Spied! Flagship Tiger 1200 gets big update for 2018

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After a few years of struggling against ever more advanced competition, it looks like Triumph’s Tiger Explorer is set for a significant update in 2018. Spied last week in Spain near the firm’s test facility, this new version of the Tiger 1200 – this bike clearly being the XC variant, with its laced rims – looks to be a big step forward for Triumph’s flagship adventure bike. Lurking in the back of the shot is another, notably smaller, adventure bike that clearly isn’t the 1200 – suggesting a similar overhaul will for the 800 will debut in 2018, too.

Spy shots don’t get much clearer, and these reveal a lot of detail about the new bike, which looks so complete and production-ready that we’d expect it to be unveiled at the Milan motorcycle show at the beginning of November.

The first striking difference is the new face of the 1200. The frontal area looks sharper and less bulky, and is dominated by the new headlamp unit. Clearly boasting a pair of LED horizontal strips which are Daylight Running Lights (DRL), the twin light unit is almost certainly now all-LED. Most interesting though is the strip of lights beneath the main lamp. The spied bike clearly has it’s inside strip illuminated as it arcs through the corner, suggesting that Triumph have added a set of cornering lights integrated within the main headlamp unit.

At each side of the angular ‘beak’ are a set of driving/foglamps, but we’d expect these are only standard on the high-spec XC variants, and will be optional on the base bike. This bike is certainly the higher-spec XC, complete with WP TSAS semi-active electronic suspension, which will doubtless have been improved over the out-going model.

Also clearly visible is a new TFT dash, which looks near-identical to the Street Triple’s 5-inch unit, which boasts multiple screen options, including high and low contrast versions for day/night use. This doesn’t support satnav functionality on the Street Triple, and it’s unlikely that it will on the Tiger – as Triumph don’t yet have satnav functionality in their range – although this would be the perfect bike on which to launch it.

The exhaust is also visible, in this instance capped with a stylish carbon fibre end cap. The can looks to be much smaller and neater than before, suggesting big improvements to the gas-flow for this Euro4 compliant update.

Beyond some further tidying of the bodywork, and what looks like a lot of attention to improving airflow, plus redesigned crash bars, there aren’t any further visible cues to the imminent changes, but the addition of the firm’s new beautifully intuitive three-touch cruise control (debuting on the Bobber Black and Speedmaster) is sure to have migrated to the new Tiger.


Richard Newland

By Richard Newland