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Fri, 19 Oct 2018

Exploring Exmoor on the Tiger 1200

Triumph’s Tiger 1200 XCA could well be the ultimate big adventure bike, ready to tackle any terrain at any undisclosed location in the world. But, to find out just what it’s like day-to-day in our fine country, Matt, one of our Marketing Executives, took the monster adventure bike to go meet the beast of Exmoor (with all the typical fowl English weather thrown in for good measure)…

You could be mistaken for thinking that the Tiger 1200 shares a lot in common with its Explorer predecessor, but you’d missing the mark by quite a distance. This is far more than just a styling exercise and was instead an update to bring the 1200cc adventure bike right to the front of the pack.

For starters, it’s been on a hefty diet, shedding 11kg, and comparing the two bikes, it’s something that you feel right away. Adding to this weight-saving are a raft of updates to make the bike far more user-friendly too, most notably with the new TFT dash. It’s crystal-clear, like looking at your phone screen, and makes everything simple to read and easy to navigate. Supplementing this, other differences come in the form of LED headlights, back-lit switches (which help with operation in the dark), keyless ignition and Triumph’s Shift Assist quickshifter, which allows for clutchless shifting.

At the heart of the machine sits Triumph’s mighty 1215cc triple, which offers loads of useable power and loads of grunt too. The XCA variant which I was riding produces an impressive 139bhp with 122Nm of torque, more than enough for some fun on your favourite B-road. Stopping the bike are an impressive set of Brembos up front, which are more than up to the job!

The XCA also comes with a carbon-tipped Arrow exhaust as standard too, which really helps the bike to sing and allows you to hear the true tune of the glorious triple as it works its magic. And, not only does it save weight over the exhaust on the standard models, it also helps the Tiger’s power plant by giving it more room to breathe.

Does size really matter?

Well, by looking at the XCA, you would certainly think that Triumph thinks so. The XCA is big in every sense of the word, with an adjustable seat height that starts at an 835mm minimum, to an 855mm maximum, it’s by no means small. And, this is further exaggerated with the long 1520mm wheel base length. #

The XCA has a dry weight of 243Kg and a20 litre fuel capacity, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the bike might seem a little on the lardy side, despite the 11kg weight saving. However, once the XCA is in motion you feel just how well balanced this machine is; the size seems to somehow disappear and it becomes light and agile to manoeuvre. If you combine this with the seat’s height, you get a tremendous sense of being able to ride and enjoy any terrain that the ride can throw at you.

Triumph has also equipped the XCA with so much computing power that I’m sure that it could beat deep blue at a game of chess. Often when companies pack this much thinking power into a bike, it detracts from the enjoyment of riding but the XCA is not one of these bikes. The XCA is always thinking and making adjustments to the changing conditions but it does it in a way that builds confidence in the rider.

The electronic package on this bike has multiple modes (Sport, Road, Rain, Off Road and User), which are all significantly different from each other that you can feel the changes. These modes all have the ability to enhance your riding experience to make the most of the terrain or conditions you’re riding in. For example, with the XCA in sport mode you can really give it the beans, the engine management allows for instant power delivery and the firmed up suspension gives you both stability and a real sense of being connected to the road. In the rain mode however, it dials it back a little and allows for a larger safety net.

The XCA modes for every terrain; however, it also has a programmable mode too which lets you fully customise the settings to your own taste.

The XCA also has plenty of extra gadgets as standard, including: cruise control, electronic screen, multifunctional display, heated grips and heated seat, which all further add to the richness of the riding experience.

Triumph has certainly not held anything back with the 2018 XCA and it shows. This bike is an awesome bit of kit, from its looks to its technology. It is top class. The feeling that you get from the XCA is really only something you can experience first-hand so to book your test ride on a 2018 Tiger call Bridge today on: 01392 260 200.