on the brake, I throttled my way up the incline section with ample low-end torque from the 800cc motor. By the way, the exhaust sounds good even when growling at lower revs. The downhill section was even more interesting. Thanks to the off-road mode that allows you to lock the rear (the front ABS still works), it was easy sliding into curves and then powering out with the rear steeping sideways just a bit. The off-road mode mellows down the power delivery and yet allows you grinning moments for a fraction of a second. Yes, traction control kicks in a bit late. Thank you for that!
The highlight though came just before launch. Sadhupul is popular with tourists who love dipping their feet in the cold waters of Ashwani river and our experts had chalked out a similar trail for us. We rode our bikes through the river waters and its little streams not once but thrice and each time the road biased xRx showed its true stretch to be a multi-tasker. This includes its ample ground clearance that made sure rocks in the waters of the river didn’t do any harm to the underbelly of the bike.
Post lunch, it was tarmac session all the way to Shimla and this is where I allowed the bike to stretch its legs. The 2nd and 3rd gear are very versatile and allowed me to make the most of long flowing curves and corners of Himachal Pradesh. The downside? The foot peg feelers touch too soon and I was leaving behind sparks every now and then. On straights, the 95 PS motor pulled hard, registered triple digit speeds within seconds. Lastly, the top spec Showa USDs at the front kept the bike in place, even though mid corner bumps.
Pricing: Priced at Rs 13.39 lakh (ex-showroom), the Tiger xRx is a perfect match for those who don’t want an out-an-out off-road machine like the Honda Africa Twin or the BMW F 650 GS but something that’s more liveable on a daily basis. The bike is refined and yet has a naughtier side, the exhaust sounds brilliant across the rev range and the comfort levels are good enough to ride this for hours. Kitna deti hai? I was surprised to see the on-board display registering 19+ kmpl for the ride and that too an uphill climb from Chandigarh to Shimla. Icing on the cake? Could be for most!
So, would we recommend the Tiger xRx? For its sheer versatility and comfort levels, definitely. Dealers have some exciting offers in store too, including free panniers worth a lac!