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Old 04-30-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
The Jerk OP
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New '11 Triumph Tiger 800 - Initial Impressions



And so it begins.

In the same vein as the thread I started when I bought my Tiger 1050 back in 2007, I now start this thread to chronicle my impressions of the new Tiger 800 (let's keep this thread for the road version. Another owner should start an XC thread in Beasts) as well as mods, technical info, etc.

My first impressions: this bike rocks! I picked it up this morning at Rockwell Cycles in Fort Montgomery, NY, just down the road from Bear Mountain. A couple weeks ago I went up there to ride their demo 800 and really enjoyed it. I had kind of already made up my mind that if I liked riding it, I was gonna buy it so I put my deposit down on an incoming white 800 with ABS which Rockwell then converted to pre-sold so it would come in sooner.

I actually could have picked it up last weekend but I had other things going on with the W650 and the weather was crappy so I decided to wait.

I got a ride up there this morning and everything was in order. The bike had been PDI'ed, inspected and registered. I signed a few things, got the folder with the spare key and owner's manual and I was good to go. Did a little tour of the park up there and then headed home via the Palisades Parkway back to the city.

My thoughts after riding approx 80 miles both in twisties and on the slab:

- man this thing handles great. It feels a ton lighter than the 1050 even though it's really only about 40 pounds lighter. I don't know if it just carries the weight lower or what but it feels like I can toss it around. But it's very confidence-inspiring in the twisties, more so than the 1050 I would say. The tires, even being new, seem to offer great grip - I think they are Pirelli Scorpion Sync? I forgot to check.

- I hope the front suspension will soften up as it breaks in because it is *stiff.* I'll give it a few hundred miles and see how it goes. On smooth roads of course it's marvelous but on seriously fucked up pavement it can be a bit jarring. I don't know if Triumph set the suspension up for a heavier rider (maybe they've seen all those ADV group photos! ) or what but I'm a pretty light guy. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with the spring rate but the damping is set pretty hard. Maybe a lighter fork oil or some Race Tech Gold Valves down the road if it doesn't break in and soften up a bit.

- I feel like the bars could come back toward me just a little bit. The height is good. But I'll wait and see - there's always a body adjustment period with a new bike as your muscles adapt to the slightly different riding position so I'll give it some time and miles before I decide to change anything or experiment with bar backs.

- I like the seat in the low position. The high position is about the same seat height as the 1050 stock seat. Low is about an inch lower and I can pretty much flat foot the bike with the seat at that height.

- I noticed that the bike feels much much lighter when backing it up or maneuvering it around by hand. The 1050 has always been difficult for me to back up because of the weight and the seat height and I've always felt less confident in moving it around by hand. Perhaps because it's more top heavy, I don't really know.

- The fueling is good but the bike was delivered with a bit too much throttle freeplay. Like the 1050, the 800 has a bit of a harsh on/off kind of thing right as you go from idle to throttle. The 1050 was worse but the BoosterPlug for the 1050 really smoothed it out. I think the 800 would benefit equally from a BoosterPlug. Hope they have one in development. The problem with the slack in the throttle freeplay is that when cruising along on the slab maintaining a steady speed, you barely have the throttle open. So when you hit a bump your wrist inadvertently rotates the throttle off and then you jerk it back open again - you're right in that on/off zone. Hard to be smooth. So like the 1050 I backed out almost all of the throttle freeplay which really smoothed things out. But I would buy a BoosterPlug for this bike in a heartbeat.

- The brakes are fucking fantastic. Great progressive feel, easy to modulate, and stop the bike RIGHT NOW.

- The headlights seem pretty great, especially by comparison with the 1050. Granted I've so far only ridden in the dark in the city which has street lights, so I still need to see whether I will need to adjust the aim of the lights and I still need to see how they do on a dark country road.

- The instruments light up a cool blue/white color

- The windscreen seems great - spent time around 70 mph on the way home and didn't notice any buffeting.

- The white pearlescent paint is amazing. As is the dark graphite finish on the wheels. The bike looks tits.

- Accessories: this seems to be a sticking point. Triumph seems to be having a hard time getting the accessories out and it's kind of a mixed bag as to who can get what accessories. At the time I put my deposit down I ordered a center stand, the GPS mount, and the service manual. Only the GPS mount came in - the other two items were still backordered as of today. At the Perkins Tower parking lot I happened to run into two guys with Tiger 800s. One guy had the crash bars so I was able to inspect them and they look pretty stout. The other guy had the center stand. One guy had managed to rig a Givi monokey mount to the Triumph rear rack because he got tired of waiting for the Motech stuff. He had one of the Givi Trekker cases, looked pretty good on the 800. May have to get one of those...I've also got the crash bars, heated grips, and aux power socket on order.

