A comparison of the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer

Family duel: Triumph Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer

Triumph Tiger 800 XC or Tiger Explorer?

The little tiger, which made a lasting impression in its segment, is accompanied by Triumph with the large Explorer. Again, BMW is the main opponent. The question remains: which motorcycle performs better??

A comparison of the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer

When the first Tiger 800 XCs were in the showrooms of the Triumph dealers at the beginning of the 2011 season, some people rubbed their eyes in amazement: How long have they been selling BMW here? Often the English had to listen to allegations of plagiarism. And at least as far as the optics are concerned, it cannot be completely dismissed. And as far as functionality is concerned, it is certainly not a disadvantage if you orient yourself to successful role models.

D.he result is well known: Right from the start, little Tiger and her talents were on par with her Bavarian competitor. The situation is similar with the recently presented Tiger Explorer, only that the attack is aimed at Boxer GS.

Let’s assume that the future enduro traveler has basically made the decision in favor of triple. The question remains which one it should be. A look at the price list reveals 3300 arguments for the 800 series in one fell swoop. Both in basic equipment and ABS. This can be used to finance some tours. Then the tigerist should be clear about the range of uses. Both Tigers run under the label Reiseenduro, which should also enable use off-road, but only the 800 can be equipped with appropriate rubbers thanks to the 21-inch front wheel, which can be used off-road.


The Tiger 800 XC was strong competition for BMW from the start.

The Explorer, on the other hand, does not get much further off-road with a normally talented driver – because of its 19-inch cast front wheel, the approximately 270 kilogram combat weight and high center of gravity – than let’s say a Honda CBF 1000. Which is not so tragic in Western Europe is, there are asphalt roads enough.

Contrary to its massive appearance, the Explorer can be thrown from one incline into the other quite easily, while remaining largely neutral and always good-natured. Tidy inclines can be implemented on level ground before the footrests start painting the streets. On bumpy terrain, however, the tightly tuned fork sometimes reaches the limits of its possibilities.

So that explorers of all stature feel comfortable on the fat one, the seat height can be adjusted to two heights (850 and 870 millimeters) in a few simple steps and the handlebar position can be changed by 20 millimeters. Using the left thumb of the partially digitized cockpit, you can read off extensive information on the subject of the journey and motorbike condition, switch off the ABS and select the degree of traction control intervention.


Despite its massive appearance, the Explorer can easily move from one incline to the other.

Like all Triumph Triples, the 1.2-liter Trumm shines with textbook-like power and torque output. Starting at idle, it starts buffing and floods the transmission with steadily and powerfully increasing torque until it is over at 9500 rpm. There it is divided into six stages, passed on to the rear wheel via the massive but largely reaction-free cardan drive and a very long secondary transmission. The speedy threesome shakes the power required in everyday life so casually out of its sleeve that 4.7 liters of normal are enough for 100 kilometers.

Under the same conditions, the little triple swallows just as little, but no less. In a direct comparison, this also appears a little narrow-chested, as a numerical example shows: While the 800 has 80 Nm on the crankshaft between 3000 and 4000 rpm, the 1200 has to cope with up to 105 Nm in the same range. At its peak, the difference is measured at 79 Nm at 7850 rpm and 110 Nm at 6300 rpm in favor of the Explorer. Nevertheless, the big one doesn’t really drive away, as the pulling values ​​show. In the standard disciplines of 60–100 km / h, 100–140 km / h or 140–180 km / h, the big Tiger is at best half a second faster. This is completely meaningless on this side of the racetrack and proof that a successful overall gear ratio in conjunction with a slim stature can help save a lot of horsepower. However, at the price of a slightly higher speed level, which would also explain the stalemate in consumption mentioned at the beginning.

On the 800, the power is sent to the rear wheel via a chain, the driver is driven by the throttle cable and not by wire, and traction control is solely the responsibility of the right hand. That would already list the essential differences. In terms of ergonomics, both of them don’t give each other anything, the equipment of the little one is a bit simpler. For example, she has no cruise control.


With the little one, a chain ensures the flow of power to the rear wheel, with the big Tiger Explorer the cardan runs in a single-sided swing arm.

