TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Urban Touring MC
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is an interesting allroad touring motorcycle. The British manufacture came back into the allroad segment 2011 with the TRIUMPH Tiger 800 and the 800XC models, but the very next year they launched the first edition of the basic TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer. The TigerExplorer is primarily designed for urban touring on tarmac roads and light allroad riding, basically due to the relative low ground clearance, average size fuel tank, overall weight and cast aluminium wheels among other smaller details. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is also an excellent everyday bike. The nature of the triple engine is sporty, the bike handles very well and good ergonomics with adjustments translate to functionality and enjoyment.
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 challenges the category leader BMW R1200GS 2014 by offering competitive rider ergonomics, modern instrumentation, set of rider aid as standard feature and versatility for personal preferences. Never the less, the TigerExplorer is quite heavy and hardly a relevant choice for demanding adventure touring. The TigerExplorer is comfortable on versatile roads depending on wheels and tyres in question. It carries one of the biggest payloads in the segment and is therefore good for comfortable touring with a passenger. The triple engine makes sure that the load moves with ease. By choosing a set of proper allroad tyres, the rider can easily open the well maintained gravel roads for routing, but without the cross spoked rims, I would not plan to ride on compromised roads very much.
TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Features
Exceptionally the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 has a powerful alternator which produces a staggering 950W capacity, allowing the widest range of electronics used simultaneously. This feature is relevant for touring and as long as the power consumption level remains as high as it is at the moment. In addition the onboard computer will prioritize the power consumption and switch off additional equipment if necessary. The use of complete LED lighting systems is just in the beginning of it`s life cycle and hardly anyone provides motorcycles with full LED lighting systems as standard. Therefore motorcycle riders need to pay attention to the power consumption, unless they ride the TigerExplorer.
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is ride by wire throttled which means that the electronic cruise control ECC is included as standard feature. Well done TRIUMPH, the cruise control is a basic touring bike features and it is especially useful when riding long tarmac LEGs. It allows to keep both arms relaxed and releases the rider focus from the speed monitoring, but also saves some fuel by maintaining a constant speed. The use of a ECC simply reduces the riding fatigue which can be even dangerous in the end of long riding days. Personally I prefer having the cruise control switch at the left hand side so that a sharp GPS -speed setting using both hands would be more accurate and rider friendly. The TigerExplorer fly by wire throttle management is fairly sensitive and it takes a moment to adjust to it. The down side is that setting up an accurate speed close to the desired limit using just one hand is more difficult. By assisting with the left hand, it can be done, but would be impractical. An additional comfort oriented throttle mapping mode would be appropriate for touring.
Another basic allroad touring feature is the low octane fuel injection settings and mapping which is standard with the TigerExplorer. The key TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 features are:
- Seat height 837 / 857 mm. or 32.9 / 33.7in.
- Cast aluminium wheels
- Tyres 110/80 R19 and rear 150/70 R17
- Engine type 3 cylinders in line
- Max performance 137HP and 121 Nm. or 90ft-lb.
- Alternator 950W
- Shaft driven
- ABS (off switchable)
- Traction control (off switchable)
- Cruise control
- Onboard computer
- Electronic immobilizer
- 12V cockpit power outlet
- Weight fueled 259kgs or 571lbs.
- Payload 222kgs or 489.4lbs.
- Fuel tank 20L, 5.3USgal., 4.4UKgal. (min. 91RON – 87AKI)
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 rider ergonomics are very good. The rider seat is as standard in one of the lowest positions in the category and the TigerExplorer offers one of the widest selections of seat heights which makes it interesting for the widest range of motorcycle riders. The rider seat height can be changed between 810 up to 880 mm. (31.9 – 34.6in.) which is exceptional. There are factory OE -seats available both for taller and even shorter riders. For the tallest riders, the wide accent edge on the side of the fuel tank comes quite far back and may press the legs. The seat height is the key ergonomic feature, but the TigerExplorer handlebar can be also adjusted 2cm / 0.79in quite easily with few basic tools. Further adjustments can be done by changing the foot pegs and installing a handlebar riser. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 windshield is good design and adjustable, but the tallest riders may want to replace it with the OE -touring windscreen and perhaps even enhance it further with a spoiler.
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 cast aluminium wheels are good for urban touring and everyday riding, but too hard for allroad touring on versatile surfaces. With aluminium wheels the potholes and stones hit sharply through and make riding uncomfortable, but also expose the chassis to conditions which may result technical failures. By changing the tyres to a knobby tread type gives more grip and confidence to loose surfaces which is enough for a lot of riders, but those TigerExplorer -riders who would like to keep the routing potential as open as possible, should consider changing the standard wheels to OE -cross spoked rims.
