Triumph has released yet more new models, expanding its range where other manufacturers are seemingly shrinking. An all-new open-class Adventure bike, the Tiger Explorer, will challenge BMW, while an R version of the bread-and-butter Speed Triple give Triumph faithful a helping of Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes. Additionally, a limited-edition Steve McQueen replica provides something to the nostalgics out there.
Of course, the big news is the Tiger Explorer, the largest-displacement adventure bike the Hinkley company has built. Details on all three new models are scanty so far, but Triumph tells us this model gets a new steel chassis, a 19-inch front wheel (and 17-inch back), a class-leading 950-watt generator, shaft drive, optional hard luggage, ABS (with an ‘off’ switch), adjustable seat height and a burly three-cylinder engine “in excess of 1200cc.” If Triumph applies the same long-stroke tuning trickery to its 1050cc engine it used with the excellent Tiger 800 (a stroked 675), we don’t expect much more peak horsepower compared to the 1050, but there will be a lot more torque — maybe even the most of any Adventure bike. There is no word on weight, availability or pricing, but if you’re starting a pool, I’ll put $10 on it being more than $1000 less than the basic BMW R1200GS’ $16,150 MSRP. An interesting note — the Tiger 1050 is apparently still in the catalog for 2012.
If you’re a fan of the excellent Speed Triple (as I am), the news of the Speed Triple R should have you slavering. We liked the revised 2011 version a lot, but adding the outstanding Öhlins suspension package I tried on the 675R can only make it better. That’s a top-of-the-line NIX30 fork and TTX36 shock in back, expensive pro-level stuff. Top-shelf Brembo monoblock brake calipers and lightweight PVM wheels sweeten the deal. If it’s the same pricing structure as the 675R—just a $1700 premium over the 2011 675—buyers of 2011 Speed Triples may be kicking themselves right now, as sourcing those components off the shelf could run north of $7,000. On a related note, the 675R has been dropped from the 2012 lineup.
Sometimes, when confronted with Adventure bikes that can haul more gear than a Honda Civic and pump out more wattage than the Hoover Dam, we have to ask; What Would McQueen Do? (WWMQD?) He may have been turned on by this limited Steve McQueen Edition (there will only be 1,100 worldwide). It’s based on the standard Bonneville T100 and is done up to resemble the TR6 he (and stunt double/crony Bud Ekins) rode in the famous scene from The Great Escape. It’s all matte green and matte black, with a cool little parcel rack, fork gaiters, a bash plate and the King of Cool’s signature on the sidecover (hence the royalty payment to his estate). Look out for the barbed wire!
More details on all these bikes will be released in Milan on November 8th.