Racing the four-day NORRA General Tire Mexican 1000 on a Triumph Tiger 800XC may seem like a foolhardy dream, yet that is exactly what Triumph Motorcycles, Icon Motosports, and Motoworks Chicago conspired to accomplish.
Turning the Tiger 800XC into a Baja racer was the next logical step for Icon and Triumph. A half-hour off-road documentary on an earlier version of the bike — The Raiden Files – Portland to Dakar – A Riding Movie— has accumulated over 1.5 million views on YouTube.
Known as the White Tiger, the Team Raiden 800XC benefitted from Öhlins suspension, PIAA lighting (they were on-course for nearly 30 hours), Rally Raid armor and rear fuel tank, a high-capacity main tank from Safari Tank Australia, Woody’s Wheel Works Superlace tubeless wheels with Continental Twinduro TKC80 knobbies, a Seat Concepts saddle, Flexx handlebars, and a highly sophisticated navigation array.
Icon took care of designing the paint and graphics on the Team Raiden White Tiger, but they did have another primary goal — testing the new Icon Raiden adventure apparel, including a high-end jacket and pants.
The White Tiger made it to the finish line, averaging just less than 40 mph for the race, with the Tiger topping out at 132 mph on a dry lakebed. Clutch and transmission issues slowed Team Raiden down, with Vanscourt working his way to the end stuck in sixth gear.
With a stated goal of “finding the absolute limit of performance,” Team Raiden was successful. Pitted against the cream of big-bore, single-cylinder race bikes, the streetable Triumph triple completed the race, beating all those who didn’t make it to the finish.
Story from the Gallery section of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine. For subscription services, click here.