The Bike

I made this page for all the bikers, the riders, the ADV’ers, and the wish-I-coulders, since I’m sure most of you are more interested in the bike than my story. Well, here she is. I’ll give you all the details here, so I don’t have to post them later and you don’t have to use the search button. Win-win.

The bike is a 2011 Triumph Tiger XC, a British entry into the “adventure bike” class, built to compete with the BMW F800 GS. It is powered by an 800-cc triple that spins up like a sportbike, and puts a stupid grin on my face every time I crack the throttle. It’s not the fastest bike around, but it’s fast enough to scare me from time to time. Shifting is butter-smooth, and I feel just as comfortable on-road as I do off-road. A dirt bike it is not, but riders with more skill than me can sure make it seem like one.


It is the early 2011 version, before the frames came powdercoated in black. It has anti-lock brakes (ABS), which are actually very nice on pavement. Being an idiot, I can think of at least two incidents where the ABS system saved me a hospital visit. For the purists, yes, it can be disabled – however, you have to do it every time you start the bike. It’s not really a big deal.

I had the orange, non-ABS version pre-ordered before they were even available, and was tired of waiting when this one showed up at my local dealership. Before that, I was able to test-ride a demo bike, and fell in love almost immediately. Prior to the Tiger, I had been riding a Yamaha WR250R, which was an awesome bike but left me wanting more – more power, more range, more versatility. If I could have kept them both, I would have, but grad school forced me into a one-bike limit.

Anyways, as far as mods, I’ve invested in the following:

  • Tires:  Heidenau K60 (rear), and Continental TKC80 (front)
  • Exhaust:  Leo Vince slip-on with the Arrow tune
  • Windscreen:  Powerbronze “flip,” tall version
  • Sump guard:  Triumph
  • Crash bars:  Triumph
  • Centerstand:  Triumph
  • Heated grips:  Triumph
  • Handguards:  HDB with flip-out mirrors
  • Side racks:  Givi monokey quick-release
  • Cases:  Givi monokey E21
  • Tank bag:  Givi 3D603 with quick-release mount

That’s about all I can think of for now. So far, everything has been working great, and I have not had a single issue. Before beginning my journey, I had only 4,500 miles on the odometer, so time will tell. If anything fails or catches fire spontaneously, you’ll surely hear about it.