Triumph Tiger 1200: A New Chapter in Adventure Riding

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200

The world of adventure motorcycling has witnessed a significant evolution with the introduction of the new Triumph Tiger 1200. Triumph deserves accolades for what has been a radical transformation of the Tiger 1200, turning it into an adventure bike that not only fulfills but exceeds expectations. This new generation stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the BMW R1250GS in terms of performance, handling, and technology, marking a significant milestone in the adventure bike segment. The meticulous enhancements in engineering and design have not only made it a formidable contender in its class but have also elevated the overall adventure riding experience. Triumph has meticulously fine-tuned every aspect, from the engine's roar to the bike's agility on challenging terrains, ensuring that the Tiger 1200 offers an unparalleled blend of power and precision. This dedication to excellence signifies Triumph's commitment to not just keeping pace with its competitors, but setting new benchmarks in what riders can expect from an adventure motorcycle.

But does this leap forward in refinement translate to a motorcycle that offers good value for money? Let's delve deeper into the Triumph Tiger 1200's features and capabilities and consider if this breakthrough truly translates into a motorcycle that offers exceptional value for its innovation.

Triumph Tiger 1200: The Engine That Powers Adventure

Triumph Tiger 1200 engine

At the heart of the Triumph Tiger 1200's transformation is the new T-plane motor, a departure from the older generation's triple engine, known for its silky smooth operation. This change has brought about a mix of reactions, especially from those accustomed to the previous engine's characteristics. The T-plane motor introduces a distinct vibe - a characteristic that, while not universally appealing, adds a new dimension to the bike's personality. This engine, with its unconventional 180, 270, and 270-degree firing order, contrasts sharply with the old 240-degree firing order, aiming to enhance the bike's tractability and acceleration, particularly suited for adventure riding.

The weight reduction in the Tiger's chassis has been nothing short of transformative, enhancing its handling dynamics significantly. This makes the Tiger 1200 not just an adventure bike, but an impressively handling one, equipped with a suite of integrated electronics that enhance its performance seamlessly.

Firing up the GT Pro model reveals another layer of the bike's evolution - the keyless ignition system now works in tandem with a keyless fuel cap and steering lock, ushering in a level of convenience and modernity. The engine's rough, gravelly sound is a testament to the new T-plane crank, a feature that will be familiar to Tiger 900 owners. This new sound signature, alongside the engine's unique configuration, aims to improve low-down tractability and deliver a more engaging ride, though it may divide opinions with its departure from the old model's smoothness.

Despite these changes, the Tiger 1200's power remains on par with its predecessor, albeit with a more spirited and faster-revving engine that produces a better exhaust note. The bike's acceleration is fluid, offering a fast yet manageable experience that isn't overwhelming. However, the engine does exhibit noticeable vibrations, especially when worked hard, which Triumph claims adds to the bike's engaging nature. Nonetheless, at constant speeds, such as on the motorway, the engine's buzz is present, potentially detracting from the smoothness some riders may prefer.

Handling and Suspension

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200

The Triumph Tiger 1200 has undergone a transformation that not only redefines its identity but also challenges the conventional boundaries of adventure motorcycling. Central to this metamorphosis is the significant weight reduction of 25kg compared to its predecessor, a change that has fundamentally altered the bike's dynamics. Where the old Tiger model once felt like a full-dress tourer masquerading as an adventure bike, somewhat cumbersome in its transitions from bend to bend, the latest iteration sheds this persona entirely. The new Tiger is no longer just about covering great distances; it's about reveling in every curve and corner along the way.

This newfound agility is a testament to Triumph's engineering prowess, particularly evident in the completely redesigned chassis that gifts the GT model a spirited boost of nimbleness. The difference is night and day; the Tiger now possesses a backroad voracity that allows it to be flicked through twists and turns with an enthusiasm previously uncharacteristic of such a substantial machine. This change in the bike's handling dynamics is not just noticeable; it's transformative, making the Tiger 1200 a genuinely great handling adventure bike.

