Comparing my Tiger 1200 and my Tiger 1050
I first test rode the 1200 Explorer in April 2012 in the UK when the roads were wet and very slippery, this intimidated me as I was
riding a new £11,000 motorcycle. Sitting on the Explorer first impressions were it felt taller, higher and slimmer than my 1050.
On the move the 1200 felt lighter to ride, more nimble and to a certain extent I was distracted by the electronics -Traction Control,
Cruise, ABS etc because I kept wondering when (or if) they would kick in.. I had a second ride in June 2012 but again it was wet
and slippery. Returning to my Tiger 1050 my bike seemed just as quick but I needed to ride a bit harder to extract the
performance. I think the 1200 is smoother except at 2,700 revs where there is some harshness (In my opinion Triumph try to
isolate the harmonics of the shaft drive in a rev range where it does not matter, which is a good thing). My 1050 was a sporty bike,
something I love, and it did require a fair bit of counter steering and rider effort to tip it into turns. I attribute this to the wider tyres
and sporty geometry. I used to find pulling out from tight junctions and making U turns an effort on the 1050, the Explorer is much
easier and more neutral especially on full lock.
In September 2012 I took a day out and tried the GS1200, KTM 990 Adventure and Triumph Explorer in the same day riding in
between on my Tiger 1050. On the day it became obvious that the Explorer is such a delight to ride, a whole generation better in
design than all the other bikes, so I placed an order. In 2012 the Explorer became the number 1 best selling bike in the UK so I'm
certain many other riders share my opinion.
When I took delivery of my Explorer I was still a little concerned that my new Tiger would turn out to be more a frumpy tourer
whereas my Tiger 1050 was definitely a sporty adventure bike. I was gentle with the Explorer for the first 1,000 miles and during
that time I built up confidence in the engine, chassis, brakes, tyres etc. I now know when the Traction Control and the ABS will
kick in so I am aware of the limits are on a variety of roads. With the benefit of this knowledge I now feel that the Explorer really is
a genuine sporty bike. I have ridden fast with other big bikes and the Explorer is fast, nimble, comfortable and relaxed yet it can
be ridden hard. I have also ridden a Track Day at Snetterton, the Explorer handles well and was surprisingly good fun. I can keep
ahead of 600's without going past 8,000 revs. I had a long dice with a standard 2013 CBR1000 Fireblade. The Explorer lives with
the Honda up to 110mph then the Honda can pull out 50 yards. I found the Tiger is quicker squirting between bends in 3rd gear
so I got past every session. The Explorer is closer to 1 litre bikes than my Tiger 1050 and huge fun on a track as long as you ride
smooth, don't grab the brakes or yank the throttle because the suspension rewards smooth riding.
Triumph Tiger 1200 compared to my Tiger 1050
With the grab rail /rack assembly removed from the Explorer it looks narrower and lower from the back than my Tiger 1050.
The bars and seat look a similar height but the Explorer has a taller tank, which us smaller riders are aware of. I would have
thought that the Explorer would look bigger all round but that really is not the case.
When I fitted the Remus can from my 1050 onto the Explorer it suddenly looked much more sporty -.See pictures at bottom.
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