Triumph Tiger Explorer
Triumph Cape Town
(021) 461 5167
Mark Livings (sales)
072 561 0978
S33 55.804 E18 25.370
"The Triumph brand is relatively new to the Adventure Motorcycle
market, the predecessor Tiger
800 and Tiger 800XC
made astonishing headway against its competition since 2010, and
I for see the same pattern emerging with
The Tiger 1200
is a formidable challenger and is creating a new benchmark in
the adventure touring class.
"Certainly the smoothness of the 3 cylinder is a winner
for long distance."
Craig Marshall - Rider
(Dualpurpose Motorcycle Training Academy)
at Kilarney raceway in, Cape Town.
Its one thing
to take an adventure motorcycle on a long ride.
But all to often one does not get a chance to give the
bike a rigid structured testing. This is why I chose the
new location for DMTA,
new permanent off road motorcycling academy at Kilarney
We had sand, rocks, deep water, steep loose banks, gravel
roads and of course the Kilarney Racetrack - which unfortunately
fell through on the day, so we headed out into the hills
of Contermanskloof for the road test.
1200's gauges are
pleasing to the eye, but may not be so pleasing once you start
to use the various functions. I will add that it is far too
complicated first off, but by the end of the second day I
knew my way around the various menus and programming sequences.
To change Traction control for example takes 12 steps to switch
Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 - Overview
There is no doubt the Explorer 1200 is going
to make waves in the BIG BORE market. The overall impression
we discovered over the two days of rigorous testing is
that the Explorer 1200 is an 80% Road 20% dirt suited
It will definitely handle most gravel roads in South Africa,
Namibia and beyond.
Explorer's true form comes into play when you get
it on the open road and wind open the throttle. With (TTC
- Triumph Traction Control) switched off, the bike feels
like a thoroughbred sport bike, powerful, super smooth
and awesome torque. Gear changing is slick and the bikes
ergonomics is close to perfect. Wind protection is very
good and easily adjustable.
Explorer 1200 Service intervals of 16 000kms
are an added bonus in today's tough financial climate.
A retail price of ZAR145 000 will position
the bike below BMW GSA 1200 and Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer
Adventure - and slightly above Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere.
Tiger Explorer 1200
12 valve, DOHC, in-line three-cylinder.
by wire, fuel injection
ft.lbs @ 7850rpm
steel trellis frame
cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
46mm upside down forks, 190mm travel
monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically
adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment,
194mm rear wheel travel
305mm floating discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers,
282mm disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper,
activated by front level and rear foot brake.
instrument pack with digital speedometer,
analogue tachometer, gear position indicator,
fuel gauge, range to empty, service indicator,
clock, air temperature, frost warning, hazard
warning lights, trip computer, Tyre
pressure monitoring system
110/80-19 Rear 150/70-17
- 837mm/32.9in - 857mm/33.7in (810mm - 857mm
ready to ride
000 - Mike Hopkins Motorcycles Cape
Town, Finance Available
Click here to book a demo ride
Class leading 950w generator
allows the simultaneous running of multiple electrical
accessories, including heated rider and pillion
seats, heated grips, high power fog lights and
a top box with integrated power supply for charging
on the move.
The bike also comes fitted with a power socket
situated close to the ignition, which can be used
to power a GPS unit or items of heated clothing.
Traction control is not
new to the Shaft Drive Adventure class
The Triumph Traction Control in position
1 (Default) is very effective at preventing
the rear end stepping out in a loose gravel
corner, even when you try hard to get
it to drift, the fuel mapping system retards
power to the engine and the back end remains
1200 set to the default setting 1
(TTC - Triumph Traction Control) is a
bit of an overkill, and the loss of power
can be disconcerting especially when you
suddenly need it - like climbing a steep
incline, or crossing a patch of thick
sand. The Tiger
1200 will bog down quickly of the
traction control is not set to position
2, or switched off.
2 is actually perfect, just enough slide
to enjoy a controlled drift, but always
With Traction Control engaged and set top
position 1 - the power management system
retards the engine power so much - to the
extent that it makes quick acceleration
almost impossible. Its very noticeable in
the first three gears, once the bike is
moving its not so noticeable.
If you are going to race someone from traffic
light to traffic light. Make sure you have
the TTC switched off.
Further negative aspects are that it takes
12 programming steps through
the menu to access TTC and disengage it.
