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Three New Triumphs for 2012 Include Tiger Explorer 1200+

Tiger Explorer features a triple displacing more than 1200 cc

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.

Explorer will feature a street-biased cast 19" front wheel

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.

Speed Triple R

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.

Steve McQueen homage . . . park in garage in case of emergency


  1. bad Chad says:

    Looking forward to the Adv bike compros. Guzzi Stelvio vs BMW GS vs Yama Tien vs Tiger, oh my. Personally, I think the Stelvio will have it all over the others.

  2. jack says:

    The Tiger Explorer looks great, but it’s not my style. Those who wonder where the 1200 Trophy is are right, Triumph needs a true large touring bike. The Sprint GT is a disaster. Neither are for me either. I want my Sprint ST back. A lot of responders long for a light weight true sport tourer, well that is the Sprint ST. It’s as light as the Ninja 1000 once you install the bags and has an excellant engine. I’m 66 and have taken mine on trips of over 7,000 miles. You don’t need shaft drive or a 700 LB touring couch to do maxi miles. It would be even better if they could shave another 30+ LBS off it. ARE YOU LISTENING TRIUMPH!!!!!

  3. Nate says:


    I want that McQueen bike so freakin’ bad.

  4. Justin says:

    Why oh why does the Explorer not have a removable subframe? It’s probably the most likely bike to get dropped (if used as intended). It would only make sense to put a removable subframe on it. Gonna be pricey when it gets torn up.

  5. Artem says:

    The last one is good. Tin Tin (or is it Jimmi Sommerville) ride it in the currently
    promoted movie.

  6. Ayk says:

    Homage comes in many forms. Play this while you’re dreaming of that T100:

  7. kando says:

    The smaller version is doing fine………Triumph needs to concentrate on the largest sector in the USA, the cruiser market. new versions of the TBird, full dress bagger, other variations. the adventure market is limited and will fade an another year.

    • sliphorn says:

      Have you got some sort of crystal ball in front of you? If anything, the adventure bike market in the US is just getting underway. There’s room for all styles from big T.

    • Kjazz says:

      The ADV market is only beginning. It still has a lot of room for growth and many years of settling in yet. I wouldn’t count it out or even underestimate it. But at the same time, I agree, there is definitely market share potential for Triumph in the cruiser market.

      • Scott in the UK says:

        I thought Harley had cruisers all sewn up? If so, it makes sense for Triumph to go after a market that Harley doesn’t have a snoballs chance of entering – such as supersports, or adventure.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Adventure bikes have been a rage for a while now, and BMW has been the only serious contender. There is plenty of room in that market. The Japanese haven’t taken it seriously until just recently (Yamaha at least), and Triumph is taking a solid stab at it.

      Cruiser market? Every manufacturer is fighting for the 25% of the market that Harley Davidson doesn’t command. I’m not saying that there isn’t money to be made in it, but but Hinckley has some cruiser models already going up against a plethora of competitive products. There is less competition in the adventure bikes, and it is hot right now with good margins and a large accessory business to go with it.

    • Goose says:

      I have add my voice to the people who wonder what this based on.

      I have nothing against cruisers (I own a “touring cruiser” and enjoy it very much) but Triumph already has all the bikes you describe, I rode a Rocket Three tourer and the new Storm several weeks ago. Not something I would buy but very nice for what they were intended to be.

      On the other hand, the adventure touring market has been growing for 30 years since BMW released the R80GS. In my mind the these bikes are somewhat like mini van and a sport utility. You can get about the same function from a standard motorcycle but standards don’t sell and adventure tourers sell fairly well. Just like an SUV is pretty much a mini van with macho styling. The mini van and the SUV are about the same thing but the your buddies won’t make house husband jokes if you show up driving and SUV.

      Very, very few take SUVs or big adventure tourers off road. If you really wanted to go off road you’s have a 650 single or a Jeep. I can’t imagine a solo rider getting an R1200GS, a Tenere or this bike out of a mud hole without a crane.


  8. Drew says:

    Hmm.. its like 2 sweet bikes Id love to own…and then theres the Speed Triple R.

    I could frankly care less about brake upgrades or top of the line suspension..I figure only a track rider or someone with the extra coin to blow would. Ive owned 3 speed trips total and know and have met many owners..not many that track theirs. I also dont know many Streetfighter or Naked bike owners that are after “sportier and more exotic”

    Sorry I had to vomit.

