The new and updated 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx has been launched at a price of ₹ 13.76 lakh (ex-showroom) in India. The Triumph Tiger 800 range is the largest selling adventure touring motorcycle in India, and for 2018, the entire range has got significant updates, including new features, equipment and a few updates to the engine as well. It may not be an all-new model, but according to Triumph, the new Tiger 800 incorporates as many as 200 new changes, and that makes the new Tiger 800 come with significant updates.
Priced at ₹ 13.76 lakh (ex-showroom), the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx has got marginally more expensive than the outgoing model, and over the past couple of years, there have been a few close contenders which have also been launched in India. The closest rival is the new BMW F 850 GS, and next in line is the Honda Africa Twin. Here's a look at how the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx stacks up against its competition, at least on paper for now, till we get all three bikes together for a proper, on-road, off-road comparison review.
Also Read: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 First Ride Review
Styling and Design
All three bikes follow typical adventure bike design. The new Tiger 800 XCx has the familiar silhouette with which we have come to identify the bike since the first generation Triumph Tiger 800 XC was first introduced in India in 2014. The new bike gets sharper, with new tank shrouds, new graphics, new LED headlights and taillight, LED daytime running lights (DRLs), as well as a new, five-step adjustable windshield with 'aero deflectors' to direct wind away from the rider.
The BMW F 850 GS also gets typical 'beaky' adventure bike styling, but with redesigned bodywork from its predecessor, the F 800 GS, and new windscreen for improved wind and weather protection. The fuel tank has now been moved to a more conventional position, compared to the underseat fuel tank of the F 800 GS. In all, the new BMW F 850 GS definitely looks well-built, with good fit and finish, and gets sharper styling, somewhat resembling the bigger GS models, but manages to look fresh and unique.
The Honda Africa Twin, on the other hand, manages to look a lot different from both the Triumph and the BMW. It doesn't have the 'beak' like most adventure bikes and looks slender and leaner than both the BMW F 850 GS and the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. The headlight design is modern, yet harks back to the original Africa Twin design, but only minutely. In all, it's a completely modern design, looks great and is available in just one shade in India - red. If that's not your colour, then you're better off looking at the other two.
Engines and Performance
The 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx is powered by the same 800 cc, in-line three cylinder engine as the outgoing model, and it has the same output, putting out 94 bhp at 9500 rpm and 79 Nm of peak torque at 8,050 rpm. But there are some other changes in the engine on the new Tiger 800 - the clutch is new, the gears on the primary drive and counterbalancer have been changed, and the first gear has been made shorter, to have better pull than before at low speeds.
In comparison, the BMW F 850 GS has a slightly larger 853 cc parallel-twin engine, making near identical power of 95 bhp at 8,250 rpm, but it makes more torque, 92 Nm of it, and the BMW's torque also kicks in lower in the revs, at 6250 rpm. On paper, at least, it seems like the BMW will have more pull and grunt at low revs, and this should definitely be an advantage while riding off-road.
Also Read: Honda Africa Twin First Ride Review
The Honda Africa Twin has the largest displacing engine among the three, with a 998 cc, parallel-twin engine. But it makes the least power, with 87 bhp at 7,500 rpm, but it makes up for that with pulling power - all 92 Nm of it, kicking in at 6,000 rpm. So, in terms of pure torque, the Africa Twin seems to have more pulling power at the least revs, but will lose out on the top end in comparison to the BMW and the Triumph, if we go by the power figures. And claimed top speed of the Africa Twin is also the lowest at 190 kmph, while both the BMW and Triumph can do 200 kmph and slightly more.
Features and Equipment
The new Triumph Tiger 800 XCx comes loaded with features, including the addition of a new "Off-Road Pro" riding mode. ABS is now switchable on both wheels, and the front brake comes with Brembo calipers. And to better help the user switch through the menus and choose the correct riding mode, the new Tiger 800 XCx comes with a full-colour TFT instrument panel, which is adjustable for angle and also has high contrast and auto contrast options for better visibility in all conditions.
The BMW F 850 GS gets a standard LCD instrument panel, but a TFT panel is available as an optional extra. It gets two standard riding modes - Road and Rain, but optional riding modes are available with the Riding Modes Pro - offering Enduro, Dynamic and Enduro Pro modes as well.
