In isolation, the Triumph Tiger Explorer was an excellent workhorse: comfy, solid with a sexy soundtrack. Against its more modern adventure bike peers, the Trumpet felt like a tired, saggy old granny that lacked some 21st century essentials. Thankfully, there are over 100 changes to the Tiger 1200 for 2018 – not least ditching the ‘Explorer’ tag from its model name – and we spent a few days in Spain sampling Triumph’s latest offerings at the press launch…
Joining the existing ride-by-wire and IMU-powered electronics suite is keyless ignition, a snazzy TFT dash pinched from the Street Triple, adaptive cornering lights and a quickshifter/blipper among other techy trinkets. While the core chassis remains unchanged, Hinckley’s engineers have trimmed 2.5kg from the flywheel and 0.5kg from the crank to ensure a livelier delivery. In all, the top-spec XCa has lost a massive 11kg and the results are clearly evident.
We spent a morning dissecting the Spanish mountain roads on both the XC and XR before switching tyres (and bikes) for an afternoon of Sierra Nevada desert action, ably guided by the UK’s youngest ever Dakar rider, Nick Plumb. Even Charley Boorman joined us for some japes.
A glaring omission (thanks to a tech issue) is the chat we had regarding the Tiger’s tank size. If it weren’t for the GS Adventure, its 30-litre tank and its 300-mile range, there wouldn’t be an issue with the Triumph. But when you’re riding with friends on German übertanks, it suddenly becomes a pain in the cock unless you enjoy a smoke or suffer from bladder problems. When speaking to Triumph engineers at the launch, they neither confirmed or denied a more focused upcoming release with heftier fuel capacity, but did say the 20-litre tank suits the current model. We can’t argue with that…
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 Review
I was really disappointed by the Triumph’s performance on the Nurburgring videos… but this one sounds like it’s caught up (almost). I’d definitely trade in my 1050 for one of these….. if I had spare cash lying around.
Triumph is one if my very favorite bikes and i wish the best for it. I would like to see a better marketing plan such getting more dealers around the world so i feel more comfortable buying an adventure bike from them although when i will desire to buy an adventure bike, i will think about triumph.