TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 GT PRO (2022 - on) Review
- All-new 1160cc triple
- 25kg lighter than previous Tiger
- Optional Explorer model with 30-litre tank
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Triumph have to be congratulated on what can only be described as a radical transformation of the Tiger 1200.
This new generation of adventure bike more than lives up to their promise and in terms of performance, handling and technology are on a par with the GS.
The new T-plane motor’s vibey characteristics may not quite be to the taste of fans of the older generation’s silky smooth triple, but the work done trimming weight off the Tiger’s chassis has transformed its dynamics, making it a very impressive handling adventure bike with a high level of cleverly integrated electronics that work faultlessly.
Is it now a GS-beater? It’s going to be very close, which in itself is a huge achievement.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The headline figure is a 25kg reduction when compared to the old Tiger model, which is a massive amount of weight to shed and it shows.
I always thought the old Tiger felt like a full-dress tourer with adventure bike clothes on as its weight made it roll through bends rather than flick in. It wasn’t bad handling, it just wasn’t agile.
The new model, however, is superb. The all-new chassis has given the GT a much-needed boost of agility and it can be thrown around a back road with gusto.
The semi-active Showa suspension, which has nine levels of damping as well as automatic preload adjustment, responds beautifully to any situation and delivers a plush ride quality that can be quickly tailored for sporty riding.
While selecting the more relaxed 'Road' or 'Rain' rider modes sees its damping levels noticeably backed off to provide a more cushioned ride, in 'Sport' it firms up to give a lovely positive feel to the front end with very little fork dive under braking.
It’s taut, sporty and thanks to its linked brakes, which have bags of power and feel and also help keep it nice and level, is leagues ahead of the old bike. The Tiger is a now great handling adventure bike, although this new ability does now see its ground clearance sometimes called into question if you are really pushing on...
Should you opt for the big-tank Explorer model be prepared for a surprise. Triumph have been clever and by increasing the tank’s volume along its centre and the point it meets the seat it doesn’t splay your legs and feel wide when you sit on the bike - as a GS Adventure does.
Also, as it is on the ‘road’ version with its lower seat height, non long-travel suspension and 19-inch front wheel, the GT Explorer doesn’t feel very cumbersome and is pleasingly manageable at low speed as your feet are closer to the floor.
On the go with a full tank you certainly spot the extra 10-litres as the Explorer is slightly less keen to turn than the GT Pro (taller bars with better leverage help reduce this sensation) but once the fuel load drops it quickly regains its agility. If you want an extended fuel range, the Explorer isn’t at all intimidating – even with a full 30-litre tank.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Fire up the new GT Pro (using the keyless ignition, which is now linked to a keyless fuel cap and steering lock) and it sounds rough and gravelly.
This off-beat noise, which Tiger 900 owners will instantly recognise, is down to the all-new motor and its T-plane crank.
Like the Tiger 900 models, the Tiger 1200 has the firm’s 'T-plane' crank with its irregular 180, 270 and 270-degree firing order where the old Tiger 1200 models run an even 240-degree firing order.
According to Triumph this arrangement gives the bike enhanced low down tractability, which is better suited to adventure riding, as well as a unique sound and better acceleration. Unlike the turbine-like smoothness of the old Tiger 1200, when you pull away it has that slightly chuggy sensation low-down that makes you question if it is a triple at all.
It doesn’t rush forward and instead builds power with a lovely fluid feeling that is fast but not at all intimidating or over the top.
Power is roughly on a par with the old bike but the new engine has far more spirit, a better exhaust note and a faster-revving nature. However it will split opinions. When you are working it the engine vibrates quite a lot, which Triumph claim makes it far more engaging to use than the old one, however at a constant motorway speed this buzz remains.
It’s not horrific but it lacks that silky-smoothness of the old bike and some Tiger fans may not appreciating this new trait. Depending on the model, the Tiger can have up to six riding modes, which are linked to the ABS, semi-active suspension, traction control and throttle map.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Early first-generation Tiger Explorer models did suffer a few engine issues but these were quickly ironed out and the new 2022 Tiger has an all-new motor.
Modern Triumphs tend to be very reliable and there is no reason to doubt the 1200 will be anything but. Service intervals of 10,000-miles is good and a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, with the option to extend, shows Triumph have confidence in their new product.
It is good to see the shaft drive system has been updated on the new bike as this was a weak point on the older generations and stories of it giving up after about 50,000 miles are common.
