MAR­QUEZ ON THIN ICE

World champ takes RCV for a spin

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jor­dan Gib­bons & Rich New­land SE­NIOR REPORTER / DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

This is Tri­umph’s new mid­dleweight Tiger un­der­go­ing test­ing in Spain last week. The early-stage pro­to­type bike is a very long way from fin­ished, but there’s no mis­tak­ing that its ori­gins are rooted in the cur­rent Tiger 800 XR model, with cast wheels, that dis­tinc­tive head­lamp unit, tail unit, and inline triple en­gine.

There are a lot of no­table changes over the cur­rent bike – not least the re­vised en­gine, sus­pen­sion, and ride height – all of which point to this be­ing an even more road-fo­cused ver­sion, aimed at those who want the ver­sa­til­ity of an ad­ven­ture-styled bike, but the road man­ners of a sports-tourer. The bike is rid­ing lower than the cur­rent model, and ap­pears to have a re­duced­travel fork, and a new link­age on the rear monoshock.

The re­duc­tion in ride height will have cre­ated prob­lems with ground clear­ance and the range of sus­pen­sion travel avail­able at the front – as the wheel would have smashed the ra­di­a­tor at full travel. But Tri­umph have clearly ad­dressed both on this test mule by shav­ing well over an inch off the depth of the sump, and split­ting the ex­ist­ing sin­gle ra­di­a­tor into two sep­a­rate units – al­low­ing the front wheel to rise higher to­wards the head­stock with­out foul­ing the rad.

The ex­haust pipes also look to be of slightly in­creased di­am­e­ter, and – com­bined with the new crank­case/ sump and the firm’s re­cent Street Triple up­date to 765cc – this leads us to be­lieve the new Tiger will have a larger-ca­pac­ity ver­sion of the cur­rent 800cc en­gine. The likely max­i­mum ca­pac­ity for the ex­ist­ing en­gine architecture would be around 900cc, achieved by a mi­nor growth in both bore and stroke – just as the firm did with the 675 triple to achieve its new 765cc ca­pac­ity.

A ca­pac­ity hike would also de­liver some­thing in the re­gion of 110bhp, which puts it squarely in the ball­park with the newly-launched Du­cati Mul­tistrada 950, and other mid­dleweight ad­ven­ture bikes (see be­low).

The test mule has some crude mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the front of the main frame, and boasts a full ad­justable bolt-on head­stock, ad­justable yokes, and bar ris­ers. The rear hasn’t es­caped, ei­ther – with an elon­gated swingarm, new sub­frame, and re­vised shock link­age – all al­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment team a huge ar­ray of ad­justa­bil­ity as they search for the op­ti­mum chas­sis bal­ance.

There are also some small vis­ual re­vi­sions, such as LED day­light run­ning light in the cen­tre of the head­light, there to meet Euro4 re­quire­ments. The Tiger al­ready had a light in that po­si­tion, but this new one ap­pears dra­mat­i­cally whiter and brighter, sug­gest-sug­gest­ing that it is LED rather than a con­ven­tional bulb – which also im­proves longevity, and re­duces power draw. Also new are the mir­rors and, which re­sem­ble those of the new Street Triple RS.

The state of this test bike sug­gests that it’s still a very long way off pro­duc­tion, and is un­likely to find its way into your lo­cal Tri­umph dealer be­fore 2019.

The 2017 Tiger 800 XRX boasts 94bhp

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