This is the new large capacity adventure tourer Triumph’s been teasing for over a year. The Triumph Tiger Explorer has got a 1,200cc inline-three, single-sided shaft drive, an exposed tubular frame and looks straight off the 800. With a 19-inch front wheel, it’s obviously road-biased, but despite 800-alike looks, this thing looks promising. This is also Triumph’s first application of traction control and a ride-by-wire throttle.
Triumph is staying pretty mum on details until the official release at EICMA, only saying the motor is “1,200+cc;” acknowledging the presence of shaft drive (duh, look at the pics); 19-inch front, 170inch rear wheels; cruise control; traction control; and switchable ABS.
That ride-by-wire and TC is exciting. It should bring switchable power-delivery modes and safer power exploitation to this big, heavy bike, but this is also a sign that we can expect such systems to trickle down to more performance-oriented models like the 2012 Triumph Daytona 675, making such bikes faster and easier to ride very hard.
This powertrain — the 1,200cc+ triple and the don’t-call-it-paralever shaft drive — should also appear in the upcoming Triumph Trophy sports tourer.
When the Triumph Tiger 800 was first revealed, we critcized it for aping the BMW F800GS’s styling and mechanical configuration. But, when we rode it, we were literally amazed by the incredibly smooth, torquey triple, intuitive handling and complete comfort. That’s probably why seeing many of the same attributes in this Explorer has us excited rather than disappointed. That huge rear subframe and luggage rack are massively practical; the fairing is larger than the already proctective 800’s and the chassis looks to be similarly short and steep. The 800 is already plenty torquey and, to our minds, completely capable of competing with the BMW R1200GS, so this Triumph should be a damn good bike.