Triumph Tiger 800 - Lower Seat Options - Suspension Changes
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I am 5'8" and the Tiger 800 XCx is the tall version of a tall bike. To make things worse I prefer to have the seat in the high setting. I think many years of
riding MX and Enduro bikes makes me want to feel I sit "On" rather than "In" a bike. Added to this I only weigh 12.5 stone or 75Kgs so I do not compress
the suspension much when I sit on the bike. On the standard 800XCx I can only just touch the ground with the balls of both feet. Because I moved from
a much heavier 1200 Explorer I found the XCx manageable but it will be a problem for me if I park on a camber or when I need to paddle backwards. So
initially I lowered the suspension -25mm to give me more control. I did not want to lower the suspension too far, I bought the XC version because it has
WP suspension which offers an additional 45mm of travel and it would be a shame to lose it.
I bought these adjustable lowering links for the 800 Tiger on eBay made by Projection Tuning. What a clever idea, they will lower the rear
suspension by -5mm, -18mm, -25mm or -40mm. For the first 2 years I fitted the links to lower the suspension by 25mm and I raised the front forks 25mm
through the yokes to match. The result were perfect. Now my Tiger has covered 15,000 miles the suspension has softened and I have changed the
Links to reduce ride height by -5mm and altered the forks accordingly.
Being a bit of a Nerd I have started recording the changes I have made to the Suspension settings. Having spent years riding off road I am used to
setting up suspension to match my weight and my riding style. The Tiger 800 XCx comes with WP suspension which provides plenty of adjustment. I
think is it important to spend time setting up a bike to suit the rider. I could have simply backed off the pre-load in the rear shock but this is not a good
idea, suspension works best if static sag is maintained. It is essential to lower the height of the front forks to match any lowering of the rear to maintain
the correct suspension geometry.
To measure my rear suspension I use a front wheel stand to hold the Tiger upright, I remove the pillion seat and place a spirit level across the bodywork
to ensure the bike is level. Then I measure height to a fixed point, in my case the lower edge of the front pannier mounting bolt. First I push the rear
suspension down and let it recover 3 times to ensure consistency. Using this method I was able to confirm that my Projection Lowering Links really did
lower the Tiger by 18mm in the second position. When I fit my panniers I will wind the rear pre-load up to maintain the height.
Even with an 25mm reduction in height from when viewed from every angle my Tiger 800 appears tall and slim with good ground clearance. It definitely
has a great "Adventure" look which I like.
Front wheel stand from eBay. Holds
my Tiger and my MV Brutale upright
and allows me to work on the bike.