A few months back we had posted regarding our hunt for the ideal dual sport bike (read here). After having gone through a lot of test rides of various brands such as the Ducati Hypermotard & Multistrada, Kawasaki Versys 650 & 1000 and the Triumph Tiger, we decided to go ahead and invest in a Tiger. The main reason was its off road capabilities and a mean 94 bhp engine capable of keeping up with the bigger bikes on the tarmac and take you practically anywhere.
Our hunt for a good bike led us to Mangalore where we caught a glimpse of a well maintained 2015 Tiger 800 XCx which had all the latest updates including Ride-by-wire throttle and 3 rider modes. After a couple of test rides and background checks at Triumph (Special thanks to Prasanna from Keerthi Triumph), we decided to pick it up.
With a seat height of 840 mm and 21 inch wire spoke wheels in the front, this is really a monster of a bike. Took us a while to get used to it and the higher centre of gravity. The BMW 1200GS fairs better in weight management due to its boxer engine which is lower to the ground.
With the induction to the Tiger family, an off-roading workshop organised by Keerthi Triumph in Bangalore came as a boon to understand this mild beast and its capabilities. We did have a few falls but each of them taught us a lesson on how to negotiate difficult terrain and use the bike’s power and capabilities to our advantage.
Our first long ride was to Ooty which is about 350 kms from Bangalore. With a few other Triumph riders, we got comfortable experimenting with the various rider modes (Road, Off-Road and Rider) with the Sports option giving us access to the full 94 bhp of the triple cylinder engine. Despite being a tall bike, we were able to comfortably swing it around steep curves of the Kalhatti Ghat and loved every moment of it.
So far, we have changed the rear wheel bearings, front indicators & brake lever (damaged from dropping the bike), added a more powerful horn (Denali Sound Bomb), Bark Busters hand guards and installed panniers (side luggage) and a tank bag. Do note that, with the panniers installed, the bike’s top speed should not exceed 130 – 140 kmph as it creates instability beyond those speeds.
Service intervals are fixed at 10,000 kms which is pretty decent, however, riders are advised to lube the chain every 500 kms. Chain lubing is common for all high speed bikes including the KTM 390.
Words cannot express the feeling of riding such a beast especially on Indian roads with the raw power pumped out of the sweet sounding triple engine. Not to mention, every stopover attracting crowds curiously checking out the mean machine and clicking selfies with it. The most common question being – What’s the mileage and how much it costs.
Needless to say, we are extremely satisfied with our decision and eagerly look forward to our next ride covering the southern most tip of India.
Happy riding folks!
Team Moto Adda