First ride: Triumph Tiger XCX

    How many times have you thought of taking an off-beat path during your cross country ride?

    Well-finished highways are a delight to ride on, but once in a while, the beaten path along it will entice the rider in you. However, more often than not, you wouldn't be confident enough to risk any damage to your cruiser or sports bike by taking it off-road. This is exactly where the XCX comes in. We spent the last weekend riding one.

    With a built-for-adventure geometry, the new Triumph XCX stands tall and offers more than adequate ground clearance to fly over the rugged terrain. The built-in advanced ABS system can be tinkered to match the terrain or be completely switched off in case you feel suicidal. Road, Off-Road, Rider (programmable) modes let you pick the best setting for the ride ahead.

    The new Tiger XCX's liquid-cooled, 800cc in-line-three cylinder engine manages to keep the fun factor high, delivering 95PS and 79Nm of torque. Power comes in gracious amounts across the entire rev range, which makes riding a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Not to mention, the sonorous exhaust note that begs you to push harder. The bike feels eager to overtake and is extremely comfortable to manoeuvre around the twists. However, it comes to its own once you take it off-road.

    The bike is held together by the stiff, tubular trellis frame, which is now powder coated with titanium, providing protection as you ride through dirt, mud and unforgiving gravel. The protection extends to many other areas on the bike including the hand guards that come fitted as standard accessories. They hugely help in protecting your hands from both the wind chill (during winters) and incoming debris as you streak through terrain. The WP 43mm upside down forks on the front are adjustable for rebound and compression and offer 220mm travel, good enough to get you out of tricky situations. The seat offers brilliant support for the times you do intend to rest your gluteal muscles on it. Making not only off-roading fun, but also cross country rides comfortable, if that is in your plan of action.

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