Mike Hopkins Motorcycles - Triumph Cape Town - Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 , The Adventure Motorcycle Travel Guide & Info Portal - Maps, GPS Data, Accommodation, Triumph Explorer 1200 review
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 Explorer 1200.Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 - Making headway into the Adventure Motorcycle Market !!
Triumph Tiger Exlporer 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer
Triumph Cape Town
Mike Hopkins Motorcycles
79 Roeland Street,
Cape Town
(021) 461 5167
Mark Livings (sales)
072 561 0978

S33 55.804 E18 25.370  
"The Triumph brand is relatively new to the Adventure Motorcycle market, the predecessor Tiger 800 and Tiger 800XC made astonishing headway against its competition since 2010, and I for see the same pattern emerging with
the Explorer 1200.

The Tiger 1200 is a formidable challenger and is creating a new benchmark in the adventure touring class.
"Certainly the smoothness of the 3 cylinder is a winner for long distance."
Craig Marshall - Rider
Test Location:
(Dualpurpose Motorcycle Training Academy) at Kilarney raceway in, Cape Town.

Its one thing to take an adventure motorcycle on a long ride.
But all to often one does not get a chance to give the bike a rigid structured testing. This is why I chose the new location for DMTA
, Cape Town's new permanent off road motorcycling academy at Kilarney raceway.
We had sand, rocks, deep water, steep loose banks, gravel roads and of course the Kilarney Racetrack - which unfortunately fell through on the day, so we headed out into the hills of Contermanskloof for the road test.

The Explorer 1200's gauges are
pleasing to the eye, but may not be so pleasing once you start to use the various functions. I will add that it is far too complicated first off, but by the end of the second day I knew my way around the various menus and programming sequences.
To change Traction control for example takes 12 steps to switch off...

Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
- Overview
There is no doubt the Explorer 1200 is going to make waves in the BIG BORE market. The overall impression we discovered over the two days of rigorous testing is that the Explorer 1200 is an 80% Road 20% dirt suited Adventure Bike.

It will definitely handle most gravel roads in South Africa, Namibia and beyond.
The Triumph Explorer's true form comes into play when you get it on the open road and wind open the throttle. With
(TTC - Triumph Traction Control) switched off, the bike feels like a thoroughbred sport bike, powerful, super smooth and awesome torque. Gear changing is slick and the bikes ergonomics is close to perfect. Wind protection is very good and easily adjustable.

Tiger Explorer 1200 Service intervals of 16 000kms are an added bonus in today's tough financial climate. A retail price of ZAR145 000 will position the bike below BMW GSA 1200 and Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer Adventure - and slightly above Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere.
Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 road test
Make Model
Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
Year 2012
Engine Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line three-cylinder.
Capacity 1215cc
Bore x Stroke 85 x 71.4mm 
Fuel Induction Drive by wire, fuel injection
Ignition Electric
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox 6-speed
Max Power 137PS/135bhp/101kW @ 9300rpm
Max Torque 121Nm/89 ft.lbs @ 7850rpm
Final Drive Shaft
Frame Tubular steel trellis frame
Swingarm Single-sided, cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
Front Suspension Kayaba 46mm upside down forks, 190mm travel
Rear Suspension Kayaba monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment, 194mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes Twin 305mm floating discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Switchable ABS
Rear Brakes Single 282mm disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, Switchable ABS
ABS Independently activated by front level and rear foot brake.
Instrument Panel
LCD instrument pack with digital speedometer, analogue tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty, service indicator, clock, air temperature, frost warning, hazard warning lights, trip computer, Tyre pressure monitoring system
Tyres, front/rear Front 110/80-19 Rear 150/70-17
Seat Height Standard - 837mm/32.9in - 857mm/33.7in (810mm - 857mm accessory seats)
Ground clearance 16.5cm
Wheel Base 1530mm/60.2in
Dry-Weight 259kg ready to ride
Fuel Capacity 20 Litres
ZAR145 000 - Mike Hopkins Motorcycles Cape Town, Finance Available
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High-capacity generator
Class leading 950w generator allows the simultaneous running of multiple electrical accessories, including heated rider and pillion seats, heated grips, high power fog lights and a top box with integrated power supply for charging on the move.
The bike also comes fitted with a power socket situated close to the ignition, which can be used to power a GPS unit or items of heated clothing.

TTC (Triumph Traction Control) off road:

Traction control is not new to the Shaft Drive Adventure class motorcycles.
The Triumph Traction Control in position 1 (Default) is very effective at preventing the rear end stepping out in a loose gravel corner, even when you try hard to get it to drift, the fuel mapping system retards power to the engine and the back end remains stable.

The Triumph 1200 set to the default setting 1 (TTC - Triumph Traction Control) is a bit of an overkill, and the loss of power can be disconcerting especially when you suddenly need it - like climbing a steep incline, or crossing a patch of thick sand. The Tiger 1200 will bog down quickly of the traction control is not set to position 2, or switched off.

Setting 2 is actually perfect, just enough slide to enjoy a controlled drift, but always in check.

TTC (Triumph Traction Control) on road:

With Traction Control engaged and set top position 1 - the power management system retards the engine power so much - to the extent that it makes quick acceleration almost impossible. Its very noticeable in the first three gears, once the bike is moving its not so noticeable.

If you are going to race someone from traffic light to traffic light. Make sure you have the TTC switched off.

