Triumph’s most powerful and technically advanced off-road machine has undergone a major overhaul. A number of practical additions such as clutch-less shifting, adaptive cornering lights and new riding modes make the new 1200 a hard-hitting new addition to the adventure market.
The 1200 has always been a capable adventure bike, but Triumph have pulled out all the stops to make this the most tech-laden Tiger ever. Far from a light upgrade, this motorcycle has four years of development behind it.
Engine and drivetrain
When riding off-road, torque is king. This applies whether you’re in a Land Rover Defender or on a Tiger. To address this Triumph’s 1200 is packing a serious amount of the stuff. In fact, it’s the most powerful shaft-driven engine in the segment with 141ps and 122 Nm of smooth torque. The new engine promises to deliver its wealth of power smoothly and directly to assist when riding on unpredictable terrain. To make the most of this power, the top spec XRT and XCA models have Triumph Shift Assist, a clutch-less gear shift system for seamless changes helping reduce rider fatigue.
Weight saving across the entire engine and chassis make it 10kg lighter than the previous model. A new Arrow exhaust also helps shed the grams, but thankfully it retains the iconic Triple thrum.
The mid and top spec Tigers now feature a full colour 5” TFT adjustable screen to clearly display a range of information to the rider, including; speed, MPG, riding modes, trip information and other data. Backlit handlebar switch cubes and 5-way joystick control are another premium addition to assist riding at night. (The XR base model features carry over LCD instruments and switchgear.) Optimised ride-by-wire throttle, semi-active suspension, hill hold control and cornering ABS are improvements that will see the Tiger at the cutting edge of the adventure market.
New all LED lighting provides better visibility and lower maintenance. Adaptive cornering lights have been introduced too, which make riding and navigating at night much easier, especially on unfamiliar roads.
The Tiger is about long journeys and as such needs to cater for the rider prepared to do a full day on the bike for sometimes weeks on end. Heated grips and seat with a new softer compound will allow riders to travel further in comfort. Keyless ignition is also now included (on all but the XR base model), which will make hopping on and off the bike a breeze – no more “which pocket did I put them in…!” Just jump on and go.
The Tiger is available in the usual XR (road) and XC (off-road) variations with different spec levels. A full spec list is available on Triumph’s website. Revealed at Europe’s premier bike show, EICMA, the adventure riders at the show share their verdicts:
Rahul Ghosh from Auto Today India: “The Tiger’s redone ABS system will allow you to have a little more fun on the gravel. I’m especially keen on the large colour TFT screen, those who ride off road will know what I’m talking about. When you need a quick glance down in the mud and the dirt you want something big, clear and colourful. You want to know what settings you are running at one look.”
“In India, the new adaptive cornering lights will make riding much safer in the dark. We’ll get to know more when we get to ride it, I’m excited to see how these changes affect the experience.”
Max Baloch, Car and Bike Germany: “I ride a lot and I’m really into adventure bikes. I’ve been to the Italian Alps and recently I rode in south China. What’s great about the Triumph Tigers is the triple engine – it’s got so much emotion. These have always been a lot of fun to ride. The feel and sound of the triple can’t be beaten in my view. I can’t wait to see how the upgraded exhaust and new riding modes adds to the experience.”
We also spoke with Luca Ferrari, an Italian rider not associated with the press looking for his first adventure bike: “I’ve been searching for the best adventure bike and I’m impressed with the what I’ve seen of the new Tiger 1200. The illuminated switchgear is really intuitive to use and the new ride modes will be good to try out. I’m particularly interested in the power and torque of the new machine, it really brings the 1200 into market-leading territory.”
A refined format, coupled with a raft of major upgrades and more than 50 optional extras, there’s no doubt the 1200 is Triumph’s flagship adventure bike. Lighter weight and more low-down power – that’s enough to make us want to try this Tiger out. Throw in all the tech and we’re champing at the bit to take this for sprawling road trip. The new king of adventure? Time will tell. Based on specification and style, it has our vote 100%.
Disclaimer: Featured motorcycles (Tiger 800 and 1200) were part of a global reveal and their availability will vary from market to market. For more information please visit your country specific website.