Test-ride: Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

The Triumph Tiger XCx 800 got us hooked with just one ride.


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller

And an adventure is exactly what your life would be with a dual-purpose bike. Whether you are commuting around a city, riding back to your ‘kampung’ on weekends, or you are an occasional adventurer that rides to far away places, a dual-purpose bike is a brilliant partner for any adventure, urban or rural.

It is not uncommon to see these bikes around the city, or hustling down highways. You can recognise them by their upright sitting rider, panniers and top box fitted and brimmed for weeks long ride. Almost all the major motorcycling brands offer a dual-purpose bike.


The BMW GS seems to be the bike of choice for this school of riders. It is difficult to argue against that though because the GS is an impressive machine with features to match any needs.

Of course there are others from KTM, Triumph, Ducati, and the really hardcore world conquerers seem to prefer the lightness and extreme durability of Japanese bikes, which skimp on comfort but pack heavy on robustness and ease of maintenance.

There are also those who swear by certain motorcycles, like the Triumph Tiger. International media have been praising the bike for eons now. WhatsApp group chats with some of my riding mates are also constantly in praise of the Tiger. I just never got around to riding one, until recently.


I do have to admit that the BMW GSA is one of my all time favourite dual-purpose motorcycles, and the KTM 1050 Adventure was a pleasant surprise too. But nothing prepared me for what was to come as the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx completely blew me away. All those praises heaped on it, all of them, they are all true.

The reviews for the Tiger 800 XCx are always in praise of the 800cc, in-line, 3-cylinder engine and how the 6-speed gearbox seems to work in complete synchronisation with no loss of power in between shifts.


Just a wall of torque and power available from 7,850rpm all the way past 9,000rpm. And everything that has been said about the engine and gearbox is true as well, it really is a perfect unison and is one of the sweet spots about the Tiger 800 XCx.

The other thing that makes this Tiger 800 XCx such an excellent dual-purpose machine is it’s weight – 196kg dry, a little over 200kg fully fuelled and ready to go. The engine, gearbox and weight is what makes this such a brilliant riding machine. And that’s before mentioning the handling of the bike.


Up front is a 21-inch wheel and the rear is 17-inches. This rather odd combination actually works beautifully for the Tiger 800 XCx as the front picks up on the tiniest of adjustments, settles down to grip with zero effort and the rear complements it by offering all the drive with maximum grip.

The front 43mm upside down forks are adjustable for both rebound and compression, while the rear is also adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping, and offers a remote oil reservoir.


At the recent launch of the Triumph showroom in Johor Bharu, which we attended and you can read about here, a Triumph sales person mentioned that some people actually doubt the handling capabilities of the Tiger 800 XCx simply because the front wheel is too “thin”.

But on the contrary, the 90/90 profile and the 21-inch size makes this bike one of the best handling dual-purpose motorcycles you can buy today. No really, it handles beautifully, better than I expected to be honest.


Looks wise, the Tiger 800 XCx toes the dated design line – there is no daytime running lights here and doesn’t do much to take the fight to the BMWs and others. But for what it is, the Tiger 800 XCx is difficult to beat, especially when priced from RM71,900 (with GST). And there is cruise control too, which you will appreciate when the road rides straight for over 100km, I certainly did and I dare to say that for its price, nothing beats the XCx800.

So, seriously then, picking just one dual-purpose motorcycle is a tough job. Relying on forums will make it even more worse, but if you could have just one dual-purpose bike, you will not go wrong with the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx.


And Triumph Motorcycles has been enjoying significant growth in Malaysia with outlets in Penang, KL, Johor, and soon in the east-coast and Sabah, Sarawak as well. So you can be sure that after-sales service will be excellent.

Triumph Tiger 800 XCx specifications

ENGINE 800cc liquid-cooled DOHC

in-line three-cylinder

TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual with

wet multi-plate clutch and

chain drive

POWER 94hp @ 9,250rpm
TORQUE 79Nm @ 7,850rpm
CHASSIS Tubular steel frame with

cast aluminium double-sided swingarm


Adjustable WP 43mm upside-down forks

220mm travel



Adjustable WP monoshock

215mm travel


2x 308mm floating discs with

Nissin twin-piston sliding calipers

Switchable ABS



255mm disc with

Nissin single-piston sliding caliper

Switchable ABS


21-inch aluminium


90/90 R21



17-inch aluminium


150/70 R17

FUELTANK 19 litres
WEIGHT 196kg dry
SEAT HEIGHT 840 – 860 mm

(Low seat version available:

790 – 810 mm)

PRICE RM71,900 (basic with GST)
FROM Triumph Motorcycles Malaysia

(Fast Bikes Sdn Bhd)


Triumph Tiger 800 XCx

Co-founder of Bikes Republic and a motoring journalist by night. He is a self described enthusiasts with a passion for speed but instead rides a Harley and a J300. A man of contradictions, he is just as passionate about time off in the quiets as he is about trail braking into turn one at Sepang Circuit on two or four wheels.

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