Triumph revealed updated versions of its Tiger 1200 models in late 2021. We studied the photos in our Tiger 1200 overview story to get some insights about what Triumph could be bringing to the table.
But now that the full Tiger 1200 lineup is out in the wild, we’re able to take an in-depth look at the full range.
We say range because the Tiger 1200 family is just that – a family. It’s broken up this way to satisfy a variety of riders.
For instance, on one side you have the GT models, which have cast wheels that measure 19 inches in front and 18 inches out back.
These are for street-focused riders looking for more of a touring bike. We’re not going to spend any more time talking about those models because our focus is the dirt.
For that, Triumph brings us not one, but two Tiger 1200s – the Rally Pro and the Rally Explorer.
Why These Tiger 1200 Adventure Motorcycles Are Important
Let’s be honest – the previous Tiger 1200s were a big step for Triumph, but still weren’t a match for BMW and KTM.
For Triumph to scrap what it had before and bring us two dirt-focused models tells us how serious the brand is about taking on the mighty BMW GS and KTM Adventure.
Many features separate the Rally from the road-focused GT models, but the most important one is the 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear. This opens up a world of tire options to suit your off-road needs. Both also have wire spokes, which is what any dirt rider wants.
What’s The Difference Between the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer?
The biggest difference between the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer is fuel tank size. The Rally Pro wears a 20L / 5.3gal tank, while the Rally Explorer crams a gargantuan 30L / 7.9galtank (fitting for the “Explorer” name, we suppose).
Being the more expensive model, what the Explorer also gets over the Rally Pro is radar for blind spot detection, beefier crash bars (especially around the bigger fuel tank), heated seats and taller bars.
Powering the Rally models (and the GT models, for that matter) is Triumph’s completely revamped 1160cc inline three-cylinder engine. From the outside, it might look similar to the previous engine, but in reality, it is very different.
The obvious, and most important, difference is the increased displacement. Triumph says it now puts out 147 horses and 129Nm / 95 lb-ft of torque.
A reconfigured firing order separates the power pulses between the last two cylinders firing. Not only does this produce a really cool exhaust note, but it also makes the power easier to manage, especially at low speeds where managing power and traction in the dirt can be important.
Triumph’s up and down autoblipper seen on other models like the Speed Triple makes shifting through the gears as smooth as can be. All without using the clutch. Speaking of clutch, a new Magura master cylinder is easier on the hands while still providing smooth engagement.
Moving the power from the gearbox to the back tire is a new shaft drive system and double-sided swingarm replacing the previous single-sided arm. The new tri-link shaft drive itself and bevel system shave over three pounds from before.
Triumph’s new frame repackages the whole bike, moving the engine forward in order to lengthen the swingarm, resulting in better stability. The rider is also moved forward and the fuel tanks for both Rally models are mounted low. This combination really gives the rider the feeling of control, especially in the dirt.
By default the Rally Explorer’s bigger fuel tank is going to add heft to the motorcycle, but Triumph has designed it to deflect more wind from the rider’s legs.
Suspension comes to us by way of Showa’s semi-active fork and shock. With the ability to adjust compression, rebound, and preload every 20 milliseconds, it can respond to terrain changes much faster than a human ever can.
Both Rally models get longer suspension travel (22cm / 8.6 inches) than both the GT models and the previous Tiger 1200s, but both still have six ride modes including “Off-Road Pro” which turns off ABS and traction control so you have full command.
Triumph has it so you can adjust the damping on the fly to different levels, or you can use one of the presets already programmed into the six ride modes.
To make the longer suspension travel possible the radiator has to be moved, otherwise, the front tire is going to smack it at full compression.
Triumph’s solution was to split the radiators and mount them to the side of the bike. This obviously gives the front tire zero chance of hitting the radiator, but it (potentially) can add weight over a single radiator.
Stopping the Rallys are impressive Stylema monoblock calipers, radially mounted and mated to 320mm discs. You get steel-braided lines of course, and a Magura radial master cylinder, too.
As is becoming common in the category, the Rallys get two levels of off-road ABS: completely off (called Pro in the Triumph menu screen), or Off-Road ABS that disables the rear only and allows the front to lock quite a bit before cutting in.
As we’ve pointed out before, the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro and Rally Explorer come with semi-active suspension, six ride modes that also allow customizable ABS and traction control. It’s all adjustable via a 7-inch TFT display and buttons on each bar that is fairly easy to navigate.
You don’t need to study the new Tiger 1200 Rallys and the old one too hard to realize Triumph really means business with the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.
They are serious off-road motorcycles with engines, suspensions, frames, and technology to bring them within the sniffing range of BMW and KTM.
Obviously, without riding all the challenges we don’t know if Triumph has given the BMW GS and KTM Adventure reason to worry, but on paper anyway, the Triumphs do look attractive.