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Old 02-08-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
Kali Trailrider OP
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Triumph Tiger 800 XC or BMW 1200GS Adventure

Looking to ride a few and purchase one or the other.

Thoughts and advice welcome!!

I am a dirt rider mostly with over 20 years under my belt.
Currently ride a 2010 KTM 450 XC-W
Hard enduro riding, motocross and desert.
I have road riding experience. I once owned a CBR600 in my younger days.

I am mostly looking for a touring bike that I can hit some fire roads.
Long trips and camping off the bike is in my future.

My concerns
The 800xc has a much more comfortable feel. More like I am used to in a dirt bike.
The 1200gs is much heavier and bulky. but the bike feels like a solid bike.
I am a little short 5'-10" 190 lbs. So a heavy bike is a concern for me.

I don't really plan to do any serious off roaring... just some fire roads. But as I get more comfortable...
You never know???

Thanks in advance for your input!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
DAKEZ
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One is a heavy Dual Sport and the other is a heavy Adventure Touring bike.

(You will LOVE the Triumph Triple)
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #3
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I've got an '08 BMW GS Adventure which I bought new and wanting to sell it to get the Tiger 800XC. Does that tell you anything?

Wanna buy an Adventure??
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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I'm about your size, and was dreaming about a GS a couple of years ago (either the F800GS, or the 1200). Sitting on both, I never really felt comfortable. Not so much the weight, but the height - I couldn't get my feet down. Mind you I didn't try the lowered seat / suspension options, except for the lowered seat on the F800GS, which was just passable for me. I recently sat on the Tigers at the motorcyle show, and had no problem with either the 800 XC or the Explorer XC. I'm now looking to pick up a 800 or 800XC this spring. Just my $.02.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Buy the Tiger for that wonderful Triumph triple engine. So much nicer than the Boxer.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Curious why the 1200GS vice the 800GS since your comparison is the 800XC. Ridden all, esp the 800's and different animals each!

What the 800GS does on the trial (yes it does need a new suspension) the 800XC crushes on the road (the triple is amazing). Both are very capable in the aspect your looking at.

1200GSA is a different animal, very capable but so far from the scope your looking at w/the 800XC. Each is very easily capable on/off road on trails/roads/sand/etc. Just not single track bikes.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
Kali Trailrider OP
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Thanks for the input so far

Well from what I have heard and read. I have heard the triumph XC was a better choice than the f800gs.
So that is why I choose that bike for the 800 class.
My thoughts on the BMW 1200gs is really for the long trips I hope to take.

But I have to agree with Imychajluk. Because when I set on the 1200 gs a couple of days ago I could barely touch the ground. It felt bulky and when I revved the motor the motor torc would pull the bike to one side. Which really caught me off guard.

I am going to stop by the Triumph dealer Saturday to test ride the tiger. It is much more affortable and probably a better starter bike for me. So at this time I am leaning toward the xc800.

Thanks again for the input any more opinions are welcomed!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
Pacific
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800xc

The 800XC is a very capable tourer, and it's a more versatile bike. With the big front hoop, you have to push it into the corners a little. It won't fall the way the big GS will. If you're not doing two-up touring, my guess is that you'll have way more fun on the XC. I have owned both bikes and would have kept the XC for good if not for the fact that my plans include substantial long-distance trips 2up.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Between the two you list, the 800XC will be more fun for you. If you're doing more street and the occasional fire road, no worries. If you start loading it up with gear or two up, then you will want more CCs and comfort.

You might want to check out the Yamaha Super Tenere too. Much cheaper, much more reliable, shaft drive and bullet proof, but still a heavy bike like the 1200GS, so that is a detraction. The seat has a low and high setting. I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam and on the low the Super Ten is quite comfortable. At 43k, I've yet to spend a dime on repairs.

If you're wanting to go cross country, the 800XC is a little lacking on road for highway speeds, but much more flickable and pleasant in the two lane twisties than any larger bike. The triple loves to rev and rewards you with wonderful response for it's size. It will certainly get you there. A tad more maintenance than the bigger bikes, but not a deal breaker. If you're a lite packer, no worries. If you like to bring it all, well, the larger bikes start to have an advantage. You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph. On the smaller 800, expect to run out of throttle now and then on the interstates. And be willing to pack a spare set of sprockets and a chain in the bottom of your pannier for long trips. Sometimes things don't last as long as they should. And it sucks to be waiting on sprockets for a couple of days.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty bike View Post
Between the two you list, the 800XC will be more fun for you. If you're doing more street and the occasional fire road, no worries. If you start loading it up with gear or two up, then you will want more CCs and comfort.


