Triumph Tiger Explorer review

Posted: 12 Oct 2012

It was only a matter of time before Triumph caught up with its competitors and let loose an all-new adventure-based machine. The only question the world was asking was how good would it be? The answer is simple: very good.

The new 1215cc triple-cylinder is typical Triumph in the way it balances low rpm drive with a superb 89ft lbs of torque and a heady 135bhp. If the fact the Explorer can ride in any situation with ease – including pillion and 95-litres of optional pannier and topbox carrying capacity – doesn’t delight you, then rubbishing Euro motorway limits most certainly will.

Triumph has mastered, in a short time, the relationship between engine, gearbox and Cardan shaft for the final drive. Absolutely no complaints whatsoever about this set-up when ridden on the road and, by all accounts, (to date we’ve ventured no further than a gravel drive) it’s similarly fault-free off road.

Triumph’s new ride-by-wire throttle system is integral to the onboard computer that oversees the standard fitment of traction control, ABS and cruise control – all deemed necessary to compete in such a populated class and all work precisely and as smoothly you’d expect from a bike that has had an extreme level of development.

The best part is all the trip info and other electronic aids (air temp, fuel system, optional tyre pressure monitor etc) are controlled by simple bar-mounted switchgear and read via a clear LCD screen.

The Explorer’s ergonomics also get high marks with height adjustable screen and adjustable handlebar position. The actual thought of climbing onboard such a tall bike (840mm seat height at its lowest setting) is galling, but with the bars set close to this 5ft 7in rider and the seat height on the minimum 837mm, (optional low seat is available) everything from comfort to forward view is rosy.

Our first experience with the Explorer showed that Triumph is very much on top of the adventure segment with a bike that is capable of comfort, speed and riding thrills in complete safety. And no doubt it will make for a viable global traveller when tarmac stops and adventures truly begin.

+ points – comfort as standard, engine performance and character
- points – 840mm seat height, 43mpg could be better

Price: £11,199
Power: 135bhp, 89ft lbs
Kerb weight: 259kg
Seat height: 837mm
Colours: Grey, blue, black

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