TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2016 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £220
Power: 137 bhp
Seat height: Medium (33.0 in / 837 mm)
Weight: High (538 lbs / 244 kg)


New £11,800
Used £7,500 - £8,200

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Triumph has used state of the art electronics and a host of chassis, engine and comfort upgrades to transform its big adventure bike. It might look the original 2012 Tiger Explorer on the outside, but this updated 2016 version is a completely different animal. There are now six versions to choose from: three road variants (XR range) and three off-road (XC range), with ascending levels of spec. 

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

With its new riding position and seat, the Explorer is more comfortable on the long haul and more manoeuvrable off-road than the previous model. Wind buffeting has been banished, thanks to an electrically-operated screen – standard on all versions and a first for an adventure bike. Shaper steering, beefier Brembo brakes and wider wheels and tyres help the Triumph stop, turn and grip more effectively. But the biggest improvement to ride and handling comes from the new Triumph Semi Active Suspension WP suspension, fitted to the mid and high-spec models. Constantly adjusting damping and self-levelling the rear preload the electronic suspension improves ride quality and keep the Explorer composed, stable and helps it to seek out grip on and off-road. There’s also a ‘Low’ version, based on the mid-spec Explorer with new forks, shock and seat, which has a 52mm lower seat height. But as fast, safe and capable as it is, the new 137bhp Triumph is still pretty weighty and this XCA tips the scales at 258kg dry. The lightest version is the 244kg base model XR. So hardcore, sporty riders are still going to find more fizz from the lighter, more powerful adventure bikes like the Multistrada and S1000XR.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It’s still the rasping 1215cc triple we know and love, with a low-maintenance shaft drive. It has a lighter, freer flowing, throatier-sounding exhaust and the motor has been tweaked to meet Euro 4 noise and emissions regs. It makes 2bhp more power and 2ftlb more torque, but there’s 6% extra torque at 5500rpm and more grunt right through the revs. Triumph claims 53mpg. It has a delicious spread of power all the way through the revs and thanks to a refined ride-by-wire system the throttle response is very smooth. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Triumph have taken strides to improve quality and reliability with higher quality components and paint finishes. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Think ‘adventure bike’ and the term could mean many things nowadays. On one side you’ve got the ‘superbikes on stilts’ and 17” wheels, like the BMW S1000XR and Ducati Mutlistrada. On the other, the off-roaders with 19” fronts like the BMW R1200GS and  KTM 1190 Adventure R. The Explorer sits in the middle in terms of on-road ability, touring comfort and handling on the dirt.


5 out of 5 (5/5)

You get a lot of equipment in standard trim, even on the base model Explorer. The headline stuff includes the electronic rider aid package on the mid and high-spec versions, which include up to five riding modes, the latest traction control and cornering ABS systems, semi-active suspension and a hill hold. Depending on spec you also get self-cancelling indicators, a centre stand, on-board computer, cruise control, heated grips and seat, 12v and USB chargers… the list goes on. There are plenty of official accessories to choose from, too.


Engine size 1215cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, inline 12v. three-cylinder
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 837mm
Bike weight 244kg
Front suspension 48mm, fully-adjustable WP (semi-active option)
Rear suspension Single rear WP, fully-adjustable (semi-active option)
Front brake 2 x 305mm discs with four-piston Brembo calipers
Rear brake 282mm single disc with twin-piston Nissin caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 19
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 53 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £220
New price £11,800
Used price £7,500 - £8,200
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 137 bhp
Max torque 91 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 233 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2012: Triumph Tiger Explorer launched – the firm’s first ever big adventure bike.  

2016: Model updated with Euro 4 engine tweaks, a new exhaust, seat, electric screen, riding position, bodywork tweaks, riding modes, IMU traction control and cornering ABS, semi-active WP suspension, Brembo monobloc brakes. Explorer range extended to six versions.

Other versions

XR – Base model road.

XRX – Mid-spec road, also available in ‘Low’ spec with 52mm lower seat height

XRT – High-spec road

XC – Base model off-road

XCX – Mid-spec off-road, also available in ‘Low’ spec with 52mm lower seat height

XRC – High-spec off-road

Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2016 - on)

9 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 EXPLORER (2016 - on) 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 (2016 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Equipment: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £220
4 out of 5 2017 Explorer
12 November 2021 by Barrie Price

Version: XCa

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £300

Awesome engine. Electric screen, heated grips, heated seats, cruise control, hill start asist, electronic suspension, rider modes, full aluminium luggage. Too heavy feeling at low speed.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Engine seems much more responsive than the 1215 Trophy.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Only covered 4k miles so early days.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Bought from dealer. Paid the advertised price which was £1000 below other similar bikes.

5 out of 5 Great all rounder.
07 November 2021 by Rob phipp

Version: Low version xcx

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £200

Great all rounder

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfortable bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

Brilliant engine

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Top brakes. Great finish.easy to work dash.

