TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2012-2015) Review

Published: 03 June 2015

The Triumph is faster, more powerful, comfier, and better equipped than BMW's R1200GS

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER  (2012-2015)

The Triumph is faster, more powerful, comfier, and better equipped than BMW's R1200GS

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Triumph has built a bike with more power, better handling, more agility and arguably better styling than R1200GS. It weighs in on the heavier side and never feels quite as exciting and as pure as the relatively lightweight GS, but in every other way it has the BMW knocked.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Although a massive bike, Triumph made the seat narrow at the front to make your knees closer together at the tank area. In addition the tank is massively ‘scalloped’ at the rear and the tapered bars and screen are all adjustable. The glorious-sounding 1215cc engine is faster than the BMW, it has much more precise steering, it can cary more weight on board and it's more comfortable than the Beemer to boot. And the ABS is totally non-intrusive - go in hard on the brakes and it just sits patiently waiting behind the scenes. The Triumph does feel a little heavy off-road but it just about cuts it and it's certainly suited to gentle green-laning. 

Engine 5 out of 5

The tranverse triple is equipped with ride-by-wire, shaft-drive, traction and cruise control. Minor service intervals are 10,000 miles with a major service at 20,000 (BMW's 2012 R1200GS needs a service every 6,000 miles). The engine makes 135bhp at 9,000rpm (the limiter cuts in at 10,000rpm) and 89ft-lb of torque at 8,400rpm. 

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Triumph know how to build motorcycles and the 1200 Explorer is extremely well put together, with build quality on par, if not better than BMW.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

When new the Explorer was cheaper than the BMW R1200GS but came without the kudos of being the 'original and best' in the adventure bike field. Prices are holding up well but if you want a genuine GS-beater, look no further. 

Equipment 4 out of 5

Much of the equipment on the first Explorer was optional so look for an used example where the original owner ticked a few of the expensive options such as panniers, crash bars and fog lights. That said, the Explorer does come in a higher level of trim as standard than the BMW R1200GS so should be considered better value.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2012-2015) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2012-2015)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
1 out of 5

03 December 2016 by Green

It rides fantastic but: The motor is blown up bij 22000 km ( 3 years old) and nobody from triumph is responsible. I am very sad. Worst case scenario is 6500 euro repair. ( 2500 euro coulance) For details send a mail. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great Beast of a Bike

12 September 2016 by Spradders

Great big bike! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Never let me down
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
10,000 miles interval and returns good economy for a big bike esp on the mway.
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Triumph sure made one hell of a bike.

30 April 2016 by Sid the Sloth

This is one seriously great bike. I loved the look of it when trading my 1050 Tiger. I test rode this before the 800 & I am so glad I did. Initially the weight is very intimidating, but once its rolling it is so easy to ride its amazing. I changed... Read more the tyres for Road Pilots, (never been a fan of Metzeler) & the handling is amazing for a large bike & believe me it is heavy. It comes with all the bells & whistles, cruise control, ABS Traction control & Shaft drive. The ride is very smooth, and it has HUGE torque, can easily pull away and leaves anything in its wake. Around the bends it handles great, cannot comment how it compares to the BMW, but I love it. It can bimble easily in top gear @ 30mph & not struggle to pull away when it needs to. I use mine to commute & days out, however, you do need to be wary if filtering, if this thing starts to go over, you ain't going to stop it. The build quality is excellent. Each morning I open the garage & I just love the look. Rugged, but hell fire, worth a test ride

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Front brake EXCELLENT, the back could do with a little more bite. All in all no problem though.Handles like a dream & very comfortable.
Engine
5 out of 5
A Triumph engine ALWAYS brings a smile when you start the engine. Sounds glorious & When you open it up, its mind blowing. Huge torque & grin factor out of this world. Can't describe how good the engine feels.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Good quality, no problems so far.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
10,000 mile services, whats not to like.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Cruise control, is great but does feel alien to begin with, ABS should be a YES to every bike now & the traction control are all bonuses. The ABS & Traction control are switchable.
Buying experience

Bought from Triumph West Yorkshire. Excellent service, no pressure & and the back for a couple of hours. Came back blown away. Been back couple of times browsing (as you do) & always remember me & the bike. Do a good coffee here too. (Upstairs machine)

5 out of 5

02 February 2016 by Paul

Great tourer and v good sport tourer. Quality is v good indeed, way better than my previous BMWs. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Previous BMW owner, the tiger is far superior
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Cruise control can be tough to use
Buying experience

