There’s a new Triumph Tiger 1200 on the prowl, and it’s aimed at the BMW GS. With an all-new shaft drive, the updated Tiger 1200 ditched the old O-ring chain to improve durability and attract more ADV enthusiasts to the brand. And that’s not the only improvement to the big Tiger, as Triumph has completely redesigned the bike, making it faster and lighter.
These bold moves show Triumph’s willingness to take on the main players in the ADV market, as the Tiger 1200 seeks to dethrone the current king of this segment.
A tiger designed to take on BMW
Since its release in 1980, with the launch of the R 80 G / S, BMW has dominated the big space of dual sport motorcycles. The powerful Bavarian boxer motor, fitted with a shaft drive, is an ideal combination for those looking to take on and off road trips.
But that dominance may soon come to an end with the release of the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 range. Triumph immediately made its intentions known by replacing the previous generation’s chain drive with a shaft drive system.
Whether it’s crossing the country or sailing off the beaten path, a shaft drive is nearly bulletproof, requiring less maintenance even during the stresses of a long haul. Many buyers see a shaft drive system as a necessity on their big ADV bikes, and Triumph clearly sees an opportunity.
In all the press documents associated with this new Tiger 1200 range, Triumph has continually emphasized the advantages of the motorcycle over “the nearest shaft drive competition” (manufacturer code for BMW).
To power the Tiger 1200, Triumph turned to a new 1160cc triple cylinder engine. This triple crank develops 147 horsepower and 95 lb-ft of torque, and thanks to its T-design, it has the low-end characteristics of a twin-cylinder and the revving capability of a four-cylinder. All that power propels a machine that weighs 55 lbs less than the previous generation.
Triumph achieved this with additional savings across the entire bike, including a new lightweight frame with a bolted aluminum rear subframe, as well as a lighter and stronger “tri-link” swingarm.
Tiger family set to ambush competition
Knowing the different uses of a large adventure bike, Triumph has tailored this line to the needs of a wide range of riders. For road warriors, Triumph designed the Tiger 1200 GT, Tiger 1200 GT Pro and Tiger 1200 GT Explorer with asphalt in mind.
GT models are equipped with 19-inch front and 18-inch rear cast aluminum wheels. The GT and GT Pro come standard with a 5.3 gallon tank, while the GT Explorer gets a 7.93 gallon tank to rack up more miles between refills. For those looking to get a little more dirty, the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro and Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer offer 21-inch tubeless spoked wheels up front and 18-inch rear.
All bikes use a Showa suspension system and Brembo brakes. They also provide information to the rider via a new 7-inch TFT display that offers up to six riding modes depending on the model. In addition, the Explorers (both the GT and the Rally) feature an innovative Triumph blind spot radar system, developed in partnership with Continental. When a vehicle approaches the motorcycle from behind, the radar system alerts the rider to prevent inadvertent lane changes. The bikes are even equipped with a hill-hold system (except the 1200 GT) to help the rider start on a slope.
From top to bottom, the Tiger 1200 line meets the needs of a modern pilot and does so in a spirited way. It aims to dramatically reduce BMW’s ADV sales when it hits the market starting at $ 19,100 (for the Tiger 1200 GT) from spring 2022.
The 1200 XE has real on-road and off-road capabilities, attracting riders looking for a more versatile machine.
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