2011-2014 Triumph Tiger 800XC
£4000-£7000 94bhp 129mph 215kg (kerb) 799cc inline triple
“The best middleweight all-rounder”
I’ve defended the naked BMW F800R against a Street Triple in these pages. And in the last RIDE I took a faired F800GT to Luxembourg and loved it. But I spent all last year with an F800GS and had to be careful not to hurt the feelings of F800GS owner Martin: “What cretin would choose one of these instead of a Tiger 800XC?” etc. But the gloves are off now, because that’s the reality.
I bet he mentions the torque. Back in 2011, when we saw the GS make more torque and only a sniff less power than the Tiger, we were both gobsmacked. I didn’t believe it then and still don’t. The Tiger feels way torquier; a proper, revvy big bike motor. The GS is asthmatic.
The Triumph feels physically larger too; more substantial and durable. Maybe not as useful off road as a GS, but who does that stuff anyway? What matters is I rode a Tiger 800XC to Vienna a few years ago and it was perfect for touring. The GS would be like flossing yer bum for a week – and a loaded Tiger won’t weave on knobblies at speed, either.
I’ll conclude the argument with a line from 2011 again: “Motorways, town, off-road, even track… it’s pretty good at all of them. The one thing that would make the Tiger 800XC even more all-round would be if it had wings and could fly. It already does everything else.”
The Triumph Tiger 800XC gets Simon’s vote, as the better all-rounder