With Triumph rolling in with a new Tiger 1200, quite a few of the previous generation might hit the market. What do you buy then? Well, first and foremost a very comfortable touring bike with a hint of adventurous ambitions.
Purely in terms of dynamic qualities, the Explorer (which will go through life as ‘Tiger’ in its latest incarnation from 2018) could never really stand up to the BMW GS, KTM Adventures or Ducati Multistradas of this world … unless it was purely to tourist qualities. In that sense, it leans closer to the Yamaha 1200 Super Ténéré.
With very good wind protection and a silky smooth, unexciting but powerful 1,215cc three-cylinder engine (135 hp at 9,000 rpm, 121 Nm at 6,400 rpm) it is still an excellent choice for those who primarily want to go far in comfort – or just to and from work. Keep in mind that a little Explorer with all the liquids on board quickly puts 265 kg and more on the scale.
Once well underway, the Explorer manages to hide that weight well; but it relies on stability and confidence rather than flashy handling. Off-road, the weight feels solid – there were lower saddle options available at the time so you should be able to find them, with that kind of weight you’d better be sure you can put enough foot down if you need to.
After 2016, the Explorer got a slightly changed geometry, slightly wider wheel sizes and, depending on the model, also electronically controlled WP suspension – all highly recommended, although you should keep in mind that the suspension also wears and that such a joke becomes even more expensive when it comes to electronic suspension. After 2016, the brakes were also updated in the form of radial Brembos, which are not only more powerful, but also have cornering ABS.
The heart of the Explorer was a brand new power unit which in its first form had some problems with the cylinder head on some models, which resulted in a hot running block. This should be rectified through an official recall. If you also find a well-maintained example (service every 10,000 km, adjust valves every 20,000 km) you should only pay attention to models with a lot of kilometers, because the cardan sometimes dares to cause headaches. So be vigilant for unpleasant noises or oil leakage.
There are so many models and versions made of the Explorers that it can be difficult to find your way around them, but there are basically two versions: the XR and the XC, which are more road and off-road oriented respectively. An XC is essentially the same bike with different wheels, so it offers little extra off-road. The XRTs and XCAs are the ‘full option’ models, which are of course also more expensive. All other models have less equipment, depending on the options checked, hence the very wide price range. The Explorer is a very solid, high-quality touring bike that trades sensations for the greatest comfort of its generation and looks adventurous. If you want to use it that way, don’t hesitate.
Liquid-cooled three-in-line | 1,215cc | 135 hp | 20 l. † € 7,500 • € 12,950,-
#Triumph #Explorer #Motokicx