2017 Triumph 1200 Explorer XC review, test ride
Apr 10, 2017 by Sherman Hale Nazareth
Here's Triumph's offering that intends to get you across continents. We get astride the gargantuan Explorer XC to find out how accomplished it is.
DETAILS IN BRIEF
Model Tiger 1200 Explorer XC
In recent times, the Adventure tourer trend has started to gather a lot of steam. With riders finally starting to grasp the practicality and versatility of this genre of motorcycles for a variety of landscapes and terrain, we get our hands on the behemoth that is the Tiger 1200 Explorer XC (cross-country). Now, this is a motorcycle that has been around since 2014; we miss out on the updated 2016 version, and the 2017 version isn't here yet. So it may seem a bit under-equipped in terms of features and electronics. But how well does it do what it's supposed to do best?
The intimidation game
Let's face it, the Tiger Explorer is certainly not the prettiest motorcycle out there. Its menacing front facade with those large, dual headlights exudes a sense of purpose that an adventure motorcycle should. The upswept, rugged jawline really adds to the whole predatory appeal of the Explorer. It gets a tall, manually adjustable windscreen that is a bit difficult to operate. There are two knobs on either side of the fairing that need to be loosened before you can adjust the height; so adjusting the screen on the go will be a task close to impossible. It also gets these shrouded foglamps that sit below the fairing as a standard fitment, and really help with night riding, especially off-road.
Sitting just behind the windscreen is an LCD instrument cluster that uses handlebar-mounted thumb switches with the up/down scroll facility. It features two trip meters displaying distance covered, journey time, average speed, average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption and range to empty. Although, navigating through this menu is a bit of a complicated affair and can only be done at a standstill.
The aggressive radiator shrouds then flow into an angular well-chiselled 20-litre tank. The seat on the Explorer is nice and comfortable and should do well in placating its rider when covering massive distances. It is two-stage adjustable from 837mm to 857mm via an easy-to-use system that involves sliding the front seat off and slotting it into one of the two available grooves. Although still on the taller side, for a large adventure motorcycle, this is a rather inviting seat height, and moving the motorcycle during parking drills shouldn't be too much of an issue. The pillion seat is a well-cushioned wide one, which should also be rather comfortable, should you choose to take a pillion along.
The upswept silencer on the Explorer is absolutely humungous, which could have been the broadsword of a giant in another universe. It gets a simple, sort of a rectangular shape, devoid of any drama. While viewing the profile of the Explorer, the silencer is swept at an angle that is parallel to the bottom of the sub-frame that lends a sort of flow into the minimalistic tail end. This houses nice, thick grab-rails and culminates in just a vertical, twin-strip LED tail light.
* Price shown is price at time of review
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