2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx - LONG-TERM TEST INTRO

Lightweight adventure-tourer or heavyweight dual-sport? We’ll find out…

2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx off-road action
2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx.Jeff Allen

"We're taking the Triumph Tiger on the Adventure Rally this week to complete a 2x2 test with the BMW F800GS. Then I can let you grab its smoldering remains," read the email from Cycle World Senior Editor Blake Conner. I have to admit after reading that I was worried, but it turned out the bike just needed a good hosing-off after being flogged off road. Blake, on the other hand, wound up breaking his leg on the same trails one week later during the annual CW Trek, so he required more comprehensive repairs.

But I digress. With 5,575 miles already on the clock, the Tiger 800 XCx made a quick detour through Mickey Cohen Motorsports for an oil-and-filter change before I got my grubby little (actually size XXL) paws on it.

With no fewer than eight Tiger 800 models in Triumph’s 2016 lineup, the $13,700 XCx is the mid-level off-road-ready version. As such it comes equipped with plastic hand guards ($135), an aluminum sump guard ($250), an aluminum radiator guard ($105), engine protection bars ($250), a centerstand ($220), and an auxiliary 12-volt power socket ($35). Adding these accessories to a standard $12,500 Tiger 800 XC would cost $995, which might suggest that the XCx isn’t such a good deal. But that doesn’t factor in its standard cruise control, addi­tional dash functionality, switchable ABS, and variable ride modes, which are not sold separately.

2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx static side view
2016 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx.Jeff Allen

On top of all that, Triumph outfitted our testbike with various parts from its accessory catalog: Expedition black aluminum panniers ($1,350 including mounting brackets), LED fog lights ($430), adjustable tall windscreen ($295), GPS mount ($105), off-road footpegs ($155), folding aluminum shift lever ($75), rubber tank pad ($45), front mudguard extension ($45), CNC-machined rear brake reservoir ($80), steel oil filter cover ($35), and probably a few items I’m overlooking.

With Avon sponsoring the aforementioned Adventure Rally, a set of the British firm’s Trailrider tires ($96.39 front, $172.49 rear) magically replaced the stock Bridgestone Battle Wings. And with Dakar racer Ned Suesse of Doubletake helping out at the rally, a set of his company's multi-adjustable Adventure mirrors ($120) also found their way onto the bike.

All told, that boosted the cost of our Tiger 800 XCx to more than $16,700. That’s hella expensive, but it’s still a lot less pricey than a BMW R1200GS. And we’ll have plenty to talk about in the coming months…

PRICE AS TESTED (2016) $13,700