- The 800 definitely gets pushed around by the wind a bit more than the 1050 does, perhaps owing to the fact that it's lighter. I found that out for sure on the GW Bridge coming back into the city.

- Engine heat: some people have complained of engine heat in the inner thigh area in traffic. I hit some nasty traffic on the West Side Highway coming back with the ambient temp being about 70 degrees. You definitely feel heat in that area more than you do on the 1050. I don't think that the 1050 makes any less heat and even that will start to turn into a nut roaster on a hot enough day but there's a lot more plastic and other stuff to insulate you from the heat on the 1050. On the 800, more of the engine is exposed and there's less between you and the engine which I think naturally is going to result in you feeling more engine heat. Not much to it but to deal with it - if you want something that's more naked that means it's gonna have less plastic to do air/heat management. That's just the way it is. Also while stuck in traffic I don't recall hearing the fan come on. The fan on the 1050 is pretty loud. Perhaps the 800 just has a quieter fan because the engine didn't come anywhere close to overheating.



In summary, this bike is a winner I think. It may need a couple minor tweaks here and there and Triumph needs to get the accessories out on the market but I can see riding this thing for a long time. Of course that's what I said about the 1050 back in 2007.

Happy customer:



What better place for a break-in ride?





Back to the concrete jungle

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The Jerk screwed with this post 10-15-2011 at 02:15 PM
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
ChubbyDodds
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Initial II

Awesome! I enjoyed the 1050 thread immensely as I had one at the time. I went a different route and bought a Thunderbird for this round. I was greatly tempted to go for the 800.

I'll be reading along, regardless, and enjoying the vicarious ride!

Mark
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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Aaaaaaaaaaah. I need the budget for a second bike! My R1200GS is a keeper for a while (which means three to five years max for me), but when I test rode the Tiger 800 (Roadie) I immediately made mental calculations how to get it in the budget and in the garage ...

Probably next year.

And I'm really looking forward to this thread here!
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the awesome report.

I read your original comparison of the BMW to the Triumph Tiger and ended up buying a Tiger of my own which I thoroughly enjoyed. Your details and information are spot on and I thank you. It seems I may now have to check out the new Tiger 800 myself since I too find the 955 and 1050 to be a bit top heavy and hard to maneuver by hand, backing it is a bitch.
Enjoy the Spring riding.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:10 AM   #5
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I would like to address the center stand first, because I believe Triumph may have a problem with it. It seems that a number of owners report that the combo spring is too weak, allowing the stand to hang down from it's fully retracted position. This is probably a safety hazard and really should be addressed. The situation also causes the stand to bounce up down against the frame while you are riding. So much so on my T800 ABS that on the 80 mile ride home from the dealer the springs bounced off the bike all together, leaving me on the side of the road picking weeds to tie the stand up to the frame. Whew, enough of that, on the the good stuff.

Let's stick with accessories for the moment. I also ordered a number of extras at the time I put my deposit down. By the way, I did not pre-order, simply gave the dealer a deposit to insure I would get the next T800 ABS. Some of what I ordered was put on the motorcycle by my dealer, other stuff has yet to come in. I got the fog lights. They are very bright, make the bike more conspicuous, and look way cool. I also added the heated grips which have two positions, low and high. The low position is very low, not really been able to feel it. The high position is fine and works well, not too hot. I am waiting on the tall adjustable wind screen, luggage, beak, and alloy sump guard/bash plate. I was looking for the look of the XC with the function of tubeless tires you get with the T800. Of course I won't get the longer travel suspension of the XC. The owners manual says that Triumph will be offering a tire pressure monitoring system for the T800, not for the XC. I would think it would be a great addition to a bike with tubed tires, giving you a little heads up if you are starting to lose pressure, but maybe the sensors are not up to off road use.

I agree, this bike is quite stiff, even for me. I am a heavier guy and I am feeling every little bump as I ride. I plan on checking the pre-load today to see where it is set from the factory, maybe I can adjust some of that out. As the OP said, much of the problem is the front and there are no adjustments.

I have the standard seat and also like it in the low position, I think. Need to ride more to figure that out. Only the front of the rider section of the seat moves up or down, meaning the rear part of the riders seat stays put. So the low position tilts the seat forward a bit, not too bad, but a little. I definitely feel like I am sitting more "in the bike" with the seat in the low position.