The enhancements extend to the semi-active Showa suspension system, which now boasts nine levels of damping alongside automatic preload adjustment. This system is nothing short of revolutionary, adapting fluidly to varying riding conditions to offer a ride quality that is both plush and precise. Whether cruising in 'Road' or 'Rain' modes, where the damping is dialed back for a softer ride, or attacking the asphalt in 'Sport' mode, where the suspension firms up to minimize fork dive and provide a more connected feel to the road, the Tiger 1200's suspension is a masterclass in adaptability. The linked braking system further complements this by delivering powerful, nuanced braking that maintains the bike's composure, even under aggressive deceleration.

triumph tiger 1200 explorer

However, this leap in handling prowess does raise new considerations, particularly regarding ground clearance. In pushing the Tiger 1200 to its newfound limits, riders may find the bike's underside more frequently acquainted with the asphalt, a small trade-off for its otherwise exemplary handling.

The introduction of the Explorer model adds another layer of versatility, offering an extended fuel range without the expected drawbacks. Triumph's clever design, which expands the tank's volume centrally and towards the seat, avoids the typical wide-legged stance necessitated by larger tanks. This design, combined with the 'road' version's lower seat height, non-long-travel suspension, and 19-inch front wheel, ensures that the GT Explorer remains surprisingly manageable, even at low speeds. On the move, the Explorer's additional 10 liters of fuel capacity is noticeable but not burdensome, with the bike retaining much of its agility, especially as the fuel level decreases.

triumph tiger 1200 explorer

Main Features, Spec and Considerations

Specs - Main Features
ENGINE Inline Triple, liquid-cooled, 12 valves, DOHC
BORE X STROKE 90 mm x 60.7 mm
POWER 150 hp (110 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
TORQUE 130 Nm (95 lb-ft) @ 7,000 rpm
FUEL INJECTION Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire system
EXHAUST Stainless steel 3-into-1 header system, side-mounted stainless steel silencer
GEARBOX 6-speed
PRIMARY DRIVE Torque assist clutch
RATIO Various ratios optimized for power delivery and fuel efficiency
CLUTCH Hydraulically operated, multi-plate wet clutch
FRAME Tubular steel frame with aluminum swingarm
FRONT BRAKE Twin 320 mm floating discs, Brembo Stylema 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, Cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE Single 282 mm disc, Brembo single-piston sliding caliper, Cornering ABS
KERB WEIGHT 245 kg (540 lb) including all fluids
SEAT HEIGHT Adjustable, 850 mm - 870 mm
WHEELBASE 1,556 mm
RAKE 24.1°
TRAIL 4.3 in (109.2 mm)
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200
Specs - Key Differences
Feature GT Pro GT Explorer Rally Pro Rally Explorer
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 20 liters 30 liters 20 liters 30 liters
FRONT SUSPENSION Showa 49 mm USD forks, fully adjustable Showa 49 mm USD forks, fully adjustable Showa 49 mm USD forks, fully adjustable with longer travel Showa 49 mm USD forks, fully adjustable with longer travel
REAR SUSPENSION Showa rear shock, electronically adjustable Showa rear shock, electronically adjustable Showa rear shock, electronically adjustable with longer travel Showa rear shock, electronically adjustable with longer travel
WHEELS Cast aluminum alloy Cast aluminum alloy Spoked wheels for off-road durability Spoked wheels for off-road durability
FRONT TYRE 120/70 R19 120/70 R19 90/90-21 90/90-21
REAR TYRE 150/70 R18 150/70 R18 150/70 R18 150/70 R18
WHEEL TRAVEL (FRONT/REAR) 180 mm / 180 mm 180 mm / 180 mm 220 mm / 220 mm 220 mm / 220 mm
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Advanced rider aids, TFT display Advanced rider aids, TFT display, larger fuel tank Advanced rider aids, TFT display, off-road package Advanced rider aids, TFT display, off-road package, larger fuel tank

Triumph Tiger 1200's Performance in the Adventure Bike Arena

In the competitive landscape of the big adventure bike class, the Triumph Tiger 1200's inline triple engine presents a distinct character compared to the more immediate low-end torque offered by the larger twins, such as the BMW GS's flat-twin or the KTM 1290 Super Adventure's V-twin. For enthusiasts who prioritize the instantaneous thrust available at the slightest throttle openings from a big twin cylinder, the inline triple configuration of the Tiger 1200, despite its merits, might not fully satisfy.

