Welcome to the TigerTriple forum! Over the years we have gathered lots of great information on all things Triumph Tiger. Besides that, this is a great community that is willing to help you keep your Tiger moving. So, feel welcome! Also, try the search button for answers to your questions. If you have any questions, PM me on ghulst.

Main Menu

My MY2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC

Started by ghulst, January 19, 2021, 11:35:23 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Well, after taking over the forum, I decided that I really needed to update this board with the story behind my 800XC. So, here we go. Watch out, multiple posts ahead. ;)

Anyway, when I started looking for another bike in July 2019, I did set a budget. I do like the higher and straighter seating position of an allroad bike. So, back to the drawing board. I rode a lot of different bikes, but they were either out of range price-wise, or didn't offer the fun. And then I remembered my old red Steamer. I liked that bike, but the seating position was less than ideal and with the bike being a '93 I was having trouble getting into some cities due to environmental regulations. So getting another Steamer was out of the question. However, back when I bought it, I bought the Steamer as I could not afford the newer Tiger 800 XC that Triumph launched back in 2010 and that I loved on a test ride back then. So, I went to town...

To be honest, it has been a long journey to find a decent Tiger around my price range. But in the end I found one on the other side of the country. In true adventure spirit, I got on the train to fetch it and ride it home. But alas, the bike died after a 400 meter test ride. The electricals were just dead. In fact, when we restarted it with a battery pack, the bike kept on drawing electricity from the battery until the dashboard actually switched off at around 7 volts and then the whole thing just died at 6. Quite annoying to be honest. So, I had to make the whole trek back home without a bike. I did stay in touch with the seller though and soon enough, we were talking about the bike again. I ended up buying it with the defect and with the agreement that he would bring it to my house when we got back from our long summer holiday. That was last Thursday.

Yesterday I had some time to kill, so I pushed the Ducati out of the garage and pushed the Tiger in for a bit of wrenching. The whole ordeal wasn't even as hard as I had expected. Granted, having a friend come around to help, was great. That really helped out with some of those four hand jobs that you come across. After the whole voltage ordeal I had narrowed the problem down to either the alternator or the rectifier, knowing that a new battery was needed to start with. The new battery itself did not solve the problem, but based on my suspicions and reading on forums, I had already ordered a second hand rectifier from a breakers. So, after about two hours of wriggling, wrenching dismantling and reassembling the new rectifier was in and it completely solved the problem. Done. The Tiger was roadworthy again.

Downside of the bike? Well the first owner rode it rain or shine, so it has salt damage from winter riding. On the other hand, that is what I intend to do as well, so I don't worry too much about it. The only thing left to do now, is to put a new front tire on, as that is pretty much gone. But I did ride it today and boy, does that thing fly. I really had to force myself to back off a number of times as I went over legal speed limits. But it did put quite a smile on my face. ;)

BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


As I'm off for a short two day motorcycle trip on Friday, I decided to give the Tiger a new front tire. Well, I had someone else do that. And I was happy about that, because he also replaced the inner tube and as he was working on it, we found the wheel bearings had gone. That's the point at which I was even happier about having someone else do it, because that thing was STUCK! Yes, capitals for a reason. ;)

Anyway, I've also mounted a set of Tiger Adventure cases that include a small fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a bottle. I'm not sure what the previous owner used the bottle for, but I might just put a liter of fuel in there, just in case.

BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


So we did 1000+km over Saturday and Sunday. The Netherlands is a very, very flat country, so we made our way south through Belgium and into Luxemburg to enjoy some great curvy roads, some switch backs, some steep climbs and lots of great views. It took some time to get the GPX tracks to work on my navigation phone, but once it worked, it was great fun. (And so was missing turns and reversing many, many times.)

Anyway, the Tiger has been a great companion and I think I did wear in the front tire quite well over the weekend. ;)

BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


So, when you buy a newer bike, you expect stuff to just work and not to worry about it. Well, not here. I doubt that will ever happen until I buy a new electric bike. ;)

Anyway, I rode to work last week and as I was riding through town, my shifter dropped. Well, not off the bike, but as I shifted down it got stuck in the downward position and didn't go up anymore. Really annoying as you need to tap it back up with your foot so you can do another downshift. Really annoying when you get off a highway at 130 in 6th and then need to basically shift 12 times to get back to 2nd including tapping it a bit too hard once or twice so you need to shift back down again. :(

In the meantime I have found out that this is something that happens to most Tigers from this series. There is a spring that pushes a return spring pin that pushes the shifter back up after the downshift. Apparently Triumph made that spring a bit too weak, so it is prone to break after a while. To solve that, Triumph increased the spring strength, but that means that the spring no longer breaks but now it does break the little return spring pin. :( Thanks Triumph. Anyway, I guess every brand has its own clutch rattle. ;)

So, I need to take the clutch apart (which I cannot do without a special tool that I have ordered last night) and then pull the whole assembly out and see what is the culprit. In a strange way, I hope it is the pin as that is usually retained by the spring and that means that I have no chance of spring bits making their way through the engine...

