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Triumph Explorer 1200: How it compares to its rivals

Published: 02 March 2012

Updated: 20 November 2014

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.

Price Power Tank size Weight
Triumph Explorer 1200 £11,149 135bhp 20 litres 259kg
BMW R1200GS ABS £12,524 110bhp 20 litres 229kg Benchmark boxer now starting to show age but still sets the standard for versatility
Ducati 1200 Multistrada £12,524 150bhp 20 litres 220kg Performance and electronics brings true sports potential to class - but at a price
Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer £11,475 127bhp 21.5 litres 275kg New VFR1200-derived V4 is big and heavy but brings classy touring sheen to the class
Kawasaki Versys 1000 £9,499 116bhp 21 litres 239kg Oddball in being a Z1000-derived transverse four, but difficult to argue with value
Moto Guzzi Stelvio ABS £10,778 102bhp 32 litres 251kg Often-ignored 'Italian GS' can't quite match most rivals but is still a worthy alternative
Yamaha XT1200Z Tenere £12,128 110bhp 23 litres 261kg Worthy contender new in 2010 with impressive abilities. Scary price has now been cut
KTM Adventure 990 £9,995 113bhp 20 litres 210kg Definitive off-roader fends off senility for 2012 with uprated engine, styling and suspension
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