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2017 Triumph Tiger XCA Review, Road Test

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2017 Triumph Tiger XCA displays a world from a different perspective through its on-road dynamic capability, off-road manners and a stellar engine

Enchanting –

  • Well executed design, stands out despite functional items
  • Superlative chassis and engine
  • Extremely Comfortable, Efficient
  • Electronics make it safe and easy to ride
  • Adjustable seat height steals the show

Unsatisfying –

  • Priced on a higher side
  • Could do with bit more power
  • Brakes could have better feedback

I still remember the day when Triumph Motorcycles came in the country for the first time. There was endless excitement, rumors and stories suggested that madness ensued as the company was planning to bombard the Indian superbike scenario with all types of motorcycles. Added to the fact that they were supposed to come at a price which was affordable for every biker and in every premium bike segment he/she was looking into. All of this included two segment, the entry level retro bikes at great price points which made the brand approachable and the motorcycles in that segment affordable. Next came the entry level sporty motorcycles which were naked and faired version of the 675cc variants along with the Speed Triple of-course. The prices were right and the brand never looked back.

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A lot of success just went on and on and the manufacturer squeezed every single possibility of attaining a large share in the superbike world in India. It bought in accessories to all type of retro motorcycles which is one of the primary reason of success. However, what we, as enthusiast asked, also came. The Tiger series of adventure and enduro motorcycles also made it to our terrain some time back and we couldn’t wait after hearing all the stories from all over the world on how good these motorcycles are. Finally, Triumph was very kind to lend us XCA Tiger for a road test and we put a lot of fuel in the tank and kilometers on the road and gained some serious experiences and fun. Allow us to share it with you and tell you whether you should be getting this if you are in market for something exactly like this.

Design

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The design remains true to the iconic ADV form which we have been getting from the British maker all these year. The twin bug eye lamps, the large fuel tank in a rather special green color makes the Triumph look lovely indeed. The front fascia is a lot sharper than the Explorer which is the best part of the motorcycle for us. The rest of the design revolves around the functionality and the motorcycle’s stance is tall due to the suspension travel which is aptly on the higher side.

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The subframe, the side and top mounted exhaust and a lot of accessories on our bike such as pannier holder, very powerful LED foglamps were part of the package. The large LED tail-lamp is a vertically stacked unit which is unique and helps it recognize among enthusiasts. Overall, Tiger stands out in the market like no other. Intimidating for most in the market and hence it garners more attention then faired superbikes. Finally a bike that breaks the Indian monotony of “faired bikes are eye ball grabbing machines”.

Speedo and Switches

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LCD multi-functional instrument cluster comes with a digital speedometer, trip computer, two trip meters, analogue tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, Fuel efficiency parameters and three rider modes such as Road/Offroad/Rider which are configurable individually.

For example, the ABS can be in off-road mode, the engine can be in sport mode and traction control can be on or off. LHS switch has the menu scroller button and the usual bits. LHS seat also includes fog lamp button and heated grip button. The RHS switch has cruise control button and the engine kill switch. RHS side also has the seat warmer button for both seats.

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Features list is humongous with the top of the line XCA which we had. Adjustable seat height (Big boon for Indian market), handlebar position, brake and clutch levers are on offer. Essentials include, Cruise control, Advanced On Board computer, Adjustable screen, Centre stand and Self cancelling indicators. Our bike came with a mobile phone holder and other after market accessories. Headlight spread and illumination is fantastic, LED fog lights turn night into day!

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Protection items included, Engine protection bars, Hand guards, Aluminium sump guard and a Radiator guard. XCA gets an Uprated alternator (650W) for things such as heated grips, heated rider and passenger seat, LED auxiliary fog lights, CNC machined footrests (which look cool and provide extra ordinary grip), Pannier rails for aluminium panniers, Aluminium radiator guard, GPS mounting kit and Three 12V Power sockets.