When maneuvering at the latest, the approximately 34 kilograms less weight of the 800 series have an extremely positive impact, and surprisingly, they are hardly noticeable when driving. Which is also due to the fact that the 800 is not the handiest bike in its class. Nevertheless, this is proof of the good balance of the 1200s. In return, the XC can show its qualities on third-rate streets. Tightly sprung, but not too damped, the chassis also filters out unpleasant waves without hardening. It benefits from the slightly longer suspension travel of 220 mm at the front and 215 mm at the rear. The Explorer leaves it at 190/194 millimeters.

The British have also taken the successful Bavarian model as a model in another point. With an extensive catalog of original accessories, both Tigers can be adapted to the needs of their trainers and the price increased by one or the other thousand. In addition to suitcase sets and gel benches in various heights, you can also choose from items such as taller panels, fog lights, oil pan guards, crash bars, heated grips, hand protectors or a socket. And there is also a main stand for the little ones.

For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that the Tiger 800 is also available with a smaller, 19-inch front wheel for travelers without off-road ambitions. Like the Explorer, this stands on cast wheels, but is otherwise largely identical to the XC described here.

Both Tigers are exciting motorcycles. The 800 already has enough of everything (power, steam, equipment, space, etc.) and hardly leaves any feeling of lack. In addition, she is open to small off-site deposits. But if enough is not enough because you want to draw on the full and can afford it, you will be happy with the Explorer. Provided he stays on-road.

Data and measured values


Both Tigers come with a lot of power and steam.


Triumph Tiger 800 XC Triumph tiger explorer
type design Three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine Three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine
injection Ø 44 mm Ø 46 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch Multi-disc oil bath clutch
Boron x stroke 74.0 x 61.9 mm 85.0 x 71.4 mm
Displacement 799 cm3 1215 cm3
compression 11.1: 1 11.0: 1
power 70.0 kW (95 PS) at 9300 rpm 101.0 kW (137 hp) at 9000 rpm
Torque 79 Nm at 7850 rpm 121 Nm at 6400 rpm

landing gear

  Triumph Tiger 800 XC Triumph tiger explorer
frame Steel tubular frame

Steel tubular frame,
Motor supporting

fork Upside-down fork, Ø 45 mm Upside-down fork, Ø 46 mm Brakes front / rear Ø 308/255 mm Ø 305/282 mm Systems assistance SECTION SECTION bikes 2.50 x 21; 4.25 x 17 2.50 x 19; 4.00 x 17 tires 90 / 90-21; 150 / 70-17 110/80 R 19; 150/70 R 17 Tires Bridgestone Battle
Wing BW 501/502 "G" Metzeler Tourance EXP,
back "M"

measurements and weight

Triumph Tiger 800 XC Triumph tiger explorer
wheelbase 1568 mm 1530 mm
Steering head angle 66.9 degrees 66.1 degrees
trailing 91 mm 106 mm
Front / rear suspension travel 220/215 mm 190/194 mm
Seat height 855-875 mm 850-870 mm
Weight with a full tank 237 kg 271 kg
Payload 201 kg 210 kg
Tank capacity / reserve 19.0 / 4.0 liters 20.0 / 5.0 liters
Service intervals 10,000 km 10,000 km
price 10,490 euros 13,790 euros
Price test motorcycle 11,126 euros ** 14,114 euros ***
Additional costs 370 euros 370 euros


Triumph Tiger 800 XC Triumph tiger explorer
Top speed * 210 km / h 210 km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 4.0 sec 3.5 sec
0-140 km / h 7.0 sec 5.9 sec
0-200 km / h 12.0 sec
Pulling 60-100 km / h 4.1 sec 3.9 sec
100-140 km / h 5.1 sec 4.2 sec
140-180 km / h 8.7 sec 5.3 sec
Consumption highway 4.9 liters / normal 4.7 liters / normal
Reach country road 388 km 426 km


Performance Triumph Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer.

Both triplets deliver almost textbook-like curves. Even with the 800 you do not suffer from a shortage, the twelve draws from all. As you can see, its torque curve is always around 30 Nm above that of its little sister, not to mention the performance.

* Manufacturer information; ** Incl. ABS 600 euros, main stand 199 euros, aluminum oil pan protection 185 euros, adjustable clutch lever 33 euros, engine protection bar 219 euros, heated grips 199 euros; *** Handle protectors 105 euros, aluminum oil pan protection 219 euros.

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