I like bikes with twin headlights, especially when both bulbs come on at the same time, just seem to balance up the looks of the bike to me and also make you more visible too. The design of the Explorer is just outstanding and it reminded me of when I rode a Triumph Sprint 1050 ST for a day.
You can tell that during the design phase, passionate designers actually thought about what they are creating. The way the frame curves around the engine, the angles of the seat and the tank all blend well together. The single sided swing arm manages to look artistic as well as meaty and able to cope with most things.
Previous reviews have mentioned how heavy the bike is but to be fair, I found it no different than my GS and actually thought it was easier to maneuver standing still than my GS. Although this was partly due to being able to both feet flat on the ground whereas my GS has the Adv. higher suspension travel plus Wilbert’s Racing suspension. But that aside, I did find it easier as the engine is pretty narrow compared to the boxer.
Road conditions were very wet with heavy rain at times but I found the Explorer very sure footed with the tires it was running on (can’t recall what they were opp).
The power delivery was smooth and the gearbox was just a pleasure to use. The shaft drive just like the power is smooth and without fuss and if you are put off from riding a shaft drive bike, then you need to ride something like this as you forget it’s there once you start moving.
The seat is nice and roomy with plenty of room to fidget and move around on long runs, although a sheepskin cover would be a good option if you are doing a week-long tour etc.
Switch gear is chunky but very user friendly and great to see cruise control on the bike one of the benefits of Triumph using the new ride by wire system.
I’m 6,2 so would most likely need a slightly larger screen for long term use but it wasn’t bad to be fair, even going along the new Christchurch motorway in the rain with gusty winds. This where the 1200 Tiger beats the 800, crap weather and wind gusts as the 1200 was very stable whereas the 800 did move from time to time.
The brakes are another great point too, I tend to use the back brake around town a lot and this was just great, good bite and feel. The front ones are real stoppers too and the forks don’t dive much either, which after being used to the Telemeter system, is rather nice.
Instrumentation is comprehensive and fully featured with virtually every function switchable from the bars. I never used the cruise control so can’t advice on how easy or hard it is to use. Comes with power socket for gadgets and if you get the Triumph luggage then there is a second power socket in the top box, nice.
Now I like this bike and as I’m researching what kind of bike to use on my trip, I’ve ridden just one or two lately, so it was a surprise to me to find something not quite right.
I noticed it as soon as I sat on the X C Explorer when I was in Nelson the other week and this one is the same. It’s the left hand side foot peg, it’s too close to the drive shaft, combined with the heel guard, and it just pushes your boot out a bit.
Myself I found my road boot wanted to slide off the peg, made worse by the rain. Funny enough I haven’t found this commented on in any other reviews but if you look down at each peg, there is roughly an inch gap on the right and about half that on the left.