Ergonomics

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The best part of this adventure motorcycle design are the seating position and the comfort orientation that is focused upon. The seats are large and supportive with superior cushioning. The seating position is upright, the handlebars are placed slightly lower and they are raised which means you get a slightly sporty riding position. Footpegs are reat set and there is a lot of legroom (it could still use a tiny bit more) Adjustable levers means you can get things just right for your preference. The windscreen also is adjustable which makes thing even more comfortable.

Engine and Gearbox

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This oversquare engine displaces 800cc three-cylinder which makes 95 PS of power and 79 Nm of torque from its 4-valve per cylinder equipped motor. The motor is smooth, refined, downright flexible at any given speed. The first three gears are taller but not way too much. The rest of three gears stick together and provide excellent mid range and top-end power. At 120 km/hr you have all the power instantly to make an overtake. The 203 kg dry weight and fully fueled should be around 220 kgs gives it a good power to weight ratio and with enough torque on tap, the motorcycle loves to be ridden hard and the engine is stress free at any given speed.

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The power band is very well sorted and this is where the Tiger gains maximum bonus points. The moment you start pushing the Tiger, the distinct three-cylinder soundtrack just dominates the entire experience unseen and unheard anywhere and makes you instantly a fan of this engine. Refinement levels are fantastic, but we did get some vibes at the handlebar which unconsciously made our hands numb. The throttle response stays the same in all rider modes and we wished it was little more crisp and not this soft. 0-100 km/hr is done in around 4.5 seconds. We saw 200 km/hr on the speedo, but post 180 km/hr progress does slow down.

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We loved the linear power delivery and a better throttle would make things 100%. Our 450 km road test included Mumbai-Pune trip and other runs around both cities and we got a stellar fuel-efficiency in total of 13.3 km/l mileage. Pure highway stands at 16.8 km/l with good use of the throttle and gears. You can expect sedate riders to take out even more. Clutch is slightly hard than expected, but the gearbox is butter smooth and supports clutch-less upshifts and downshifts.

Ride and handling

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Dynamically, again the Tiger truly shines. The WP suspension is downright brilliant and it is adjustable as well. Our bike was tailored set for the weight of the rider and it glided over small and big potholes like they did not exist, the very big ones sent a minor thump across the chassis and it still wasn’t unsettling in anyway. The ride quality is very mature and it gives you freedom to push the motorcycle harder. Suspension is adjustable for rebound and compression. Tyres were grippy in off and on-road situation, but since they are on the skinner side, don’t expect to push hard in corners and expect rewards.

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The front geometry, which is the rake, on paper, stands at 24.3 degree, but it doesn’t feel like it. We think it is because we are dealing with a 21-inch wheel with a 90×90 tyre. The rear tyre is also skinny which stands at 150 section but comes with a 17-inch wheel. This means the motorcycle changes direction quickly and the steering is light and precise. The highway stability is spot on because the suspension is really well tuned for our conditions.

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Coming to the brakes, the rear brakes have good feel, power and initial bite as it is meant to go off-road. However, the front lacks the bite and the power one expects from this motorcycle. The lever squeeze is a bit more when you are going faster, apart from that, most of the time the brakes are novice friendly and do a great job. On the road and off the road, the ride quality, the climbing overly large obstacles, the brakes that we tried at an off-road track was a job well done by the Tiger.

2017 Triumph Tiger XCA Review, Verdict

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If you are upgrading from a 400cc and looking for a 600cc plus motorcycle, we suggest you go ahead and look at the Tiger. It has all the power you need, all the comfort that your body and soul needs for our roads and is an ideal upgrade into the higher capacity motorcycle world that you have been looking for. There is nothing that fits the bill so right for our conditions. The Tiger has taken over the market and this is the reason.

The 600cc sports category may be bustling and there are one or two option for now, but the Tiger is a package you can ignore, it doesn’t feel incomplete in any aspect right now and it won’t in the near future. There is a Tiger in every budget and is one of the many reasons of you should be getting yourself one. The Tiger showcases a world you wanted to see and it will help you see it, even more.

Price 14,02,500 Ex Showroom Delhi

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2017 Triumph Tiger XCA Review
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Features
  • Safety
  • Value
  • Comfort
4.6
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