2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer | Preview

2012 Triumph Adventure Motorcycle

There’s no doubt about it – the adventure touring market is on the rise. And as this ascension occurs, so does competition between the lead adventure motorcycle manufacturers. This is especially good for the consumer, considering it keeps the products evolving.

The latest from Triumph is the 2012 Tiger Explorer, which the UK-based company says “sports a high specification that will see it set a new benchmark in the adventure touring class.”

Part of this “high specification” arrives from the brand-new, 1215cc three-cylinder engine that powers the Triumph Tiger Adventure. This motor, which utilizes a ride-by-wire electronic throttle system and requires 10,000-mile services, is claimed to produce 135 horsepower with 89 ft. lbs. of torque, numbers that will make it a class leader in the adventure motorcycle segment.

And with this power arrives mounds of rider safety and comfort equipment that comes standard on the Tiger Adventure, such as cruise control, switchable traction control and switchable ABS.

Furthering the comfort is a seat that’s adjustable from 33.7- to 31.6-inches, and adjustable screen and handlebars. Triumph says “passenger hasn’t been forgotten about either, with a wide and comfortable seat equipped with large grab handles for comfort and security.”

Wanting to be a class leader in handling also, Triumph says it designed the chassis to offer a combination of “excellent low-speed balance and composed high speed capability.”

Triumph says: “The strong tubular steel trellis frame bears a strong visual resemblance to other models in the Triumph family, while the single-sided rear swingarm showcases the 17″ 10-spoke rear wheel. Adjustable 46mm front forks allow the rider to tailor the Tiger Explorer to their individual needs and riding conditions, with the long-travel suspension and 19″ front wheel giving the Tiger Explorer the capability to cope with unpaved roads.”

The instrumentation features other safety/comfort features, such as ambient air temperature with ice warning, and an optional tire pressure monitoring system.

Like its other machines, Triumph offers many accessories for the 2012 Tiger Explorer, including a two-box pannier system capable of swallowing 60 liters of luggage, and a top-box that offers 35 liters of space, enough for a full-face helmet.

As for electronic accessories and the power to handle them, Triumph didn’t skimp a bit on the Tiger Explorer; the adventure bike features a “leading-class” 950w generator for flawless running of multiple electrical accessories, such as the ones available directly from Triumph: heated rider and pillion seats, heated grips, high-power fog lights and a top box with integrated power supply for charging on the move.

And the Triumph Explorer also arrives stock with a power socket close to the ignition, providing easy powering of either heated clothing or GPS units.

Until 2012, Triumph only offered the Tiger 800 and 1050, both machines capable of adventure. But with the Explorer, Triumph has just upped the adventure ante, offering a machine that’s going to be highly competitive for other high-cc machines in this unique class.

Following are the specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer.

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Specs:


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
  • Capacity: 1215cc
  • Bore/Stroke: 85 x 71.4mm
  • Fuel System: Ride by wire, fuel injection
  • Exhaust: Stainless steel 3 into 1, side mounted stainless steel silencer
  • Final Drive: Shaft
  • Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
  • Gearbox: 6-speed
  • Oil Capacity: 4.0 litres (1.1 US gals)


  • Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
  • Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminium alloy with shaft drive


  • Front: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 19 x 2.5in / 110/80 R19
  • Rear: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 17 x 4.0in / 150/70 R15


  • Front: Kayaba 46mm upside down forks, 190mm travel
  • Rear: Kayaba monoshock with remote oil reservoir, hydraulically adjustable preload, rebound damping adjustment, 194mm rear wheel travel


  • Twin 305mm floating discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers, Switchable ABS
  • Rear: Single 282mm disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, Switchable ABS
  • Front Brake Master Cylinder: Nissin master cylinder, 16mm diameter


  • Instrument Display/Functions: LCD multi-functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, analogue tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, ambient air temperature indication, frost warning, hazard warning lights, trip computer, scroll button on handlebars, Tyre pressure monitoring system indication (where fitted)


  • Length: 2110mm (83.0in)
  • Width: 840mm (33.0in)
  • Height without mirrors: 1320mm (51.9in)
  • Seat Height: 835mm (32.8in)
  • Wheelbase: 1510mm (59.4in)
  • Rake/Trail: 23.2°/87.7mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 liters (5.3 US gals)
  • Wet Weight (ready to ride): 245kg (571lbs)

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Performance:

  • Maximum Power: 135bhp @ 9300rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 89ft.lbs @ 7850rpm

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Color Options/MSRP:

  • Sapphire Blue /$15,699
  • Graphite /$15,699
  • Phantom Black  /$15,699