Until recently, if you wanted the best technology, performance and refinement the adventure motorcycle industry had to offer, you were forced to either shell out close to $20,000 for a big, burly 1000cc-plus adventure bike, or give up completely. If you’re a rider on the smaller side, unable to saddle up on a bike that big, you were also out of luck. But manufacturers like Triumph are starting to realize the growing need for small and mid-sized two-wheel overlanders that don’t skimp on cutting-edge tech just because the bike is on the smaller and more affordable side.
The 2018 Tiger 800Xc line is Triumph’s latest commitment to that very category. I just pulled off the roads and trails around Morocco after putting the Tiger 800 XC through its paces, and it’s immediately clear this bike can be so much more than just an adventure motorcycle. Between the urban streets, mountain passes and dirt trails, the Tiger XC never did me wrong: there didn’t seem to be a situation or riding environment where it couldn’t handle its own.
Since the 2017 model-year Tiger was a big overhaul over the generation prior, for 2018 Triumph put an incredible emphasis on refinement and delivered an overall more polished experience. An updated TFT display dashboard, ride modes and reworked, lighter engine internals are among the headline updates, but they all culminate in a bike that presents itself as a versatile and accessible multi-tool, not some highfalutin one-trick pony.
Keep an eye out for my full, more detailed review of the new Tiger 800XC.