Triumph Tiger 1200

In discussions with Triumph's engineering team, the question arose whether the 1160cc engine - a size that shares its dimensions and characteristics with the sportier Speed Triple - represents a compromise. The unequivocal response was negative. Increasing the engine's size for added power or torque inevitably leads to a rise in overall weight, impacting not just internal engine components but also the transmission, drivetrain, and the chassis, which must be adapted to handle the enhanced performance. This also influences the motorcycle's overall packaging. Therefore, sticking to a 1160cc engine capacity is a strategic choice by Triumph, aiming to undercut its main competitor, the GS, in weight while still delivering performance deemed suitable for their flagship adventure bike.

At the upper spectrum of performance, the Tiger 1200 does not chase the high-speed exhilaration found in the Ducati Multistrada V4 or the KTM Super Adventure. Designed with less valve overlap than the Speed Triple and equipped with smaller injectors, the engine of the Tiger 1200 is optimized for midrange power and fuel efficiency, contributing to a lighter overall weight.

However, the Triumph Tiger 1200 excels in delivering robust midrange performance. It accelerates quickly from a standstill, facilitated by a smooth, responsive quickshifter, before settling into a high, overdrive gear for efficient, low-rpm cruising. Cruising at 80mph at around 4500rpm is both relaxed and fuel-efficient, although overtaking requires a downshift to access the bike's full overtaking potential, unlike the more immediate response from GS or KTM models.

Triumph Tiger 1200

Comparing Value and Competition

At a glance, the Triumph Tiger 1200 Pro, priced at £16,700, stands as an attractive proposition for most riders. When matched against a similarly equipped BMW GS, which costs £17,505, the Triumph offers a competitive edge. The Ducati Multistrada V4 S, with a price tag of £19,595, and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, at £17,317, represent pricier alternatives. Meanwhile, the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport is more budget-friendly at £14,749, or £15,949 with DCT. Choosing the higher-end £18,100 Explorer model from Triumph still positions it as a value proposition against the £19,215 BMW GS Adventure, showcasing its competitive pricing and specifications.

KTM's offerings, particularly the Super Adventure S, cater to those seeking a more intense riding experience, with its robust V-twin engine setting it apart from the Triumph's more measured approach.

Ducati's Multistrada V4 stands out with its exceptional engine performance, and the added option of radar-assisted cruise control for an extra £800—a feature that comes standard on the KTM—but owning this Italian marvel comes at a premium.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200


The Triumph Tiger 1200 emerges as a formidable contender in the adventure motorcycle market, marrying robust performance with cutting-edge technology and rider comfort. With its significant 25kg weight reduction from the previous model, the Tiger 1200 showcases improved handling and agility, making it a joy to ride both on and off the road. The heart of this transformation is the innovative T-plane engine, providing a unique blend of power and responsiveness across the rev range. Coupled with Showa semi-active suspension offering multiple damping settings, the Tiger 1200 delivers a ride that's both dynamic and adaptable to varying terrains and riding styles. Whether cruising on highways or exploring rugged landscapes, the Tiger 1200 stands out for its blend of performance, comfort, and versatility.

In terms of value, the Triumph Tiger 1200 is competitively priced against its main rivals, offering compelling specifications that appeal to a wide range of adventure riders. The motorcycle not only undercuts some of its direct competitors like the BMW GS and the Ducati Multistrada V4 in terms of price but also delivers a comprehensive package that includes features such as multiple riding modes, a quickshifter, and a sophisticated suspension system. Furthermore, its fuel efficiency and service intervals, along with a three-year warranty, underscore Triumph's commitment to offering an adventure bike that balances thrilling performance with practical ownership costs. The Triumph Tiger 1200, with its distinctive engine character, advanced technology, and rider-focused design, truly represents a significant step forward in the adventure biking segment.

For more information visit Triumph official website

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

To ensure that his super-stretched motorcycle would be able to perform like a conventional motorbike, the constructor rode it along a road for 100 m (328 ft) without putting his feet down.

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The aerodynamic drag on a motorcycle can increase by up to 40% just by the rider sitting upright instead of in a tucked position. It's a wind-resistance thing—like trying to walk through a pool vs. gliding through it!

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