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.

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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.