Dealer purchase, v good no issues

4 out of 5

living with the old girl

27 October 2015 by Dean

too a Friend YES. No fork gattors!!!! ?? Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
all day every day, yes,every 2 hours
Engine
5 out of 5
cant beat the power of a Triple,ask the 600's.This is a 1215 ?
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Built very well. FRONT FORKS no gators. Front Down pipes cracked on weld seam 20000 miles phoned Triumph bad batch,new ones in post 2 days later.changed head studs to stainless alen bolts lots of copper slip job done.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
including tyres
Equipment
3 out of 5
sound of me Triple (GROWL) Water proofs other wise it"s gonna get wet.tyres are an individual choice and i'm not letting on
Buying experience

excent

5 out of 5

TEX the Super CAT

16 August 2015 by Siberian CAT fan

great motorcycle love it to bits. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
free three years servicing with purchase deal.
Equipment
5 out of 5
clever fuel light and mileage count down stops you running out of fuel .
Buying experience

paid 11000 got 1500 of for my caponord , they fitted engine bars and hand guards at an extra cost it also came with heated seat, grips, and pannier set,plus wire spoked wheels thrown in as part of the deal Swindon Blade Triumph! very help full sorting my deal at very short notice and fitting in my first service within three days of my scheduled tour to Waterloo and on into Germany to the Black forest only minor glitch to date was two bolts on N/S footrest bracket loose after first 1000 miles.

5 out of 5

16 July 2015 by Roberto

Very solid, power, rough, tough, reliable and good aggressive design. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

14 July 2015 by Jay

A great bike and very quick Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I have a memory foam seat that i would recommend, i can go 2 hours before i need a break
Engine
5 out of 5
Its all there when you want it
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No major problems
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Major 20k service was a little dear but i am doing a lot of miles 10k in four months
Equipment
5 out of 5
High screen and heated seat
4 out of 5

Triumph Explorer 1200 XC Khaki Green

01 July 2015 by Steve Beet

Came standard with ABS, Traction Control, Cruise Control (Use this all the time ) Being the XC model Came with standard, heated grips, fog lights, hand guards, engine bars, panniers, would recommend this bike to anyone also very good bike for the... Read more shorter rider, my friend has no problem with it being only 5.4ft with the seat right down I am 6.3ft

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I have adjustable risers, the comfort is 5 star, also a airhawk fitted , can ride all day with none or very little discomfort, Brakes are okay, don't forget this bike is heavy, so they don't pull you up like a sport bike, the shaft drive is very smooth
Engine
5 out of 5
Its a barnstorming engine, a lot of people say its noisy, mine is not since the head change on the recall, torque is the thing with this bike it has so much of it, whatever gear you are in, it just sits up and pulls
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Build quality is very good, only problem i have with my spoked wheel version, is the spokes are not stainless steel, and are showing signs of corrosion, Tried to get this sorted under warranty, 3 times Triumph didn't want to know, saying not a warranty part, I am not the only one with this problem almost everyone with the spoke wheels having the same problem, on the Explorer forum. Apart from that Triumph have been really good, mine has had all the recalls done, Cylinder head changed to the uprated version, new ECU and Side stand bolt.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I think the valve clearance service is very high at 20.000k
Equipment
5 out of 5
Cruise control best feature, the three best accessories i have fitted are a Givi Airflow screen, this works a treat its adjustable up down forward and back, I tried a few screens this works, also have the powerbronze wind deflectors which also work well, Rox risers the adjustable ones, Tyres, dont like the standard fit Torrance, best by far so far have been the michelin pilot road 4 trail
Buying experience

Bought my bike from Piddcocks in Long Eaton, would recommend them to anyone very good experience, got a really good deal on the bike added a few extras and some clothing, they really discounted all of the extras and clothing

5 out of 5

Excellent performance

30 June 2015 by Robert

Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2012
Year discontinued 2015
Original price £11,149
Used price £6,500 to £10,700
Warranty term (when new) -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £1,450
Performance
Max power 135 bhp
Max torque 89 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 1215cc
Engine type liquid-cooled, 12v, DOHC, in-line three-cylinder, 6-speed, drive-by-wire, fuel injection, shaft-drive
Frame type Tubular steel trellis frame with single-sided cast aluminium alloy swingarm
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 837mm
Bike weight 259kg
Front suspension 46mm USD forks
Rear suspension Kayaba monoshock, adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 305mm discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 282mm disc with twin-piston calipers
Front tyre size 110/80-19
Rear tyre size 150/70-17

History & Versions

Model history

2012: Model introduced

Other versions

Also available as an XC version - same spec but with more of an off-road biased set-up

Photo Gallery

  • TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER  (2012-2015)
  • TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER  (2012-2015)
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