Powerful but not intimidating

K Shivraj
Sunday, 4 February 2018

The 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 has dropped the Explorer from its title, but it continues to offer thrill to riders

Dropping the Explorer title, the 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 comes in six variants — four XRs and two XCs. Lighter by 2 to 11 kg than the model it replaces, the new Tiger 1200 dry weighs 248kg. A re-arranged handlebar that is pulled back by 20mm makes the new adventure bike more rider friendly and ergonomic. The XRX Low version, with a seat height of 790-810mm, should make it suitable for short riders. The other variants come with a seat height of 835-855mm.

Feels nimble
Featuring adaptive cornering lamps, all-LED lamps, adjustable full-colour TFT screen, illuminated switchgear, new riding modes, hill-hold control, integrated braking system (on XRT and XCA), cornering ABS, shift assist (on XRT and XCA), keyless ignition and an updated cruise control unit, the Tiger 1200 feels nimble than the model it replaces. With TSAS (Triumph Semi-Active Suspension) as standard, the new bike comes with riding modes that differ according to the variant one chooses. They range between three and six modes! Along with a two-position seat height adjustment, USB and 12V power sockets, adjustable front and rear suspension, and cruise control, an electronic, easy-to-adjust windscreen is standard. The switchgear is illuminated and is easy to operate in dark.

Superbly agile
The 1,215cc three-cylinder engine has been upgraded with a lighter flywheel and crankshaft to produce a higher 141bhp at 9350rpm. The magnesium cam cover and a factory fitted Arrow exhaust (on the XRT and XCA) are new. Producing 122Nm of peak torque at 7600rpm, the Tiger 1200 feels agile. Displaying a great amount of agility, it is hard to believe that the bike dry weighs 248kg. The joystick mounted on the left-hand side of the handlebar control pod enables windscreen adjustment. The windscreen does a good job of diverting wind from the face of the rider. The handle grips are three-stage heated and their activation is on the left-hand side of the handlebar too.

For its tall and heavy looks, the Tiger 1200 is surprisingly easy to tame. When doing speeds in the range of 140kmph and 160kmph, the bike feels at ease. The engine does not intimidate with its delivery of power, even though it is strong. Quite linear and progressive, the power delivery of the Tiger 1200 has it shrinking around the rider.

Easy to ride in traffic
Riding it in traffic does not feel hard or demanding. It turns into corners quite well. The TSAS adapts very well to the surface. Off-road, it plays an important role to ensure a pliant ride. Not robbing the bike of its agility, the TSAS presents the Tiger 1200 with an ability to ride over treacherous terrain without the rider losing confidence. While the power delivery offers an intuitive control sense, the bike, off-road, feels predictable and friendly. For the more adventurous, there’s the new, Off-road Pro mode that turns off all assistance bits including ABS. The dirt-spec foot pegs provide good support to stand while riding over rough patches, and for good periods.

Powerful and progressive
The Tiger 1200 is one of the heavy bikes. The brakes, consisting of a 305mm radially mounted twin-disc set up at front and a 282mm single disc at the rear, do a brilliant job of getting the bike to decelerate. Not only do they feel powerful, their action is progressive. Starting with the low-spec XRX version to the top-spec XRT version, the Tiger 1200 is expected to be priced between Rs 16.5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh in India. The off-road spec XCA is expected to be priced Rs 1 lakh higher than the XRT. At such price levels, Triumph offers a powerful and loaded adventure bike that is backed by fine engineering attributes. It makes it powerful but not as intimidating as some of the other adventure bikes that are available in a similar price range. Bookings for the bike are open and delivery is expected to start this month.

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