Featured Tiger Explorer Thoughts On The New Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

Discussion in 'Tiger / Explorer' started by Aaron Brown, Sep 20, 2022.

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  1. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    Austin, TX, USA
    I'm on my third Tiger now. I had a 2020 1200 Alpine Edition, and a short-lived 2022 900 Rally Pro, which I traded in for my current 2023 1200 Rally Pro, after deciding I missed the highway speed power and comfort from my previous 1200.

    I originally posted this over in the "what've you done with your triumph today?" forum, but someone there reminded me that there is actually a Tiger-focused forum, so here goes...

    So, after a couple of weeks with it, here are some of my initial thoughts about the new Tiger 1200 Rally Pro:
    • First off, let me say that this bike is my favorite of all the bikes I've ever owned.
    • The bike feels *much* lighter and better balanced than my previous 1200 did. That was a pretty top-heavy bike, especially if the road or terrain was off-camber. This new 1200 is distinctly better. It's taller than my 1200 Alpine was (expected, given the higher suspension), but it feels considerably easier to manage at low speeds and when stopped. Triumph did well here.
    • In general, I love the new engine. Down low, it's much more awake than the outgoing engine was. For lack of a better description, it's rowdier than the older engine was. In a good way.
    • Up above about 6500 rpm, there are definitely more vibrations through the handlebars than there used to be, but they're not terrible, and the bar end weights from the barkbusters I added compensate fairly well. Also, I don't often ride up high in the rev range, so it doesn't affect me greatly.
    • The bike is very comfortable on longer rides (I've taken it out for several rides that were 300 miles or longer, and have been very comfortable on each). It's definitely more comfortable on longer rides than the 900 rally pro (although that bike was also quite good on long stretches of miles). This does not surprise me, given how comfortable the outgoing 1200s were.
    • The rider pocket for wind/buffeting is pretty good, but not perfect. Like my older 1200, I added a Puig adjustable blade to the top of the wind screen, and that cleans up the air stream well. I can ride with a peaked helmet, with the visor open at 75mph+ quite comfortably. For reference, I'm 5ft 10in (179cm).
    • The Anakee Street tires that come mounted on the bike are decent, but nothing special. They're rubbish off road, and they're very loud on pavement from ~60-70mph. But they're not so terrible that I'm going to immediately swap them out for something else. I definitely will put something else on the bike when they're done, though.
    • It's pretty nimble in low speed maneuvering, like a parking lot, though I find a weird soft spot in the throttle when just barely cracking it from a standstill (like when first starting to move when maneuvering out of a parking space, or moving ahead a few feet in slow traffic).
    • The bike is surprisingly responsive on twisty roads, considering that the front wheel is 21 inches. Triumph's done a good job with the bike geometry when in road mode to compensate for the bigger wheel. Beyond some easy gravel roads, I haven't taken it off-road extensively yet, but I'd expect that the off-road modes probably switch the geometry to rake out the front more (like the recommended manual off-road suspension settings on the 900 rally pro do).
    • Speaking of suspension: the suspension on this bike is *very* good, and I'd forgotten how much I love semi-active electronically adjusted suspension. I missed that going from the previous 1200 to the 900 RP.
    • Overall, I like the simple layout Triumph chose for the instrument cluster in the 1200-s TFT *much* better than the weird and hard-to-read tach display they put into the 900 series. However, I think that I prefer the ease of choosing what additional info is displayed (trip data, fuel usage, etc) on the 900's screen. That additional info requires digging into the menus on the 1200, is not easy to flip through, and is not sticky.
    • Like every other Tiger, I *hate* that I have to stop the bike to switch into off-road mode. Please, Triumph, let me do that without stopping the damned bike. When the route switches often between pavement and dirt, this requirement is a big pain in the ass. I also continue to be annoyed that when I shut the bike off in off-road mode, it's back in road mode when I start it up again. This is a real problem in rough off-road conditions if, for instance, you drop the bike during a failed hill climb in very loose rock or sand. The bike should start up where I left it.
    • The under-seat phone charger tray is every bit as stupid and useless as it is in the 900. I promptly removed it, and added a fuse block for powering devices in its place.
    • I hate the passenger pegs. They're too big, they just get in the way while I'm riding, and are pretty intrusive into my space as pilot when coming to a stop. I don't ride two-up on this bike, so I removed them.
    • The center stand is stupidly hard to access if the passenger pegs are present. It's completely blocked by the left-hand passenger peg, and requires a lot of finagling to activate if wearing larger adventure boots. Also, it's hard to get the bike back down off the center stand unless you brace the stand from the front to prevent it from moving along the ground. I liked the stands in my previous 1200 and my 900 much better.
    • The bluetooth functionality and the MyTriumph app suck every bit as bad as they do in the 900. After trying it for a single ride, I promptly unpaired everything and disabled all of the bluetooth functions in the bike. Now, as I did for the 900, I pretend it doesn't exist. I pair my phone and headset to my Garmin Zumo XT, and all works flawlessly.
    I'll post further thoughts as they occur to me...
    • Like Like x 5
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Markus

    Markus First Class Member

    Oct 28, 2020
    @Aaron Brown: Thanks for the great description of the new Tiger. A had some identical impressions with the vibrations of the new engine.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. stollydriver

    stollydriver Elite Member

    Apr 25, 2015
    north wales
    Nice write up....
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Peter B

    Peter B Active Member

    May 24, 2020
    West Yorkshire
    I took out the Tiger1200 GT a couple of weeks ago for a test ride. I was told no-one else had booked it that day so could I have it back for 4pm.
    I took it back after a couple of hours.
    The vibration through the grips was giving me pins and needles and I could feel my hands starting to go numb.
    Not a problem I've ever had on my Tiger Sport 1050.
    Out of interest I took out an R1250GS, no problems with that.
    Think I'll try a Multistrada 1250 next.
    • Useful Useful x 2
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  5. stollydriver

    stollydriver Elite Member

    Apr 25, 2015
    north wales
    I have a Tiger Rally Explorer and don't seem to have issues with undue vibration.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Aaron Brown

    Aaron Brown apprentice mad reclusive genius

    Mar 8, 2021
    Austin, TX, USA
    I don’t either. All motorcycles vibrate. I’ve gotten numb throttle hand at some point from every motorcycle I’ve ever had. I flip on cruise control if it’s available, shake out my throttle hand until it stops tingling, and ride on, with a looser grip.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Armando Morales

    Armando Morales Senior Member

    Mar 29, 2021
    Awesome write up
    seems the under seat charger, the useless bluetooth and the difficult center stand are characteristics of the current tigers
    • Agree Agree x 1

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