The factory offers no electronic suspension system for the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 like the competition. The TigerExplorer suspension is traditional and adjustable enough for most of us. The spring preload can be adjusted for front and rear shock absorbers. The rear preload adjuster setting can be easily changed according to payload and preference with the turn knob below the rider seat. Normally the front suspension settings remain quite the same, but on top of the forks small adjusters allow to fine tune the setting for prevailing surface conditions.
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 ABS can be switched off by going through 4 stages in the onboard computer settings which is an old fashion method, but more irritating is the fact that the ABS goes automatically ON after the engine start which is annoying when riding longer on loose surfaces. It works just fine, if you are taking shorter detours on gravel and return to tarmac soon again. Therefore TigerExplorer is not fully designed for allroad and clearly underlines the use in urban touring.
One clever detail of the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014, is the D -lock storage below the passenger seat. I am not very impressed by any electronic alarm systems and I believe that a pair of good brake disc locks would be more effective. The TRIUMPH has understood the need to place the lock in the bike properly and below the passenger seat, the lock can be stored in a practical and inexpensive way. At the same time, I would also prepare a box for a proper toolkit too. I hope that the competition and equipment manufactures pays attention to such details and offer soon dirt free compartments for a pair of brake disc locks below the touring enduro seats.
TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Engine
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 triple engine delivers a strong torque and high performance which is much more than adequate for touring purposes. The power delivery is silky smooth and the sound of the triple puts a smile on any face. Especially when riding on two with the luggage, the engine performance and the ability to control the power delivery become essential. Since the TigerExplorer is able to carry a significant payload, the triple engine fits very well to the character. The only down side is that a triple cylinder engine with a big exhaust and efficient 2.8L liquid cooling system is all together one of the heaviest. On top of that the powerful alternator adds weight even more. Although in urban touring the weight is not as critical factor as in allroad touring on versatile surfaces.
On the other hand the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 high performance can be dangerous in inexperienced hands and therefore the traction control comes as standard. The TigerExplorer traction control reads both wheels and damps the over throttling, but still allows a reasonable amount of wheel spin without slipping too much which makes it safe and fun at the same time. Especially when wet, the TigerExplorer -rider can really appreciate such safety features. The traction control can be also switched OFF which is interesting for experienced riders.
TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Instrumentation
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 has quite comprehensive and modern instrumentation with LCD -display. It is not as versatile and comprehensive as the KTM 1190 Adventure 2013 onboard computer. The tachometer is still analogue which is the most practical way from the visualization point of view. The LCD -display and the settings can be controlled with a UP & DOWN switch and a SET button on the left side handlebar and 2 buttons on the left side of the screen. The key TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 instrumentation features are:
- Fuel gauge
- Coolant temperature
- Trip 1 & 2
- Travel time
- Air temperature
- Gear positions
- Traction control settings
- ABS settings
- Average speed
- Average fuel consumption
- Current fuel consumption
- Fuel range
- Service due counter
- Automatic turn signal cancellation settings
- Tyre pressure indicator (optional)
- Seat heater indicator (optional)
TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Equipment Accessory
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 can be equipped for global allroad touring easily. The factory offers 3 additional rider seats, a 30mm./1.2in. lower, a 20mm./ 0.79in. higher and a special comfort seat. The OE -parts include a 50 mm./ 1in. taller and 30 mm./ 1.2in. wider touring screen which is interesting for taller riders. Also the MRA provides a larger touring windscreen. Allroad riders should cross proper hand guards, engine skid plate and crash bars from the accessory list. For example TOURATECH and Twisted Throttle US offers a nice variety of specific and universal equipment that fits to TigerExplorer. There are plenty of equipment and accessory to turn the TRIUMPH Tiger Explorer 1200 into serious allroad touring, but if that is your plan, I suggest you choose the TRIUMPH Tiger Explorer 1200XC model instead which is actually designed for that.
TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 Comparison
Compared to the new generation BMW R1200GS 2014, the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 carries 10kgs (22lbs) more payload, offers the same fuel capacity, 12HP more engine and 370W more alternator performance, but is 21kgs (46.3lbs.) heavier than the GS and offers 4Nm. (2.95ft-lb.) less torque. The GS has marginally better power to weight ration and among due to lightness is more agile to handle. They are both very sporty and excellent urban touring enduros. They have hidden allroad capabilities, the GS a little bit more than the TigerExplorer. From the standard equipment point of view, the TigerExplorer has a powerful alternator, cruise and traction control already in the package which is relevant for a lot of allroad riders.
