Took the Tiger 800XC out Wednesday afternoon, courtesy of the fine folk at Sturgess Cycle in Hamilton. This is the same bike as the Tiger 800, except for bigger wheels, wider handlebar and a few extras. Rode with a lowered seat, so could put both toes on the ground or one solid foot.

Was a nice sunny afternoon, with all sorts of roads, including straights, twisties and scrabby surfaces. The bike put a smile on my face 🙂    Should not have looked so happy when riding with Dave the sales guy? The ride was “follower the leader”, hence the variety of roads, surfaces and best of all, no chance of getting lost. Dave was on a “Bonney” and a better rider, but the Tiger XC kept up.

Drove this after riding a 2012 Suzuki V-Storm Expedition earlier. The Tiger wins.


  • SMOOTH engine with lots of power. Only managed 6th gear once as keeping to usual speeds and less than 8k revs.
  • Hands on the bars a tad wide, but the XC width is 34″ vs the 800 at 31.3″, and could feel the difference in the showroom.
  • Could put both feet on the ground and the XC is higher than the 800 (825mm vs 810mm). NOTE: The XC had the lower seat option, that reduced height by 20mm.
  • Could lean the bike over confidently.
  • Even with the optional (louder) Arrow exhaust the bike was quiet.
  • Panniers are aluminium and a good size, with “one key (sic) to bind them all”.


  • Front dove quite nastily under extreme braking. Yeah I know. Should have been paying more attention.  But the ABS did not kick in. Only adjustment available on the Tiger 800  is the Pre-load on the rear suspension.
  • Would backfire easily.
  • The Bonneville weighs more, but feels lighter.
  • “Sewing-machine” sound from the engine.
  • Everything is an extra: bags & panniers; centre-stand; heated grips; hand protector, front duckbill; engine bars; fork sliders; sump guard.  Not unusual for this type of bike. But does add to the final price.