Further negative aspects are that it takes an insane
12 programming steps
through the menu to access TTC and disengage it. Once you know your way around the dashboard - it will be easier.
It just seems crazy to have to scroll through so many menu options to turn it off ?
What were Triumph thinking?
Hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment, 194mm rear wheel travel.

The adjustability allow for easy manual setting for hard to soft rebound, whether you're solo, with or without panniers and a pillion rider. I found it easier to set with the bike up on the main stand, and less pressure on the rear wheel.
Wind Protection:
One of the best adjustable screen systems available on any Adventure Motorcycle. Simple loosen the knobs both sides and slide the screen to the desirable height.

Seat Height and Comfort:
The adjustable seat higher ranges from 810mm - 880mm, by means of adjustability and accessory seats. The standard seat height ranges from
837mm - 857mm. This range will allow for a much wider range of potential buyers.
The angulations design on the seat is just perfect and allows for comfortable stand up position as well provides a wide area whilst sitting for extended periods.

Sitting up in the 259kg region is to be expected from a big 1200 tourer. The centre of gravity in most bike of this class is the deciding factor. As we have learned from various big tours, a low centre of gravity is a sure winner for stability.
The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 feels initially light for a big bike - until you attempt to throw it around a bit with the traction control switched off. Its then that the bulk and high centre of gravity is noticeable. With standard riding on road and with traction control engaged the Tiger 1200 definitely handles similar to a bike of 200kg.

ABS System off road:
We tested the stopping distance on a normal gravel road with and without ABS engaged. On the given surface there was a 50% reduction in slide with the ABS system "On" . When using only the rear brake. The ABS system is totally individual, so rear foot brake only activates the ABS on the rear, which is a good thing to avoid front wheel washout.
When activating only the front brake lever, all the weight of the bike pushing the front created instability and even with fully locked arms and my body weight right back it was difficult to control.
With both front and rear levers activated, the stopping distance was remarkable short (10m @ 80km/h) each 10km we added added 2m of slide.
Caution should be take with the percentage of front brake pressure.

Off Road Handling:
Coming out of the Triumph stable and following its dualsport predecessor, the Tiger 800XC - the big bore Tiger 1200 is surprisingly agile for a bike of 259kg.
You can definitely feel the high centre of gravity, but the Tiger 1200 is very confidence inspiring, The in-line 3 cylinder engine has a fantastic growl when you open her up on the loose gravel, but as mention in this article, the TTC setting on 1 is a little over sensitive for really loose gravel and soft sand. After a few hours of experimenting we found that TTC setting 2 or off position was fantastic and the Explorer 1200 metamorphosized into a wonder sounding and handling beast.

The only negative aspect we noticed was the front suspension felt too hard on the standard factory setting, but it can be fully adjusted and perhaps a little slower rebound would be better.

Road Handling:

This is really the home of the Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. Its definitely better suited to long distance, fully loaded tarmac type of touring. With MITAS EO 7 dualsport tyre's fitted for the review, we had a fair feeling of how it handled at high speed and in corners.
Even with the EO7 tyres we pushed the Tiger Explorer up to 195km and over 180km into corners on the back roads of Contermanskloof. The big Tiger demonstrated very little instability even at high speeds with dualsport tyres fitted. So no doubt with standard 80/20 tyres the bike will handel even better.
For instant acceleration, the TTC system must be disengaged if you wanna race your buddies. from 4th gear upwards the Traction control retardation is not noticeable.

"The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 sets a new benchmark in sophistication"

If you are more of a long distance biker, that enjoys a bit of gravel travel on the side, a pillion snug in behind you and panniers packed full for the trip - the the Triumph Explorer 1200 is going to make you happy - undoubtedly its going to give its German opposition extremely tough competition.

Pushing out 101kw and loaded with all the high-tech rider aids ranging from tyre pressure readings and cruise control -
"The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 has set a new benchmark in sophistication" in the BIG BORE touring class.

Overall General Opinion:
Personally I am more of an off road, back country two spoor kind of rider - and I know there are plenty of areas like Baviaanskloof and Cederberg that the Triumph Explorer 1200 will be able to handle. However I really enjoyed the big Tiger 1200 more on road. The 1215cc - 3 cylinder engine is remarkably smooth and powerful, the gearbox is refined and glides through the 6 gears with little effort.

....Test ride a Triumph Explorer 1200 today - Call Mike Hopkins Motorcycles -
(021) 461 5167
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 Brochure

Download Triumph Adventure and Touring E-Brochure (Tiger 1050, Tiger 800 *800XC, Tiger Explorer 1200)
  Triumph Motorcycles Roadside assistance plan, underwritten by the AA.

Triumph Motorcycles South Africa offers a 2 year AA roadside assistance with the purchase of any new Triumph Motorcycle from an official Triumph Dealer.
This assistance plan is linked to the motorcycle and can therefore be transferred from owner to owner should you sell your motorcycle. It expires after two years and can be renewed for a further 2 years for approximately R500.
This plan is equivalent to the AA Advantage Standard Membership Plan, except Triumph owners are covered for towing costs of up to a 80km round trip, which is double that of the standard assistance. Have a look on the AA website for the benefits of this plan.

Should you want to buy the 2 year Triumph Motorcycle Roadside Assistance plan kindly contact one of our dealers.
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461 5167
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