5 out of 5 Wil
16 April 2021 by Wil Ifan 15

Version: xca

Year: 2019

I just love it, highly recommended, worst feature an engine that sits quite high in chassis

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

1.5--2 hrs ready for a break

Engine 5 out of 5

plenty of torque, not a racing bike

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5


Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

quick shifter

Buying experience: paid the book value on the day minus a special offer which was £1500

4 out of 5 A bridesmaid so close to being the bride!
11 April 2021 by Richard Evans

Version: XRT

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £150

Theoretically, it has to be one of the best equipped bikes capable of transporting two people long distances in great comfort with excellent performance & high speed handling. Unfortunately the reality falls a little short of the mark in some areas. The TSAS (WP) suspension is brilliant (& far superior to ESA) once you realise that it self levels with no sag in ride height or ground clearance. At the other extreme the O.E. luggage system (made by Givi) was so pillion unfriendly that the racks & top box were changed for Givi's own! Apart from that, you soon get used to taking extra care to manage the weight & top heavy distribution at low speeds, but is 170 miles a realistic range for a bike of this type.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

See above

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Only failure to date has been seized pins in rear calipers

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Voracious appetite for rear brake pads & front tyres. Expect higher rates of depreciation than for its competitors.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Only let down by O.E. luggage & Triumph's own intransigence

Buying experience: Bought privately at a competitive price but have endured sufficient experience with Triumph dealers to seek support from the good ones.

5 out of 5 A superb bike that can do most things asked of it.
05 July 2019 by Paul D

Version: XRx

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £250

I had one of the original Explorer 1200 around 7 years ago and I have to say that this one is much better. Active suspension is truly amazing. Great bike for touring and for B road fun. One word... Superb.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

With the active suspension, the ride is very smooth and of course adjustable on the fly to stiffen of soften the ride. Braking from the Brembo units gives a good feel and the bike pulls up very well.

Engine 5 out of 5

The 1215 triple unit has plenty of torque and revs very freely. The typical triumph sound track is there giving a throaty roar under acceleration and there is little to no vibration through either the seat or bars. There is not any noticeable noise difference from the standard can to the arrow can from what I have experienced.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far I am very happy with the quality, everything feels high quality and the finish is of a high standard throughout the bike. The bike has a premium feel.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

First service at 500 miles cost £90.00 just parts no labour charge. I believe that the 10K service or one tear, which ever comes first will be around the £200 mark.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The XRx is laden with equipment as standard, heated grips, TFT screen, active suspension to name a few. The XRt comes extra with heated seats, taller screen, triumph gear assist and corning lights. The only thing I am tempted to add is the quickshifter.

Buying experience: Purchased mine from Laguna Triumph in Ashford, Kent. Really friendly and helpful guys. I have bought 8 bikes from Laguna over the years and I think that speaks volumes

5 out of 5 Recommend XRT
30 October 2017 by Paul599

Version: XRT

Year: 2017

Exceptional triple motor. You can keep your BMW's. Although a heavy bike, once moving it is very flickable. Attention to detail and all the electronics are fantastic. If you're after an adventure bike I would recommend these.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride is very comfortable. The screen offers fantastic protection from wind buffering. I am 6' 2" and have had no problems with the elements. Seat is wide and comfortable. I can easily do 100+ miles before needing a break.

Engine 5 out of 5

Superb engine. The torque is brilliant.These bikes will give a sports bike a run for its Money. It pulls like a train.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality looks very good, no problems to date.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Electronics package is very good. It has everything you need. Some cars don't have what these have. The cornering ABS is very useful when required. my bike came with the aluminium pannier offer and I purchased the top box also. They hold enough gear for two weeks of touring.

Buying experience: I bought mine from Newcastle Triumph. It cost around £15,500 including the expedition top box which wasn't in with the pannier deal.Very pleasant transaction. Usual Geordie experience. Thanks guys.

5 out of 5
05 August 2017 by graham

Version: XCA

Year: 2017

Overall I am finding this bike to be great fuel tank could be a bit bigger as I live in Canada the longer trips would benefit. I would defiantly recommend this bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

very comfortable the heated seats work well in cooler weather. good brakes and handles well in the twisties. I took it off road in the rockies up a gravel rock and dirty road. first time for me off road the off road mode was great gave me a lot of confidence.

Engine 5 out of 5

smooth and lots of torque from very low down.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

the plastic front end could have a better fill but that's maybe me just looking for something negative.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

as the service intervals are so far apart hard to say yet.

Equipment 5 out of 5

lots of goodies on this bike all good for big tours.

5 out of 5 Explorer XRX
19 December 2016 by Ian W

Version: XRX

Year: 2016

Fast, very comfortable, lovely handling and loads of useful toys but best of all its British. A bit heavy but this disappears as soon as you get moving. This one is a keeper!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brembo brakes are nicely progressive and the adjustable electronic suspension is cracking.

Engine 5 out of 5


Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Excellent quality fitments and fittings.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

For the price of the bike it should come pre fitted with bars, luggage and rad cover.

Buying experience: Very easy transaction with the Triumph dealer.

5 out of 5 Confirmed. 34 days, 10605 kms later the XCa is the ultimate transcontinental adventure bike
11 August 2016 by WorldBiker

Version: XCa

Year: 2016

34 days and 10,605 kms through Europe and Norway's Atlantic Road and I could not imagine doing it on any other bike. When fully loaded, the engine delivers power at all revs, making for smooth starts, efficient passing, fun twisties and easy long-haul highway. While weight and range are a concern, they're not enough of a concern to detract from the overall ability of this motorcycle.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The TSAS is not a gimmick, it works. Fully loaded or not, front-end feel was always superb and the chassis always balanced. Only some wobble when starting off and at very low speed (under 5 kms) when very fully loaded (panniers, pillion and top box).

Engine 5 out of 5


Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

After long-haul tour, bike was as new. Robust build.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not sure what the service will be on this bike given all the electronics but considering how it's performing so far nothing extraordinary is anticipated.

Equipment 5 out of 5

You can't get more on a bike than what comes standard on the XCa.

Buying experience: This is my 4th Triumph from the same dealer. 'Nuff said.

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