While the only real difference between my written-off 2013 Tiger 800 ‘Roadie’ and my new-to-me 2014 Tiger 800 XC is the larger front wheel (21″ for dirt rather than the 19″ on the Roadie for tighter ‘sport’ turns) and the related suspension and handling, it results in 1.1″ of additional seat height. This is great for me since I have the room for it and even with the Airhawk in place and the seat in the ‘Hi” position (2 settings on the Tigers by way of a swingarm/bar), I can flat-foot the bike with room to spare. It is only a little more height but any advantage to see further forward into traffic or curves is a bonus. It also opens the knee angle more, which means more knee comfort.
As noted in earlier posts, this Tiger XC was purchased new from a local dealer the last week of September ’14 and traded-in to another dealer in January ’15, just 1,940 miles and about 90 days into ownership. The original owner had poured the Triumph accessories catalog upon it and I was eager to see how it handled. The two panniers and their rack, as well as the larger wheel and it’s increased weight, plus engine-protection bars, are the most dramatic new items as far as weight, probably adding 30 pounds. That puts the bike closer to the 500 lbs of my old Bonneville. More dramatic to the handling character are the Continental TKC-80 “Twinduro” tires that are ostensibly 40% road/60% off-road design. I can’t say I’d have ordered them the way the original owner did, and I’ll likely put Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires on when these wear out (that is a street tire despite the ‘Trail’ moniker). I will head up to the local (2.5 hours away) approved off-road riding area, Pachaug State Forest and see what happens. I’ll probably leave the panniers at home for that.
I’ll enjoy the comfort in more than the leg room via the heated grips. I’ve been using Gerbing G3 heated gloves and their jacket liner for three years and while the jacket liner (essentially a windbreaker/light jacket) get too hot, the gloves could get hotter in my view. I had added the hand guards on my former Tiger to help get my hands more protection. Those guards are on the XC as well but when I tried the heated grips in their Low setting I was amazed. It was about 30F (rule of thumb is -20F from reported temp to find temp while riding, so 10F) and in a minute my hands were warm. Then I shut off the gloves to see if the grips were sufficient alone. They got very warm and I didn’t even try the high setting. Excellent.