Triumph just released this video showing their product planner, Darrell Taylor, batting clean up for a group of journalists at the Tiger 800’s press launch in Barcelona, Spain. Sadly, I was not in attendance, and I really need to figure out how to make friends with motorcycle manufacturers. There isn’t much new in this video, which consists of nine minutes of B roll in the Spanish countryside, but it does show that the new Tiger XC works well on dirt roads or paved roads. I wouldn’t exactly call this “off-roading”, since even the dirt roads in the video were well graded and devoid of any serious obstacles. I guess that’s the point of buying an adventure bike: it can get you to a campsite on a fire road, but any true hardcore back country riding is still the domain of dirt bikes and enduros.
I’ll throw a leg over a Tiger 800 as soon as I get the chance, but it most likely won’t be before next spring. I know some sites (Hell For Leather, for example) have panned the Tiger as being too much like BMW’s F800, or for not making enough horsepower, but I see it as a serious BMW rival for thousands less. Underpowered motor? I see that as “reliable for the long term”, or “tunable with an Arrows pipe and an ECU reflash”. Besides, the parallel twin sounds cool, and it appears that first gear wheelies are relatively effortless. I could find room in my garage for a Tiger 800.