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From the TT to the XC

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My first experience with a Triumph motorcycle was on a Bonneville. Not too terribly exciting given the bike's ubiquity and longevity, arguably the bike that kept Triumph in business, much like Harley's Sportster. What made the experience extraordinary were 1) my spouse was pillion, 2) we were on Isle of Man and 3) riding the circuit of the TT the week before the race.

Bucket list living.
Since selling my previous ride, the KLR 650, I've been in one of those bikeless funks, especially since converting to ADV riding. I hit the sites, the ratings, the rankings, the owner forums, thinking all the while I'd go Bavarian, but in my digging around I found that things weren't all they're cracked up to be in the Black Forests; that according to riders and reviewers alike, there was something better. A Brit.

A Triumph Tiger 800XC now occupies my garage and is my weekly commuter, 1000 kilometers a week, longitudinally across the State of Utah.

This one a trade-in for an u…

Givi Soft Bags

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The Givi 37 liter Trekker Outback panniers fill up pretty quickly with camp gear on one side and riding gear on the other, so I went with some Givi soft bags to round out my packing needs. 

The Givi 6 liter tank bag is an electronically seam-sealed case with a horseshoe zipper hidden under a waterproof flap.


It connects to the tank with three straps, one that goes around the frame at the base of the triple clamp and two others that connect to frame points left and right under the seat. All straps are adjustable and have quick release fasteners. I've zip-tied the top fastener to deter errant thievery, leaving the other two connectors free to unbuckle for fill ups.



While the zipper on the bag has a sturdy and big pull, the zipper is a hassle making quick access to bag contents something better left to the panniers. Maybe this will get better over time, but I have my doubts. I wouldn't buy this again, opting for something with easier access.

Givi makes a 20 liter cargo bag that …

Metzler Karoo 3

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Read through UTADV and you'll see the three consecutive failures of the rear tube in a new Shinko SR244. Come to find out, the tire itself, though the right size, would slip on the rim and bind the tube which would then fail along the creases. That's when I vowed to not skimp on rubber. The Tiger left D&K Motorcycles in Bountiful yesterday shod in new Metzler Karoo 3s, lauded as a solid 70/30 tire that's very capable in sand. Fits my bill. I'll update as the miles piles on. The guys at D&K in Bountiful are great, by the way, and their service is impeccable.


Givi Trekker Outback 37L Panniers

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Calling anything on a motorcycle weatherproof is a misnomer, unless we're talking about these panniers. O-ring sealed, riveted aluminum and reinforced polymer construction make these live up to the claim, not to mention bullet-proof, or I should say high and low side proof.

Givi engineered clever locking systems that works tandem in securing the box and securing the box to the bike.
And those clever Italians created a fail-safe way to know that the panniers are firmly attached to the rack with their green-means-go indicators.
Thirty seven liters is enough to hold all my usual gear for ADV camping and I appreciate the anchor points in the recessed lids for more storage.

Auxiliary Power

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While the Tiger has a European cig lighter port adjacent the ignition switch, I installed a RioRand 12V/5V socket and power port on the handlebar as well, to power the iPhone and InReach GPS. I'm not crazy about the quality, but it never failed me on the KLR so I thought to give it a go on the 800XC. I also added a waterproof iPhone 7/8 mount.