We'll see.
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


Lets just say that this is not a walk in the park... I'd rather ride in the park anyway, but that is not going to happen either. ;) The good news is that I have made progress.

When I finally had the clutch off, I found out that the clutch basket was a hard one to take off. The main reason for that is the fact that you need a special tool to hold the basket when you remove the nut that holds it. So I had to wait for two weeks to get the part delivered. Not fun, but paying 8 times less than the official tool that still would take a week to get here is just not a valid option. Plus I don't really have much time at the moment anyway.

So, there is the culprit. If you look closely you can see there is something sitting there at a weird angle...

There it is. It is the rod that holds the spring for the return of the shift pedal. When they released the 800XC Triumph put a spring in that was too weak. So the springs would break and parts would end up in the carter. Not a good thing. So Triumph decided to do a recall on the shift mechanisme to replace the springs. However, with then new blue springs in, the problem moved to the little rod that gave the spring something to push against. So, the rods broke. Hence my problem. The blue spring shows that the recall has been done already, but now the rod has broken. Which means that I have some more work to do. ;)

Time to drill out the old way the rod was fixed to the shifting mechanism. I've done the first part, now I need to drill into the rod itself and cut some thread in there. However, that requires a standing drill to make sure I go in straight and cut a nice hole. Time to find someone with a better drill. ;)
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


Ok, time for a Tiger update. Back in March I parked the Ducati on the other side of the garage where I cannot work on it, because I had a lot of accessories that had arrived. So, it was time to get to work on the Tiger.
"But that was March", I hear you say. "And now it's August." Yes, that is true. Work has exploded, so the whole thing just took a lot longer than I had expected. And then as I started on things, it turned out I needed more small parts to get it all done. That meant more waiting, because you only know which parts you need, exactly when you need them...

So, what are the things that need to get done:
- Put the OEM Tiger Adventure top case on
- Put on the OEM Tiger crash bars
- Put on the OEM Headlight protector
- Put on the OEM Tiger Fog light kit
- Put on a LeoVince SBK exhaust

Anyway, I forgot to take any pictures of the top case install. It was a bit of an ordeal as it turned out I needed a subframe to mount it and that was not included and then there were some other small parts that were missing. In the end, the bargain top case was not as much of a bargain as I thought. Though purchasing the parts separately still made it cheaper than when I would have bought the kit. Anyway, after a lot of fiddling with parts and drilling holes in my bike, it finally got on. :)

On to the crash bars. This is a quick pic of the crash bars in the garage. It was not easy to mount them. When Triumph built the bike, they decided to fill all mounting holes with plastic 'screws' to protect them against dirt. The obvious problem is the aluminum engine. The holes did catch moisture though, so the holes have corroded and all of the 'screws' were stuck solid. :(

So, after my fight to get all the plastic 'screws' out, I had to recut all the threads for the mounting bolts. That cost me a full afternoon as none of the holes are in a comfortable position to recut the thread. Which means doing it by feel with an adjustable spanner...

And I found an OEM set of Triumph Adventure fog lights that need to go on. I like the fact that it comes with its OEM switch as well, which means it really blends into the controls very well.

I do like the look of them on the bike. However, unfortunately, the connector on my bike was completely corroded. I did not take a picture of the connector, but it was so corroded that all the terminals actually had their own color... So, when I connected it all, I heard the relais click, but nothing happened. Which meant I needed to get to work on the harness.

If you look closely at the picture, you see the headlight protector is on as well. They are cheaper to replace than a headlight when you've got a stone fly into it.
If you look at the back, you see the new Tiger Adventure top case on the back. Which means that I now have the full set of OEM Tiger cases. That looks good. I just need to find the time to mount them all and take another picture.



