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2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer

Posted by on October 6, 2012
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Bob Ward

Fiction author with a zest for adventure travel. Blogs, tweets, videos, and pins for research and fun. He also hosts Ward's Adventure Travel Research & Trip Journal, a weekly podcast available on EFN, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and more.

After visiting both BMW and Yamaha today, I’m going to add one more bike to the lineup of Dual Sport machines to consider. Triumph has recently introduced the Tiger Explorer, which seems a stiff and ballsy competitor to the GS, with more horsepower, similar weight, and considerably lower price. Better warranty than the Yamaha, and ride report from September’s Rider Magazine gives favor to the Triumph over the Yamaha in terms of handling and power.

Styling is an important factor, too. With road bikes, which these predominantly are, how you feel when you look at it, approach it, and mount up on it are undeniably very critical. It comes down to what appeals to your eyes and spirit, what says adventure to YOU. I get a rush looking at the BMW 1200 GS, while several of my friends find them hideously ugly. The Triumph has a meatier, more aggressive appearance, in my opinion, compared to the Super Tenere. Since the ADV class bikes are engineered to be rivals, and they’re all good bikes, whichever one makes you say “Oh, yeah!” is the best choice for you.

Tonight, I hope to have another planning session with Motospeedy to discuss the logistics of getting to Death Valley given his 650 will need to be hauled. Also, I need to study the mining roads more thoroughly to make sure the 1200 class bike is, without a question, perfectly suitable to the terrain. I don’t believe weight is going to be a detriment unless there are formidable stretches of sand. Certainly water and muck shouldn’t be a problem in a desert. Certainly the standard dual sport tire will be adequate.

The Tiger Explorer is a beast, almost as gnarly as the GS Adventure. I need to test ride one ASAP.

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