Once you know your way around the dashboard
- it will be easier.
It just seems crazy to have to scroll through
so many menu options to turn it off ?
What were Triumph thinking?
adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment,
194mm rear wheel travel.
The adjustability allow for easy manual setting
for hard to soft rebound, whether you're solo,
with or without panniers and a pillion rider.
I found it easier to set with the bike up on
the main stand, and less pressure on the rear
One of the
best adjustable screen systems available on any Adventure
Motorcycle. Simple loosen the knobs both sides and slide
the screen to the desirable height.
Seat Height and Comfort:
The adjustable seat higher ranges from 810mm
- 880mm, by means of adjustability and accessory seats.
The standard seat height ranges from
837mm - 857mm. This range will allow for a much wider range
of potential buyers.
The angulations design on the seat is just perfect and allows
for comfortable stand up position as well provides a wide
area whilst sitting for extended periods.
Sitting up in the 259kg region is to be expected
from a big 1200 tourer. The centre of gravity in most bike
of this class is the deciding factor. As we have learned
from various big tours, a low centre of gravity is a sure
winner for stability.
The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 feels initially light for
a big bike - until you attempt to throw it around a bit
with the traction control switched off. Its then that the
bulk and high centre of gravity is noticeable. With standard
riding on road and with traction control engaged the Tiger
1200 definitely handles similar to a bike of 200kg.
System off road:
We tested the stopping distance on a normal
gravel road with and without ABS engaged. On the given surface
there was a 50% reduction in slide with the ABS system "On"
. When using only the rear brake. The ABS system is totally
individual, so rear foot brake only activates the ABS on
the rear, which is a good thing to avoid front wheel washout.
When activating only the front brake lever, all the weight
of the bike pushing the front created instability and even
with fully locked arms and my body weight right back it
was difficult to control.
With both front and rear levers activated, the stopping
distance was remarkable short (10m @ 80km/h) each 10km we
added added 2m of slide.
Caution should be take with the percentage of front brake
Coming out of the Triumph stable and following
its dualsport predecessor, the Tiger 800XC - the big bore
Tiger 1200 is surprisingly agile for a bike of 259kg.
You can definitely feel the high centre of gravity, but
the Tiger 1200 is very confidence inspiring, The in-line
3 cylinder engine has a fantastic growl when you open her
up on the loose gravel, but as mention in this article,
the TTC setting on 1 is a little over sensitive for really
loose gravel and soft sand. After a few hours of experimenting
we found that TTC setting 2 or off position was fantastic
and the Explorer 1200 metamorphosized into a wonder sounding
and handling beast.
The only negative aspect we noticed was the
front suspension felt too hard on the standard factory setting,
but it can be fully adjusted and perhaps
a little slower rebound would be better.
This is really the home of the Triumph Tiger
Explorer 1200. Its definitely
better suited to long distance, fully loaded tarmac type
of touring. With MITAS EO 7 dualsport tyre's fitted for
the review, we had a fair feeling of how it handled at high
speed and in corners.
Even with the EO7 tyres we pushed the Tiger Explorer up
to 195km and over 180km into corners on the back roads of
Contermanskloof. The big Tiger demonstrated very little
instability even at high speeds with dualsport tyres fitted.
So no doubt with standard 80/20 tyres the bike will handel
For instant acceleration, the TTC system must be disengaged
if you wanna race your buddies. from 4th gear upwards the
Traction control retardation is not noticeable.
"The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 sets a new benchmark
If you are more
of a long distance biker, that enjoys a bit of gravel travel
on the side, a pillion snug in behind you and panniers packed
full for the trip - the the Triumph Explorer 1200 is going
to make you happy - undoubtedly
its going to give its German opposition extremely tough
Pushing out 101kw and loaded with all the high-tech rider
aids ranging from tyre pressure readings and cruise control
Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 has set a new benchmark in sophistication"
in the BIG BORE touring class.
Overall General Opinion:
Personally I am more of an off road, back country two spoor
kind of rider - and I know there are plenty of areas like
Baviaanskloof and Cederberg that the Triumph Explorer 1200
will be able to handle. However I really enjoyed the big
Tiger 1200 more on road. The 1215cc - 3 cylinder engine
is remarkably smooth and powerful, the gearbox is refined
and glides through the 6 gears with little effort.
....Test ride a Triumph
Explorer 1200 today - Call Mike Hopkins Motorcycles