    It will take a 1200 dropin and selectable ABS before I would even consider the “new model”

    Epic Fail: When you use “Iconic” speaking about a Speed Triple and you arent referencing the dual spottys

  9. The Other Tim says:

    I own a 2012 Super Tenere and have been very impressed so far. The 1200 Tiger will likely be priced north of $15,000 and will be more hotlydebated with the BMW GS and new Multistrada. My previous bike was a 1st gen. Multistrada and that bike had be in the shop and paying BIG TIME for parts and service. I would predict that while the Tiger and Mulstrada are sexier, the Tenere will fill the need of the Adventure Touring rider who is less interested in showing an image and more interested in spending time exploring.

  10. Tom says:

    Tenere or Tiger Explorer? Could there be a nicer dilemma?

  11. andy1300 says:

    Another 1200cc Adventure bike, ok lets have a test it against the new Yamaha 1200 “”

  12. steve says:

    Put that 1200+/shaft in a Sprint GT and I may trade my Bandit 1250

  13. Sank says:

    When the Tiger 955 went out of production, I was very sad. I thought the best adventure traille was no more. Now the new Tiger 1200 has got me all excited again. I just hope it is priced much much longer than the GS and the Multistrada. Also the weight has to be lower than the GS, somewhere closer to the Multistrada. Can’t wait to see the bike in person.

  14. Mr. Mike says:

    Of all the brands, Triumph now appears to have the most complete line of lust-worthy bikes around, followed closely by Ducati. Despite their engineering excellence Honda with their line of two-wheeled appliances has sunk to the bottom of the list.

  15. S Calwell says:

    Triumph is trying so hard to build what they think the market wants. How about this: 800 triple or twin with the emphasis on LIGHT WEIGHT. Give it comfortable street only dual-sport ergos, better quality suspension/brakes/wheels and a stock exhaust that sounds deep and mellow like the 60’s twins. Compromise everything to keep it light so the bike will handle and accelerate better. It can be a solo only bike to make the point about performance. I’ll place my order right now.

  16. mudnducs says:

    Where oh where is my 1200cc Speed Triple!!!!!

  17. Dryfly says:

    Where’s my new Trophy!!!! Where’s my new Trophy!!!!

  18. RussellP says:

    Test road the Yamaha Super Tenere at Daytona (biketoberfest).
    And was impressed.
    But this Triumph Tiger will be interesting to compare with.
    I have always loved shaft drive, and am glad Triumph decided to go with it.
    I also like the cast wheels. I do not like cleaning spokes,(Yamaha)
    and don’t intend to do a lot of off road riding anyway.

    I like my BMW Twin, But a triple is tempting.
    The Honda V4 Crossover doesn’t interest me.

  19. BoxerFanatic says:


    I fell in love with the T595/955i Daytona, and was disappointed when they uglied her up, and then dropped her.

    The mechanicals of the newest 1050i Speed Triples are interesting… but with that much speed… I at least want a half fairing/belly-pan arrangment, and a tail that isn’t so severely bobbed.

    With the R-grade suspension, it sounds like fun… but still no fairing option. Even the SV1000 had a half-fairing model, and the Superhawk had one. On a bike that capable, I am not sure why it is so enthralling to use your body as a parachute on top of it, rather than managing some of the airflow. Aerodynamics can be your friend.

    • Dave says:

      Superbikes are a numbers game. Slap plastic on the Speed T and it’s power figures will be immediately compared to the others. With less than 165hp it’ll be dead in the water even if it’s better than all the others in the real world. Triumph is wise no to play that game though it would’ve been easy enough to build a bike to take the place of the last gen VFR (sub 500lb Sport/GT) and sell many.

      Seems like many of the brands aren’t reacting to the fact that the average age of motorcycle buyers is climbing at an alarming rate. They ought to meet with Cadillac and see what they did.

      • Josh B. says:

        Yep! Still waiting for that Sprint 800… GIVE IT TO US, TRIUMPH!!!

      • BoxerFanatic says:

        It wasn’t that the 955 Daytona was a super bike in it’s day. It was the anti-superbike liter sport bike, for those who don’t pretend to be racers.

        it was comfortable enough for a 6’+ rider. It was gorgeous in a european way, in which Sprint ST isn’t.

        That is also one of the reasons why I mentioned half-fairing and chin-fairing, to keep a bit of a mechanical look link to the Speed Triple, and split it a bit from the liter-bike race-replica crowd, along with the 3-cylinder engine characteristics.

        R1200S, K1200R-Sport, Sprint RS after the big Daytona, Ducati Supersport, Guzzi LeMans, even the Aprilia Falco, all half-faired european sport bikes with real-world livability on the sportier edge of sport touring, that ALL no longer exist. I know the market is narrow, but nobody has stuck around to even offer one remaining bike. SV1000S, and Honda Superhawk are the same story from Japan.

        The companies may be about numbers, but not all riders are, and so many companies have left that specific market segment that there is now a gap, and I think I heard a sucking sound from the vacuum that the mass exodus caused.