They are designed mostly for the same purpose, but the younger generation GS is naturally more sophisticated and more versatile to tune up for serious allroad touring than the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014. The GS offers a wide selection of equipment to add on and an electronic suspension system is one of the biggest differences to the TigerExplorer. The GS is clearly more comfort and riding aid oriented. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 has more narrow routing potential, but all the basics are in order and it is still very strong alternative for urban motorcycle touring.
VS KTM 1190 Adventure 2014
Compared to the younger generation KTM 1190 Adventure 2014, the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 offers 500W more alternator performance, the joy of the shaft drive and the cruise control, but 11HP less engine performance, 3L (0.79USgal.,/ 0.66UKga.) less fuel-, 6kgs (13.2lbs.) less payload capacity and the TigerExplorer is on top 29kgs (63.9lbs) heavier. The standard KTM has cross spoked rims, sophisticated traction control & riding modes and one of the finest instrumentation. The Adventure offers better ergonomics, but the TigerExplorer has more OE -rider seat alternatives. The KTM is taller from the rider`s point of view and offers therefore also more ground clearance which makes it more allroad capable.
On the other hand, the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 offers low octane fuel settings as standard feature. The KTM requires an additional fuel dongle to change the settings. The chain driven Adventure requires regular maintenance during the tour unlike the TigerExplorer. The older generation TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is more traditional and less advanced urban touring motorcycle. The KTM 1190 Adventure 2014 is more sporty, agile, versatile and offers superb handling features. It is very much allroad capable with proper tyres. The biggest disadvantages come from the alternator and power delivery section, but these motorcycles are anyhow quite different and the Adventure has a clear lead.
VS YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2014
Compared to the updated YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2014, the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 offers 9kgs (19.8lbs.) more payload capacity, 25HP more engine and 350W more alternator performance, but 3L (0.79USgal./ 0.66UKgal.) less fuel capacity and is 2kgs (4.4lbs) heavier. The TigerExplorer has clearly better power to weight ration and is therefore more sporty from nature. From the equipment point of view, the TigerExplorer provides a cruise control as standard feature, but both are ride by wire throttled and offer traction control. The powerful alternator makes the TigerExplorer very practical touring motorcycle, but the SuperTenere electric capacity is not bad either. The ergonomics are slightly more versatile with the TRIUMPH, but the advantage limits to the wide selection of rider seats and seat height alternatives.
The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is slightly stronger standard package for urban touring, but the SuperTenere has cross spoked rims as standard which translates straight to wider spectrum of roads and better allroad riding comfort. On top of that the SuperTenere offers an electronic suspension system and the cruise control along the ZE -model which makes YAMAHA more versatile to tune up. The basic YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2014 is more traditional and allroad capable. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is more sporty from nature and offers versatile features for urban touring, but suffers slightly from cast aluminium wheels and therefore limited routing potential.
VS MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 ABS 2014
Compared to the MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 ABS 2014, the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is 22kgs (48.5lbs.) lighter, offers 8kgs (17.6lbs.) more payload capacity, 32HP/8Nm. more engine and 400W more alternator performance, but provides 12L (3.2USgal. – 2.6UKgal.) less fuel capacity. Note that the weight difference due to a large STELVIO -fuel tank is 8,4kgs (18.5lbs.) and therefore the difference is in fact smaller. The difference is anyhow not as relevant on the tarmac and they are both top heavy. Never the less, the long range makes also long stretches realistic from the routing point of view. Although the Explorer has low octane fuel settings as standard unlike the STELVIO.
They both have cast aluminium wheels, basic safety electronics, modern instrumentation, power outlet in the cockpit and the shaft drives. The ABS and the traction control systems can be also switched off in both bikes, but neither offers advanced offroad settings like the KTM and the BMW. The Explorer has cruise control as standard feature, but the STELVIO is not even ride by wire throttled. From the traveling point of view, the Explorer offers exceptional alternator capacity for electronics, but the STELVIO has only an average size back up. From the ergonomics point of view, the Explorer is slightly better due to more versatile adjustments and additional options, but the basic setups are quite close to each other. The MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 ABS 2014 fits better to riders that are more laid back, less performance oriented and appreciate the long fuel range. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2014 is clearly much more sporty and nimble urban touring enduro. With few upgrade parts it provides the same wind coverage, comfort and the only short coming would be basically the average size fuel tank.