This is my first Triumph triple, and I am falling under the spell of this amazing engine. Am I the only one that thinks this engine sounds like an opposed 6 Porsche? I got 46 mpg on my first mileage check. The owners manual says to expect better mileage as the triple breaks in. I am really hoping for 50. By the way the trip computer has functions, or functions in a way I have never seen on another bike. There are two trip odometers. Each trip odometer can show trip distance, range to empty, trip time, average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption, and average speed. They can be reset separately. So on a trip you can access mpg for your current tank on one trip odometer, and mpg for the whole trip on the other, cool.

andoulli screwed with this post 05-01-2011 at 05:22 AM
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:46 AM   #6
The Jerk OP
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Originally Posted by andoulli View Post
I have the standard seat and also like it in the low position, I think. Need to ride more to figure that out. Only the front of the rider section of the seat moves up or down, meaning the rear part of the riders seat stays put. So the low position tilts the seat forward a bit, not too bad, but a little. I definitely feel like I am sitting more "in the bike" with the seat in the low position.
This bit is definitely not correct. When you take the seat off and flit it over, there are two metal bars held into place with rubber straps, one at the front and one at the rear of the seat. If you move both of them to the low setting and then properly reinstall the seat, both ends of the seat sit lower. This is easy to confirm by sight - with the seat in the high position, the rear of the seat is flush with the passenger seat. With the seat in the low position, the rear of the seat is visibly lower than the front edge of the passenger seat and it's also visibly lower along the tank as well.

I think the reason that TPMS is not available on the XC is due to the use of tubes. The TPMS sensors go inside the wheels and replace the valve stems. With tube tires, the valve stems are part of the tubes. So unless someone starts making Triumph-TPMS-compatible tubes with TPMS sensors already built into the tubes, it ain't gonna happen.

I like the idea of TPMS but I don't like the implementation. The TPMS sensors are little radio transmitters powered by batteries. When the batteries die, the TPMS sensor has to be replaced and of course being inside the rim, the tire has to come off to do so.

Triumph also notes in the owner's manual that the TPMS system is not to be used when setting tire pressure because you could set it to incorrect values. So it seems kind of more trouble than it's worth (to me) and that the only thing it's really good for is to alert you on the move if one of your tires starts losing air.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by andoulli View Post
The owners manual says that Triumph will be offering a tire pressure monitoring system for the T800, not for the XC. I would think it would be a great addition to a bike with tubed tires, giving you a little heads up if you are starting to lose pressure, but maybe the sensors are not up to off road use.
I bet it has more to do with the fact that as you say, the XC has tube tires. Since the sensor typically goes inside the pressurized area (i.e. inside the rim on a tubeless tire) that'd be pretty hard to pull off with tubes.

Edit: I see TJ beat me to it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by andoulli View Post
The owners manual says that Triumph will be offering a tire pressure monitoring system for the T800, not for the XC. I would think it would be a great addition to a bike with tubed tires, giving you a little heads up if you are starting to lose pressure, but maybe the sensors are not up to off road use.
You simply cannot get the sensors inside an inner tube.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #9
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...
Super summary, thanks!
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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Beyond the 60 mph range it became awful. If I wanted one of these bikes, I would need the address that problem before anything else. I'm 6 ft
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5'8" with a 30" inseam
Damn, I'm 6ft. Maybe a tall screen will help, but buffeting is hard to beat on anything with Adventurish geometry.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:48 PM   #11
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Damn, I'm 6ft. Maybe a tall screen will help, but buffeting is hard to beat on anything with Adventurish geometry.

what's funny is that when I came back from my test ride, there were two guys who had ridden it just before I did; one taller than me (probably about 6' 4"), and one shorter than me (maybe 5' 7"). I had a conversation with them about the bike. Neither of them felt the buffeting that I did. I've come to think that 6 ft is the sweet spot for buffeting on these types of bikes.

The only bike of this style that never gave me a buffeting problem was the Multistrada 1100. It was just a perfect stream of clean air coming over the top of that shield
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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I am 6'1" and have no buffeting from my T800. No problems with the seat in either position. I have the regular screen.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:38 PM   #13
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I'm on my second Tiger, 06' Girlie, 10' 1055. I agree, the 1055 feels very top heavy and not very confidence inspiring. Glad to hear problem solved on the 800. Two quesions: what about the notchy gear boxes? Both my Tigers have had sucky trannies! Also, is the 800 power really enough for the roadie long haul? I put a 19 tooth front sprocket on both Tigers to bring the RPMs down (4,500K RPM @ 75 MPH), but it really tames the torque down... front wheel never comes off the ground anymore unless I really mean it.

That said, I'm still sold on the brand, but still looking for the perfect motorcycle.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:43 PM   #14
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How's the engine performance ? Any vibration? Shifting ?

I rode a street triple which as you know is the same motor with smaller internals..It seemed to be kind of vibey compared to the speed 1050...But it had great shift action and was very similar in power delivery (instant pulling power at all rpm kind of way) but just not as strong...But a good motor overall just a tad vibey...So I'm curious about the 800..The bike looks nice BTW...Looks like a perfect all around bike!
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:59 PM   #15
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Damn, I'm 6ft. Maybe a tall screen will help, but buffeting is hard to beat on anything with Adventurish geometry.
Your style of helmet might make a difference in the buffeting department. Try a demo ride with your helmet on the exact model of bike you want to buy.
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