Ron  Betist
Ron Betist

Release the Tigers!

13 december 2021

‘Tis the season to be merry. It is nearly Christmas and Triumph Motorcycles have decided to convince us that we need to add another present to our wish list. To the very top of that list that is.

It was a present that has been long awaited and rumors have been abundant in the past months, with spy pictures of camouflaged bikes appearing left, right and center.

The adventure bike segment is probably taking the most rapidly increasing slice of the motorcycle cake. It seems the whole world is looking for both road and off-road adventures on two wheels these days.

To provide for al those thrill seekers and those who just want to have a very cool bike to ride, a lot of manufacturers are actively trying to grow their adventure bike market share. At EICMA we even spotted Italian brands, famous for their race pedigree bikes, introducing motorcycles ready to take their riders to the most remote locations on our planet.

Triumph motorcycles have been in the adventure game for many years and are releasing no less than five different versions of the Tiger in 2022.

Lighter, stronger, better

According to the manufacturer the new models are ‘strikingly lighter and a lot more powerful, with class-leading handling and specs, plus the benefits of Triumph's new T-plane triple – the all-new Tiger 1200 leaves little to the imagination: it's built to be the most capable, agile and controllable, large displacement adventure engine on the planet.’

Continuing: ‘As said, those adventure bikes are a real treat under any circumstance. With a transformation in capabilities and performance on the tarmac, and the most dynamic and exhilarating off-road experience, the new generation brings together the best of all worlds in an all-new Tiger line-up.”

To make those aforementioned remote locations easier to reach there are now two all-new Tiger Explorer options with 30-liter tank, in theory capable of getting you no less than 600 Km in between fill-ups. All other models (the standard GT, GT Pro, and the Rally Pro) only hold 20 liters.

Innovations

The new and exciting Explorer versions of the Tiger 1200 are also fitted out with an innovative blind spot detection system to warn the rider of vehicles that could be invisible in the rear-view mirrors.

In spite of the fact that Tigers are by nature solitary animals there now is a whole new group of them that belong together; The Tiger 1200 is aiming to gain traction in new fields with the addition of GT and Rally editions of the adventure bike. On top of that, the 2022 model will also be available in new Explorer versions, boasting long-range 30l fuel tanks mentioned earlier, plus higher-spec kits and added tech stuff.

In case you lost track; summing it all up there is a more track-oriented GT, and the more off-road-focused Rally. There is a Pro version available on both models. Then there is the Explorer version (with a suitcase set as the main extra). Finally, Triumph also presents a basic version of the GT, completing the group of five new Tigers set free in the wild.

Beefy engine

The Triumph Tiger 1200 is powered by a 150 hp variant of the three-cylinder from the new Speed Triple; with T-plane crankshaft with uneven ignition order. This will give the rider more torque at the bottom and more character overall. The engineers found a way to add 9 Bhp to the mix in comparison to the previous edition. However, the word is now out, and Triumph is hunting for those GS fans, made very clear in a statement about the Tiger delivering 14 Bhp more than 'that other big adventure with cardan in this class' (..). Still there is a bit of work to be done in the torque department. With 130 Nm @ 7,000 rpm (8 Nm more than before), the Tiger still has less maximum torque than the BMW R 1250 GS, which boasts a 143 Nm.

But the fun is not over yet. Dieticians managed to trim an impressive 25kg off the Tiger. The lean machine now weighs a mere 240 kg (ready to drive), which is (here we go again) significantly lighter than the average weight of a GS.

This is in large part due to using an aluminum frame, which lessens to total weight with 5.4 kg. This includes the bolt-on aluminum subframe. The engineers decide to add a double swingarm. But even with adding extra steel, they managed to lower the weight of the total with another 1.5 kg.

Wheelies and stuff

The GT versions are fitted with 18-inch die-cast aluminum wheels, bot in front and rear. The Rally versions come with tubeless wire wheels (21 inches front, 18 inches rear). Showa is used for the springs, with 200 mm of travel on the GTs and 220 on the Rally version. These are semi-active ones on all versions. Stopping power is courtesy of Brembo with the Stylema monoblocs we also find on the Rocket. The ABS got an upgrade as well.

More technical stuff

Of course, there are significant improvements in the cosmetic department. But there are a lot of technical improvements too:

  • A double radiator (also found on the Tiger 900) making it easier to remove hot air from the engine
  • Better ergonomics, very important for bikes in this segment
  • both sitting and when riding while standing upright.
  • Adjustable seat height (GT: 850-870 mm, Rally: 875-895 mm),
  • A cockpit window which can be adjusted (while riding) with just one hand.
  • Explorer versions standard fitted with blind spot radar,
  • Heated grips and seats
  • Tire pressure sensor.
  • A new 7" TFT display on all models including connectivity,
  • Improved inclination-sensitive traction control (With six driving modes depending on the model
  • New LED lighting on all sides with daytime running lights and adaptive cornering lights (Not on the base GT)
  • Updated quickshifter and Hill Hold (not on the base GT)

First reaction

Although we are fond of the Christmas season and riding a sleigh can at times be quite adventurous too, it will never be a substitute for the experience you will get on a purebred adventure bike.

The Triumph Tiger 1200 has been very decent from the start, but with all the improvements it has become as strong a competitor for the world title as Max Verstappen is in Formula One. The BMW is the one to beat and the heat is on. We look forward to riding the machines as soon as they are available and will share a first-hand report when we do.

Not long ago MotoShare added the Triumph Adventure Experience Spain in Málaga to its roster of partners. You can experience both the Tiger 1200 and the Tiger 900. Currently the stable holds the 2021 versions, but we expect the 2022 Tiger 1200 models to be available in the coming season.

The riding season in Spain is much longer than in other European countries, so if you feel like escaping the cold weather and you are ready for some proper adventure riding in the winter, nothing should keep you from booking a trip to Málaga soon.

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