Triumph Tiger explorer XRT Review

Triumph Tiger explorer XRT Review

Is the new 2016 Triumph Tiger Explorer XRT one of the all time great all-rounder motorycles?

Is it really worth £15,000 / $22,000 – before you even add in some of the usual extras such as panniers, back-box, exhaust, etc?

After having riden the bike I can see where the money is spent. There is a lot of super, high-tech electrickery on the bike, mostly in place to provide security but also to improve the experience.

Certainly, Triumph has made some great changes to help both the rider and the pillion comfortable. I really did like the idea of heated seats, especially for the pillion who is so often overlooked.

The bike has a lot of competitors out there from all of the major manufacturers, such as the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, the Aprilia Caponord, the big BMWs, the Ducati Multistrada, the Yamaha Super Tenere, the Honda VFR 1200s or Adventure, and the Suzuki V-Strom. All of these bikes are seeking the money from the typical middle aged man who likes to travel longer distances in comfort but still be able to put a smile on their face when wishing to have a weekend blast in the countryside.

Perhaps, the two main factors in this segment are comfort and sports ability. The fact they they can do long tours two-up is a given but how comfortable they are at doing this may be a key differentiator. For others, the feeling that the bike gives them or the sportness is a big factor. It must still make them feel alive, otherwise why not just get a car!

I found the bike an interesting experience. The dealer representative suggested that I try it out as I had already vocalised that I was after a super naked and a sports tourer so he suggested getting the Explorer XRT as one bike that can do both well. The ride went well as you can see in the video and the bike had some great features.

The good bits

The styling – this is actually a pretty good looking bike. I particlarly liked the front end.<

The noise – It has 1200 CC pushing out a single pipe. It sound loud!

The comfort – so many good things to make it more comfortable for a rider and a pillion.

The insturments – configurable tech, rider modes, all on the fly and easy to operate.

The not so good bits

The height – OKay, it’s an adventure bike, they are tall but it was disconcerting that I was on such a heavy bike on my tip-toes and I am 5’10” which is not exactly short.

The vibe – The bike is eiter super smooth or vibey depending on gear and revs. Some times I thought it could be smoother. Not a deal breaker though.

The cost – it’s a lot of money – period.

The bits you get:

  • Additional 12V Power Socket
  • Advanced On Board computer
  • Cornering optimised ABS and Traction Control
  • Cruise Control
  • Hand Guards
  • Heated Grips
  • “Off Road” riding mode
  • Self-cancelling LED indicators
  • Triumph Semi Active Suspension (TSAS)
  • Electrically adjustable Touring screen
  • Engine Protection Bars
  • Heated rider and passenger seat
  • Hill Hold Control
  • Pannier rails for aluminium panniers
  • “Sport” and fully customizable “Rider” riding mode


It is a very good bike. Should you buy it? Well, you MUST take out the competitors as you might not know what you really want until you try them all. You might find one more comfy that the other, one more sporty, one more fun, one cheaper. This is the beauty of biking, we all come from different angles with different needs.

One thing is for sure… If I was looking to go cross-continent with my other half then this big would definitely get my interest.


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