        I wish there were one or two left, and had drop-dead sexy looks, with livable ergos, not a torture rack, and not a wind machine naked bike either, and not 550+lbs to be ready for touring.

        • Dave says:

          Yamaha FZ1, Kawasaki Ninja 1000, Honda VFR all fit that bill pretty well. This is the way of the moto-world. A style runs it’s course and something else fills in, sometimes not to the favor of some. Fortunately, the manufacturers have been making excellent bikes for a long time so buying a 12-20 year old bike with low miles is virtually no risk in terms of reliability. Still enjoying my Superhawk.

          • BoxerFanatic says:

            What happens in 2031, when 2011 bikes are 20 years old, and a bike that is 10-15 years old in 2011, is 35 years old?

            Speaking of Superhawks, I have considered it, as I have a Hawk GT myself, and want something a bit larger, and half-faired. I was GREATLY disappointed that nothing happened to succeed the Superhawk from the NAS1000 concept which was years ago.

            VFR isn’t bad, but it isn’t the lithe bike it used to be, and is a commitment to buy a brand new bike loaded with a lot of potentially expensive tech to support that Honda hasn’t produced before. That is one of the reasons that I like the BMW R-series over the K-S and bigger K-GT. Simpler, while still being well engineered where it counts.

            If product diversity suffers now with new bikes, it effects the future, not just the present. The present now becomes the past later.

            It is intriguing to me that people talk about the motorcycling demographic getting sharply older, yet the product lines focus a lot on the harley or cruiser crowd, popular with predominantly 50+ year olds, some dual-sport, like this new Tiger shows… and super bikes that are usually the realm of the 20-something that doesn’t mind the brutal ergos, because they usually don’t ride very far very often.

            What high profile new bikes besides the big dual-sport bikes like Tiger, BMW GS, or Duc Multi-strada, V-Strom, are really targeted toward the 30-49 age group who want something a bit more practical than a super bike, and a bit more enthusiastic than a cruiser?

            The Speed Triple might count there, but as I said… I wish it had a half fairing to moderate the air drag and noise on the rider’s torso.

  20. Leo Burgos says:

    I owned a “01” 955 Tiger and loved it. I own a “07” 1050 Tiger, (which is a taller speed triple with a wind screen). I will own a Tiger Explorer 1200. Oh, and just to be clear, a taller speed triple with a wind screen is a good thing.

  21. Vroooom says:

    I’ll take the Tiger and one of them Scrambler looking ones too.

  22. ziggy says:

    None of them are perfect, but at least they look like something a man, not a mom, would ride. There’s even a few ugly bits on all of ’em. But unlike BMW, how did Blake say it? They have a “fearful symmetry”

  23. Tom R says:

    Wow, what a tough looking bike (the Explorer). Triumph is turning up the heat on BMW. Competition makes the sport stronger and products better, and the Germans will soon respond.

    • Norm G. says:

      they’ve tried to hold off on it as long as possible, but the response has been in the works for some time. ie. water cooling the boxer. what’s good for emmissions is good for competition. motorrad’s getting a “2-fer”.

  24. Greg says:

    Tiger vs. GS…It’s like WW2 all over again, except without the hatred, the sadness, the bombing and the massive death and destruction.

  25. Jim says:

    I have a Tiger 800 and I’m drooling.

  26. Eric says:

    I noticed something on the left handlebar – could it be??!! A hydraulic clutch from Triumph??!? Woo Hoo – where is my checkbook?! Oh.. Wait.. the wife has it.. 🙁

  27. Kentucky Red says:

    I’ll put ten-to-one odds on a bet that the speed triple gets a similar displacement boost within a year, and THAT is something to get excited about…

    Anybody want to place a bet? No? Nobody?

  28. Fuzzyson says:

    Nice new Tiger but where’s the new Trophy “touring-sport” bike?

  29. Mickey says:

    Wow the adv segment is really expanding (nice to see something besides new cruisers for a change). Pretty bike.

    I have never cared for the looks of the street triple, but others seem to love the look.

    I had an 03 Bonneville, really nice bike but I’ll bet if McQueen owned one he would have changed out the singer sewing machine exhaust, and upgraded the suspension and brakes. The first things most Bonneville owners do, and things Triumph should have done long ago. Putting army paint on the tank and side covers and calling it a McQueen replica is pure marketing hype. In real life McQueen would have more likely been found riding the scrambler model.

    • Fred M. says:

      Mickey wrote: “but I’ll bet if McQueen owned one he would have changed out the singer sewing machine exhaust”

      Don’t insult Steve McQueen. He was not some insecure loser who would have felt a need for some loud, look-at-me-I-have-a-motorcycle exhaust on his bike.

