Thursday, 13 August 2015

Bringing the Cub Home

"Thou shalt be free
As mountain winds: but then exactly do
All points of my command."
~ W. Shakespeare

After homes, motor vehicles tend to the next biggest expense we put our money down on. I have never owned a home, so that says something about my priorities. In this case I have signed the papers on the Triumph Tiger XRx, and for the first time in in 12 years I have gone back to black.


I get to ride many different motorcycles from an assortment of manufactures virtually every day, it is not a bad situation to be in. I have even had the chance to ride some electric motorcycles in the last few weeks, but obviously for me two particular brands have a very special place in my heart and of those two I picked the Tiger. I test rode the previous Tiger 800 model a number of years ago while I still had the Buell Ulysses XB12XT, but for various reasons we did not click and subsequently settled on the NC700X. Now a few years down the road I get to ride the newly revamped Tiger 800 XRx and it was a perfect match.

"What's Past is Prologue" ~W. Shakespeare

The new Tiger 800 family starts at just €12,375 (Tiger XR) and stretches to €15,825 (Tiger XCa) and obviously available here from Dublin Triumph Ireland. All models get the over 160 changes over the previous Tiger including revised engine, 17% better fuel economy, ABS/traction control as standard, and then the feature list keeps getting longer as you move through the family. Now the model range is basically two different versions, XR (cross roads) and XC (cross country), and in those you get different spec and accessories with each variant. The variants go from the XR -> XRx -> XRt and the XC -> XCx -> XCa. The XR made better sense due to me being 'funsized' as the XR's are not as tall. The XC's have an off-road bias which adds larger wheels and WP suspension. Since the only time I go off-road is usually to a campsite or Irish Photo Rally location I was not concerned about the off-road aspect, but I have to admit the WP suspension is very good and provides a plusher ride. The XRx also adds extra accessories, cruise control, and rider modes over the standard XR which sealed the deal for me. The XRt adds a mountain of extra specification, but I just could not stretch that far.



Enough of the broad strokes. For me the XRx provides an economical, light, cruise control equipped bike that lets me make very short work of the daily commute. But provides more then enough ability to haul me fully loaded, two-up, on future adventures. The fly-by-wire throttle took a little getting used to, you do not need to treat it like a cable system, more like a control pad on a computer game. Light inputs reap the most rewards I find from the new system, no need to whind on hard as you pull off, just nice and light. Once you get used to it the whole thing feels effortless and hugely rewarding.



I have mentioned how nimble that bike is, and to be fair more often than not most modern motorcycles have got their centre of balance sorted. It is only the top heavy examples that stand out from the pack. This bike will go were you look and has a fantastically small turning circle, coupled with the new fly-by-wire the whole thing makes for a bike that will make much better riders of all of us. A motorcycle instructor I know loves the auto-cancel indicators, it means one less thing for those taking their test to worry about. 

Farkle wise I have added the following accessories;

That really is everything I could want or need for the Tiger 800 XRx. Most of it is for a combination of practicality and making an already superb package a perfect fit for me and how I use the bike. The PDOiler is really a no-brainer, when you are doing at least 180KM every day then constant chain lubrication is a must-have. LED lights I used for the first time on Sprint GT when I upgraded the main lights, and I am never going back! The higher screen provides a useful amount of extra weather protection on those windy or wet days. But on hot sunny days on small country roads you can drop it down. The Adventure luggage is a better fit for me as I need to be able to store two helmets when I go somewhere with the better half, the standard comfort seats on the XRx helps keep everyone happy too.

Right now I have just come up to my first service on the Tempest (yes, that's her name and no surprises there...) and will give updates as the KM's rack up. First impressions of all the accessories are that they are top pieces of kit. As the weather starts to turn we will really see what they are made of though, but I don't have any doubts after my time with the Sprint GT.

Peace and keep the rubber side down.