I had given up motorcycling for a time; work, family, and a variety of things all conspired to pull me away, but deep inside, I was miserable. Every time I saw a motorcycle pass by or saw advertisements and stories about adventure bikes in remote places, something pulled strings deep, deep in my heart. I longed to pack up an adventure bike and just go. Whatever the road brought, I would be prepared—a nomad. The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro was the motorcycle I needed, but it didn’t exist yet.
When my kids were older, I could no longer hold off the pull at my heart and bought a motorcycle. What did I buy, you ask? An adventure bike, of course—a Triumph Tiger 800, and it was fantastic.
Since then, I have had a few adventure bikes, including a 2017 Tiger 1200. I came to learn that, while I loved touring on big 600-pound adventure bikes, they were not made for wild and remote places—at least not with me on them. I accepted the reality that I was one of those typical adventure bike buyers, 70 percent on-road and 30 percent off-road, and I was okay with that.
Triumph and other manufacturers realize that same thing—most of their buyers are like me. To better accommodate buyer riding preferences, Triumph has split its Tiger 900 and 1200 lineups for 2022. The more road-oriented bikes fly under the GT banner, while the off-road biased versions get the Rally name. With that in mind, I headed off to Portugal to test the new 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro.
- The same 1160cc three-cylinder engine is used across the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 line, and thank goodness for that! The 148 horsepower DOHC engine spools up quickly, allowing fast access to the 96 ft-lbs of torque and delivering immediate and addictive power to the rear wheel. Although the previous generation Tiger 1200 had good power, it built up more gently over the rev range.
- The T-plane crank triple’s staggered 1-3-2 firing order is designed to improve “character”, low rpm tractability, on- and off-road feel, and throttle connection to the rear wheel. This engine design wizardry translates to a ripping fast engine with quick response and considerable power that continues through the mid-range to the rev limiter. It also creates a fantastically sexy engine sound that is only muffled by my rear tire spinning up and throwing dirt out the back.
- Engine heat is well-managed—something you couldn’t say about previous Tigers. The new dual radiator design, tucked in cleanly within the bodywork, gets the job done. The only significant engine heat is felt at the end of a lot of hard riding while the motorcycle is at a standstill.
- As with all the 2022 Tiger 1200s, the Rally Pro has various ride modes. There are five modes programmed by the factory—Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro—plus a customizable Rider mode. The electronics suite includes cornering-aware traction control and ABS, complements of Continental. The ride modes impact fuel mapping and suspension and are all customizable on the fly through the TFT display.
- The throttle has a bit of catch to it in the Sport mode. The immediate engine response comes with some unwanted snatchiness when cracking open the throttle—not ideal for slower speed maneuvers and anything technical. Changing engine modes to less-aggressive choices mitigates the lurch without significantly reducing power.
- The quickshifter is useful on- and off-road. I am a bit old school in that I love using the clutch. However, I found myself using the super smooth quickshifter more and more, particularly for downshifts in trickier terrain.
- The Triumph Tiger 1200 went on a weight loss program for 2022. The elephant in the room with big adventure bikes is weight (see what I did there?). How much mass and where it sits makes a huge difference off-road. Triumph got that message and dropped pounds all over the place, including the engine, chassis, swingarm, and shaft drive. In total, the new Tiger dropped an impressive 55 pounds. In addition, the engine and rider were moved forward a bit. All of this translates to a significant improvement in off-road maneuverability and handling.
- The Tiger 1200 Rally models get a proper 21-inch wheel. Both GT and Rally series come with the same 18-inch rear wheel, with the Rallys getting a more off-road front set-up. The front wheel size is increased from 19- to 21-inch diameter. Also, the GTs’ cast wheels are exchanged for tubeless wire-spoked wheels on the Rallys.
- Metzeler Karoo Street tires will be standard on the Triumph Tiger 1200 Rallys, but I tested the Pro with Triumph-endorsed Michelin Anakee Wild tires. The Wild rubber provides fantastic grip and control in the dirt. The rear tires looked pretty gnarly from a few days of moto journalist hooliganism, but the fronts held up great and had excellent hold.
- The semi-active Showa suspension is plush and stable, soaking up the rough terrain beautifully. The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally models use the same Showa units as the GTs, but with an extra three-quarters of an inch of travel in the 49mm inverted fork. The semi-active damping and automatic electronic spring-preload adjustment adjust to specific ride modes and is customizable. The Tri-Link swingarm is industrial art, and more than three pounds lighter than the single-sided swingarm.
- Thanks to the suspension, I rapidly found myself traveling at speeds much higher than my usual pace off-road, and feeling unfazed about it. I did find the suspension limits on huge hits, more often in the rear, but bottoming out did not upset the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro’s composure.
