Dancing with a Tiger

In my search to find the best motorcycle for my everyday and adventurous needs, I found myself seeking out a Triumph Motorcycles demo event at my local dealer. In Knoxville, the dealership is comprised of Triumph motorcycles and Indian motorcycles. It also houses accessories, apparel and gear for both plus other vendor, and gear and apparel for Victory as the dealership also sold Victory motorcycles prior to the shutdown. Just like my Road Glide Special demo, this was a “come in and check out a motorcycle” kind of event. In case I didn’t mention it before, there are three motorcycle dealerships side by side all owned by one owner. Outside of the Triumph/ Indian dealership, in the middle is the Harley Davidson dealership and the last dealership is the Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki dealership. Recently they added a large, 7,000 square foot covered facility for weekly bike nights. Hopefully I’ll have a post on that later.

So back to the demo. One of the motorcycles I was referred to was the Yamaha FJ-09. It is styled like an adventure bike but runs with the sport touring crowd. I think it’s a great motorcycle, and I am glad that Yamaha fixed the exposed oil plug on the bottom of the motorcycle. The one problem that I have is that it is too tall for me. I prefer to be able to flat foot my motorcycles and I stand on the balls of my feet. After reading forums and internet blogs, I came across the Triumph Tiger 800. The Tiger 800 comes in two low versions: and on-road XRx Low (often referred to as the “roadie”) and the off-road focused XCx Low. Considering I would spend 90% of my ownership pavement, I opted to demo the XRx. Did the usual admin details (sign papers, license copies, and motorcycle overview) and then I was off to the races. The only downfall was I was provided a short “suggested” route. I could have deviated from the route, but I chose to keep to the route.

I was able to flat foot the motorcycle with ease and it purred underneath me. It handled great and begged for the throttle to be twisted. The sound of the triple was amazing and I could really see myself owning one of these motorcycles. The fact that it cost less than half of the Harley means that it could be accessorized and owned for less money. The other benefit is that I would have more money in reserve for major repairs and large maintenance requirements. I’ll post a video at the bottom for the on board views, just note that it includes lots of wind noise and some lady tries to squeeze by me on an exit ramp. All in all, I’m just beginning my research on the Tiger 800. I think it would make a great “Swiss Army knife” kind of a motorcycle. A motorcycle that’s great for touring, long day rides, 2-up riding, and fire road adventures. But I would have to learn chain maintenance discipline, learn to love non-cruiser styled motorcycles (which I do like the Tiger’s look), and be willing to maintain a British motorcycle.

If you have any experience with Triumphs or Tigers, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to share the next adventure.

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