      Here’s Steve McQueen’s 1967 Bonneville when it went up for auction:

      Notice how it’s a totally stock exhaust.

      Mickey wrote: “In real life McQueen would have more likely been found riding the scrambler model.”

      Again, see the photo above, of Steve McQueen’s personal Triumph Bonneville.

      • sliphorn says:

        A stock exhaust from a 1967 Triumph wasn’t strangled and had a proper sound; unlike today’s stock exhausts.

        • Fred M. says:

          The ’67 Triumph Bonneville made 49 horsepower. A new Bonneville with it’s “strangled” exhaust makes 67hp. It’s more horsepower per liter, too, even though the modern bike meets emissions standards that the original could never met. That kind of argues against the idea that it’s strangling the engine.

          The idea of a muffler is to muffle the sound (hence the name). The quieter we can make our bikes, the better. As the American Motorcyclist Association says “The AMA believes that few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively loud motorcycles.”

          • sliphorn says:

            Fred M. I never said the new Bonne had a strangled engine. My point is that a modern Bonne exhaust strangles the sound. A new Bonne sounds like crap in stock form, whereas the ’67 had what I call a proper sound. A new Bonne fit with TOR mufflers is closer to the proper sound I am referring to.

            A Harley running straight pipes is obnoxious, but a ’67 Bonne in stock form or a modern Bonne with TOR muffs is pleasant and sounds like a motorcycle should sound. Not too loud, not too soft, but just right.

      • Mickey says:

        Fred I wasn’t insulting McQueen, I was insulting Triumph for putting those silly pipes on their bikes. I had one. One week after I bought it , it went in for their “illegal” off road exhausts. Guess what, it still didn’t sound like a Bonneville should, but at least it didn’t sound like a Singer sewing machine. I don’t like loud exhausts, but I don’t like totally throttled exhausts either.

        FYI the Steve McQueen Metisse Desert Racer an “exact replica of McQueens personal bike” which they are selling has no silencer at all.Guess he was only an “insecure loser look at me I have a motorcycle exhaust” when riding in the desert.

        I’ll bet I can find plenty of pics of Steve McQueen riding Triumph scramblers, both in the desert and in the ISDT, and probably on the road as well, as those were the models he campaigned the most in those days.

        • Fred M. says:

          His desert bikes were race bikes where he needed every bit of power he could get out of them and needed to remove every ounce of weight that he could. There weren’t 450 class, 230lb MX and Enduro race bikes back then. If you wanted to race in the desert, you stripped down a street bike and and tried to get more power out of it.

          Are you buying this kind of bike for competition? No? Then you should do nothing to increase the noise level above the federal mandated standards. Period.

          This is a street bike. You didn’t see open pipes on McQueen’s Bonneville street bike, did you?

    • clasqm says:

      All right children, stop with the food fight. 🙂

      If McQueen was alive today he’d be 81 years old, but if a young McQueen was around now, he’d be riding something a little more powerful than this. A Ducati Diavel perhaps. Or a turbo ‘Busa.

      Regardless, this thing is drop-dead gorgeous essence of motorcycle. I know it’s a paint job over a bog-stock T100. I don’t care. I want one.

  30. Norm G. says:

    memo to BMW execs… you are under ATTACK…! 🙂

  31. Gutterslob says:

    Was actually planning to skip this upcoming model-year and wait to see what the Japanese would offer for 2013, but with this announcement (plus the e-mail I got from Triumph this morning), I might just swap my current 2008 Speed Triple for that new R, if finances allow, that is. Have to admit I wasn’t a fan of the looks (lights in particular) at first, but it’s grown on me after seeing a couple of em in the flesh.

    A bit torn right now, tbh. My preferences have always been more aligned to the Anglo-Japanese side of things (possibly from watching Senna on a McLaren Honda when I was young). One part of me wants to support the Japanese after their recent difficulties, while the other just loves all things British (except their football… I prefer the Spanish League in that sort).

    Hmm … wonder when that Honda-engined Ariel will come out….

  32. motobell says:

    Speed Triple R looks brilliant – only items missing from my perfect naked bike now is:
    – better passenger accommodations with grab rail for short trips – not long touring
    – modern electronics with traction and abs

    why doesn’t anyone make 2-Up naked, with modern ohlins, monbloc brembo, lightweight wheels with sport bike quality abs and traction control? Ducati streetfigher S comes close minus the comfort for 2-Up rides.. I would not like to alway take my sport tourer to ride two up with my wife.. also if i had to have just one bike – I cannot think of a better bike

    • tron says:

      And sell it for $7500 msrp?
      They don’t do it because they don’t think anyone is going to pay a reasonable price for such a thing. Sadly, its probably true.