The Tiger may look like an off-road adventure tourer, but it really is a road-going bike, and in this role it truly excels. That said, it can also take on a bit of off-the-beaten-path stuff
Story: Aninda Sardar
Photography: Rommel Albuquerque
Just over 20 years ago, if you had an SUV, it could only mean one thing. The vehicle would sport a specific type of construction that would endow it with off-road capabilities. Its road-going characteristics would be comfortable, at best, making driving on tarmac just about pleasurable. Then came a time when people started demanding vehicles that could be called SUVs but would also have better road-going manners. The need to go off road dwindled. What followed were crossovers, SUVs that had a uni-body construction that made their dynamic abilities and comfort more passenger car-like. Now we see a similar phenomenon in the world of motorcycles — particularly the ones that are called ‘adventure tourers’. So now you have a bunch of motorcycles that look like adventure tourers, but are essentially road-going motorcycles.
Take the Triumph Tiger 800 XRx, for example. If you look at one parked by the pavement, you’ll be left in no doubt that this is a perfect off-road bike. Yet you’ll be wrong. The XRx version of the Triumph Tiger 800 is a road-going bike. Want me to repeat that? The XRx version of the Triumph Tiger 800 is a road-going bike. Should you be surprised, let me tell you that we were told the same thing by the Triumph boffins when we went for the ride in far-off Spain. But as we got used to the idea, the logic behind having a creation like the XRx in the product portfolio becomes crystal-clear, for world over there is a vast number of people who would want a road-going tourer that looks like an adventure bike.