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The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 XC is a relatively new entrant into a relatively new and booming adventure motorcycle segment in India. The first such bike to be made available in India was the worldwide blockbuster ‘Long Way Round’ bike – BMW R1200. But it was (and still is) prohibitively expensive. We are still waiting for the Ducati Multistrada to come to our shores, while the Suzuki V-Strom might be the most affordable of the high capacity adventure tourers on the shelf right now.
Price: INR 18,75,000 ex-showroom Delhi
The Explorer XC (which essentially means Cross Country) is an all kitted out version of the Explorer 1200 to take it off tarmac. It also comes in a Matt Khakhi Green which is the Military Green, in my opinion, the most purposeful colour for this bike. It looks absolutely delicious in it. I have ridden the Ducati Multistrada and the Suzuki V-Strom extensively and I can vouch for the fact that the Triumph Explorer 1200 XC looks different than most adventure bikes out there at the moment. It is not as sporty or beautiful as the Multistrada (or powerful) but it is much more exciting than the V-Strom 1000 which tends to have frame flex at high speeds on the highway.
The look and feel of the 1200 XC oozes quality and finesse with elements like auxiliary lights and panniers bringing the owner one step closer to a RTW tour ambition! The ride was smooth and the inline three cylinders configuration gives it a unique note at higher revs. With 137 Bhp @ 9300rpm and 121 Nm of torque @ 6400rpm, it is a bit rev hungry but has got enough mettle for the innumerable overtaking manoeuvres required to navigate Indian highways.
But is the bike true to its name of being Cross Country, on paper it might not appear so, what with the 267kg wet weight to be manoeuvred around, compared to the Multistrada at 232kg and V-Strom at 228kg. Though once in motion, the drivability of the chassis and tractability of the engine make those extra 30kg disappear. The much slimmer rear tyre of 150mm also aids in off-road handling as compared to the 190mm of the Ducati. Not to mention the 19” front wheel, which makes going over large obstacles relatively easy. Though when you give the bike gas, it does surge forward at an alarming rate, without giving the rider a ‘heart in mouth’ moment.
With a seat height of 837mm the XC would be easily manageable for most Indian riders; though taking it on a trail would require a bit more skill for the shorter riders. The Ducati has the edge over the other two here with an adjustable saddle going down to 825mm, though Triumph does offer a Low Seat as an accessory which knocks off 30mm, making it usable by almost anyone. Both the rider and pillion get a nice upright seating position, with enough room on the saddle for both. The ergonomics are good and I never had to ‘stretch’ out, everything was always within control. This is good for those occasions when you want to get off the tarmac, the purpose for which this bike is built, to add to its XC capabilities are the Sump Guard, Engine Protection Bars, Hand Guards, Fog Lights, Traction Control and Switchable ABS. A 950W Alternator, 222kg payload, 12v power socket, large screen and an engine immobiliser make it perfect to load up and ride long distances. The bike is also shaft driven, reducing the amount of maintenance required, useful when you are out on extremely long rides!
The V-Strom, Multistrada and Explorer 1200XC all sport 20L fuel tanks, which give them a similar range, as Triumph claims that their 1215cc engine is extremely frugal in its fuel needs. The Suzuki V-Strom retails for Rs 1495000/- Ex-showroom Delhi, while the Ducati Multistrada isn’t launched yet in India, though the Hyperstrada is priced at 1095000/- ex-showroom, giving a good idea that the MTS will be positioned in the same price bracket as the Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200XC, which is Rs 1875000/- Ex-showroom Delhi. The Suzuki is 4 lakhs cheaper, but it is more for the rider on a strict budget, as it doesn’t provide the premium components that you will find on the Tiger. The Ducati is more evenly poised to take on the Triumph, but the Multistrada is more road biased, while the XC is a more off-road focussed bike. What you will pick, depends on what you want your bike to do!
If I get one, it would definitely be the military green!