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    The indicators tend to break easily if you drop the bike.
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Triumph Tiger 800 XCx long term review, fifth report

15th May 2020 7:00 am

Our long-term Tiger charges past the 40,000km mark,and it’s still running as well as it always does.

You won’t believe the numbers I’m getting on the Tiger! As I write this, fuel consumption stands at three weeks with 19 litres, and the fuel gauge is still reading full! There’s been absolutely no expenditure on service or wear-and-tear parts and my tyres have never lasted so long. As I write this, I know I’m going to get the same super-economical running costs for more than a fortnight, at least. My wallet is getting a breather and though I feel like a caged cat, I realise there is a bright side to sitting at home in lockdown mode. 

Before the lockdown though, this was one busy Tiger, with 5,000km added to the odometer in just two months; mostly because we, at The School of Dirt, were working on a new ‘how to powerslide’ course. Finding an open enough space to serve as classroom and because figuring out a curriculum for a powersliding session is an inherent tyre killer, I’ve worked my way through another rear tyre and been through another service but otherwise had no trouble whatsoever. 

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Sport-bike-like howl from an adventure motorcycle.

In fact, the Tiger’s utter reliability is one of the reasons I’ve been able to run it without really troubling my mostly freelancer-based income. There haven’t been any surprise expenditures, even after dropping the bike on trail rides because generally, nothing important breaks. Hell, even the clutch plates still have life in them, and the original chain will easily last another 3,000-4,000km. This reliability is truly impressive, given the kind of high RPM, slow speed and pop-clutch abuse that this bike regularly goes through. Running it so far has just been a matter of planning my finances out to handle scheduled services, insurance and tyre replacements. 

That said, the 40,000km service did put a bit of a dent in my wallet. It’s an engine-head-open service because they need to check and set the valve shim clearance. I was quite happy that only two of the twelve valve shims on my bike had gone beyond recommended operating tolerances. All told, spare parts, service kit and labour put me out by around Rs 25,000. I was prepared for it; but then again, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. I guess there is a price attached to all the good times I’ve had on this bike. 

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The Tiger hasn’t given me undue trouble in all those kilometres.

On another note, I went to Morocco recently to ride the new Tiger 900 Rally Pro. I fell in love with the new bike. It just feels so much lighter, faster, nimbler and unintimidating to make mistakes on when compared to the 800. The only thing I actually missed on the new bike was that sport-bike howl that the 800 has, especially if you’ve removed the decibel killer on the Arrow exhaust, like I have on my bike. The 900’s new firing order makes it sound more like a big parallel-twin than anything else and in my opinion, isn’t half as hairraising or as butter-smooth as an 800 nearing 10,000rpm. 

That little bit aside, as an 800 owner, I’m dying to upgrade – the new bike is a huge improvement, adventure-riding wise, and I hope I can drum up the money soon enough. I also hope the 900 remains as reliable as the 800 – that’s the only way I’ll be able to truly afford it.

Also see:

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx long term review, second report

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx long term review, third report

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx long term review, fourth report

Fact File
Distance covered 42,610km
Price now NA
Maintenance costs Rs 25,000 for 40,000km service
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