If you're wanting to go cross country, the 800XC is a little lacking on road for highway speeds, but much more flickable and pleasant in the two lane twisties than any larger bike. The triple loves to rev and rewards you with wonderful response for it's size. It will certainly get you there. A tad more maintenance than the bigger bikes, but not a deal breaker. If you're a lite packer, no worries. If you like to bring it all, well, the larger bikes start to have an advantage. You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph. On the smaller 800, expect to run out of throttle now and then on the interstates. And be willing to pack a spare set of sprockets and a chain in the bottom of your pannier for long trips. Sometimes things don't last as long as they should. And it sucks to be waiting on sprockets for a couple of days.
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I ride a 1200GS and my GF rides a Tiger 800 "Roadie", and I dissagree with much of your assessment.

In March we rode from PHX, AZ to TX hill country sustaining a constant 80-90+ mph the whole way. When she rode it out here to Cali in Oct she says she did a lot of 100 mph thru Utah and Nevada (from Colorado). My GS IS torquier and pulls harder at speed, but the 800 triple is very capable at anything close to legal speeds.

I've put a few hundred miles on her Tiger and I'm confident I can ride my GS faster in the twisties than her "Roadie" which is better in the twisties than the XC with it's 21" front tire(Roadie uses exactly the same tires as the GS).

As for chain and sprockets; keep em lubed and you'll easily get 20k miles from a set.

For just pavement and fire roads, I'd get the roadie


Edit; The '12 Tiger 800 Roadie packed for the trip to Cali...

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #11
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You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph. On the smaller 800, expect to run out of throttle now and then on the interstates..[/QUOTE]

You won't be particularly close to running out of throttle at 100mph on the 800, and heavy headwinds with large (madstad) screen and full panniers at 75mph won't stress the engine at all - if you were wringing it out you'd be well into the triple digits regardless of wind. At least that's my experience with the XC.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:49 AM   #12
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You won't be wringing the motor out for all it's worth in the wind at 75 mph.

You won't be particularly close to running out of throttle at 100mph on the 800, and heavy headwinds with large (madstad) screen and full panniers at 75mph won't stress the engine at all - if you were wringing it out you'd be well into the triple digits regardless of wind. At least that's my experience with the XC.
Color me surprised then. Not what my friend with one tells me, (the XC). And the wife rides an '11 F650GS twin, (798cc) and it is wrung out at 75-80 and though it will go faster in ideal conditions, wind or mountains and she's downshifting. Granted it's a parallel twin and not the triple, but the smaller displacement bike is working a lot harder to maintain what are normal speeds, and sometimes simply can't.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #13
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My choice:



Very smooth on gravel roads. Very comfortable for long distance travel. 200 miles between tank fills if speeds are kept in the 60-70mph.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Color me surprised then. Not what my friend with one tells me, (the XC). And the wife rides an '11 F650GS twin, (798cc) and it is wrung out at 75-80 and though it will go faster in ideal conditions, wind or mountains and she's downshifting. Granted it's a parallel twin and not the triple, but the smaller displacement bike is working a lot harder to maintain what are normal speeds, and sometimes simply can't.

A DR650 or Dakar 650 will cruise at 80 mph on the interstate, and still have enough to pass if needed. Granted when you start loading it down with panniers, you will feel the drag.

A parallel twin is nothing like a triple. I've had two parallel twins (Versys and Scrambler), and while they would do 100+ mph they were certainly more happier at legal speeds. A parallel twin isn't much more than a hopped up single IMHO. A V-twin is a lot more "comfortable" on the interstate than a parallel twin, and the Triple is heads and tails above a twin. For me the Triple is the perfect balance between a V-twin and Inline 4. You have the torque of a twin, but the rev range of a Inline 4.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #15
bluesman
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Just for example.
Last year I done 800 km haul (500 miles?) on fully loaded XC through Germany at 160-180 kmph (100-115 mph) occasionally bursting to 190 and couple of times getting all out (topped at 209 kmph according to GPS) and Tiger did the job without slightest hesitation or strain. Granted, fuel consumption was not as good as at usual speeds - valid for all bikes. It felt comfy and planted. The only reason I was in such hurry because I had pneumonia and had to get to hotel ASAP as I felt I won't last much longer. It did not felt like hard work for that motor.
What need to be taken into account is that Tiger 800 is not some kind of half-arsed attempt at "beast" by Triumph. It is fast, powerful and perfectly road worthy bike.
We had 3000 km rideout with group that included VFR and FJRs and GSes and never had any problems at all.
Twisties in Norway and Eifel and Normandy were not problem either.
I did have totally different bikes over years - small V-twins, huge 800cc thumper, big sport V-twin, 600 cc il4 etc. and must admit that thou I do miss pure raw barking relatively slow-revving 1000cc sport twin that did sound like nothing else - so far Tiger 800 won my heart totally and completely.
I did not feel same for GS800, but this means nothing - it is purely personal preference. I believe GS800 is very capable and very good motorcycle too.
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