PH2: 2012 TRIUMPH LINE-UP PREVIEWED
Tiger Explorer, Speed Triple R and a 'Steve McQueen' Bonneville
Triumph has unveiled its latest foray into the Adventure bike world - the Tiger Explorer. Designed as the flagship model in the Tiger range the Explorer will not replace the current Tiger 1050 but instead runs alongside it as the bike of choice should you wish to circumnavigate the world. It could prove a real rival to the iconic BMW R1200GS.
Using a brand new triple engine that is 'in excess of 1200cc' according to Triumph, the Explorer is far more 'Adventure' biased than the predominantly road going Tiger 1050. As such it comes with the more rugged Tiger 800 look as well as odd sized cast alloy wheels in the traditional globetrotter's 17-inch rear and 19-inch front sizes. And it doesn't stop there.
The Explorer is the first of the Hinckley models to run a ride-by-wire throttle, something that has allowed the firm to include cruise control and traction control as standard, another Triumph first. As you would expect switchable ABS is in the package and the Explorer also runs a shaft drive, meaning owners shouldn't get stuck in the middle of the Gobi Desert with a broken chain...
In keeping with the competition, Triumph has developed a huge range of touring inspired accessories for the bike including hard and soft luggage, high and low seat options and a range of heated and electrical accessories. A nice feature on the bike is that its 950w generator means that you can run several powered accessories in conjunction with each other, ensuring you won't get lost when your GPS turns off as your heated socks get up to temperature...
Triumph first dipped its toe in the 'R' model pool with the Street Triple R and subsequently followed it up with the Daytona 675R, two models that have proved a resounding success. Half of Street Triple sales are R models and the same is true for the Daytona, meaning it was only a matter of time until the Speed Triple R emerged - well here it is.
Following the same pattern as the Daytona 675R, the Speed Triple R uses high-end Öhlins' NIX30 43mm forks and TTX36 shock to upgrade its suspension, however the naked bike also gets lightweight PVF five-spoke forged aluminum wheels and Brembo monoblock calipers. According to Triumph the wheels alone shed 1.7kg from the overall weight and insiders say the difference between the R and stock Speed Triple is chalk and cheese!
Other neat touches include optional ABS, a few carbon details and styling features such as the red subframe, wheel tape and funky Triumph logo. Unlike the Daytona 675R the Speed Triple R comes in a choice of colours - white or black.
Steve McQueen failing to evade Nazi capture in The Great Escape is one of motorcycling's most iconic images - well now you can be Steve McQueen, just without the looks, talent or Hollywood contract.
The Steve McQueen Edition is officially licensed by McQueen's estate and will be limited to just 1,100 worldwide. Styled on the Triumph Trophy TR6 that was used in the movie (although that was pretending to be something else) the bike is based on a Bonneville T100 however Triumph have actually had to re-homologate the machine due to the number of changes they have made creating the replica.
Featuring matt khaki green livery, the bike comes with a stencil-style triumph decal on the tank and the actor's signature on the side covers, which is pretty cool in itself, but the single seat conversion and black luggage rack really finish off the look. Other styling touches include blacked out rims, hubs, bars, shock springs, mirrors and mudguard supports. Each bike comes with an individually numbered plaque and a certificate of authenticity.
"In case anyone fancies jumping over a barbed-wire fence the bike has a skid plate... but we don't recommend owners do that," says a Triumph spokesman.