- The Tiger 1200 Rally Pro offers excellent ergonomics. I find that some adventure bikes like stand-up riding better than others. I spent almost an entire day off-road standing up, and found bike balance and body position just where I liked it. Its seating position and handlebar reach are also suitable for my six-foot frame. I found that putting the adjustable seat in its higher position was most comfortable for me, though putting it in the low position provided more confidence off-road. The seat can be set to be 34.4 or 35.2 inches above the ground. In addition, the hand levers, bar position (reach), footpegs, and windscreen height are also all adjustable. The windscreen easily slides up and down by hand, though I stuck with the down position when I was off-road.
- With all this engine power, plus confidence-inspiring suspension and ergos, it is easy to forget you are hurdling down a very loose surface on a 550-pound motorcycle. This fact comes into stark reality when a sharp turn presents itself and you need to slow all that mass down! Fortunately, the Tiger 1200 is equipped with fantastic Brembo Stylema M4.30 calipers and 320mm discs up front.
- Putting the bike in Off-Road mode disables rear ABS, but thankfully not the front. My first panic-induced stab of the rear brake locked up the back tire, providing little help with all that momentum. Throughout the rest of the day, I relied much more heavily on the front and rear combo than I typically do off-road, with excellent results and no loss of composure of the front end.
- Despite a lot of fiddling with the suspension settings, I could not eliminate the front-end dive when getting hard on the binders. Once I got used to it in the dirt, the diving did not present as much concern as it did on paved surfaces. Aggressive and heavier riders may need to tweak the suspension a bit to firm it up, but for the most part, it was just fine.
- A well-designed cockpit adds to the package. With lighted switches and a clear and bright seven-inch TFT Display, the cockpit is user-friendly. A well-designed five-way joystick, plus the mode and home buttons, allows you to intuitively navigate through the display menus. Smartphone, GPS, and GoPro connectivity is available through Triumph Connectivity. Unfortunately, there were only two screen format choices, and neither has all the data I typically like to have in front of me while riding, so I am forced to hunt through menus to find desired data. Although the ride mode resets from off-road mode when the engine is turned off, Triumph added a quick two-button procedure to get right back to where you were—you have to remember to do it.
- All models come with full LED front lighting and DRL. The front-end looks aggressive and clean, and all Rally models have adaptive cornering lighting.
- Rugged, functional luggage is a big part of adventure touring, and Triumph did its homework. The Rally has optional aluminum hard cases designed by Givi. The aluminum hard-cases require bolt-on mounting brackets, rather than having integrated mounting. The downside of brackets is a less clean look with the luggage off, though the brackets are helpful for mounting soft bags. Still, I prefer integrated mounts for the Triumph panniers, with brackets optional.
- The Rally Pro has an impressive list of standard features. Off the showroom floor, you get handguards, a centerstand, heated grips, cruise control, a quickshifter, and hill-hold assist. All the lighting is LED, with the added attraction of high-end adaptive cornering lights and auxiliary lighting, all of which help give the motorcycle an aggressive and clean front end.
- By the end of the test, I felt much more confident in my off-road abilities than I ever had on an open-class ADV motorcycle. A bit more time in the dirt, and I’ll be packing my bags for Dakar—well, maybe not exactly. The capabilities of the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro, both on- and off-road, combined with its comfort and extensive features, make it a fantastic choice for long-distance adventure riding. All those remote places I dreamt about now seem a bit more in reach.
Photography by Stuart Collins and Chippy Wood
- Helmet: Arai XD4
- Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer II
- Jacket: Alpinestars Valparaiso 2
- Back protection: Alpinestars KR-Celli
- Gloves: Triumph Malvern
- Pants: Alpinestars Bryce
- Boots: Sidi Armada Gore-Tex
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro Specs
- Type: Inline-3
- Displacement: 1160cc
- Bore x stroke: 90.0 x 60.7mm
- Maximum power: 148 horsepower @ 9000 rpm
- Maximum torque: 96 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm
- Compression ratio: 13.2:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate w/ assist and slipper functions
- Final drive: Shaft
- Frame: Tubular steel w/ bolt-on aluminum subframe
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable semi-active Showa inverted 49mm fork; 8.6 inches
- Rear suspension: Fully adjustable semi-active Showa shock; 8.6 inches
- Wheels: Wire-spoke
- Front wheel: 21 x 2.15
- Rear wheel: 18 x 4.25
- Tires: Michelin Karoo Street
- Front tire: 90/90 x 21
- Rear tire: 150/70 x 18
- Front brakes: 320mm floating discs w/ Brembo Stylema M4.30 monoblock 4-piston calipers w/ Magura H1 radial master cylinder
- Rear brake: 282mm disc w/ Brembo single-piston caliper
- ABS: Cornering ABS
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 61.4 inches
- Rake: 23.7 degrees
- Trail: 4.4 inches
- Seat height: 34.4 or 35.2 inches
- Fuel tank capacity: 5.2 gallons
- Curb weight: 549 pounds
- Colors: Snowdonia White; Sapphire Black; Matt Khaki
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro Price: $22,500 MSRP
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro Review Photo Gallery