Redesigning the Trumph Tiger 1200 Explorer

By MCN -

New bikes

 28 December 2011 11:30

The all-new Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer - directly targeted at the BMW R1200GS - went through a major, late transformation to end up as we see it now.

MCN was given exclusive access to Triumph's designers and management at its Hickley HQ in Leicestershire to get the full story of the 1200cc adventure bike's development.

And we were stunned not just by the time and resources allocated to the new machine - it's been by far reborn Triumph's biggest project to date - but also by how overtly the British frim has decided to take on its German rival.

The production Explorer looks so different to the prototypes MCN spy shots first revealed just over a year ago because Triumph decided to re-style the bike as a result of the reaction to those photos!




Out - bulbous tank
Original concept drawings were dominated by a vast, 'saddle type' 25-litre fuel tank. Although originally approved, this style was scrapped daringly late in the development process when MCN spy shots received an adverse public reaction.



In - sleeker styling
Restyle of the Explorer's tank and seat (by Newcastle design consultants Xenophya) in autumn 2010 was intended to create a lighter, less intimidating look. Tank capacity has now also been reduced to 20 litres.



At the firm's main factory, Triumph Product Manager Simon Warburton told MCN that the key aim of the new Ewplorer is to be "an attractive alternative to the BMW R1200GS". The key ingredients to achieve that, he explained, were:

  • A three-cylinder engine - "We never considered anything else"
  • A single-sided shaft drive - "We know people like it"
  • 1215cc capacity - "To future-proof it a little bit"
  • A minimum 130bhp - "We wanted a good level of performance"
  • Ride-by-wire and a class-leading, high output alternator to ensure reliability and power accessories.