The biggest USP of the Honda Africa Twin is the automatic transmission, a.k.a. Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). So, there's no clutch lever, and you get three modes in all - D (Drive), a three-level Sport (S1, S2 and S3 with different gear ratios) and a full Manual mode. You can change gears on the Manual mode through two switches on the left handlebar - '+' for upshifting and '-' for downshifting. An optional gear shift lever can also be added for toe-shifting like a conventional manual transmission. The instrument panel isn't full-colour like the other two bikes in this comparison, but is vertically stacked, rally-style and offers good readability in its blue, back-lit guise. And then, there's a 'G' switch which offers half-clutch operation for better traction when going off-road.
The Honda Africa Twin is the most affordable bike amongst the three middleweight adventure bikes in this comparison, but only a little affordable than the other two. Priced at ₹ 13.06 lakh (ex-showroom), you get a fully kitted, off-road capable adventure bike which is also an automatic. It may not have the road manners of the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx, but the Africa Twin offers superb off-road capability that is difficult to ignore.
The Triumph Tiger 800 XCx is the most expensive bike in this comparison. At ₹ 13.76 lakh (ex-showroom), it offers a superb adventure bike which has now become even better with the updates it receives for 2018. A smooth, in-line three-cylinder engine, great off-road capability and comfortable road manners make it a great all-round bike, but its strengths can only be put to the real test once we get down to compare it properly against the two contenders.
The BMW F 850 GS is priced almost neck and neck with the Tiger 800 XCx. At ₹ 13.75 lakh (ex-showroom), it offers superb value for money, great brand equity, and proven pedigree of BMW Motorrad's adventure bikes. It promises a lot more torque than the Tiger 800 XCx, and seems to be inch ahead of the Tiger 800 XCx, at least in this specification comparison. But only a real world comparison will reveal the actual seat of the pants feel, and true strengths and weaknesses of a motorcycle, and for that we will leave our judgement to when we actually get to ride the BMW, back to back with the Tiger and the Africa Twin.
|TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCx||BMW F 850 GS||HONDA AFRICA TWIN|
|ENGINE TYPE||12-valve, liquid-cooled, in-line 3-cylinder||8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel-twin||8-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin|
|ENGINE CAPACITY||800 cc||853 cc||998 cc|
|MAX POWER||94 bhp @ 9,500 rpm||95 bhp @ 8,250 rpm||87 bhp @ 7,500 rpm|
|PEAK TORQUE||79 Nm @ 8,050 rpm||92 Nm @ 6,250 rpm||92 Nm @ 6,000 rpm|
|TOP SPEED||200 kmph (estimated)||200 kmph (claimed)||190 kmph|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed DCT (Automatic)|
|FRAME||Tubular Steel Trellis Frame||Bridge-type steel shell||Semi double cradle|
|FRONT WHEEL||Spoked 21 inch||Spoked 21 inch||Spoked 21 inch|
|REAR WHEEL||Spoked 18 inch||Spoked 18 inch||Spoked 18 inch|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||WP 43 mm upside down forks, 220 mm travel||43 mm upside down forks, 204 mm travel||Inverted Showa 45 mm fork, 203 mm travel|
|REAR SUSPENSION||WP monoshock, 215 mm rear wheel travel||Monoshock, 219 mm travel||Showa shock, 220 mm travel|
|FRONT BRAKES||Twin 305 mm discs, Brembo 2-piston caliper, switchable ABS||Twin 305 mm discs, double-piston calipers, ABS||Twin 310 mm discs, 4-piston calipers, ABS|
|REAR BRAKES||Single 255 mm disc, Nissin caliper, switchable ABS||Single 265 mm, single-piston caliper, ABS||265 mm single disc, switchable ABS|
|INSTRUMENT DISPLAY||TFT multi-functional instrument pack||TFT multi-informataion instrument panel||Vertically stacked LCD instrument panel|
|SEAT HEIGHT||840-860 mm||815-890 mm (with optional seats)||820-840 mm|
|WEIGHT||205 kg (dry)||229 kg (wet)||245 kg (wet)|
|FUEL TANK CAPACITY||19 litres||15 litres||18.8 litres|
|PRICE||₹ 13.76 lakh (ex-showroom)||₹ 13.75 lakh (ex-showroom)||₹ 13.06 lakh (ex-showroom)|