The Triumph Explorer 1200 represents Triumph's first foray in to the ultra-competitive big adventure bike class, competing against bikes like the BMW R1200GS, KTM 990 Adventure and new Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer.
MCN editor Marc Potter rode the Explorer 1200 recently at the world launch in Spain and was impressed: "I have to say I am massively impressed. It doesn’t do anything staggeringly better than its rivals but as a package it takes adventure touring bikes to a new level.
"You hardly have to ever stress the engine but when you do it’s got loads more get up and go than the BMW R1200GS and although you wouldn’t want to put it on a track day the handling is extremely neutral and it’s almost as quick to change direction as a Ducati Multistrada, though certainly not as sporty as that bike. But then it’s not meant to be.
"It’s going to be fascinating to see how the new Triumph compares to the Honda Crosstourer and the GS when we get them together for the full intensive group test next month. But if you put a deposit down on a new Triumph Tiger Explorer you’ve made a good choice."
Check the table below to see how the Explorer stacks up against its rivals on the spec sheet.
|Triumph Explorer 1200
|BMW R1200GS ABS
||Benchmark boxer now starting to show age but still sets the standard for versatility|
|Ducati 1200 Multistrada
||Performance and electronics brings true sports potential to class - but at a price|
|Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer
||New VFR1200-derived V4 is big and heavy but brings classy touring sheen to the class|
|Kawasaki Versys 1000
||Oddball in being a Z1000-derived transverse four, but difficult to argue with value|
|Moto Guzzi Stelvio ABS
||Often-ignored 'Italian GS' can't quite match most rivals but is still a worthy alternative|
|Yamaha XT1200Z Tenere
||Worthy contender new in 2010 with impressive abilities. Scary price has now been cut|
|KTM Adventure 990
||Definitive off-roader fends off senility for 2012 with uprated engine, styling and suspension|