Triumph builds on the success of the Tiger 800 XC
with the new Tiger Explorer XC
, a true adventure-type motorcycle with all the handling characteristics and features to keep you going over any terrain.
Khaki paint, spoked wheels, skid plates, and fog lights help this Tiger escape the urban jungle and venture into the wild.
Large and in charge
Big and tall, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC is a lot to handle, even for normal-sized riders. At 260 kg, and with a high centre of gravity, it definitely curbed my off-road enthusiasm, especially at idle and lower speeds. Once you find good momentum, however, the machine doesn't feel nearly as intimidating. As soon as it reaches 2,000 rpm, the excellent triple-cylinder effortlessly powers you ahead.
Credit also goes to the perfectly calibrated, ultra-precise ride-by-wire throttle, as well as the exceptional transmission working hand-in-hand with the engine. Shifting gears with the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC is a breeze and always jerk-free, providing an undeniable edge during off-road riding.
That terrific triple delivers a rare blend of low- and mid-range torque, top-end power, sweet sound effects, and positive mechanical feel. In fact, you won't find a better combination in the segment; having said that, you need some space to make the most of it. At 90 km/h on a small, winding, country road, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC cruises in sixth gear at 3,300 rpm; imagine what it can do near its 10,000 rpm redline. Similar to a superbike, you have to show a bit of restraint; otherwise, you can kiss your rider's licence good-bye.
|Big and tall, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC is a lot to handle, even for normal-sized riders. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Protection from the large, adjustable windshield is one of the best in the segment, while the seat proves pleasantly comfortable, albeit a tad too soft for aggressive manoeuvres. When facing strong winds, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC inspires confidence by maintaining a steady course, although some competitors fare a little better in this regard.
The compliant 46-mm front fork and preload-adjustable rear shock deliver superb comfort on any surface thanks to generous travel and ideal settings. Yet, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC brilliantly handles the twisties. As ABS and traction control work to contain your adrenaline rush, you can safely pick up the pace and lean into corners. This machine actually allows you to ride to the limit and flirt with the laws of physics.
|Protection from the large, adjustable windshield is one of the best in the segment. (Photo: France Ouellet)
While it remains more physically challenging on pavement and demands special attention on gravel (due to its high centre of gravity), the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC compares favourably to the segment leaders in terms of dynamic handling.
Impressive features and standard electronics (including cruise control), competitive pricing, and a big bag of tricks to rack up miles in any conditions, the beautiful Brit is certainly worth considering when shopping for an adventure-type motorcycle. Nearly as formidable as a grand tourer on the open road, it loves to hit the dirt, too.
|While it remains more physically challenging on pavement and demands special attention on gravel, the 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC compares favourably to the segment leaders in terms of dynamic handling. (Photo: France Ouellet)
- Flexible, charismatic engine
- Exceptional transmission
- Suspension set for good mix of ride and handling
- Comprehensive equipment
- High centre of gravity
- Large size