Like most, I watched Ewan and Thingey’s ‘Long Way Round’. And like many I’ve harboured fantasies of traversing the globe on an adventure bike, picking up enough tales of diseases and delicacies along the way to blow the kids inheritance but generate a lifetime of pub talk.
But unlike the vast majority I’ve been lucky enough to actually ride, at length, all the biking contenders for the job, both on road and off, ranging from the original 1150 and 1200 GS Adventures, to BMW’s newer 800 versions, KTMs, Transalps and even Ducati’s Multistrada.
But as of today the bike that’s right at the top of my fantasy list is Triumph’s all-new Tiger 800 XC. Give me a few months of freedom and a date in Vladivostok or Timbuktu and this is the bike I’d want. But, equally, take one summer Sunday and point me at Matlock Bath and this’d be what I’d choose – seriously.
In short, right now, I think the Brit triple is the best all-round adventure bike in the world – no mean achievement when you consider the quality and variety of the competition and the fact Triumph has never really built a bike like this before.
Read the full test in this week's MCN - on sale Wednesday 17 November - and check back tomorrow for the video.