Overall, you should be able to buy with confidence and if you go for a three-year PCP deal you will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty throughout.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Taking the £16,700 Pro as the price point, which is the model most riders are likely to opt for, if you want a similar-spec GS you will need to pay £17,505 while the Ducati Multistrada V4 S is £19,595 and KTM 1290 Super Adventure S £17,317.
The Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport is £14,749 (£15,949 with DCT) and the Harley Pan America Special is £17,077. If you opt for the £18,100 Explorer, a similar-spec BMW GS Adventure is £19,215. So in terms of value for money and spec it is right up there.
The Pan America is far more agricultural and an acquired taste while the Africa Twin is lighter and a bit more off-road targeted than the GT. KTMs tend to attract a certain kind of owner and the Super Adventure S is more hardcore than the Triumph with a feistier V-twin engine.
The Multistrada’s V4 is sublime to use and you have the option (£800 more) of adding radar-assisted cruise control (standard on the KTM) but you pay a chunk more to own the Italian bike. During a (spirited) test ride MCN averaged 43mpg on the GT Pro and the Tiger has 10,000-mile/12-month service intervals and comes with a three-year warranty.
The road-biased GT comes in base (£14,600), Pro (£16,700) or Explorer (£18,100) guises with paint options other than white adding £200 to the price tag.
They all have the same engine and chassis components (so that’s semi-active suspension, cornering ABS and TC, Brembo Stylema brakes and a TFT dash with connectivity) but the Pro adds cruise control, an up/down shifter, hill hold, auxiliary lights, cornering lights, heated grips, a centre stand and two extra power modes.
Most of these upgrades are available as official accessories aside from hill hold and cornering lights. The Explorer has all the Pro has as well as a 10-litre bigger 30-litre tank, tyre pressure monitors, blind spot detection (only available on the Explorer) and heated seats.
Or you can go for the off-road targeted Rally Pro (£17,700) or Rally Explorer (£19,100) models which have a 21-inch front wheel (spoke, not cast as on the GT models) and other difference to make them more suited to the rough stuff.
The only thing lacking is radar-assistance on the cruise control, but that’s not to everyone’s tastes. Triumph have already developed a comprehensive accessories package for the Tiger that includes Trekker moulded panniers and 52-litre top box (big enough for two full-face lids), aluminium Givi-made Expedition panniers and 42-litre top box, crash protection bars, heated seat, a low seat option, LED fog lights, a centre stand and more.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 12v, triple|
|Frame type||Tubular steel with forged aluminium outriggers. Aluminium subframe|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||Showa 49mm USD forks with semi-active damping|
|Rear suspension||Showa shock with semi-active damping. Auto preload adjustment|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial Brembo Stylema calipers. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||282mm disc, Brembo single piston caliper. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 x 18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||148 bhp|
|Max torque||95.9 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 2012 Triumph Explorer 1200 – The all-new Explorer 1200 is launched. Powered by a 1251cc triple, it comes with cruise control, ABS and TC as standard. Early issues with its cylinder head gain it the nickname ‘exploder...’
- 2013 Triumph Explorer 1200 XC – The spoke-wheeled Explorer XC model joins the range with a bit more rugged attitude.
- 2016 Triumph Explorer 1200 XR and XC – The second generation sees a comprehensive update to the Explorer’s electronics, chassis and engine. There are now six versions – three road-biased (XR) and three more rugged (XC) models. Semi-active suspension is now introduced alongside cornering ABS and TC.
- 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR and XC – The Tiger is updated (and no longer called the Explorer) in two forms – the road-targeted XR and more rugged XC. The XR comes in standard, X and T spec while the XC is available in X and A. The bike’s’ engine is tweaked with a lighter flywheel, weight reduced by 11kg and electronics updated.
- 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT and Rally – The Tiger is completely overhauled with a new engine, 25kg lighter chassis and upgraded electronics package. The road-targeted GT comes in base, Pro or Explorer guise while the rugged Rally is available in Pro or Explorer.
Although the basic chassis and engine is the same between models, the level of spec increases with the price tag and the Rally has a 21-inch front wheel (spoke) where the GT has a 19-inch (cast) one, the Rally also has longer travel suspension. The Explorer models increase the tank size from 20-litres to 30-litres on both the GT and Rally versions.
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 GT PRO (2022 - on)
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