An adventure in farkleization

Dailies -



This is the new Triumph Tiger Explorer XC. That’s the big, 1,215cc ADV bike, not the surprisingly capable 800cc version. Where the Triumph Tiger 800 XC gains longer travel, taller, higher-quality suspension, a 21-inch front wheel and other genuine mechanical upgrades, the Tiger Explorer XC just bolts on some farkles in order to look tough.

I’m getting confused by all this Tiger/Explorer/Tiger Explorer business, so let’s just call the larger bike “Hummer H2” from now on.

In XC trim, the Hummer H2 gains spoked wheels, albeit in the same sizes: 19-inch front, 17-inch rear. No tubes on either. There’s also standard handguards, auxiliary running lights, engine bars and a skid plate. All the above, with the exception of the spoked wheels, were already available in Triumph’s options catalog.

Is the XC more able off-road? No. Is there any reason to spend more money on it over the 800 XC? No. Instead, it’s likely a well-priced package of options that brings a discount for buying them all together in one model they can create and ship homogeneously. Hummer H2 XC pricing has not been announced, but the vanilla H2 costs $15,699, which is $3,700 more than the lighter, just as fast, just as comfortable, actually off-road capable Tiger 800 XC.

Hardcore adventure types will be relieved to learn that H2 XC retains the standard model’s cruise control, ABS and traction control as well as the prodigious 570lbs weight.

Hey, that khaki green paint looks great though.

  • JTB

    The green paint is the best part, can I get that on a 800xc to match the Rover? lol

    • markbvt

      Actually, yes, the khaki green is the new 2013 color for the 800 XC.

  • Frosty_spl

    I want a Speed Triple in that color, with the gold wheels and fork. Ughhh!

  • HammSammich

    Not really understanding Triumph’s line up these days. 3 Tigers, the softening of the Sprint and then the addition of the Trophy seem bizarrely out of step with their brand image just 5 years ago. Add to than an increasing focus at US Dealerships on their Harley-with-an-ugly-motor cruisers and the fact that they’ve allowed their “Modern classics” to languish without any technical updates since the emmissions mandated addition of FI in 2009 and Triumph seems to have lost their earlier focus on providing excellent performance-value across the board.

    Indeed, the Tiger 800 XC only seems like a long awaited return to form after the adventure oriented Tiger 955i was replaced with the Highway-focused 1050. Honestly, at this point, if it weren’t for the three “R” versions (Daytona, speedy and Street) I think I’d have a hard time taking Triumph seriously at all.

    I love my Triumph, but they’re making it really hard for me to feel the smug fanboy superiority that I once enjoyed… ;)

    • JTB

      Agreed, also remember they changed management to an Ex Milwaukee mobster(HD not the real mob). The attitude I encountered in the past working with HD people is nobody else knows the industry here in America like they do. All the others are just playing around and stupid when it comes to motorcycles. Given the amount of turn over in Triumph America since it got its new leader seems to give that a little more credence. I hope sanity prevails in the long run or it becomes just another machine. Heavyweight cruiser sales are slow and so are sportbikes. So lets see the oldest segment of riders is starting to age out, and the industry is not engaging very hard in reaching to bring new riders in. Everybody points to the “cafe racers” as the current darlings that seemed to replace the chopper craze and its over the top budget and clownish styling. The “CR”s are minimalist and give the impression of budget homebuilt. Whats that say to OEMs? Your lifestyle bikes cost too much. The few new riders we do get are not able to buy the latest and greatest on the incomes they currently have. As an industry it can only suck at the aging teat for so long befoer it goes dry. How to extend it? Hmmm three wheelers! Spyders and trike conversions while others will join in down the road.

  • Dani Peral

    Add a GPS holder, some touratech aluminium covers for all radiators, abs sensors, and oil cans, and voila, you have the average R1200GS that you find parked near every office.

    I can see why they did it, not that i like it or would buy it, but they have a point and it will sell.

    • muckluck

      Exactly what I was thinking! make it as close to a R1200GS to steal some sales with a little triumph flavor of the triple, thats all that the bike is for. As regards to the the tubeless spoked rims BMW has been doing that for years and people take them in some amazingly bad places offroad.

  • Charlie

    If you are going to get a 500lb dirt bike it might as well be the new water cooled GS.

    • Wes Siler

      Why would you want a poseur GS when the KTM actually does what it promises to?

      • Scott-jay

        It’s like women, Wes.

        • BMW11GS

          Some people just don’t get the boxer engine!

        • Wes Siler


      • Charlie

        I’m 5 7, so inseam challenged. A GS with a low seat is manageable. I need a ladder to get on those proper KTM’s. 500 EXC is my favorite KTM at the moment

  • Coreyvwc

    I tried to get on an Explorer last year at the Long beach motorcycle show, and i couldn’t, and it was funny, and sad. Now this one is going to be taller?

    • Wes Siler

      Nope, exact same height. For it to be taller, they’d had to have changed something.

      • HammSammich

        It might actually sit marginally lower under the weight of all the added gew-gaws.

      • Coreyvwc

        Ah, I didn’t read close enough. I thought the original had a normal 17″ front.

  • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    It’s really just the aux lights that put this over the top. Although all the off-road bits for a bike that’s not really off-roadable is like spoilers and hood vents on Civics.

    Or the Hummer H2. Damn.

  • Johndo

    Sometimes less is more. Most manufacturers are still making bikes that are way too heavy for their purpose.

  • Kerry

    That’s one large radiator (if you’re going off-road).

  • Troy R

    My least favorite word in motorcycling….