South East Motorcycle Hire Blog

The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 – the legendary BMW 1200GS-beater

Darren Salter - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 – which we offer here at South East Motorcycle Hire as one of a wide range of options for those wishing to rent a motorbike near Gatwick Airport – entered production in 2012, and quickly attracted rave reviews.

However, those reviewers also couldn’t resist drawing attention to a particular model for which the Tiger Explorer 1200 was an obvious rival: the BMW R1200GS.

You see, until that point, it was the Beemer that was widely seen as the defining bike among big adventure motorcycles. However, many other manufacturers shied away from presenting their offerings as challengers to the R1200GS, claiming that unlike the GS, they weren’t designed to be taken off-road.

In truth, though, even GS riders don’t generally ride off-road, which meant that when the Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 arrived, it really did have to be considered a competitor to the BMW. In any case, Triumph sought to take a very direct fight to the GS, even using it as the benchmark during a development process stretching back to 2006.

Does the Tiger Explorer live up to the hype? In short, yes

Triumph has said that its Tiger Explorer bikes were “conceived, designed and built to deliver the ultimate go anywhere, do anything transcontinental touring motorcycle for every adventure rider, wherever they ride.” In other words, this is emphatically a motorcycle that is meant to be comfortable on dirt as well as on tarmac.

Furthermore, the critics agreed that the British marque had been successful in achieving such a lofty goal, with The Telegraph’s Kevin Ash declaring the Explorer to be “excellent as a touring bike but still capable enough in a sporting guise, and dynamically better than a GS in almost every way.”

Motor Cycle News was similarly unequivocal, concluding that “Triumph has built a bike with more power, better handling, more agility and arguably better styling than [the] R1200GS.”

Now, you can experience it for yourself

A 1215cc liquid-cooled, three-cylinder engine producing 135bhp and at least 74lb ft of torque, up to a maximum of 89lb ft... and we haven’t even yet mentioned the economy of about 42mpg that gives a range of around 150 miles. All of the Tiger Explorer’s essential statistics sound good, but it’s the experience of actually sitting down on and riding the thing that is the proof of its excellence.

When you’re looking to rent a motorbike near Gatwick Airport for those ambitious journeys that might also take in a bit of uneven ground along the way, you could hardly make a better choice than the Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. What’s more, it can be yours right now for a great price – all that you have to do is get in touch with South East Motorcycle Hire.