This was my first attempt to mount the LeoVince exhaust. It is still a pretty quiet bike, but it does sound a bit more purposeful than with the standard exhaust. And obviously, it is all much lighter, which makes it all a very responsible step. :D  Unfortunately the exhaust has a graphite seal, which was completely worn out. So I had to order a new one, take the new exhaust off and wait for the part to arrive. No running the bike now. Not without an exhaust. ;)

In the meantime I disassembled the plug and look at the mess that came out:

Beautiful corroded, black wiring. That is going to be a new challenge...

But after half an hour in an acid solution to de-corrode wiring found on a HAM-radio site, the wires were nice and clean again.

So, I put on a set of new connectors and put the thing back together.

And yes! We have light! You can't even imagine how happy I was to see it work now.

Yesterday, I finally received the graphite seal for the exhaust, so it was time to finish the bike.
To be honest, that was not as easy as it sounds. It took me well over an hour to mount one pipe into another. Most of that was messing about until someone told me it was a good idea to bend open the exit pipe a bit so the sleave could slide in easier. Oh, and then getting the clamp back onto something that definitely no longer fitted the clamp because I opened it up...

But this morning everything was finished and ready to roll. So, as the weather was good, I decided to take the bike out on a quick trip to a nearby city to pick up some fresh fish. And to test all of the new parts that have been added to it. All in all, I am happy with the way it worked out. Obviously, it came with all of the trouble that you would expect when you are working on a bike that has 85K kilometers (about 53K miles) on it, but end good, all good. ;)

(Oh, and today was an extremely hot day for Dutch standards with temperatures reaching 37C/100F in the area. This means, that when you have to wait for a bridge, you get roasted.

P.S. Extra points for anyone who spotted the bike is missing a little cover near the right side footpeg. I had just parked the bike in its right place and was cleaning up my tools when I saw it lying on my workbench. Not a good moment as it was really, really hot maneuvering the bike into its parking space. But it was time to get it all finished, so I did that afterward.
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


So, what have I done?

Nothing really. Took a couple of weeks off for a nice holiday and then it was back to work. Luckily I did get the Tiger to accompany me there. ;)

BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


Great story, useful information and proof that a bit off effort reaps rewards  :thumbsup And it looks great too  :wheel
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint


Thanks! It is a really nice bike to ride. Did I mention I replaced the saddle with the comfort saddle from Triumph after that Luxembourg trip? Good change. ;)
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


Nicely done!
You now have a 'bike that you know well, and should be around for some time.
I have a Leo Vince on my 800XC also (fitted by P.O.), but I've found I tend to have a later shift point, and maybe a bit higher revs generally, just to hear the lovely sound from the pipe!
I've also found that the 800XC 'feels' the closest to my '93 Steamer than any other bike I've ridden.
'93 Triumph Tiger, Caspian Blue, Blue Engine Cases
132,000 km;  IBA #45911


Absolutely. Though for me, it was the other way around. I rode the 800XC first, straight from the showroom with something like 100km on the clock. I wanted it, but it was €16K, which was way too steep for me. I then started to look around for an earlier Tiger, but didn't really like the looks of the girly and wanted something more capable offroad than the 1050. Which is how I ended up with the Steamer. And I was surprised how similar it rode in comparison to the 800XC. ;)

But yes, I have gotten to know this Tiger quite well now. ;)
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


After selling my Steamer, owned by me for around 15 years, I bought the 800XC.
Its a great bike, well able for my meagre abilities.
I fitted a WP rear shock from the later bikes, along with a pair of front Brembos, which bolted straight on.
I replaced the notchy head bearings with taper ones, and replaced the fork oil with Dexron III, as I had a 5l  can from doing the Steamer front and rear suspension.
This winter, I did all new wheel bearings and all rear linkages stripped, greased and refitted with new seals.
I got a set of Titanium wheel spacers from VFR Paul, as the original wheel spacers were very grooved, and although the wheel bearings are sealed, crud was getting in.

All I need now is to move to the Country, and get some miles in....


Sounds well sorted Phil  :thumbsup

The info / link for the Titanium bits might help a few other guys and be worth posting in a specific thread.

There are a few guys in sheds making bits for very reasonable money these days.
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint


That sounds really nice Phil. What year did you get the WP shock from? Is that a bolt-on solution? And any difference with those brakes? I don't think we have many Triumph breakers around here, unfortunately, so that means paying higher prices for those parts. ;)

BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - KTM 640 Adventure S - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011


His email is

He has some items on ebay, including adapters for the rear shock adjuster, but it looks like he no longer has the spacers. I assume it would be a batch/cost thing.